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Use of Tasbeeh (Counting aid in Dhikr)

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Is using tasbeeh a bidah and can it be given as a gift?

I have following questions:

1. Is using tasbeeh is bidah & is this imitation of christianity.
2. Giving tasbeeh as a hadiyah is permissible in islam.   


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh.

It is permissible to use a “tasbīh” or “subhah” in order to aid oneself in performing dhikr. A tasbīh helps in performing dhikr in two ways:

  1. By holding it in the hand or seeing it, one is encouraged and reminded to perform dhikr. This is why it is also known as a “mudhakkir” (reminder).


  1. It also helps one keep count.

Using beads or stones to help one with dhikr is supported by hadīths. Imāms Abū Dāwūd and al-Tirmidhī narrated in their collections on the authority of Sa‘d ibn Abī Waqqās (radiyAllāhu ‘anh) that together with Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) he came upon a woman with date stones or pebbles before her, with which she was reciting tasbīh. The narration continued, but does not state Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) reprimanded her or disapproved of what she was doing. Imām al-Tirmidhī and Hāfiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalānī graded the chain of narration hasan.[1] This offers proof that taking assistance from something to help one to keep count of his dhikr is permissible.


Hence, if one uses tasbīh for this purpose it will not be bid‘ah. However, there should be no belief attached to the tasbīh that it has intrinsic virtue or the one who recites dhikr using it is superior to one who does not.

The great scholars, Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūtī (d. 911 H)[2] and ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Laknawi (d. 1304 H)[3], have both authored treatises showing the permissibility of using a tasbīh.

It is permissible to give a tasbīh as hadiyyah.


And Allah Ta‘ālā Knows Best

Zameelur Rahman

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.



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what is the proof of using a prayer bead?
some say it is Bid’ah is this right?






Hazrat Saaad bin Abi Waqqaas (R.A.) reports that once, while accompanied by the Nabi of Allah (S.A.W.), he came across a lady who was using date pits or pebbles for making Tasbeeh (glorifying Allah). Nabi (S.A.W.) addressed her saying, Should I not inform you of an easier or better way than that, SUBHANALLAHI ADADA MA KHALAQA FIS SAMAAI WA SUBHANALLHI ADADA MA KHALAQA FIL ARDHI WA SUBHANALLAHI ADADA MA BAYNA THALIK WA SUBHANALLAHI ADADA MA HUWA KHALIQ WALLAHU AKBAR MITHLA THALIK WALHAMDULILLAHI MITHLA THALIK WA LAILAHA ILLALLAHU MITHLA THALIK WA LA HAUWLA WA LA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAHI MITHLA THALIK. 


In the commentary of this Hadith, the author of Mirqaat (a commentary of Mishkaat) explains that, the fact that Nabi (S.A.W.) did not disapprove of her action or show any resentment towards it, clearly proves that using beads, pebbles, etc. when making Tasbeeh is permissible. It would therefore be incorrect to classify an act which Nabi (S.AW.) approved of, as Bidah.


Hazrat Umar (R.A.) once saw a person using beads for making Tasbeeh and he did not prevent him from doing so.

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (R.A.) used a string, which consisted of a number of knots for making Tasbeeh.


There are many Ahadeeth in which the Nabi of Allah instructed the Sahabah to recite a particular Zikr a certain amount of times, which naturally implies that something be used for counting.


(Mirqaat, Vol. 5, Page 138-139, Hayaatus Sahabah, Vol. 3, Page 427)


And Allah Taala knows best

Ebrahim bin Zainul Abedeen Backus

Attested to as correct by:

Mufti Muhammad Ashraf

Darul Iftaa

Jameah Mahmoodiyah



[email protected]                  


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Use of Left hand or Right for counting
Is it true ? or I am okay to use both hands for counting tasbihat.
I recently got a forwarded email which say Tasbih should not be performed on Left hand (Using fingers to cound number of tasbihat) Is it true ? or I am okay to use both hands for counting tasbihat.


(Fatwa: 831/660/B=1431)



Recite the tasbeeh only with right hand or with both the hands, both ways are right. It is mentioned in hadith: count using fingers because they will be questioned on the Day of Judgement what they did and answer will be sought from them and while answering they will bear witness. The same thing is mentioned in the holy Quran in several places that the body, hands and feet of man will be asked what good and bad deeds they performed.

و في الحديث: واعقدن بالإنامل فإنهن مسؤلات مستنطقات ، الحديث (المشكاة ص:202)


Allah (Subhana Wa Ta’ala) knows Best

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband


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Nasihah (Advice): Tasbeeh Counters
Imaam Abu Dawood mentions that on one occasion Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam came to a woman who was reciting Tasbih using date pits and pebbles. Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam did not reprimand her nor disapprove of her action. (Hadiyyatul Abraar Fi Subhatil Azkaar)  
Question and Answer:
Q. Assalamu alaykum, Is using counter or beads to count dhikr of Allah Bidah. Using of digital Tashbeeh or tally counter is allowed?
(Question published as received)
A. It is permissible (Mubaah) to use a “Tasbīh” or “Subhah” in order to aid oneself in performing Zikr.
In the past, people used stones and beads as an aid in making Zikr. In today’s times, digital counters along with other technological methods are used.
Hence, if one uses a Tasbih for this purpose it will not be Bid‘ah. The general principle of Mubaah is one may practice on it or use it on condition he does not regard it as compulsory in Deen or a Sunnah.
Allah Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Fatwa Department

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians
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