سُبْحَان اللهِ وَ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ وَ لآ اِلهَ اِلّا اللّهُ وَ اللّهُ اَكْبَرُ وَلا حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّة ِ الَّا بِاللّهِ الْعَلِىّ الْعَظِيْم
Subhāna-llāhi, wa-l-hamdu li-llāhi, wa lā ilāha illā-llāhu, wa-llāhu akbar. Wa lā hawla wa lā quwwata illā bi-llāhi-l-ʿaliyyi-l-ʿazīm
Glory be to Allah and Praise to Allah, and there is none worthy of worship but Allah, and Allah is the Greatest. And there is no might or power except with Allah, the Exalted, the Great One
I posted up on facebook this little status about how “hard fasting was getting” while I was out and about doing errands. I was also complaining about the noisy kids and the large crowds and the lack of spirituality all that was having on me. Bloody fartikus. If you think about it I got nothing to complain about because I am alive to make the most out of this situation. I mean maybe these things wont let me make the most out of the situation, but that really give me no right to complain. Again the people of East Africa are dying and they have no food to eat. Mothers and Fathers are having to choose which child to keep alive. I read a story about a women who committed suicide because she could not bear watching her child die in her arms.
Who am I to complain. What test do I have that I feel so entitled to blurt out to the world my problems when compared to the suffering these people are going through. If Ramadan is all about self-discipline and living with sufficiency then I should bear the burden of the complaints I have and take them to God. How can I have a good disposition if all I am doing is finding things to complain about. I focus on that complaint, soon enough it takes over my thoughts and enters my heart, tainting my spirituality. In the end I suffer no one else does because attitude turns black and my smile turns to a frown. I can no longer benefit from the most easiest form of charity- smiling at another person.
I realized this thanks to Mona Shadia, a reporter friend of mine. She posted up this beautiful post on my complaint status- “Say subhan Allah, wa Alhamdulilah, wa la ilaha ila Allah, wa Allahu akbar. I say it and wake up, usually.”
Honestly thinking about those simple words- Subhan Allah= Glory is to God
قُلْ هَـذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللّهِ عَلَى بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَاْ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي وَسُبْحَانَ اللّهِ وَمَا أَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
12:108 Say thou: “This is my way: I do invite unto Allah,- on evidence clear as the seeing with one’s eyes,- I and whoever follows me. Glory to Allah. and never will I join gods with Allah.”
Then wa Alhamdulilah=Praise belongs to God. Much like the Jewish Halelu Yah (hallelujah). Unfortunately today this phrase is a sort of “oh thats good that happened” but the reality is the Arabic means so much more. It means to say with so much love, passion for the gratitude owed to God. I feel its good to say it often, as the remembrance of God is as sweet as honey on the tongue, but to say it and not understand it is truly a shame. This particular is found in the second verse of Surah Fatiha, and that surah in of itself is the entire Quran.
Then we have wa la ilaha ila Allah, wa Allahu akbar= There is one God, God is Great. Without giving to much credit to this story, as I do not have anything I can reference it to and will have to check with some folks, as a kid I was told about this phrase and how it came about. When the angels were asked to move God’s throne they found it heavy and their strength lacking so God taught them the phrase Subhan Allah. They moved the throne but also fell in love with the phrase so much that they buzzed around reciting it. Then God created Adam, giving him the breath of life from which Adam AS sneezed. Adam AS recited Alhumdulillah after his sneeze, so the Angles heard him, finding the phrase beautiful they added it to their hymn. When Noah AS spent 900 years preaching to his people, telling them la-ilaha ill-Allah, the Angels heard his determination and so added this to their hymn as well. Then came Abrahim, not finding the strength to slaughter his son, he AS called upon Gods greatness to give him strength, and so the Angels hearing Allahu akbar, they also added this to their hymn. Then came the blessed event of miraj, the night journey on which the beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW ascended to Gods presence and he SAW heard the angels reciting their hymn, to which he added Wala Howla Wa La Quwata Illah Billah Hil Aleyeel Azeem- there is no power or might greater than God.
To finish on a more orthodox or secured note of authenticity here is the following hadith to reflect on:
Abu Hurairah also reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “I love repeating subhanallah, wal-hamdulillah, wa la-ilaha ill-Allah, wa–Allahu akbar (Glorified is Allah, all praise is due to Allah, and there is no God but Allah, Allah is the greatest) more than all that the sun shines upon.” (Muslim and Tirmizhi)