My mother doesn’t perform salah, but she recently bought Tasbih. Could you help, what kind of prayer (dua, dhikr) it is better to perform on it? And the next question: if she doesn’t perform salah, is it permitted to perform another worship (ibadah)?
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
It is always best to do Zikr that has been prescribed in the Hadith. There is more blessing in this and it is also Sunnah. There are various forms of Zikr that have been prescribed in the Hadith and hereunder are some of the most encouraged forms of Zikr. Your mother may make it a habit of doing these forms of Zikr or some of them, as per her convenience:
سُبْحَانَ اللهِ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ، وَلَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ، وَاللهُ أَكْبَرُ
Transliteration: Subhanallah wal Hamdulillah, wa La Ilaha illaLLah Wallahu Akbar
Translation: Glory be to Allah, All praise is due to Allah, there is no god besides Allah, And Allah is the greatest
The prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that the abovementioned words are the most beloved words to Allah. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith #: 5601)
In another Hadith, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that a person will receive ten rewards for each letter that he recites of these words. (Tabrani).
Yet in another narration, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) mentioned that when the above words of Zikr, they hover around the Arsh (throne) of Allah and give off a humming noise which pronounces the reciters name. So a person who recites these words is mentioned in the presence of Allah’s throne. (Ibn Majah, Hadith #: 3809)
لاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِالله
Transliteration: La Hawla wa La Quwwata illa Billah
Translation: There is no might and power except with Allah
In the Hadith, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that the abovementioned Zikr leads to a door from the doors of paradise. (Mustadrak Hakim, 290/4)
سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ، سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ العَظِيم
Transliteration: Subhanallahi Wa Bihamdihi Subhanallahil Azeem
Translation: Glory be to Allah and all praise is due to him, glory be to Allah the great
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said that these words are very easy to recite, they are very beloved to Allah and weigh heavily on the scale of good deeds. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith #: 6682)
These are just a few forms of Zikr which have been highly recommended in the Hadith and many other virtues have been recorded for them. There are many more forms of Zikr as well which I have omitted for the sake of brevity.
Your mother’s Zikr is acceptable even though she does not perform her Salaah.
However, you should explain to your mother that the Fardh Salaah is much more important than Zikr. She will not be sinful for omitting Zikr but she will be sinful for neglecting the Fardh Salaah.
You need to explain this to her very tacitly. It does not mean that because she is not performing Salaah there is no use in her doing Zikr. Alhamdulillah, it is a good sign that she wishes to do Zikr and you should be careful not to extinguish this desire. Explain to her that it is good that she is giving importance to Zikr and definitely, she will be rewarded for it but she should give more importance to Salaah and there is much more reward and benefit in her Salaah.
Nevertheless, the objective and greatest benefit of Zikr is that it develops a closer bond with Allah and love for Allah is created in the heart of the person doing Zikr. So it is hoped that the Zikr that she does will one day motivate her to perform her Salaah and be more obedient to Allah, Insha Allah.
And Allah Knows Best.
Suhail Tarmahomed (Mufti)