This is a very beautiful hadith.
عَنْ أَنَسٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَرَّ بِشَجَرَةٍ يَابِسَةِ الْوَرَقِ فَضَرَبَهَا بِعَصَاهُ فَتَنَاثَرَ الْوَرَقُ فَقَالَ:
“إِنَّ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَلَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ لَتُسَاقِطُ مِنْ ذُنُوبِ الْعَبْدِ كَمَا تَسَاقَطَ وَرَقُ هَذِهِ الشَّجَرَةِ”.
أخرجه الترمذى (5/544 ، رقم 3533) ، وحسَّنه الألباني في “التعليق الرغيب” (2 / 249).
It is narrated by Anas [RA] that the Prophet of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم passed by a tree whose leaves were dry. He hit the tree with his stick and the leaves of the tree scattered. He said,
“Alhamdulillah, Subhan Allah, La ilaha il-lal-laahu, and Allahu Akbar – without a shadow of a doubt – drop from the sins of the slave of Allah like the leaves of this tree dropped”.
[Reported by Tirmidhi and graded acceptable by Al-Albani]
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ – Alhamdulillah – All praises are for Allah.
سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ – Subhan Allah – Allah is far removed and above of any and every deficiency.
لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ – La ilaha il-lal-laahu – There is no deity/object worthy of worship except Allah.
اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ – Allahu Akbar – Allah is the greatest.
– Just like the hitting of the tree caused leaves to fall, utterance of the aforementioned words cause sins to fall.
– The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم used a fabulous example to illustrate his point that was clear, vivid and easy to remember. This is the kind of examples we should also use to communicate our points clearly and effectively. Truly, he was the best of teachers صلى الله عليه و سلم.