Meaning of ‘Subhaan Allahi wa bihamdihi...’
Fatwa No: 367717

  • Fatwa Date:3-1-2018 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 16, 1439
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Question

What is the meaning of the following verse? Is this hadith authentic, as it is from the book of Muslim, but I do not know its hadith reference, so I needed that too. Please quote what Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said about this mighty verse.
"Subhaan Allahi wa bi-hamdihi, ʻadada khalqihi, wa ridhaa nafsihi, wa zinata ʻarshihi, wa midaada kalimaatihi."

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The question is somewhat ambiguous, as it asks about a verse while there is no verse in the question to begin with.

In any case, Imam Muslim cited in his Saheeh that Ibn ʻAbbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated on the authority of Juwayriyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, went out from her room for the morning prayer while she was sitting in her place of worship. He returned in the forenoon, and she was still sitting there. He said, "You are still in the same state that I left you in?" She said, "Yes." He said, "After I left you, I said four words three times, if they are to be weighed against what you have said since the early morning, they would outweigh them: Subhaan Allahi wa bi-hamdihi, ʻadada khalqihi, wa ridhaa nafsihi, wa zinata ʻarshihi, wa midaada kalimaatihi." [Muslim]

Saheeh Muslim is the most authentic Hadith book after Saheeh Al-Bukhaari, and the bulk of the hadiths cited therein were received with acceptance by the entire Muslim Ummah and held as authentic.

Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

"Another example of the authentic hadiths are those that were received with unanimous acceptance by the scholars, like the vast majority of the hadiths in Saheeh Al-Bukhaari and Saheeh Muslim. All Hadith scholars decisively stated that the vast majority of the hadiths cited in these two books are authentic. The rest of the people follow those scholars in knowing the authenticity of hadiths. The consensus reached by Hadith scholars that any given hadiths is true is similar to the consensus reached by the scholars of Fiqh that any given action is lawful, unlawful, or obligatory. If people of knowledge unanimously agree on something, the rest of the Muslims follow their agreement. Their consensus is infallible; they would not unanimously agree on something false."

As for the meaning of this hadith , Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

"The hadith means that Allah, the Exalted, deserves to be glorified with such abundance as mentioned. This is similar to the statement of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: 'Rabbana wa lakal-hamdu mil'us-samaawaati wa mil'ul-ardhi wa mil'u maa baynahuma wa mil'u maa shi'ta min shay'in baʻd.' (Our Lord, and to You be the Praise, filling the heavens, filling the Earth, and filling what is between them, and filling whatever else You will.) It does not mean that he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, made Tasbeeh (glorification) with those amounts which he mentioned in the hadith."

Al-Qaari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

"Subhaan Allah wa bihamdih: I glorify Allah and I praise Him. ʻAdada Khalqihi: as much as the number of His creatures. Wa ridhaa nafsihi: and as much as pleases Him, sincerely for His sake alone. Wa zinata ʻarshihi: and as much as the weight of His Throne or as wide as His Throne. Wa midaada kalimaatihi: and as much as the amount of ink that records His Words. This is hyperbole intended to bring the meaning closer to the mind, because speech cannot be measured, and the words of Allah are His speech and His attribute, which are uncountable and infinite. In other words, it means I glorify and praise Allah as much as the great number of the creatures He created, as much as pleases Him, as much as the weight of His Throne, and as much as His Words. This is a metaphor that indicates great abundance. He first mentioned what is countable in a great number, which is the number of creatures, then he raised it to what is greater than it, like the Words of Allah." [Mirqaat Al-Mafaateeh]

Allah knows best.

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