Salaat al-Tasaabeeh is asked about by many: is it authentic? What about its rewards?
**It is narrated on the authority of Ikrimah that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah exalt his mention, said to the Al-Abbas b. Abdul-Muttalib: 'O Abbas, My uncle! Shall I not give you, inform you, of something that if you are to do it, Allah would forgive all your sins, its past and present, its intentional and unintentional, its minor and major, its private and public? Pray four Rakat, in each read al-fatihah, and another surat...after you finish reciting (in the first rakat) say, while you are standing, SUBHANALLAH, AL-HAMDULILAH, LAILAHAHILLAALLAH, ALLAHU AKBAR 15 times, then make rukoo and say it 10 times, then go down to sujood and say it ten times in your sujood, then raise your head from the sujood and say it ten times, then make sujood and say it ten times, then raise your head and say it ten times...that is 75 in each rakaat, do it in all four rakaat. If you can pray this prayer every day then do it, but if you cannot then do it once a week, if you cannot than once every month, then if you cannot then once a year, if you cannot then once in a lifetime.' (this is in the meaning of the hadeeth).
This hadeeth is Saheeh (authentic li-ghairihi) and is narrated in Abu Dawood (1297), Ibn Majah (1387) al-Haakim (1-308).**
Al-Haafidth ibn Hajar said, 'And in the narration of At-Tabrani: even if your sins were as the foam of the sea, or as much as the sand, Allah would forgive you...'
Abu Bakr b. Abi Dawood said that he heard his father say, 'There is nothing in the Tasbeeh prayer more authentic than this hadeeth.'
Imam Muslim said, 'There is no hadeeth with a better chain of narrators in this matter other than this...' (i.e. Ibn Abbas narration).
The second hadeeth, which is also authentic (Saheeh li-ghairihi) is narrated on the authority of Abi Rafi'...it to is similar to the above (in its wording).
This narration was narrated by Ibn Majah, at-Tirmidthi, Ad'daar-Qutni, and al-Baihaqi.
Al-Baihaqi said, that Abdullah b. al-Mubarak used to pray the Tasbeeh prayer, this prayer was handed (to us) by the pious predecessors, and from this, the above hadeeth gains extra strength...!
At-Tirmidthi said, 'this is a ghareeb hadeeth from the narration of Abi Rafi' he then said, 'Ibn al-Mubarak used to practice it, and other people of knowledge used to practice it also, and they mentioned its merits.'
Of those who corrected (authenticated) the above hadeeth:-
There is a third hadeeth which too is authentic and is narrated by Ahmed, At-Tirmidthi (who stated this narration as Hasan), an-Nasa'i, ibn Khuzaimah, and Ibn Hibban in their Saheeh collections, and al-Haakim, said that is authentic according to the conditions set by Muslim.
This narration is on the authority of Anas b. Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, that Umm Sulaim asked the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, 'teach me a few words that I may say them in my prayer. He said, 'Say Allahu Akbar 10 times, Say Subhanallah ten times, Say Al-Humdulilah ten times, then pray as much as you want...' (in its meaning).
Al-Albani, may Allah have mercy on him, said: The main hadeeth on which the Tasbeeh prayer is based on is the hadeeth of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, (the first Hadeeth I mentioned).
I have returned back to the original books were Sheik Muhammad Naasir ad-Deen al-Albani, may Allah have mercy on him, authenticated the ahadeeth (pl. Hadeeth) which conern the Tasbeeh prayer...such as Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, At-Targheeb and at-Tarheeb. To summarize this altogether, there are authentic hadeeth which concern the Tasbeeh prayer and other Hadeeth which are weak.
So from the above, no one can call the one who practices the Tasbeeh prayer a man of bid'ah, nor the prayer itself a bid'ah practice...Subhanallah!
An argument which may be heard from those who deny this prayer is: 'Now somebody might say to you...'look brother although the hadeeth is Saheeh, none of the Salaf (pious predecessors) practiced it.'
The answer to this is that if the hadeeth is authentic, we should immediately put it into practice regardless of the fact if somebody did it before you or not...the proof of this is as follows: Imam ash-Shafi'ee said in his book 'Ar-Risalah': Umar b. Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, used to rule that the diyah (blood money) for the thumb, was 15 camels; but when he found the letter of Aal-Amr b. Hazm, and in which a hadeeth was mentioned: 'For every finger there are 10 camels.' He immediately put this hadeeth into practice...
Imam Ash-Shafi'ee said, 'They didn't practice what was in the letter of Aal-Hazm until it was affirmed that it was an authentic letter from the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention.'
Al-Albani, may Allah have mercy on him, said: 'From this hadeeth we take two very important things, that we should accept the hadeeth once it is deemed authentic, even if nobody practiced it before you...'
Besides this...it has been authentically reported that some of the Salaf practiced it, such as Ibn al-Mubarak!
Secondly, if you put this hadeeth into practice, which is regarded by some as bid'ah you would be reviving a Sunnah of the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, and whoever revives a Sunnah of the Prophet, would receive its reward and the reward of whomever practices it till the Day of Resurrection....Allahu Akbar