Is It Obligatory to Say “Subhana Rabi Al-A’La” in the Prayer?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi

Question

I didn’t know what to do when I doubted how many times I said “Subhana Rabi al-A’la,” so I prayed again. Was my prayer valid?

Answer

Yes, your prayer is valid despite forgetting how many times you said “Subhana Rabi al-A’la.” [Shurunbuli, Nur al-Idah]

This is because you have fulfilled all the integrals (standing, reciting Quran, prostration, etc.) and conditions (ritual purity, facing the qibla, covering your nudity, etc.) of the prayer. These are the only actions needed to pray a valid prayer.

If you don’t know them I urge you to take this course:
On Worship (Purification, Prayer, Fasting, Zakat, and Hajj): Shurunbulali’s Ascent to Felicity

Saying “Subhana Rabi al-A’la” during the prostration is not a part of the integrals and conditions of the prayer. Even not saying it at all won’t invalidate your prayer.

Nonetheless, it remains sunna to say “Subhana Rabi al-A’la” three times during each prostration. You will be rewarded for doing so; failing to do so regularly is sinful. [Shurunbuli, Nur al-Idah]

Please also remember that the number three is not a must. In fact, saying these clarifications three times is simply the minimum to reach the reward of the sunna in this matter. [Tahtawi, Sharh ala Maraqi al-Falah]

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “When you prostrate, say: “Subhana Rabi al-A’la” three times. And this is the minimum.” [Muslim]

Thus if you were to say it more than three times, your reward would be greater. Just keep in mind to say it an odd number of times (such as three, five, seven, or nine times) because the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Allah loves that which is odd.” [Bukhari]  [Tahtawi, Sharh ala Maraqi al-Falah]

And Allah knows best.

[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found.

Then he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha’ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others.

He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.