Posted by: Submitter | February 17, 2008

Status of Salat al-Tasbih

The Status of Salat al-Tasbih



Question:

Salaatut-Tasbih is not from the Sunnah and that the hadeeth referring to it are weak. This is based upon the following reasons: (1) The hadîth about this prayer is contradictory in many ways, (2) It was not recommended by any scholar. Ibn Taymiyah said: “Ahmad and his companions stated their dislike of it and no scholar recommended it.” He also said: “Abû Hanîfah and al-Shafi`î knew nothing about it.” (3) Salman Bin Fahd al-Oada “…we know the prayer is not lawful. This is why none of the great legal scholars recommended it.”

Please could you clarify situation and also provide references?

Answer:

The ruling regarding salat al-tasbih is that it is permissible and, in fact, very meritorious.

The hadith in question has been accepted as sahih (sound) or hasan (fair) by various eminent masters of hadith. Those who claimed that it was weak did so on the basis of a few chains of the narration. However, if all the various chains be gathered, no doubt will remain as to its authenticity.

Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani (may Allah have mercy on him) states that sometimes a muhaddith classifies a certain hadith as weak, very weak or even as a fabrication based on one or two chains that were available to him, whereas there may be other chains through which that hadith may be classified as hasan (fair) or even sahih (sound). [al-Nukat, vol.2 pg.848-850]

Hafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) then mentions the hadith of salat al-tasbih as an example for this and he accepts it to be in fact either sahih (sound) or hasan (fair) and not da‘if (weak). [Ibid]

Imam Tirmidhi (may Allah have mercy on him) says that many ulama, among them Imam ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak (may Allah have mercy on him), have accepted the virtue of salat al-tasbih. [Tirmidhi vol.2 pg.348; hadith 481]

Imam Bayhaqi (may Allah have mercy on him) states that “Salat al-tasbih was the practice of ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak and many pious predecessors of various eras. And this in fact lends strength to its acceptability.” [Shu‘ab al-Iman vol.1 pg.427; ‘Ilmiyyah]

Allamah Munziri (may Allah have mercy on him) mentions: “Many muhaddithin have accepted its authority, amongst them:

1) Imam Abu Bakr al-Ajurriy

2) Imam Abu Muhammad al-Misri (ustadh of Allamah Munziri)

3) Hafiz Abu ‘l-Hasan al-Maqdisi (ustadh of Allamah Munziri)

4) Imam Abu Dawud

5) Imam Hakim. [Targhib vol.1 pg.468]

Allamah Suyuti (may Allah have mercy on him) has enumerated up to 20 great muhaddithin who have accepted its authenticity. Besides those that are mentioned above, some of them are:

6) Hafiz Abu Sa‘id al-Sam‘ani

7) Hafiz Khatib al-Baghdadi

8 ) Hafiz Ibn Mandah

9) Imam Bayhaqi

10) Imam Subki

11) Imam al-Nawawi

12) Hafiz ibn al-Salah

13) Hafiz Abu Musa al-Madini

14) Hafiz ‘Ala’i

15) Imam Siraj al-Din al-Bulqini

16) Hafiz Zarkashi, and a few others. [al-La’ali al-Masnu‘ah vol.2 pg.42-44]

The following list of muhaddithin is of those who have written detailed articles on this matter:

1) Imam Darani

2) Imam Abu Musa al-Madini

3) Imam Ibn Mandah

4) Hafiz Ibn Nasir al-Din ad-Dimishqi

5) Allamah Suyuti.

As for the claim of the writer, “It had been unknown to the great Imams … and presumably Imam Shaafi’ee (may Allah have mercy on him).”

This is a claim that lacks the support of explicit quotations from those illustrious imams as well as any reference. In fact, the books of Hanafi fiqh support the view of its acceptance. [Shami vol.2 pg.27; HM Saeed]

Several Shafi‘i jurists have also endorsed it, namely Imam Muhamili, Imam Juwayni, Imam Ghazali, Imam Rafi‘i, and others. [al-La’ali vol.2 pg.43; al-Azkar of Imam Nawawi pg.242]

Khatib Baghdadi (may Allah have mercy on him), states that there is no reason for it not being permissible. In fact, Imam ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) has mentioned a quotation from Imam Malik from which it could be deduced that it was acceptable in his madhhab. Qadi ‘Iyad al-Maliki (may Allah have mercy on him) has also recognized its virtue. [Futuhat al-Rabbaniyyah vol.4 pg.321]

As far as Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (may Allah have mercy on him) is concerned, Hafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) has stated that he had retracted his decision and possibly inclined towards its acceptability later on. [Futuhat al-Rabbaniyyah vol.4 pg.318, 320]

From the above, it is apparent that there can be no doubt regarding salat al-tasbih being an act of virtue which has been established authentically and is accepted by a large number of celebrated scholars of hadith as well as scholars of fiqh (jurisprudence).

Imams Taj al-Din al-Subki (may Allah have mercy on him) and Badr al-Din al-Zarkashi have stated that it is from the fundamentals of the deen and anyone who discards it despite knowing its virtue is not on the correct path. [Futuhat vol.4 pg.321-322)

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

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