Question # 379: In our local masjid, there is big poster that has been put with a dua (Subhana zil mulki wal malakoot, Subhana zil izzti wal azmati, Wal haibati, wal qudrati, wal kibri yaa-i wal jabroot. Subhanal malakil hai yil lazee, la yanamu wa-la yamoot, Sub-boo-hun, qud-du-sun, rabbana, Wa rabbul ma laai katu wa rooh) that is to be recited after every four rakah of taraweeh, but there is no reference to this dua, I mean, this duaa was recorded in so and so hadith. Can you please help me with this shaykh?

bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: Since there is no particular mention of any supplication that is to be recited after every two or four rak’ahs of taraweeh in the authentic sunnah, it is not permissible to say this supplication because in principle the matters of worship are restricted to what has religious evidence and it is not permissible to innovate any of it without religious evidence. However, if one says (individually) this supplication sometimes during taraweeh, after it or in between the rak’ahs of taraweeh without repeating it regularly, then this is permissible because its meaning is correct. What is authentically proven from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is that he used to say “Subhaan al-Malik al-Quddoos (Glory be to the Sovereign, the Most Holy)” three times following the witr prayer.

Long Answer: Dhikr is a kind of worship, and the basic principle concerning acts of worship is that they are not allowed unless there is evidence to indicate that they are obligatory or mustahabb. It is not permissible to invent a dhikr to be done with an act of worship or before or after it. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) prayed qiyam with his Companions at night, and the Sahabah prayed qiyam individually and in congregation, during his lifetime and after his death, and there is no report that they remembered Allah by reciting a specific du’aa’ after each tasleem [or after every four rak’ahs]. The scholars did not narrate any report of a dhikr recited in unison between each two [or four] rak’ahs of taraweeh by the Sahabah or those who came after them. This indicates that that did not happen, because the scholars used to narrate that which was more hidden and subtle than this outward, obvious matter. The best of guidance is in following the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and following his companions in matters of worship, by doing what they did and avoiding what they avoided.

But there is nothing wrong with a worshipper supplicating Allah (du’aa’) or reciting Qur’an, or remembering his Lord (dhikr), without singling out specific verses or soorahs or dhikrs to be recited between the rak’ahs, and without that being recited in unison, led by an imam or anyone else, because that is not narrated in shari’ah. The basic principle is to accept what is narrated in shari’ah concerning acts of worship, how often they are done, how they are done, when they are done, where they are done, the reason why they are done and the way in which they are done.

What is proven from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is that he used to say “Subhaan al-Malik al-Quddoos (Glory be to the Sovereign, the Most Holy)” following Witr prayer. So, it is Sunnah for the worshippers to follow his example in that, whether you pray in the mosque or at home, and whether you pray separately or in congregation. But it is not prescribed to constantly recite this dhikr between the rak’ahs of qiyaam al-layl (voluntary night prayers) or between the rak’ahs of Taraweeh, because there is no report from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), or from his Companions (رضي الله عنهم) to suggest that they recited it between the rak’ahs Taraweeh. What the Muslim must do is adhere to the Sunnah with regard to doing actions or refraining from them, and he should avoid adding anything to or taking anything away from the Sunnah.

It was narrated from ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abza (رضي الله عنه) that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to recite in WitrSabbih isma Rabbika al-A’la (Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High)…” [i.e., Soorah al-A’laa 87] and Qul yaa ayyuha’l-kaafiroon (Say (O Muhammad), ‘O al-Kaafiroon (disbelievers))…’” [i.e., Soorah al-Kaafiroon 109] and “Qul Huwa Allaahu ahad (Say (O Muhammad), ‘He is Allah, (the) One)…” [i.e., Soorah al-Ikhlas 112]. And after he said the tasleem he would say “Subhaan al-Malik al-Quddoos, Subhaan al-Malik al-Quddoos (Glory be to the Sovereign, the Most Holy)”, three times, raising his voice the third time. (Narrated by Abu Dawood at-Tayaalisi in al-Musnad; Ibn al-Ja‘d in al-Musnad; Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf; Imam Ahmad in al-Musnad, and others, with many isnads. It was classed as sahih by more than one of the hadith scholars, such as Ibn Mulaqqin, al-Albaani, Shaykh Muqbil al-Waadi and the commentators on the ar-Risalah edition of Musnad Ahmad, and others)

The hadith scholars included it under chapter headings which indicate that it is mustahabb to recite this dhikr following Witr. Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated it under a chapter heading: What du’aa’ a man should recite at the end of his Witr. Abu Dawood (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Chapter on Du’aa’ after Witr. An-Nasa’i (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Chapter on Tasbeeh after finishing Witr. Ibn Hibbaan included it under a chapter heading in his Saheeh: Mention of what it is mustahabb to say in glorification of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, when he finishes his Witr.

Imam an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It is mustahabb to say three times after Witr: “Subhaan al-Malik al-Quddoos (Glory be to the Sovereign, the Most Holy)” (al-Majmoo‘ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab)

Ibn Qudamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It is mustahabb to say after Witr: “Subhaan al-Malik al-Quddoos (Glory be to the Sovereign, the Most Holy)” three times, and to elongate the vowel the third time. (al-Mughni) Something similar was said in Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah: When he says salaam at the end of Witr, he should say “Subhaan al-Malik al-Quddoos (Glory be to the Sovereign, the Most Holy)” three times.”

By the same token, we have not come across any of the scholars saying that it is mustahabb to recite the words “Subhaan al-Malik al-Quddoos (Glory be to the Sovereign, the Most Holy)” in any prayer other than Witr.

It is disallowed to recite adhkaar in unison, as is customary in some mosques, between the rak’ahs of Taraweeh, whether that is istighfaar (prayer for forgiveness) or tasbeeh. Gathering to recite dhikr without any shar‘i evidence brings a person closer to bid’ah (innovation) and further away from the Sunnah.

In conclusion, … it is not prescribed to recite prayers for forgiveness in unison between the rak’ahs of Taraweeh, but reciting prayers for forgiveness and tasbeeh individually is permissible.

(The above answer is based on various answers provided by Islamqa.info and Islamweb.net, a web site belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar on the topic)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam