On the Reward of Performing Two Sajdahs after the Witr Prayer Followed by the Recitation of “Subbūh Quddūs Rabb al-Malā’ikah wa al-Rūh” and Ayāt al-Kursī
By Ibrāhim ibn Muhammad al-Halabī
Translated by Muntasir Zaman
[Translator’s Preface: The following is an analysis of a hadith concerning the supposed virtue of performing two sajdahs after the Witr prayer followed by the recitation of “subbūh quddūs rabb al-malā’ikah wa al-rūh” and Ayāt al-Kursī. This narration has been cited in Yūsuf ibn ‘Umar al-Kādūrī’s (d. c.700 AH) commentary of Mukhtasar al-Qudūrī entitled Jāmi‘ al-Mudmarāt wa al-Mushkilāt more simply known as “al-Mudmarāt.” It was then quoted by ‘Ālim ibn ‘Alā’ al-Andarpatī (d. 786 AH) in al-Fatāwā al-Tātarkhāniyyah.
This excerpt was extracted from Ibrāhīm ibn Muhammad al-Halabī’s (d. 956 AH) work Ghunyat al-Mutamallī, a commentary on Sadīd al-Dīn al-Kāshgharī’s (d. 705 AH) primer Munyat al-Musallī wa Ghunyat al-Mubtadī. In addition to being a great Hanafī jurist, Ibrāhīm al-Halabī was an expert in the sciences of Hadīth as well. Among his works in ‘Ulūm al-Hadīth, is a commentary on Alfiyyat al-Hadīth of Zayn al-Dīn al-‘Irāqī (d. 806 AH).]
Ibrāhīm al-Halabī writes:
As for what is mentioned in al-Tātarkhāniyyah quoting al-Mudmarāt that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told Fātimah (Allah be pleased with her):
No believing man or believing woman performs two sajdahs [after the Witr prayer]: he recites the following in his [first] sajdah five times:
سبوح قدوس رب الملائكة والروح
He then lifts his head and recites Ayāt al-Kursī once, and then [performs a second sajdah and] he recites five times:
سبوح قدوس رب الملائكة والروح
By the being in Whose Hands lies the soul of Muhammad, he will not stand from his place except that Allah will forgive him; grant him the reward of one hundred Hajj and one hundred ‘Umrah; Allah will give him the reward of the martyrs; He will send one thousand angels to write good deeds for him; it will be as if he freed one hundred slaves; Allah will accept his prayer; He will accept his intercession for sixty people doomed to the fire; and he will die as a martyr.
This is a fabricated and false hadīth which has no basis. It is impermissible to act upon it and to narrate it except to explain its falsehood, as is the case with fabricated narrations. What indicates that it is a fabrication is the poor wording and the exaggeration that is not in conformity with sharī‘ah and reason, for reward is proportionate to the effort by the dictates of sharī‘ah and reason. The most virtuous of actions are the most strenuous.
Indeed, some heretics employ the likes of this hadīth to corrupt the dīn and to deviate people, lure them into transgression, and divert them from exerting themselves in worship. Thus, some of those who lack expertise in the sciences of Hadīth and its routes and lack the ability to distinguish between authentic and false reports are deceived thereby. Rabī‘ ibn Khuthaym states, “Verily, there are hadīths that have a light as bright as day, by which we know (its authenticity), and there are others that possess a darkness, by which we know (its falsity).  Ibn al-Jawzī said, “Undoubtedly, the skin of the student of knowledge shivers at the mention of a detestable hadīth, and his heart is generally driven away from it.” “And he to whom Allah has not granted light- for him there is no light.”  And Allah, may He be glorified, knows best, and He grants protection and success.
 Al-Kādūrī, al-Mudmarāt, Bāb Sifat al-Salāh (just before Fasl fī Sajdat al-Shukr), sheet no.79. I would like to thank my teacher Mufti Husain Kadodia for providing the relevant pictures from the manuscript of al-Mudmarāt, a hitherto unpublished work. Muftī Husain explains that the author of al-Mudmarāt possibly passed away around the year 700 AH. One should not be deceived by what is mentioned in Kashf al-Żunūn and other works that he passed away in the year 832 AH. The publisher of Kashf al-Żunūn added this date into the text, and perhaps those after him simply took it from there. They explicitly mention that al-Kādūrī was the teacher of Fadlallah ibn Muhammad the author of al-Fatāwā al-Sūfiyyah who passed away in the year 735 AH; see al-Laknawī, al-Fawāi’d al-Bahiyyah, pp.230; Kahhālah, Mu‘jam al-Mu‘allifīn, vol.8, p.76; al-Khalīlī, La‘ālī al-Mahār, vol.1, pp.428-429 (the death date of Fadlallah ibn Muhammad mentioned in Kashf al-Żunūn seems to have been added into the text by the publisher just like in the previous instance). Furthermore, al-Andarpati (d. 786 AH) in al-Fatāwā al-Tātarkhāniyyah quotes extensively from al-Mudmarāt. As such, the most accurate estimation would be around the year 700 AH. May Allah reward Mufti Husain for this clarification as it explains the difficulty in al-Andarpatī, who completed al-Fatāwā al-Tātarkhāniyyah in the year 777 AH (see the introduction to al-Fātāwā al-Tātarkhāniyyah, p.25), quoting this narration from the author of al-Mudmarāt who supposedly passed away in the year 832 AH.
 Al-Andarpatī, al-Fatāwā al-Tātarkhāniyyah, vol.3, p.346, no.2617. ‘Abd al-Rahmān al-Safūri (d. 894 AH) cited al-Fatāwā al-Tātarkhāniyyah as a reference after mentioning the narration under discussion. See al-Safūrī, Nuzhat al-Majālis, vol.2, p.176
 Ibrāhim al-Halabī first penned a commentary commonly referred to as Halabī Kabīr, which he later summarized into what is commonly known as Halabi Saghīr. This excerpt is taken from the former work.
 Al-Laknawī, Tarb al-Amāthil, p.18, no.53; Ziriklī, al-A‘lām, vol.1, p.69; al-Khalīlī, La‘ālī al-Mahār, vol.1, pp.399-401
 Al-Halabī, Ghunyat al-Mutamallī (Halabī Kabīr), pp.617-618; cf. Halabī Saghīr, p.356; al-Shāmī, Radd al-Muhtār, vol.2, p.120 (Ibn ‘Ābidīn quotes Ghunyat al-Mutamallī)
 The editor of al-Fatāwā al-Tatarkhāniyyah, Mawlānā Shabbīr Ahmad al-Qāsimī, writes in the footnote, “I was unable to locate this Hadīth in the books of Hadīth at my disposal.”
 Added from al-Mudmarāt and al-Fatāwā al-Tātatarkhāniyyah. Likewise, in the next line the words “he performs a (second) sajdah” is from the aforementioned references.
 Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqāt al-Kubrā, vol.8, p.306
 Ibn al-Jawzī, al-Mawdū‘āt, vol.1, p.103. Burhan al-Din al-Biqa’i quotes an important qualification to the words “the student of knowledge” from his teacher Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani wherein he writes, “Who is constantly exposed to the breath of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), who is an expert in the chains of transmission, who is well experienced in shari’ah, who can distinguish accepted (reports) from rejected (reports). Not evey student.” Al-Biqa’i, al-Nukat al-Wafiyyah, vol.1, p.578.
 Surah al-Nur, verse 40