This profoundly valuable prayer was taught by the Rasul of Allah (saw) to his uncle Abbas (ra), son of Abdullmuttalib.
One day Abbas (ra) asked Rasulullah (saw), “O Nabi of Allah, I have become quite old, my youthful years have passed… Teach me something that will compensate for all the years I have wasted, so I do not enter the presence of Allah empty handed.”
The Rasul of Allah (saw) said, “O Abbas, my dear uncle! Shall I give you a gift? Shall I show you something by means of which Allah will forgive your sins, the first and the last of them, the past and recent, the unintentional and the intentional, the small and the great, the secret and the open?” Rasulullah (saw) then taught him the Salat al-Tasbih.
The method of this salat based on this hadith is as follows:
• After beginning the salat by saying Allah-u-Akbar recite the tasbih Subhaanallaahi walhamdu lillaahi walaa ilaaha illallaahu wallaahu akbar 15 times, followed by chapter al-Fatiha and a short chapter, and then the above tasbih 10 times again.
• Then bow down (ruku) and after reciting the usual tasbih for ruku recite the above tasbih 10 times.
• After standing up from ruku recite the above tasbih 10 times.
• Then prostrate, and after reciting the usual tasbih for prostration, recite the above tasbih 10 times.
• Then sit up and recite the above tasbih 10 times between the two prostrations.
• Then prostrate again, and after reciting the usual tasbih for prostration, recite the above tasbih 10 times.
This adds up to 75 tasbihs in one rakah. Do the same for the remaining 4 rakat so it adds up to a total of 300 tasbihs.
The Rasul of Allah (saw) advised that this prayer be offered daily, if possible. If not, then every Friday or once a month or once a year or at least once in one’s life time.
Depending on one’s speed, this prayer takes between 20-30 minutes to perform. If the rewards of such a prayer are seriously considered, performing it at least once a week, especially on Friday nights, should not be so burdensome.
The Sufi aspirants who wish to progress and advance spiritually are advised to perform this prayer every night either before going to bed or when they wake up during the night. The spiritual strength gained by this prayer can only be truly appreciated by those who actually experience it.