Taken from “The Islamic Garden”
Adhkar, an important issue of Islam, is actually the heart of Islam. We are required to do a lot of them all through our days and nights. Adhkar generally consist of some particular Ayahs from the Quran, some certain Du’as said by the Prophet SAWS and some sayings that we call as Tasbeeh, Takbeer, Tahleel and Tahmeed.
The Adhkar are very, very important. For many reasons, or wisdom of the purpose for saying them, some we know of and some we don’t. They simply remind you of Allah, they strengthen your faith all through the day, they even protect you from devil (i.e. when you sleep you can be under influence by either bad, evil Jinn, or by the angels that protect you. If you say these Adhkar you are advised to say before sleeping. It keeps the bad Jinn away from you and the angel shall be able to protect you. So you will have a peaceful sleep. The devil will not close your ears from the Fajr Adhan, it will be easy for you to wake-up for Fajr or night prayers, etc.) The Adhkar all through the day protects you from all devil works or bad (non-Muslim) Jinn.
There are special Adhkar for morning; for night; for travelling; for fasting or eating after fasting; for protecting those who are obsessed by evil or bad Jinn; for before and after going toilet; after having the Islamic bathing; for going in and out of your house; for rain; for sicknesses, etc. There are very popular pocket books on Adhkar to carry with you.
Now I will only concentrate on the part of Adhkar, which is called as Tasbeeh, Takbeer, Tahleel and Tahmeed. They are very important and if you really understand them you’ll love them because they express the natural feeling of a believer towards Allah.
TASBEEH is by saying ‘Subhan-Allah’ (when you say it, you are making Tasbeeh.) ‘Subhana’ is a pretty complicated word for me to explain. It is absolutely praising Allah. We usually say it in the every day common talk. When we see something strange or extremely beautiful we say ‘Subhan-Allah!’ without thinking of it. It expresses your being amazed by something or taken by it. In Islam, saying it means you are praising Allah, and admitting no lack in Him. It is a form of praising or a form of Perfection.
TAHMEED is by saying ‘Al Hamdu Lillah’ (when you say it, you are making Tahmeed.) If ‘Al Hamd’ means ‘thanks,’ then the sentence means ‘Thanks to Allah.’ However, Al Hamd is larger in meaning than thanks and a bit different. For example, if I do something good to you, you say “Thanks” to me, but if I do something bad or something that hurts you, obviously you wouldn’t say “Thanks” in this case! ‘Al Hamd’ is to be said to Allah in all cases, in rich and in poor, in health and in sick, etc. That’s why we can say Thanks (or “Shukran/Al-Shukr” in Arabic) to God or to any person. But we can never say ‘Al-Hamd’ to any person, it’s only to Allah. It is a deeper feeling than thanks; it gives an indication that you are satisfied in all what God brings you, which is pure faith.
TAHLEEL is by saying ‘La Illaha Ill-Allah’ (when you say it, you are making Tahleel.) There is no No God except Allah. TAKBEER is by saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ (when you say it, you are making Takbeer.) Allah is the Great, Greatest of all, or above all.
So TASBEEH, TAHMEED, TAHLEEL, and TAKBEER are names of actions, in which you say special phrases written above. Actually all the words of TASBEEH, TAHMEED, TAHLEEL and TAKBEER are to praise Allah. We are requested to say them in all cases, in all positions. After prayer, even during prayer (in certain times), right before you sleep, when you wake up, when you look thoroughly in any beauty of Allah’s creation, while you are sitting somewhere waiting for the bus or the underground, every where and at all times.
Do you know that in Paradise, there is no form of worshipping anymore, no praying, no fasting, etc. The only thing there is TASBEEH. The Prophet SAWS said that the inhabitants of Paradise would even make no effort in TASBEEH. He said that believers will be saying them as natural as they are breathing, they will be inspired by TASBEEH, the only form of worshipping in Paradise.
As Prophet Muhammad SAWS said: “Two words are light on your tongue and heavy in your scale: SUBHAN-ALLAHI WA BIHAMDIHI. SUBHAN-ALLAHIL-Adheem.” These two sentences are very important. You can say them any time, especially after Salah (prayer). It is considered to be more decent to end your meeting with Allah with these words and other praising words, rather than jumping up immediately after the Salah. And it is important for you to know that the best times for saying the words of Tasbeeh are two: After Fajr prayer (until the sun rises), and after Asr prayer (until the sun goes down). Why? Because, these are the times in which the angels change theirs shifts! So when they go up to heaven, Allah asks them about what they have recorded in the books of His worshippers. Then He SWT orders them to ignore all the sins in the books that started and ended with Adhkar. Allah is indeed Kareem (Generous), isn’t He!