The Albaani Site

Translation from the Works of the Reviver of this Century

Tag: Salaatut-Tasbeeh

On The Prayer for Forgiveness [Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ] · Is the Ḥadīth Authentic or Not? · Part Five


See here for part four.

Questioner: [Is the ḥadīth] about Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ authentic or not?

Al-Albaani: The scholars have differed greatly over the ḥadīth about it, it has been said that it is authentic and that it is fabricated, and in between these two [opinions] are different levels. What I hold to be the stronger opinion, following on from some of the Ḥuffāẓ well-known for their precision in their checking of the Prophet’s ḥadīths ﷺ, like al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Nāṣir ad-Dimashqī who was a contemporary of al-Ḥāfiẓ aḏ-Ḏhahabī ad-Dimashqī, [so al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Nāṣir ad-Dimashqī] has a book in which he gathered the different paths of the ḥadīths about Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ. And it will become clear to whoever studies it and studies the paths of this prayer or the paths of the ḥadīth of Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ that the ḥadīth is authentic based upon all of its chains of narration. As for the individual chains of narration then there isn’t a ḥadīth among them about which it can be said that it is authentic [ṣaḥīḥ], indeed [there isn’t a ḥadīth among them about which it can be said that it is] ḥasan li-ḏhātihī.

The authenticity came about through all of the chains of narration taken into account together. And this is the reason why the scholars have differed so greatly over it.

So you have Ibn al-Jawzī and with him Ibn Taymiyyah and others who held that this ḥadīth was fabricated, not meaning by that that the chain of narration itself was fabricated, because some of its isnāds are in Sunan Abū Dāwūd and other collections and they don’t include anyone who has been accused as such, nor do they have anyone who was a [confirmed] fabricating liar, in fact the isnād does not even have anyone who was [even simply] accused of lying or fabricating, what they do have are those whose memorisation has been criticised.

But Ibn al-Jawzī and Ibn Taymiyyah looked at the wording of the ḥadīth and found that it was strange [gharīb] in its wording and also strange in the excellence given to this prayer even if only performed once a year, so they said that a ṣalāh like this has no resemblance to the well-known prayers mentioned in the authentic ḥadīths, and so for this reason they inclined towards it being fabricated.

And those who didn’t go as far as to say that it was fabricated [yet who still didn’t agree with it] looked at the apparent paths of narration and the isnāds—that is if they had collected and come across all of them, [again that is] if they had, because I am doubtful that they did that—because whoever did [actually] do that did not [then go on to] say that it was fabricated or weak. [These others] took a look at a few of its individual chains of narration and then said that the ḥadīth was weak.

As for those who reported it and said that it was authentic, they took into consideration all of its paths of narration and saw that the ḥadīth principle which the ḥadīth scholars laid down in the Science of Ḥadīth—i.e., that a weak ḥadīth is strengthened if it is reported through many paths of narration—they [went and] looked at this numerousness and found a not insignificant amount of isnāds that were [of a level] sound enough to strengthen the ḥadīth based on all such paths. So they held that the ḥadīth was strong, with some saying it was ḥasan and others that it was ṣaḥīḥ.

So therefore the difference between those [scholars] who call the ḥadīth ḥasan and those who say it is ṣaḥīḥ is not a fundamental difference since both of them are of the opinion that the ḥadīth is established, and following on from that that acting on it is legislated.

And this ruling is supported by the fact that ʿAbdullah ibn al-Mubārak may Allaah be pleased with him used to pray it. ʿAbdullah ibn al-Mubārak was one of the Imāms of the Muslims and one of the Shaikhs of the Imām of the Sunnah Imām Aḥmad, may Allaah have mercy on him. So if he didn’t have the opinion that the ḥadīth was established he wouldn’t have worshipped Allaah with this prayer which has that peculiarity in its form and manner. A peculiarity which led Ibn al-Jawzī and Ibn Taymiyyah to say that it was fabricated, but their ruling [that it was fabricated], as we mentioned earlier, was not about the isnāds of this ḥadīth, [they were not saying] that they all consist of fabricating liars, no.

So all of what I have mentioned reassures me in concluding that the ḥadīth is established from the Prophet ﷺ and that based upon that a Muslim should do it once every day, and if he can’t then every week, and if he can’t then once a month, and if he can’t then once a year, and if he can’t then at the very least, once in his lifetime.

This is my opinion about Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ.

And it crossed my mind now that I should add something further to clarify what has preceded, so I say: it is true that there is no equivalent to the peculiarity in the manner in which this prayer is performed, but after the ḥadīth has been found to be established based upon what I mentioned earlier, the ḥadīth should not be called defective based upon this peculiarity. Because we know that there is a prayer, authentically established by agreement of the scholars of ḥadīth even though it also differs from the regular prayers: I am referring to the eclipse prayer.

So there was a solar eclipse in the time of the Prophet ﷺ and it so happened to occur on the day when Ibrāhīm, the Prophet’s son ﷺ, passed away. One of the customs of the Age of Ignorance [Jāhiliyyah] was that they would say that an eclipse would occur because a great person had died. So when the solar eclipsed coincided with the death of Ibrāhīm ibn an-Nabiyy ﷺ they said that the eclipse was because he had passed away.

So the Prophet ﷺ gave a sermon among them and said that, ‘O People! Verily the sun and the moon are two of Allaah’s Signs. They do not eclipse due to the death of anyone or his birth, so when you see it then pray and give charity and supplicate,’ then he ﷺ prayed two rakʿahs bowing twice in each rakʿah—and here is the point: in each rakʿah he ﷺ bowed two times.

So this manner [of prayer] opposed all of the regular, known prayers, whether obligatory or optional, because all of them are distinct in having only one bowing and two prostrations … in one rakʿah there is one bowing and two prostrations. As for this [eclipse] prayer it differed from all of the other prayers, because he ﷺ prayed two rakʿahs and in each one there were two rukūs and two sajdahs—so is it thereafter correct to say that this ḥadīth is irregular [shāḏ] or munkar because it goes against the general form of all the [other] prayers?

We say no, as long as the ḥadīth about it is ṣaḥīḥ then it is an act of worship that Allaah ordained for His Slaves during an eclipse, so we should pray as he ﷺ used to pray.

So based upon [all of] this I say: this shows even if by way of comparison that even if Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ differed from the other known, regular prayers, the eclipse prayer also differed in some aspects from those same prayers but that was not seen as a defect in it and it remains an ordained act of worship until the Day of Judgement.

Riḥlatun-Nūr, 48b.

On The Prayer for Forgiveness [Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ] · How Authentically Established is It? · Part Four


 

See here for part three.

Questioner: How authentically established is Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ?

Al-Albaani: The scholars have differed greatly over the ḥadīths about Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ, where you have some saying that it is fabricated and others saying it is authentic, and the reason for such severe differing goes back to two issues:

     The first is that this prayer has in fact not been reported with an authentic chain of narration with which it can established.
     The second is that it differs from all of the legislated prayers in its form, so it is irregular [shāḏ] in this aspect—those who said it was fabricated did so based upon these two realities: that it has no authentic chain through which it can be established and that the wording itself goes against [the form of] all of the established prayers in the the Sunnah.

But those who said it is authentic or at the very least ḥasan said that: [yes], it is true that this ṣalāh, or that this ḥadīth about Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ, does not have an independent authentic chain of narration—but it does have many paths of narration, and one of the principles of the scholars of ḥadīth is that a weak [ḍāʿīf] ḥadīth is strengthened when it is reported through many paths of narration, and this ḥadīth does have many such paths, this is from one angle.

And from another angle it has been established that one of the Salaf, i.e., ʿAbdullah ibn al-Mubārak who was one of the major Shaikhs of Imām Aḥmad, used to hold that it should be prayed, and so he would pray it, and it is unlikely for an Imām such as him to act on a ḥadīth which he didn’t regard as being established.

So when we look at all this, that the ḥadīth about the Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ has been reported through chains which strengthen one another, in addition to the fact that ʿAbdullah ibn al-Mubārak used to pray it, one feels at ease about the ḥadīth being authentic and as a result the correctness of it being prayed is established.

And because of that the doubt which I mentioned earlier when quoting those who say it is not authentic is answered by saying that it is not a condition that a prayer has to be similar to others—because we know that there is a [another] prayer [which I will now mention] authentically established by agreement of the scholars which differs from all of the prayers at a time where the Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ is in agreement with them all in this aspect [which I will now clarify]: when I say a prayer which differs from all of the [other] prayers I am referring to the eclipse prayer. We all know that the eclipse prayer has two rukūʿs in each rakʿah and two sajdahs.

So [simply] by virtue of the fact that bowing is legislated twice in one rakʿah in the eclipse prayer it has opposed all of the well-known prayers in this regard, because there is no other prayer where bowing is legislated twice in one rakʿah, so is this … is the presence of such a point of difference in relation to the five prayers and others a cause for its authenticity to be disputed?

The answer is no.

Because Allaah can ordain whatever He wants for His servants in terms of prayers and how they are to be performed.

So the lesson to be taken is not that a form of worship has to have others that are like it but rather that it is established through [those] paths of narration through which all acts of worship are established.

So when we put aside this aspect of the critique, i.e., the criticism of the actual wording of the [ḥadīth] about Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ, and we turn back to the chains of narration [isnād] and we understand that they strengthen each other, in addition to the fact that one of the Salaf acted on it, [when we consider all of this] no valid argument criticising the manner in which this prayer is performed holds weight.

And thus the statements of those who say that the Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ is established rise up, which in turn establishes [the Sunnah of] praying it at the very least once in your lifetime as mentioned in the ḥadīth and at the most once every day.

This is my answer to this question.

Fatāwā Rābigh
, 5.

On The Prayer for Forgiveness [Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ] · Is it a Recommended Ṣalāh? Part Three


See here for part two.

Questioner: Is the Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ a mustaḥab prayer? And is it established that the Prophet ﷺ used to pray it all the time? Ibn al-Mubārak said it is encouraged to pray it and that a person should become used to praying it all the time and not neglect it, if that is the case then what is the proof for it?

Al-Albaani: It has not been reported that the Prophet ﷺ prayed it himself but many ḥadīths have been reported from him ﷺ encouraging one to do so, like the ḥadīth of Ibn ʿAbbās that the Prophet ﷺ said to his uncle ʿAbbās, “O ʿAbbās! Shall I not give you a gift? Shall I not give you something? Pray four rakʿahs …” then he ﷺ mentioned this well-known prayer, in every rakʿah there being seventy-five tasbīhs, saying, “If you can observe it once daily, do so; if not, then once weekly; if not, then once a month; if not, then once a year; if not, then once in your lifetime,” then he ﷺ mentioned something else which I don’t recall right now.

There is a long, ongoing dispute about this ḥadīth among the scholars of ḥadīth and what I hold to be the stronger opinion is that the ḥadīth is established through all of its paths of narration, and it is reported in Mishkāh al-Maṣābīh and I have checked it there and also in my book, ‘Ṣaḥīḥ al-Kalimaṭ-Ṭayyib,’ sorry I meant, ‘Ṣaḥīḥ at-Targhīb wat-Tarhīb.’

So in summary the ḥadīth is established based upon all of its paths of narration.

Al-Hudā wan-Nūr, 97.

See here for part four.

On The Prayer for Forgiveness [Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ] · A Discussion About the Actual Textual Wording [Matn] of the Ḥadīth · Part two


See here for part one.

Questioner: We were going over and studying the ḥadīth about the Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ and then some of the students of knowledge, it was as though they were saying that there is something wrong with this ḥadīth, when we were going over its chain of narration [isnād] they were saying there is something wrong with the actual text of the ḥadīth [matn], saying that the wording has been criticised because this prayer has not come in a recognised or correct form, so my question is: has anyone [actually] criticised the wording?

Al-Albaani: … some of them have spoken about it … they said that this prayer differs in form from the well-known, established prayer, this is what they said.

Questioner: From those well-known in this field?

Al-Albaani: Our Imām, Ibn Taymiyyah said it.

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: And Ibn al-Jawzī before him.

Questioner: Yes, in [his book] al-Mowḍūʿāt.

Al-Albaani: Yes, but their statements are rebutted because this defect [that they mention] is an intellectual, logical one which has no value when it comes to looking at the criticism of the wordings of ḥadīths. Maybe you recall the form of the Eclipse prayer?

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: That it is two rakʿahs, and that in each rakʿah you bow twice, this prayer stands out against the regular prayers—so how does that harm it after it has been established in a ḥadīth from the Prophet ﷺ, even though the Ḥanafīs oppose the way it is performed like this? This criticism doesn’t harm it in the slightest.

The critique of every person working on ḥadīth and who takes up critically commenting on ḥadīth must be based on the chain of narration [isnād] not the actually wording [matn] itself.

But if the ḥadīth is not authentically established in its chain of narration, it is then that the scholar, if he has something logical to say, turns to critiquing the wording too. And in such a case the ḥadīth would be weak [ḍaʿīf] in both its chain of narration and the textual wording itself.

And beware of being fooled, you or anyone else, with what is mentioned in Muqaddimah Ibn aṣ-Ṣalāḥ and other books of ḥadīth terminology, which say that a ḥadīth might have an authentic chain of narration but have wording which is not.

Beware [and I’ll say it again], beware of that—because in fact this unrestricted statement is not correct, and it must be patched up by interpreting it so that it becomes sound. And it is made sound by saying that it refers to someone who says that a [certain] chain of narration is authentic but who never took into account some of the conditions [required] of an authentic isnād, like the fact that it should not be irregular [shāḏ] or have any hidden defects [i.e., the scholar missed the fact that the isnād had some defects in it, in such a case Ibn aṣ-Ṣalāh’s statement that a ḥadīth might have an authentic chain of narration but have wording which is not would be sound], [and if a scholar did do that concerning a ḥadīth] then he is excused because maybe the hidden defect [ʿillah] was not clear to him. Hidden defects in ḥadīths are of two types: apparent and unclear, this second type is the one which evades many scholars let alone those less than them, so when one of them makes the statement that the isnād of a ḥadīth might be authentic [but its textual wording is not] it is explained in this way.

As for there being an authentic chain of narration which is free of any hidden defect [ʿillah] but then [saying] the text in the ḥadīth itself is weak and contradicts something more authentic [munkar]: such a thing does not exist in the dunyā.

When you understand this reality, then the ḥadīth criticiser should, as I just said, turn to critiquing the ḥadīth’s isnād, such that if the isnād is found to be sound then so is the wording itself. Because if not then we will have opened the door for those people who claim that Islām is only [what is in] the Qurʾān and that is it, [just] because they came across a lot of weak ḥadīths.

Especially when they open the door to critiquing the wording of ḥadīths which some of those who blindly-imitate the orientalists call, ‘Inner/internal-critique,’ they call the critiquing of the actual wording of the ḥadīths, ‘Inner/internal-critique.’

So when they went on and extended this criticism [to include more and more texts of ḥadīths] only a tiny amount of ḥadīths were safe from it, such that they even turned away from those too and just stuck with the Qurʾān—and thus left Islām in the name of the Qurʾān.

In summary, the ḥadīth about the Prayer of Tasbīḥ does not fall below the level of being ḥasan, and in my opinion, when all of its paths of narration are taken into account, it is authentic [ṣaḥīḥ].

And it is enough for the student of knowledge to know that one of the Imāms of the Salaf, ʿAbdullah ibn al-Mubārak who was the Shaikh of the Imām of the Sunnah, i.e., Imām Aḥmad, used to pray this prayer which these people who criticise its wording want to call a shāḏ or munkar ḥadīth. [A shāḏ ḥadīth is one which is reported by a reliable narrator in contradiction to someone more reliable. A munkar ḥadīth is one which is reported by a weak narrator which goes against another authentic ḥadīth.]

A ḥadīth like this which has been reported through many paths of narration, some of which are only slightly weak and [fall into that category of ḥadīth] which can be used to give strength to chains of narration in addition to the fact that that Imām acted on it—[after all of this] don’t be deceived by what is reported in some statements of some of the Imāms in Islām that its chain of narration is weak or munkar.

This is my answer.

Al-Hudā wan-Nūr, 224.

See here for part three.

On Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ [The Prayer of Glorification] | Part One


Questioner: Is it true that the ḥadīth about the Prayer of Tasbīḥ is weak?

Al-Albaani: In reality the scholars of ḥadīth have differed greatly over it, with some of them saying it is fabricated [mowḍūʿ] and others that it is weak [ḍaʿīf], or ḥasan and yet others that it is authentic [ṣaḥīḥ].

I don’t want to prolong the discussion by discussing what the difference between ḥasan and ṣaḥīḥ is and that each of them can be further broken down into being ḥasan li-dhātihī and ḥasan li-ghairihī or ṣaḥīḥ li-dhātihī and ṣaḥīḥ li-ghairihī—what is important is for me to say that whoever said it is fabricated has gone too far and has digressed greatly from what is correct, and that whoever said it is weak is close to them too.

The correct stance is that the ḥadīth falls into place somewhere between the people who say it is ḥasan and those who say that it is authentic, this is what I hold to be the stronger opinion.

And its authenticity comes about in two ways:

The first is that the ḥadīth about the Prayer of Tasbīḥ has been reported through a number of paths in Sunan Abī Dāwūd and other books of the Sunnah, [the kind of paths] which the people of knowledge who are acquainted with ḥadīth say strengthen each other, because no one who is a liar or who has been accused of lying is in them but only those whose memorisation has been criticised, so the mistakes of those narrators whose memorisation has been criticised is not a concern with the presence of another narration which supports them, so what then is the case when more than [just] one supporting narration exists for the Prayer of Tasbīḥ?

The second is that one of the major Imāms of the Salaf who reported this ḥadīth acted upon it, i.e., ʿAbdullah ibn al-Mubārak who was one of the Shaikhs of the Imām of the Sunnah, Aḥmad ibn Hanbal, if he didn’t hold it to be authentic he wouldn’t have acted upon it.

So the correct opinion is what the scholars said about this ḥadīth—that it is authentic and that a Muslim should do it even if only once in their lifetime: i.e., pray four rakʿahs, each one having seventy-five tasbīḥs, each standing part fifteen, and the rest of the pillars tens, which would make the total three-hundred tasbīḥs—for it will be [a cause of] forgiveness for him as the ḥadīth states.
Al-Hudā wan-Nūr, 75.

See here for part two.

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