Hadith Islam Revive A Sunnah

Revive a Sunnah: Ditching the Prayer Beads


Prayer beads – known as masbaha or tasbih – are often used by people to make dhikr (remember Allah [SWT]). For example, counting Subhan Allah, Alhamdulillah, and Allahu Akbar 33 times after prayers.

But is this the way the Prophet [SAWS] made dhikr?

Abdullah ibn Umar [RA] said, “I saw the Prophet [SAWS] counting his praises of his Lord on his right hand.”

[Reported by Tirmidhi]

Please keep in mind, its not a religious innovation (bid’ah) to use prayer beads! But, it is not the way the Prophet [SAWS] made dhikr. And we know that the best way is the way of the Prophet [SAWS], so why not just use our fingers? Besides, the Prophet [SAWS] said:

“Count on your fingers, for they will asked, and will be made to speak.”

[Haashiyat al-Tahtaawi]

So, in sha Allah, let’s revive the sunnah of making dhikr on our fingers and this will increase our rewards since we’ll get the reward of remembering Allah AND the reward of following the sunnah of the Prophet [SAWS].

WAllahu ‘Alam.

By Aarij Anwer

Born in Karachi. Raised in the GTA. AlKauthar instructor. Qutoof CEO. Author. Bookings:

7 replies on “Revive a Sunnah: Ditching the Prayer Beads”


Very good point, and JazaakAllahu Khairan.

It’s good that you pointed out that using beads is not a bid’ah as many claim it to be. Using the fingers is definitely the preferred method as it is the sunnah.

However i think most people use beads as it aids them and assists them in counting how many of a particular Adhkar they have done, esp. if they have a set routine of lets say reading the Durood a few hundred times on friday, then keeping up the count on the fingers can be a little difficult. But for something like the Tasbih Fatimi as you mentioned in the post, the fingers should definitely be used.

May Allah allow us to revive all the Sunnahs of Rasullah(saw). Ameen


Assalaamu ‘Alaikum,

as for the tasbih after the fard salats, I definately agree. However, keep in mind that Abu Hurairah, Allah be well pleased with him, kept a string with 1000 knots to do his dhikr before retiring to bed and he was well aquainted with what was and was not allowed. So, thank you for pointing out it is not bidah, but as you say, it is certainly preferred to use the fingers, no dispute there.

Assalaamu ‘Alaikum,

Actually, your fingers can be used for reading Durood a few hundred times. The actual sunnat way of counting allows one to count up to one hundred on one hand (its true. i know how to do it. was taught by someone who had learned it from an alim, and then i confirmed it with an alim). so using two hands, one can count up to 100 x 100, which is 10000. That is because possible because once you complete one hundred on one hand, then that is one on the other hand. Once you complete another hundred on the first hand, that is two on the second hand. When you are done, 10000.

Counting on he fingers is all good but is there a specific way to do this. Because you can lose count.

I use both. If I arrive at the masjid early, say 25/30 mins early. I take out my prayer beads and go through them without worrying about losing count as I’m trying to concentrate on the words being recited(chaining mind with tongue and running in my mind the logic and worldly rationale of e.g Allhamdulilah a.k.a counting blessings/explaining what im saying to myself etc). This is a difficult task and the beads help me with, forgetting to worry about which knuckle I am on.

But after Salah, I use knuckles of my right hand for all the Duas. So essentially I use both my right hand as well as prayer beads.
So when walking to the masjid(9-12 minutes) and waiting idly; I use prayer beads.
After Salah, I use knuckles for reciting all the Sunnah duas or other adhkar that I find beneficial.

Thanks for writing the article.

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