Written by Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi
Translated into Eng. By Nehal Anwer Qasmi
Salatut-Tasbeeh is a significant prayer in Islam. It wipes out all the sins of a Muslim. Since this Salaah consists of Tasbeeh, therefore, it is called Salatut-Tasbeeh. The particular Tasbeeh, for this Salaah as recommended by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in the following Hadith, is Sub-haanallahi Wal Hamdu Lillaahi Wa Laa Ilaaha Illal Laahu Wallaahu Akbar (سبحان الله والحمد لله ولا إله إلا الله والله أكبر). We recite it 75 times in each Rak'ah i.e. 300 times in four Rak'ah.
Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) narrates that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to his uncle (Abbas رضي الله عنه): O uncle shall I not give you, Shall I not grant you, Shall I not award you, Shall I not do a mercy on you, Shall I not tell you 10 things when you do them, Allah will forgive your sins: of the future and of the past, new and old, those you have forgotten and those you did knowingly, big and small, hidden and revealed. Then the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) explained the way to offer Salatut-Tasbeeh. Make intention of offering four Rak'ah. In each Rak’ah, recite Surah Fatiha and a Surah from the Qur'an. Once you are finished with it, recite the Tasbeeh 15 times. Then perform Ruku and recite Ruku's usual Tasbeeh, thereafter, recite the Tasbeeh 10 times. After finishing from Ruku, repeat the same Tasbeeh 10 times in Qauma position. Go to first Sajdah and after reciting Sajdah's Tasbeeh, recite the Tasbeeh 10 times. Now go to Jalsah position and repeat it 10 times. Go to second Sajdah again and do as you did in the first Sajdah; that is reciting the same Tasbeeh 10 times after the Tasbeeh of Sajdah. Once you get up from the second Sajdah, sit for a while and recite again the Tasbeeh 10 times. The total number of the Tasbeeh in one Rak'ah is now 75. Do the same in the remaining three Rak'ah and the total number of the Tasbeeh will reach 300.
After explaining the method of Salatut-Tasbeeh the Prophet (PBUH) asked his uncle to pray this Salaah once a day. If not, then every Friday, and even if this is not possible then once a month, and even if this is not possible then once a year, and even if this is not possible then at least once in a lifetime. (Abu Daud; V:1 Page: 190 & Tirmizi; V:1 Page: 109)
There is one another way to offer Salatut-Tasbeeh. That too has been narrated by the same source. Recite the Tasbeeh 15 times after Sana and 10 times after reading a Surah. The rest is same. In this case, you don't need to sit after second Sajdah.
In the afore-mentioned Hadith, it has been asserted by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) that offering Salatut-Tasbeeh will wipe out all the sins, either they are major or minor. Since we are humans, we are undoubtedly marred in sins. Thus, we ought to offer Salatut-Tasbeeh time and again to purify ourselves from the piles of sins. In fact, not only Salatut-Tasbeeh, even usual Salaah is very effective in removing sins. Once a man kissed a female stranger. But at the same time he realized his sin and came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) asking for the remedy of his sin. Allah hence revealed the following verse:
"And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and of the night. Indeed good deeds annul misdeeds. That is a remembrance for the mindful". (Surah Hood: 114)
The man asked the Prophet if this verse has been revealed particularly for me. The Prophet replied no. It is for every person of my community. (Bukhari & Muslim)
There is another Hadith that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “The five daily prayers and Friday prayer to the next Friday prayer, and the fasting of Ramadan to the next Ramadan, is expiation of the sins committed in between them, so long as major sins are avoided." (Muslim)
The above-mentioned two Ahadith make it clear that the Salaah play significant role in removing sins of a Muslim. Moreover, there are several Ahadith, which emphasize that the remembrance and consciousness of Allah too help seek His forgiveness. The Salatut-Tasbeeh mostly consists of Tasbeeh and remembrance of Allah. Thus, it is quite logical that the Salatut-Tasbeeh will wipe out all the previous sins.
As for the time of Salatut-Tasbeeh, the scholars of Islam do not prescribe specific time for it. It can be offered in any part of the day and night except for the time forbidden. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) himself said to his uncle after explaining Salatut-Tasbeeh: "Pray it once a day. If you cannot, then once on every Friday. If that too is not possible, then once in a month or once in a year or at least once in the lifetime".
Some people who think Islam as their monopoly object that the Hadith which speaks of Salatut-Tasbeeh is Za'eef (weak). Thus, it has no root in Islam and offering it is sheer bid'at (innovation). However, the fact is that, this Hadith has been recorded by many reliable books of Ahadith. A large number of Hadith scholars of old and modern time including Al Shaikh Nasir Al Din Al-Bani, Muhammad bin Ishaq, Khatib Baghdadi, Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Mansoor Al-Sam'aani, Imam Muslim, Imam Nawawi, Ibnul Hajar Asqalani, Abdullah bin Mubarak, Shaikh Ahmad Shakir etc all of them acknowledged this Hadith as authentic. Therefore, Salatut-Tasbeeh being innovation is out of question.
Some may also argue that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) personally taught this Salaah to his uncle. So this was not meant to all Muslims. I would say even though the Prophet taught Salatut-Tasbeeh to his uncle, but there is no evidence that it was meant only for his uncle Abbas (RA). Rather there are abundant examples where the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) gave certain commandments on certain incidents. But, those commandments applied for all Muslims. Once the Prophet told a woman that offering Umrah in the moth of Ramdhan is equal in the reward of performing Hajj with me. Apparently, this Hadith is for that woman. But, all the scholars agree that virtue mentioned in this Hadith apply for all the Muslims without any exception.
In short, the Salatut-Tasbeeh is Nafl. It ought to be offered by the Muslims according to their capacity, as it helps to wipe out all the major and minor sins. Calling it bid'at is likely to lead to denial of an authentic Hadith.
May Allah give us taufeeq to offer Salatut-Tasbeeh as much as possible, Ameen!