In Dhikr we say in Arabic “Subhanallah Wa Behamdeh“. What does “Subhanallah Wa Behamdeh” mean? I know what “Subhanallah” means and I know what “Alhamdulillah” means. But “Subhanallah Wa Behamdeh” I don’t know what does it exactly mean.
There are a few compressions in the quoted words. The complete sentence in the Arabic language should be something like: “usabbiho subhanallah wa ahmadu behamdehee “.
Tasbeeh (i.e. subhanallah) means to hold God clear of all that is not suitable to be ascribed to him. That is to hold Him clear of all such qualities and attributes that are not suitable for His person. While Tehmeed or Hamd means to praise God with all the qualities that, according to His own declarations, he possesses. Thus, Tasbeeh, in its nature is negative – a declaration that God is clear of imperfections. For instance God is clear of making unwise decisions or that God is clear of being in need of something. While the nature of Tehmeed is positive – a declaration that God possesses all the good attributes He should possess. For instance, God is merciful, God is just, God is wise. Thus, the combination of the two (i.e. Tasbeeh and Tehmeed) implies that God is not only clear of what is not suitable for Him, but also possesses all the qualities that He should possess.
The translation of the referred supplication, in my opinion, should be: ‘I hold God absolutely clear of all faults and unsuitable qualities and I praise God to possess all the good and suitable qualities’.
I hope this helps.
31st January 2000