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

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

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.


[1] نتائج الأفكار، دار ابن كثير، ج.١ ص٨١

[2] “المنحة فى السبحة” ضمن الحاوي للفتاوي، دار الكتب العلميه، ج.٢ ص.٢-٥

[3] “نزهة الفكر في سبحة الذكر” مع حاشيته “النفحة بتحشية النزهة” الملقب ب”هدية الأبرار في سبحة الأذكار” ضمن مجموعة رسائل اللكنوي، المكتبة الإمدادية، ص.١١٧-١٥٥

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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