Transform Your Prayer: Secret 18

The Most Beloved Statement

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After raising and folding the hands and saying Allahu Akbar...

...we say the Statement of Praise (Thana'), also known as the Opening Supplication (Du'a al-Istiftah).

It's not obligatory, but it's definitely recommended... as it was the prophetic practice.

There are different versions that the Prophet, may God grant him blessings and peace, used to say.

We will use the most famous set of words that is known.

I'm sure you say them when you begin your prayer...

سُبْحَانَكَ اللّٰهُمَّ وَبِحَمْدِكَ ، وَتَبَارَكَ اسْمُكَ ، وَتَعَالَىٰ جَدُّكَ
وَلَا إِلٰهَ غَيْرُكَ

Subhanak-Allahumma wa bi hamdika, Wa tabarak-asmuka, Wa ta’ala jadduka, Wa la ilaha ghairuk

a. Do you know what these words mean?

b. And do you express them meaningfully when you say them?

Hopefully, after reading this and the next prayer tip, the answer to both of these questions will be a resounding YES.

These four phrases (separated by commas above) are very powerful.

Let's look at the meaning of each, one by one...

We'll cover the first phrase today, and the remaining three in the next tip, God willing.

Subhanak-Allahumma wa bi hamdika

God, how perfect You are and all praise and thanks are Yours.

Let's look at three gems from this first phrase...

1. Absolute perfection

The term subhanaka is often translated as "Glory be to You." But I think a better translation is "How perfect You are."

That's because in the Qur'an, the prime usage of the phrase subhanaka is in response to when something inappropriate is said or thought about God...

For example, in Chapter 19, Mary, Verse 35, God says:

"It would not befit God to have a child. How perfect He is / He is far above that. When He decrees something, He says only, ‘Be,’ and it is."

So we say subhanaka, or subhanAllah, or subhanahu wa ta'ala... to say that God is far removed from, and above and beyond, any imperfection or deficiency anyone may attribute to Him. 

As for the word Hamdwe'll look at it in more detail soon when we journey through surah al-Fatihah...

For now, just know that it combines two sentiments: praise and thanks.

See, you can praise someone / something (that you find to be amazing) without thanking them / it...

And you can thank someone (e.g. for doing something for you) without praising them.

When we do Hamd of God, we are doing both: we are praising and thanking Him at the same time.

Now let's go even deeper...

2. The most beloved statement in this life

Abu Dharr reported: the Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

"Indeed, the most beloved statement to God is, 'How perfect is God and all praise and thanks are His.'"

[Sahih Muslim 2731]

Think about that...

The phrase you say right at the beginning of the prayer... is the most beloved statement to your Lord.

And think about how you may normally say it... 😳

Now that we know what these words really mean and that they are the most beloved words to God... should we express them in prayer?

Here's another very famous narration:

Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

"There are two statements that are light on the tongue, heavy on the Scales and are dear to the Lord of Mercy: 'How perfect is God and all praise and thanks are His,' (subhan-Allahi wa bi hamdihi) and 'How perfect is God, the Majestic (subhan-Allahil-'Adhim).'"

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And if that wasn't enough...

3. Our main proclomation in the next life

But as for those who believe and do good deeds, their Lord will guide them because of their faith. Streams will flow at their feet in the Gardens of Bliss. Their proclamation in them will be, ‘God, how perfect You are!’ (Subhanak-Allahumma) their greeting, ‘Peace,’ and the last part of their prayer, ‘Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds.’

[Chapter 10, Jonah, Verses 9-10]

So ‘God, how perfect You are!’ (Subhanak-Allahumma) will be our main proclamation as we witness and experience Paradise, God willing.

So let's say these words now the way they deserve to be said: meaningfully and wholeheartedly.

How do you put this into practice?

Follow the 'Practice Your Prayer' three-step process...

Simply click here and scroll down to the part where the three steps are covered.

I hope this email helped you understand the meaning and significance of the phrase, Subhanak-Allahumma wa bi hamdika...

...also known as, The Most Beloved Statement.

Later this week, we'll look at the remaining three phrases of the Opening Supplication. Keep an eye on your inbox for that email!

May God grant us meaningful prayers, five times a day... and may He grant us Paradise 🤲