Expressions using Allaah's Name
Fatwa No: 88707

Question

Could you please tell me the meaning of the words Al-hamdu Lillaah, Maashaa' Allaah, and Subhaana Allaah? And also the context in which tell should be used appropriately.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.

 

The expression 'Alhamd' (praise) is used to praise someone by mentioning his perfect attributes while having the feeling of love and glorification to him. So if someone says "Alhamdu Lillaah", this means that he is praising Allaah with His perfect Attributes while loving Him and holding Him in a state of glorification. This great expression is used in many cases, among which:

1.      When someone is blessed with a bounty, he should say: "Alhamdu Lillaah (all perfect praise be to Allaah) by whose favour good works are accomplished."

2.      When something dislikeable or unpleasant happens to someone, he should say: "Alhamdu Lillaah (all perfect praise be to Allaah) under all circumstances". The evidence is in what ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to say upon seeing something he likes: "Alhamdu Lillaah (all perfect praise be to Allaah) by whose favour good works are accomplished", and upon seeing what he dislikes, he would say: "Alhamdu Lillaah (all perfect praise be to Allaah) under all circumstances."

3.      After eating or drinking. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Allaah is pleased with the slave who says: Alhamdu Lillaah (all perfect praise be to Allaah) after taking a morsel of food or when he has a drink." [Muslim].

The expression "Subhaana Allaah" (how perfect Allaah is) means declaring Allaah free from all imperfections and what is not befitting Him and from all evil. This expression is used in many situations, such as: when prostrating, after each obligatory prayer, and in morning and evening remembrance 100 times. It is also used when being astonished or surprised by a specific matter. Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him thought that a Muslim becomes impure after having sexual intercourse, to which the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Subhaana Allaah, a Muslim never becomes impure."

The expression “Maashaa' Allaah'' means: what Allaah wills will take place, or that all the matter is in the Hands of Allaah. It is used in many situations, for instance when a person sees what he likes. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Whoever sees something that he likes, and says: 'Maashaa' Allaah Laa Quwwata illaa Billaah', evil eye will not harm it/him/her." [Ibn As-Sinniy].

Allaah knows best.

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