The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) saw me moving my lips and he said to me: “What are you saying, O Abu Umaamah?” I said: I am remembering Allah, O Messenger of Allah. He said: “Shall I not tell you of something better or greater than your dhikr of night and day or of day and night? You should say: Subhaan Allah ‘adad ma khalaqa, subhaan Allah mil’a ma khalaqa, subhaan Allah ‘adad ma fi’l-ard wa’l-sama’, subhaan Allah mil’a ma fi’l-sama’i wa’l-ard, subhaan Allah mil’a ma khalaqa, subhaan Allah ‘adad ma ahsa kitaabuhu, subhaan Allah mil’a kulli shay’in (Glory be to Allah the number of what He has created, glory be to Allah filling what He has created, glory be to Allah the number of what is in earth and heaven, glory be to Allah filling what is in heaven and earth, glory be to Allah filling what He has created, glory be to Allah the number of what is written in His book, glory be to Allah filling all things); and say Al-hamdu Lillah likewise.”
Is this hadeeth saheeh or fabricated?.
This hadeeth has been narrated via a number of isnaads from the great Sahaabi Abu Umaamah (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) passed by him when he was moving his lips and he said:
“What are you saying, O Abu Umaamah?”
He said: I am remembering my Lord.
He said: “Shall I not tell you…” and he quoted the hadeeth.
Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
This hadeeth is narrated by Abu Umaamah al-Baahili: Suday ibn ‘Ajlaan, and attributed to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and there are a number of chains of transmission from him.
Then he listed the chains of transmission and said concerning al-Haakim’s narration of some of its isnaads: al-Haakim said: It is saheeh according to the conditions of the two shaykhs (al-Bukhaari and Muslim), and al-Dhahabi agreed with him, and it is as they said.
See: al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, no. 2578. He also stated that the hadeeth is saheeh in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, no. 1575
The hadeeth was classed as hasan by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar in Nataa’ij al-Afkaar, 1/84. al-Haytham said in al-Majma’ 10/110: It was narrated by Ahmad and its men are the men of saheeh. It was classed as saheeh by the editors of Musnad Ahmad in the edition published by Mu’sasat al-Risaalah, 36/459-460, where they discussed its isnaads in detail.
As for what may be understood from the hadeeth, the most important of it is the virtue of this dhikr in particular, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said that the one who recites it attains a great reward that is superior to most adhkaar.
Hence al-Haafiz Ibn Khuzaymah (may Allah have mercy on him) included it in a chapter in his Saheeh (1/307) that he entitled Baab Fadl al-Tahmeed wa’l-Tasbeeh wa’l-Takbeer bi wasf al-‘Adad al-Katheer min khalq Allah aw ghayri khalqihi. End quote.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Saying: Subhaan Allaah wa bi hamdih, ‘adada khalqihi, wa ridaa nafsihi, wazinata ‘arshihi, wa midaada kalimaatihi (Glory and praise be to Allaah, as much as the number of His creation, as much as pleases Him, as much as the weight of His Throne and as much as the ink of His words) is many times better than merely saying Subhaan Allaah (Glory be to Allah). What the one who says “Subhaan Allaah wa bi hamdih, ‘adada khalqihi…” achieves of knowing Allah, exalting Him and glorifying Him, when his dhikr is connected to the huge numbers mentioned, is far greater than what is achieved by the one who merely says Subhaan Allah. This is called multiplied dhikr and it is greater glorification and praise than regular dhikr, hence it is better than it.
This is manifested when we understand what this dhikr means:
When the worshipper says Subhaan Allaah wa bi hamdihi, ‘adada khalqihi, it is like a statement and explanation of what the Lord deserves of glorification the number of every created being, what has been and what will be, for eternity. It includes an affirmation that Allah is above all things, and glorifying and praising Him this huge number cannot be comprehended by anyone who counts; the end of it can never be reached. It includes the person's aspiration to do such endless tasbeeh (glorification of Allah). What the person says is not intended to limit the glorification to that number or level; rather he is saying that what Allah deserves of glorification is glorification which reaches that number even if it has no limit, because the creation of Allah will always be ongoing and will never be limited by a number or figure.
What is meant is that this tasbeeh has reached a level of perfection and majesty that indicates that it should be better than others and if something else were weighed against it, it would outweigh it. This is what some of these words refer to of the perfect qualities of Allah and praising Him by declaring Him to be above all things, in addition to praising Allah which implies the following:
i. Affirmation of His attributes of perfection
ii. Loving Him and being pleased with Him.
iii. If one adds to this praises glorification and exaltation in the most perfect and sublime manner, the highest number of times, and the worshipper focuses on this glorification and contemplates its meaning, then that dhikr will have great virtue and advantages that are not shared by others. And Allah is the Source of strength.
Al-Manaar al-Muneef, 34-38
And Allah knows best.