Types of Praise after Sneezing

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “When one of you sneezes, let him say, ‘Al-hamdu-Lillaah ‘ala kulli haal (Praise be to Allaah in all situations)’, and let his brother or companion say to him, Yarhamuk Allah (May Allah have mercy on you)’ If he says, ‘Yarhamuk-Allah,’ then let (the sneezer) say, ‘Yahdeekum Allah wa yuslihu baalakum (May Allaah guide you and rectify your condition).”

[Sunan Abu Dawood - Classed as Sahih by Shaykh al-Albaani]

Commentary:

In other narrations in Sunan Abu Dawood (5031) and al-Tirmidhi (2740) narrated that Saalim ibn ‘Ubayd (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “When one of you sneezes, let him say, ‘Al-hamdu-Lillaah Rabb il-‘Aalameen (Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds),’ and let the one who responds to him say, ‘Yarhamuk Allah (May Allah have mercy on you),’ and let him say, ‘Yaghfir Allaahu lana wa lakum (May Allah have mercy on us and you).”

Classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in Da’eef Abi Dawood. But he classed it as sahih in Sahih al-Adab al-Mufrad (715) with a mawqoof isnaad that stopped at ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him).

It was narrated that Abu Hamzah said: I heard Ibn ‘Abbaas saying when someone said ‘Yarhamuk Allah (May Allah have mercy on you)’ to him: “ ‘Aafaana Allah wa iyyaakum min al-naar, yarhamukum Allah (May Allah save us and you from the Fire; may Allah have mercy on you).” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Sahih al-Adab al-Mufrad, 955.

Maalik narrated in al-Muwatta’ (1800) from Naafi’ that if ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) sneezed and it was said to him, “Yarhamuk Allah (may Allah have mercy on you),’ he would say, “Yarhamuna Allaahu wa iyyaakum wa yaghfir lana wa lakum (may Allah have mercy on us and you, may He forgive us and you).”

Al-Nawawi said in Sharh Muslim:

Al-Qaadi said: The scholars differed as to how one should praise Allah or respond, and there are varying reports concerning that. It was said that he should say, “Al-hamdu Lillaah (praise be to Allah)”, or “Al-hamdu-Lillaah Rabi il-‘Aalameen (Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds)”, or “Al-hamdu-Lillaah ‘ala kulli haal (Praise be to Allaah in all situations)”. Ibn Jareer said: He has the choice between all of these. This is the correct view, but they are agreed that he is enjoined to praise Allah.

He said: And they differed as to how the sneezer is to respond to the one who says “Yarhamuk Allah.” It was said that he should say, “Yahdeekum Allah wa yuslihu baalakum (May Allah guide you and rectify your condition),” or that he should say, “Yaghfir Allaahu lana wa lakum (May Allah forgive us and you).” Maalik and al-Shaafa’i said: He has the choice between these two options. This is the correct view, and the ahadith which mention them are sahih. End quote

Conclusion: The phrases used to praise Allah have been narrated in various forms:

Al-hamdu Lillaah (praise be to Allah)

Al-hamdu-Lillaah ‘ala kulli haal (Praise be to Allaah in all situations)

Al-hamdu-Lillaah Rabb il-‘Aalameen (Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds)

The phrases used to pray for mercy for the sneezer have also been narrated in various forms:

Yahdeekum Allah wa yuslihu baalakum (May Allah guide you and rectify your condition)

Yaghfir Allaahu lana wa lakum (May Allah forgive us and you)

‘Aafaana Allah wa iyyaakum min al-naar, yarhamukum Allah (May Allah save us and you from the Fire; may Allah have mercy on you)

Yarhamuna Allaahu wa iyyaakum wa yaghfir lana wa lakum (may Allah have mercy on us and you, may He forgive us and you)

All of these are Sahih (authentic) and the Muslim may choose whichever of them he wants.

And Allah knows best!

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