Question: Is there anything wrong with changing the Qur’anic verse beginning as “Subhana rabbika …” and reciting it as “Subhana rabbina …” with the intention of making du’a?
Yes, it is written in a few books, “When a person is making du’a, it is better for him to change the word rabbika and to say rabbina instead of it,” but the ruling regarding this matter is as follows in reliable books:
Hadrat Baydawi, who is held in great esteem by mafassirun, quoted Hadrat Ali as saying, “Whoever desires to earn a lot of rewards on the Day of Judgment, let him recite ‘Subhana rabbika …’ up to the end at the time of dispersing a gathering.” The same thing is written in other tafsir books, e.g., Tafsir al-Mawakib.
It is stated in hadith-i sharifs:
(Whoever desires to earn a lot of rewards on the Day of Judgment, let him recite the verse “Subhana rabbika …” when he rises from a gathering.) [Ibn Hibban]
(If one recites the verse “Subhana rabbika …” three times at the end of salat, one will earn rewards sufficiently.) [Tabarani]
Abu Said al-Khudri (radhi Allahu ‘anh) reports that the Messenger of Allah used to recite “Subhana rabbika rabb-il ‘izzati …” three times when he says the salam in salat. (Abu Ya’la) (Hatib-i Baghdadi)
In another narration, Abu Said al-Khudri says, “The Messenger of Allah used to recite the verse ‘Subhana rabbika …’ immediately before saying the salam in salat” (Ibn Abi Shayba).
Abdullah ibn Abbas (radhi-Allahu ‘anhuma) states, “The Messenger of Allah used to recite the Qur’anic verse ‘Subhana rabbika …’ before saying the salam in salat” (Tabarani).
People of knowledge know well that Qur’anic verses are recited in tashahhud with the intention of making du’a. The above-mentioned ahadith prove that our Master the Prophet recited this Qur’anic verse without making an alteration to it even when he recited it with the intention of du’a. Then changing this verse to “Subhana rabbina …” is a very abominable act, which means encroaching on the Qur’an al-karim and meddling in sunnah as-saniyyah (the way of the Messenger of Allah).
Islamic scholars say in fiqh books that one should recite this verse as “Subhana rabbika …” even when one recites it with the intention of du’a. (Durr-ul-mukhtar, Maraqi al-falah)
Hadrat Abd al-Ghani Nablusi states:
“Making an alteration to the du’as in the Qur’an al-karim when one is reciting them means making an alteration to the Qur’an al-karim deliberately” (Hadiqa).
The meaning of “Subhana Rabbika”
Subhana Rabbika means that your Rabb, who has created and raised such a prophet as you with all the transcendent perfections and superiority above all humans, is far from all defects. On the other hand, Subhana Rabbina means that the One who creates and raises us, sinful and disobedient slaves, is far from all defects. To a person who has knowledge and intellect, it is self-evident what an improper act it is to make mention of the sinful slaves in the glorification and laudation of Allahu ta’ala. The grade of Subhana rabbika is much higher than the grade of Subhana rabbina with respect to the knowledge of manners and eloquence. In other words, reciting it as “Subhana rabbika” is more suitable than reciting it as “Subhana rabbina” in terms of glorification and laudation. In this Qur’anic verse, Allahu ta’ala exalts and praises Himself. Can anyone praise Him in any better manner than He does? (Se’adet-i Ebediyye)
Question: It is written in Se’adet-i Ebediyye that a person who recites the Qur’anic verse beginning as “Subhana rabbika …” in salat or outside salat will earn many rewards. Should we recite it after the prayers “Allahumma salli …” and “Allahumma barik …” in salat, or should we recite it when supplicating after salat? When else should we recite it?
The verse “Subhana rabbika …” may be recited on many occasions, some of which are as follows:
1. It may be recited as an additional sura in salat.
2. It is recited after the recitation of the Qur’an al-karim.
3. It is recited after a gathering that does not go against Islam.
4. It brings many rewards to recite it on completion of du’a after salat. Recite Surat al-Ikhlas 11 times, Surat al-Falaq once, and Surat an-Nas once. Then say “Astaghfirullah” 67 times, thus bringing the total 70. Then repeat “Subhanallahi wa bi-hamdihi subhan-Allah-il azeem” 10 times. Recite the verse “Subhana rabbika …” as well. (Se’adet-i Ebediyye)
One should finalize the du’a after salat by reciting “Subhana rabbika …” (Durr-ul-mukhtar, Durar)