Praising Allaah – I
Many texts in the Quran and the Sunnah indicate the virtue of praising Allaah and that it is what the dwellers of Paradise will say upon entering Paradise.
The Prophet used to praise Allaah during all times. Furthermore, supplications - which included the praise of Allaah - before and after many actions have been reported on his behalf . He used to praise Allaah after eating, drinking, wearing a new garment and returning from a journey. He also would praise Allaah during pilgrimage and upon receiving good news or sad news. Thus we Muslims must praise Allaah during all situations in order to attain the great reward of praising Him.
The virtue of praising Allaah as mentioned in the Quran:
There are many acts of worship which people fail to perform despite the great reward they yield and despite them being very easy to perform. Allaah rewards for some simple acts abundantly, because He is The Most Generous and The Beneficent, and regardless how much Allaah gives, what He possesses will never decrease.
We must perform as many deeds as possible in order to be rescued on the Day of Judgment and reach our destination safely. One of the greatest deeds to perform is mentioning Allaah, and it has many types, the best of which is that done with the tongue and is connected to the heart. This is when a person mentions Allaah and ponders upon what he is saying, and praising Allaah is one such form of mention. Allaah is to be praised in all situations as He is the only One worthy of praise. Allaah praised Himself in many places in the Quran and He commanded us to praise Him. The dwellers of Paradise will praise Allaah as Allaah informs us saying (what means): “…And the last of their call will be, `Praise to Allaah, Lord of the worlds!`” [Quran 10: 10]
And also (what means): "…Praise to Allaah, Who has fulfilled for us His promise." [Quran 39: 74]
And also (what means): “…Praise to Allaah, Who has removed from us [all] sorrow.” [Quran 35: 34]
Praising Allaah is a great act of worship that reflects the slave’s contentment and submission to the Decrees of Allaah.
Praising Allaah is a phrase which will fill the slave’s scale on the Day of Judgment. The Prophet said: “The best type of supplication is (saying): `Al-Hamdulillaah` (All Perfect praise be to Allaah)”.
'Aa’ishah said: “The Messenger of Allaah recited frequently in bowing and prostration: “Subhaanaka Rabbanaa wa bihamdika, Allaahumaghfir lee. (Far removed You are from every imperfection, our Lord, and all praise is for You, forgive me, O Allaah)”. He elucidated that it has been commanded in the Noble Quran to recite (what means): “So glorify the Praises of your Lord, and ask for His forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and Who forgives.” [Quran 110: 3] And he (i.e. the Messenger of Allaah ) acted upon it.” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim] Allaah commanded us not to forget this mention, namely praising Him.
The greatest chapter in the entire Quran is Al-Faatihah, and it starts with the praise of Allaah. The Messenger of Allaah said to Abu Sa`eed Ibn Al-Mu`allaa : “Shall I teach you the greatest Chapter in the Quran before you leave the mosque? … It is `Alhamdulillaahi Rabbil-`Aalameen (i.e., Chapter Al-Faatihah).” [Al-Bukhaari]
The virtue of praising Allaah as mentioned in the Sunnah:
Many texts mentioned this issue to highlight its importance. The Messenger of Allaah said: “Protect yourselves from Hellfire; say: `Subhaanallaah, Al-Hamdulillaah, Laa Ilaaha Ilallaah, Allaahu Akbar (Allaah is free from imperfection; praise be to Allaah; None is worthy of being worshipped except Allaah; and Allaah is The Greatest).` These (words) will come on the Day of Judgment preceding the person (who uttered them in life) and will be behind him, and to his sides.” Meaning they will surround him from all directions as a way of honoring the person who used to utter them in the worldly life.
Ibn Mas`ood reported that the Messenger of Allaah said: “I met Ibraaheem on the Night of Ascension (Al-Israa’), and he said to me: `O Muhammad, convey my greetings to your nation, and tell them that Paradise has a vast plain of pure soil and sweet water. It is a plain leveled land. The plants grow there by uttering: Subhaanallaah, Al-Hamdulillaah, Laa Ilaaha Illallaah and Allaahu Akbar (Allaah is free from imperfection; praise be to Allaah; there is no true god except Allaah; and Allaah is The Greatest).” [At-Tirmithi]
The Messenger of Allaah once said to the companions : “Allaah chose four phrases for you to utter: `Subhaanallaah, Al-Hamdulillaah, Laa Ilaaha Ilallaah, Allaahu Akbar (Allaah is free from imperfection; praise be to Allaah; none is worthy of being worshipped except Allaah; and Allaah is The Greatest)` Whoever says 'Subhaanallaah (Allaah is free from imperfection)' will receive twenty rewards and twenty sins will be expiated from his record. Whoever says 'Allaahu Akbar (Allaah is The Greatest)' will receive twenty rewards and twenty sins will be expiated from his record. Whoever says 'Laa ilaaha illallaah (None is worthy of being worshipped except Allaah)' will receive twenty rewards and twenty sins will be expiated from his record. Whoever says 'Al-Hamdulillaah (praise be to Allaah)' will receive thirty rewards and thirty sins will be expiated from his record.” [Ahmad]
We must utilize our time in the mention of Allaah as much as we can, because it is the easiest thing to do while its outcome is great, it is the plants of Paradise. It is a very easy profit and an effortless gain ... but where are those who strive to get it?
Whenever a new bounty is bestowed upon the slave from Allaah, he should utter the praise of Allaah. The Messenger of Allaah said:“Allaah never bestows a bounty upon a slave and he praises Allaah, but the utterance of praise was better for the slave than the bounty itself.”
Allaah Says (what means): “And if you should count the favor [i.e. blessings] of Allaah, you could not enumerate them.” [Quran 14: 34]
Praising Allaah leads to His pleasures, as in the narration of Anas who reported that the Messenger of Allaah said: “Allaah will be pleased with His slave who praises Him (i.e., says Al-Hamdulillaah) when he eats and praises Him when he drinks.” [Muslim]
A true believer praises Allaah in all situations even as his soul is departing, as the Messenger of Allaah said to Umm Ayman . Why would a believer praise Allaah upon his death? This is because he is being freed from the prison of this worldly life and heading towards the hoped eternal joyful life in Paradise. One’s death is a decree of Allaah, so a true believer praises Allaah for any Decree that befalls him. Additionally, a true believer praises Allaah for having enabled him to utilize this life in His pleasure.
There are many times during which the praise of Allaah is recommended, and the following are some examples:
Upon waking up, whilst rising from bowing, during prayer and upon sneezing:
One is amazed when he ponders on the cases were the praise is recommended. The Prophet taught us that when a person wakes up, he is encouraged to utter: “Al-Hamdulillaahi Al-Lathee ‘Aafaanee Fee Jasadee Waradda ‘Aalayya Roohee (All praise is for Allaah who restored to me my health and returned my soul).” The Prophet also taught us that when an Imaam rises from the position of bowing, he should say: “Sami`a Allaahu liman hamidah (Allaah listened to the one who praised Him)” and that people should say: “Rabbanaa Walakal-hamdu (Our Lord, for You is all praise)” When the Prophet heard a man saying upon rising from bowing in prayer: “Rabbanaa Walakal-hamdu Hamdan Katheeran Tayyiban Mubarakan Feeh (Our Lord, for You is all praise, an abundant beautiful blessed praise)” he said: “The angels were amazed upon hearing this phrase”. Furthermore, when one sneezes, he should praise Allaah saying: “Al-Hamdulillaah (All praise is for Allaah).”
In the opening of lectures and sermons and after concluding prayers:
Whenever the Prophet used address the people with any issue, he would open his speech with the praise of Allaah and His glorification. Likewise, after concluding his prayers, he would praise Allaah thirty three times.