Dictionary / Arabic - Turkish Terminology

TASBÎHÂT - تسبيحات


The plural of tasbîh. Particularly, the dhikr of 33 Subhânallah, 33 Alhamdulillah, 33 Allahu Akbar, 33 Lâ Ilâha Illallah and salâwât, the performance of which is Sunnah after the salâh, is also called tasbîhât.


It was ‘Eid al-Adha while this 'station' was being written

One-fifth of mankind, three hundred million people together, being caused to say: "Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!"; and in relation to its size the globe of the earth like broadcasting to its fellow planets in the skies the sacred words of Allahu Akbar!; more than twenty thousand pilgrims performing the Hajj, on 'Arafat and at the ‘Eid, together saying: "Allahu Akbar!" are all a response in the form of extensive, universal ‘ubûdiyyah to the universal manifestation of Ilahî Rubûbiyyah through the sublime titles of Rabb of the Earth (رب الارض ) and Rabb of All al-‘Âlams (رب العالمين ), and are a sort of echo of the phrase of Allahu Akbar! Spoken and commanded one thousand three hundred years ago by Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm and his Family (Âl) and Sahâbah. This I imagined and felt and was certain about.

Then I wondered if the sacred phrase has any connection with our matter. It suddenly occurred to me that foremost this phrase and many others of these shaâ’er like Subhânallah, Alhamdulillah and Lâ Ilâha Illallah, which bear the title of "al-bâqîyât as-sâlihât," recall particular and universal points about the matter we are discussing and infer its realization.

For example, one aspect of the meaning of Allahu Akbar! is that Janâb-i Haqq’s qoudrah and ‘ilm are greater than everything; nothing at all can quit the bounds of Allah's ‘ilm, nor escape or be saved from the disposals of His Qoudrah. He is greater than the things we fear most. This means He is greater than bringing about the resurrection of the dead, saving us from non-existence, and bestowing eternal happiness. He is greater than any strange or unimaginable thing, so that, as explicitly stated by the âyah, مَا خَلْقُكُمْ وَلاَ بَعْثُكُمْ اِلاَّ كَنَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ the resurrection of mankind is as easy for His Qoudrah as the creation of a single nafs. It is in connection with this meaning that when faced with serious calamities or important undertakings, everyone says: "Allah is Most Great! Allah is Most Great!", making it a source of consolation, strength, and support for themselves.

As is shown in the Ninth Word, the above phrase with its two fellows are the seeds and summaries of the salâh which is the index of all ‘ibâdah, and in order to corroborate the meaning of the salâh, are repeated in the salâh and its tasbîhât, and provides the powerful answers to the questions arising from the amazement, pleasure, and awe that man feels and takes from many strange, beautiful and great things he sees in the universe which are the means of amazement, shukr, grandeur and greatness, and the three great haqiqahs that is, Subhânallah!, Alhamdulillah!, Allahu Akbar!. Moreover, at the end of the Sixteenth Word, it is described how at the festival a private soldier and a field marshal enter the sultân's presence together, whereas at other times the soldier has contact with the field marshal only through his commanding officer. In the same way, somewhat resembling the awliyâ, a person making the Hajj begins to know Janâb-i Haqq through His titles of Rabb of the Earth (رب الارض ) and Rabb of All al-‘Âlams (رب العالمين ). With its repetition, it is again Allahu Akbar that answers all the feverish bewildering questions that overwhelm his rûh as the levels of grandeur unfold in his heart. Furthermore, at the end of the Thirteenth Flash, it is described how it is again Allahu Akbar that replies most effectively to shaytan's wiles, cutting them at the root, as well as answering succinctly but powerfully our question about the âkhirah.

The phrase Alhamdulillah also reminds and requires resurrection. It says to us: "My meaning cannot be without âkhirah. For I say: to Him is due all the hamd and shukr that have been offered from pre-eternity to post-eternity, whoever they have been offered by and to whom, for the chief of all ni’mahs and the only thing that makes ni’mah true ni’mah and saves all conscious creatures from the endless calamities of non-existence, is eternal happiness; it is only eternal happiness that can be equal to that universal meaning of mine."

Yes, every day all mu’mins saying at least one hundred and fifty times after the salâh: Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah!, as enjoined by the Sharî'ah, and its meaning being the expression of hamd and shukr which extend from pre-eternity to post-eternity, can only be the advance price and immediate fee for Jannah and eternal happiness. They offer shukr since ni’mahs are not restricted to the fleeting ni’mahs of this world, which are tainted by the pains of transience, and see them as the means to eternal ni’mahs.

As for the sacred phrase, Subhânallah!; with its meaning of declaring Janâb-i Haqq free of sharik, fault, defect, dhulm, impotence, unkindness, need, and deception, and all faults opposed to His perfection (kamâl), beauty (jamâl), and glory (jalâl), it recalls eternal happiness and the realm of the âkhirah and Jannah within it, which are the means to glory and beauty and the perfection of His sovereignty’s majesty and; the phrase alludes to them and indicates them. For, as has been proved previously, if there was no eternal happiness, both His sovereignty, and His perfection, glory, beauty, and rahmah would be stained by fault and defect.

Like these three sacred phrases, Bismillah and La Ilâha Illallah and other blessed phrases are all seeds to the pillars of îmân. Like the meat essences and sugar concentrates that have been discovered recently, they are summaries of both the pillars of îmân and the haqiqahs of the Qur'an. The three mentioned above are both the seeds of the salâh, and they are the seeds of the Qur'an, sparkling like brilliants at the beginning of a number of shining surahs. So too are they the true mines, bases and the seeds of the haqiqahs of the Risale-i Nur which many of its sunûhât1 have started while I was reciting the tasbîhât. In respect of the walâyah of Ahmad and ‘ubûdiyyah of Muhammad (‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm), these phrases are the awrâd of the tarîqah of Muhammad (ASM) in the tasbîhât following salâh, in such a circle of dhikr, more than one hundred million mu’mins together repeat after salâh Subhânallah! thirty-three times, Alhamdulillah! thirty-three times, and Allahu Akbar! thirty-three times with the tasbih-beads in their hands in a vast circle of dhikr.

You have surely understood now the great value of reciting thirty-three times after the salâh, in such a splendid circle of dhikr, each of those three blessed phrases, which as explained above, are the summaries and seeds of both the Qur'an, and îmân, and the salâh. You have understood too the great reward they yield.

[The First Topic at the beginning of this risale forms an excellent lesson about the salâh. Then, although I did not think of it, involuntarily the end here became an important lesson about the tasbîhât of salâh.]

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ عَلَى اِنْعَامِهِ

سُبْحَانَكَ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَا اِلاَّ مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ

The Rays ( 253-255 )


“I said the following to one of our brothers due to his being neglectful towards the tasbîhât following the salâh: The tasbîhât performed after the salâh are the tarîqah of Muhammad (asm) and they are the awrâd of the walâyah of Ahmad (asm). From that perspective, they are of utmost importance. Later the haqiqah of this word unfolded like this: Just as the walâyah of Ahmad (asm) which transformed into prophethood (risalat) is higher than all forms of walâyah; in the same way, the tasbîhât following the salâh, which is the tarîqah of that walâyah and the specific awrâd of that ‘Supreme walâyah’ (walâyah al-kubra) is higher than all other forms of tarîqah and awrâd to the same degree. This mystery further unfolded as follows:

In the same way, an enlightenment is felt in a circle of dhikr or in a Naqshi reading (khatmah) in a mosque amongst a collective unity related to one another; while repeating the tasbîh “Subhânallah Subhânallah” after salâh, a person whose heart is awake will feel in a ma’nawî manner the one hundred million people performing the same tasbîh with tasbih-beads in their hands, before their chief of that circle of dhikr, Muhammad ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm, one will exclaim “Subhânallah Subhânallah”, with that grandness and loftiness. Then with the ma’nawî command of that chief of dhikr, in following his words of “Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah” the one hundred million disciplines from that circle of dhikr who are in that broad khatmah of Ahmad ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm saying “Alhamdulillah”, will manifest for that person a grand hamd to reflect and join into by saying “Alhamdulillah”. And furthermore by declaring “Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar” and after the du’â, repeating “La Ilâha Illallah La Ilâha Illallah” thirty-three times in that circle of dhikr and supreme khatmah of the tarîqah of Ahmad ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm with the above-mentioned meaning one can consider all those brothers and sisters on this tarîqah and turn towards the leader of that circle, the personage of Ahmad ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm and say: اَلْفُ اَلْفِ صَلاَةٍ وَ اَلْفُ اَلْفِ سَلاَمٍ عَلَيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللّٰهِ 2 I understood, felt and saw this in imagination. That is, that the tasbîhât of the salâh is extremely important.” Kastamonu Addendum (115-116)


“In accordance with the mystery of the tasbîhât of the salâh: Just as, after salâh, there is a source of faydh in entering with conception and intention the grand khatmah of Muhammad (asm) through tasbîh, dhikr and tahlil3 , and the dhikr and tasbîh performed by the circle of hamd by Ahmad (asm) which is as broad as the face of the earth; in the same way, by way of saying amen to the du’âs and in sharing the good deeds (‘amal as-sâlih) and du’âs performed by the thousands of innocent tongues and blessed elderly, who offer du’â and work and take lessons from the broad sphere of the Risale-i Nur’s lessons and inside the circle of its nûr, both we and myself consider ourselves as being extremely fortunate to rise beyond space and through imagination, intention and conception, stand shoulder to shoulder and be side to side with them. Especially towards the end of my life, to find such valuable, innocent, ma’nawî children and hundreds of junior Abdurrahmans, is like having a life of Jannah in this world for me.

Last year during Ramadhan, I witnessed ‘ayn al-yaqîn and haqq al-yaqîn the great results of the one-hour work each of my brothers performed on my behalf due to my illness. These innocents, blessed elderly and the fortunate Ustadhs of them whose du'âs cannot be rejected, occasionally working and offering du'â on my behalf by tongue and heart, and assisting me with their scribing, has shown me the eternal fruits of my service to the Risale-i Nur –which pertain to the âkhirah- even in this world.” Kastamonu Addendum (130)


The Third Point: In terms of religious duties, to make people accept favourably and the high manners and states required of that station are not considered boasting and riyâ and should not be considered as such, unless that person uses that duty and makes it subjugated to his ananiyyah.

Yes, while performing the duty as the imam, an imam can openly display and vocalise his tasbîhât, this can in no way be considered riyâ. However, when it is outside his duty since riyâ might interfere in making others hear the tasbîhât explicitly, it is more rewarding to perform it privately.

In their spreading religion, their ‘ibâdah in following the Sunnah and their taqwâ in abandoning the kabâir, true students of the Risale-i Nur are considered to be on duty on behalf of the Qur’an. InshâAllah it will not be riyâ unless they have entered the Risale-i Nur for some other worldly intention. More was going to be written, but a state of stoppage has cut it short.

Kastamonu Addendum (202-204)


"This is good as well"

While reciting, اَلْفُ اَلْفِ صَلاَةٍ وَ اَلْفُ اَلْفِ سَلاَمٍ عَلَيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللّٰهِ 4 in the tasbîhât of salâh, I saw from afar a subtle point which unfolded. I was unable to grasp all of it but shall recount one or two sentences by way of alluding to it.

I saw that al-‘âlam of the night is like a newly opened dwelling of the world. I entered that ‘âlam during salâh of 'Isha. Since man is connected to all the world, through an extraordinary expansion of the imagination, I saw the mighty world that night as a dwelling. Living creatures and men became so tiny they were invisible. I observed with the imagination that the only thing that inhabited that dwelling, and made it familiar, and filled it with nûr, was the ma’nawî collective personality of Muhammad (ASM). Like a person greets those present when he enters a house, I was overwhelmed with the desire to say: "Thousands of salâm be upon you, O Rasûl of Allah!" {The rahmah which came to Ahmad (ASM) looks to the needs of all his Ummah through all eternity. For this reason, endless salâh are in place. If someone enters a vast house like the world, desolate and empty and dark through ghaflah, how dismayed, frightened and flurried he will be. Then suddenly the house is lit up and a familiar, friendly, lovable and beloved most honourable lieutenant appears in the forefront. If he describes and makes known the house's Mâlik Who is Rahîm and Karîm through all its fittings and furnishings, you can understand what joy, familiarity, happiness, light, and ease it would give. You must appreciate the value and pleasure of the salawât for the Prophet (ASM) from this.} It was as though I offered salâm to him to the number of all men and jinn, that is, I renew my bî‘at5 to you, accept your mission, obey to the laws and submit to the commands that you brought, and state through the salâms that they will find salâmât from our assaults, and I made all the parts of my world and all jinn and men which are the conscious beings speak and offered greetings in the name of each of them through the above meanings.

As he illuminated my world through the nûr and gift he brought, so he illuminates and fills with ni’mahs the worlds of everyone in this world. In grateful response for that gift of his, I exclaimed: "Thousands of salâwât descend upon you!" That is, "We cannot respond to this goodness of yours, so we show our gratitude to you by beseeching that rahmah be bestowed upon you from our Khâliq's treasury of rahmah to the number of the inhabitants of the samâwât." I perceived this meaning in my imagination.

In respect of his ‘ubûdiyyah and on account of his being turned from creation to Haqq, the person of Ahmad (ASM) requires salâh which has the meaning of rahmah. While in respect of his Prophethood and being the envoy sent from Haqq to creation, he requires salâm. He is worthy of salâm to the number of jinn and men, and we offer a general renewal of bî‘at6   to their number. So too he is worthy of salâh from the treasury of rahmah to the number of the inhabitants of the samâwât and in the name of all of them. For it was through the nûr he brought that the perfections of all things became apparent, and the value of all beings was made known, and the Rabbânî duties of all creatures could be observed, and the Divine purposes in all creatures with art were made manifest. Therefore, if all things uttered verbally what they express through their language of being, it is certain that they would declare: "Assalâtu wassalâmu ‘alayka yâ Rasûl Allah!", and we say in the name of all of them in a ma’nawî manner: ألف ألف صلاة وألفُ ألف سلام عليك يارسول الله بعدد الانس والجن وبعدد الملك والنجوم7 !"

فَيَكْفِيكَ اَنَّ اللّهَ صَلَّى بِنَفْسِهِ وَ اَمْلاَكَهُ صَلَّتْ عَلَيْهِ وَ سَلَّمَتْ 8

Said Nursî

The Flashes ( 368-369 )



Since the hikmah of man's creation and the mystery of his comprehensiveness is to seek refuge his Khâliq every moment, and to entreat and offer hamd and shukr, and since illnesses are the most effective and keen impulsion which drive man to the Court of Allah by the blowing of a whip, and since the sweet ni’mahs which urge man to shukr with perfect fervour and which cause man to truly offer hamd by making him grateful are foremost remedies, cures and good health, the noble salawât

اَللّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ بِعَدَدِ كُلِّ دَاءٍ وَدَوَاءٍ وَبَارِكْ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَيْهِمْ كَثِيرًا كَثِيرًا9

which is eminently well-known and recited by the followers of Shâfi'î madhab at the end of the tasbîhât of salâh became extremely meaningful and honoured. Sometimes while saying  بِعَدَدِ كُلِّ دَاءٍ وَ دَوَاء10 I feel the globe of the earth in the form of a hospital and the eminently obvious existence of the True Shâfî, Who bestows the remedies for all needs and physical and ma’nawî all troubles, and His universal clemency and sacred and all-embracing rahîmiyyah.” The Second Ray-The First Fruit of the First Station


Eighth Matter

[This forms the footnote to the third example in the Third Point about the Fifth of the obstacles to ijtihad, in the Twenty-Seventh Word.]

An Important Question: Some of ahl al-tahqîq have said that each of the words of the Qur'an and of dhikr and other tasbîh illuminate man's subtle ma’nawî faculties in numerous ways, provide ma’nawî sustenance. So if the meanings are not known, the words alone do not express them fully and are insufficient. The words are a garment; would it not be more useful if they were changed, and all groups clothed the meanings in words of their own language?

The Answer: The words of the Qur'an and of the Prophetic tasbîhât are not lifeless garments; they are like the living skin of the body; indeed with the passage of time, they have become the skin. Garments are changed, but it would be harmful to the body if the skin were to be changed. Blessed words like those of the salâh and the adhan have become the mark and name of their usual meanings. And marks and name cannot be changed. I have often observed and studied in my nafs a state which I experience. The state is a haqiqah, and it is this:

On the Day of 'Arafa11 , I used to recite Surah al-Ikhlas hundreds of times. I would observe that some of the ma’nawî senses in me would receive the sustenance several times, then would cease to do so, and stop. Others like the faculty (quwwa) of tafakkur would turn towards the meaning for a time, receive their share, then they too would stop. And some like the heart would receive their share in respect of certain concepts which were the means to a ma’nawî pleasure (zawq), then they too would fall silent. And so on... Gradually, with repetition only some of the subtle faculties would remain and become wearied only long after the others; they would continue, leaving no need for further meaning and study. Ghaflah was not detrimental to these, as it was to the faculty (quwwa) of tafakkur. Enough for them were the usual meaning contained in the mark and name, with the summary of the meaning which the words and the words full of meaning comprised. If the meaning had been thought of at that point, it would have caused harmful boredom. And, those subtle faculties which continue are not in need of study and comprehension, they rather in need of recollection, regard, and encouragement. And the words which are like skin are sufficient for them and perform the duty of meaning. Especially with recalling through those Arabic words that they are the Word of Allah and Ilahî Speech, they are the means of constant faydh.

Thus, this state which I myself experienced shows that it is extremely harmful to express in another language haqiqahs like the adhan and the tasbîhât of salâh, and Surahs of the Qur'an like Fâtiha and Ikhlas, which are repeated all the time. For when the constant spring of the Ilahî words and words of the Prophet are lost, the constant share of those constant subtle faculties are also lost. Also, harmful are the loss of the minimum of ten merits for each word, and in the ghaflah, the darkness caused to the rûh by the human terms of the translations due to the constant hudhur not persisting for everyone throughout the salâh.

Indeed, like Imam al-Â’dham12 said that لاَ اِلهَ اِلاَّ اللّٰهُ is the mark and name of the tawhîd, we say the following: the great majority of the words of tasbîh and dhikr, and especially of those of the adhan and salâh, have become like marks and names. Like marks, they are considered more with their usual meaning in Sharî'ah, more than with their literal meaning. So according to the Sharî'ah, it is not possible to change them. An uneducated man even may learn concise meanings of them, which all mu’mins should know; that is, a summary of their meaning. How can those people who pass their whole lives with Islam yet fill their heads with thousands of trivia be excused for not learning in one or two weeks a summary of the meanings of these blessed words which are the key to eternal life? How can they be Muslims? How can they be called "reasonable people"? It is not reasonable to destroy the protective cases of those springs of nûr for the sake of the laziness of loafers like them!13

Furthermore, from whatever nation he may be, one who says: "SUBHÂNALLAH!" understands that he is declaring Janâb-i Haqq free of all defect. Is this not enough? If he is turned towards the meaning in his own language, he studies it once from the point of view of the mind. Whereas if he repeats it a hundred times a day, apart from his mind's share of studying, the summary of the words, which is from the words and spreads to and combines with the words, is the means to many nûrs and much faydh. Especially the sacredness he receives from the words being Ilahî speech, and the faydh and nûrs proceeding from the sacredness, they are most important.

In Short: Nothing at all can be established in place of the sacred Ilahî words which are the protective cases of the dharûriyyah of religion, and nothing can take their place, and nothing can perform their duties. Even if they can express them temporarily, they cannot do so permanently and in sacred and elevated fashion.

However, as for the words that are the protective cases of the theoretical matters (nadhariyyah) of religion, there is no necessity for them to be changed. For such a need is repulsed by preaching, teaching, advice, and other instruction.

To Conclude: The comprehensiveness of the Arabic language, Lisân al-Nahw14 , and the miraculousness of the Qur'an's words are such that they are untranslatable. I can even say it is impossible to translate them. If anyone doubts this, let him refer to the Twenty-Fifth Word. What they call translations are abbreviated and deficient approximations. How can such approximations be compared with the living, true meanings of the Qur'an's âyahs, which have many aspects of ramification?” The Letters ( 400-402 )

1 (the meanings that appear to the heart without much thinking. The meanings that emanate to the heart.)

2 (Thousands of salâh and thousands of salâm be upon you, O Rasûl of Allah)

3 (the declaration of Tawhîd, uttering Lâ Ilâha Illallah)

4 (Thousands of salâh and thousands of salâm be upon you, O Rasûl of Allah)

5 (The oath of allegiance to Allah and His Prophet)

6 (The oath of allegiance to Allah and His Prophet)

7 (Thousands of salâh and thousands of salâm be upon you, to the number of jinn and men, and of malâikah and stars!)

8 (It is enough that Allah grants salâh to you. And His malâikah offers salâh and salâm to the Prophet.)

9 (O Allah! Grant blessings to our sayyid Muhammad (asm) and to the family of Muhammad (asm), to the number of troubles and their remedies, and bless him and them and grant them unending blessings and peace.)

10 (To the number of all ills and their remedies)

11 ( the eve of the ‘Eid al-Adha)

12 Imam Abu Hanifa (Nu’man bin Thâbit)(Ra)

13 “If for some worldly advantage, someone who calls himself a Muslim learns fifty words every day from a French dictionary, and then in fifty years does not learn the sacred words like Subhânallah, Alhamdulillah, Lâ Ilâha Illallah, and Allahu Akbar, which are repeated fifty times daily, would he not fall fifty times lower than an animal? These sacred words cannot be translated and corrupted and deported for animals such as that! To change and deport them is to erase all the gravestones; it is to turn against them all the dead in the graveyards, who would turn in their graves at such an insult.” The Letters (507)

14 (the language of grammar)

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