Six Authentic Modes of Dhikr After the Salaah
Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) would make tasbeeh (glorify Allaah), tahmeed (praise Him) and takbeer (extol His greatness) after the obligatory prayers. The following is what is authentically reported from him:
1. Subhaanallaah 33 times, al-hamdulillaah 33 times, Allaahu-akbar 33 times and finishing with a single Laa ilaaha illallaah wahdahu laa shareekalahu, lahul mulk walahul hamd wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shayin qadeer. (Muslim, 597).
2. Subhaanallaah 33 times, al-hamdulillaah 33 times, Allaahu-akbar 34 times. (Muslim, 596).
3. Subhaanallaah 33 times, al-hamdulillaah 33 times, and Allaahu-akbar 33 times. (Bukhaaree, 843, Muslim, 595).
4. Subhaanallaah 10 times, al-hamdulillaah 10 times, and Allaahu-akbar 10 times. (Bukhaaree, 6329).
5. Subhaanallaah 11 times, al-hamdulillaah 11 times, Allaahu-akbar 11 times. (Muslim, 595).
6. Subhaanallaah 25 times, al-hamdulillaah 25 times, Allaahu-akbar 25 times, and Laa ilaaha illallaah 25 times. (An-Nasaa’ee 1351 authenticated by al-Albaanee)
Abdullaah bin ‘Amr said: I saw Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) counting them on [the fingers of] his right hand. (Abu Dawood, 5065, at-Tirmidhee, 3410). One should alternate between the various modes. It is not allowed to use threaded beads, counters or stones to count dhikr as they all are wicked innovations – and the best guidance is that of the Prophet.
Correction to Method 5:
Moosaa Richardson (may Allah reward him) brought a benefit that I wish to share here:
This [narration] is based on a misreading of a narration in Saheeh Muslim(#595). Imam Muslim was identifying a misunderstanding added to the hadeeth by one of the narrators, Suhayl ibn Abee Saalih. He mistakenly understood that the hadeeth of saying these phrases 33 times meant in total, and so we should say each of the three eleven times each. The scholars (beginning with Imaam Muslim) have identified this as a personal mistake of Suhayl, and something not to be taken as part of the hadeeth itself.
Al-Haafith Ibn Hajr concludes: “It is more apparent that the meaning is each of them get that (33 times) seperately.” (Fat-hul-Baaree, 2/328)
Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Alee ibn Aadam al-Ityoobee said, “This (11x) was the misunderstanding of Suhayl when explaining the meaning of 33 times, he assumed that the 33 times should be divided over the three phrases. What is correct is that each of the three phrases are to be said 33 times each, Subhaan Allaah (33), al-Hamdulillaah (33), andAllaahu akbar (33), 99 all togther, not 33 all together.” (al-Bahr al-Muheet ath-Thajjaaj, 13/239)
We ask Allaah, the Most High to grant us success.