The Usage of Kalimatan in the Last Hadith of Bukhari

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Is there any mention as to the reason for the usage of the word ‘kalimataani’ in the last Hadeeth in saheeh al-bukhaari. Why is it two words and not one, or three, why specifically ‘two’ words? Is there any special significance to it?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Two phrases are light on the tongue, heavy on the scales, and beloved to the All Merciful: Subhan Allahi wa bi hamdihi subhan Allahi al-`Adhim.” [Bukhari]

The Arabic word kalimatan is referring to the two phrases mentioned at the end of the narration (hadith), namely: Subhan Allahi wa bi hamdihi subhan Allahi al-`Adhim. These are two separate phrases, hence the specification of “two” phrases.

As for the word itself, it is used here in its linguistic sense (i.e. two phrases/sentences), just as we would say: the kalima (in the singular form) of the testimony of faith (shahada). [`Ayni, `Umdat al-Qari; Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari]

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani