Having a good tasbih, also known as Muslim prayer beads, is a must for a every Muslim. Tasbihs provide benefits on practical, spiritual and mental levels. In this article we’ll share some brief points regarding these three benefits and explain a little about choosing a good tasbih.
Practical Benefits of the Tasbih
On a practical level, tasbihs help you keep count when doing your dhikrs. For example, if you intend to do a dhikr 100 times, it can be confusing when attempting to count to 100 on your fingers. Using tasbih will help you keep your count. A tasbih also serves as a reminder. Seeing your tasbih naturally prompts you to recall or check to see if you have carried out your dhikr or daily litany. Some tasbihs come with extra counters on the sides or top, allowing you to do up to a million repetitions. This comes in handy for those who have embarked on rigorous spiritual exercises and practices.
Spiritual Benefits of the Tasbih
Tasbihs are for dhikr, which involves repetitive utterances of names of Allah, verses of Quran or praises of Him. Having a tasbih in your possession, hanging on your wall or on your person serves as reminder. Seeing the tasbihs reminds us of our goal to remain in remembrance of Allah for the sake of our spiritual well-being. The tasbih itself is not a spiritual object alone but it can remind you of spirituality as related to your dhikrs and spiritual practices. Just as seeing a sajjada (prayer rug) triggers one’s mind, reminding him or her of their Salah.
Mental Benefits of the Tasbih
Using a tasbih helps with one’s concentration and focus. The tasbih, as a tool for counting, allows you to keep your focus on the dhikr, rather than trying to keep count mentally. Tasbihs also help focus your attention on the dhikr you are doing by connecting your mind to your body, specifically to your fingers. This mental-physical connection can assist in keeping distractions away. Holding a tasbih and moving each bead to the pace of your dhikr can also prevent your mind from wondering.
How to Choose a Good Tasbih
Always choose a tasbih that matches you and your preferences. This is in regards to the feel, color, weight, size and material. You may choose from different variations of oval beads, flat disc-shape beads, saucer-shaped beads, contoured beads. Think of what shape tasbih beads would feel best to you. As for the color, you may want to purchase a few different colors to match your attire or just your general favorite color. When it comes to size, consider that Muslim tasbih prayer beads most commonly are made with beads sizes from 6 up to 12-mm. Women tend to like the smaller sizes of 6 and 7-mm beads. For men, 8-mm is the most common but the larger 9 to 12-mm beads are also favorited by many. A travel tasbih that fits well in your pocket would be in the 6-8mm range while you might like to keep a larger tasbih on your prayer rug at home.
Concerning materials that are used for tasbihs, there is a vast array to choose from. Most people prefer natural wood tasbihs while others prefer a heavier tasbih made from semi-precious stones. Plastic, bone, seed and shell tasbihs are also enjoyable. So, the material you choose for your tasbih just depends on your particular taste.
Regardless of your taste and preference for tasbihs, it’s always good to have a few on hand to grab and do your dhikrs. Keep in mind that Muslim tasbihs have many names and different spellings. They can also be called a tasbee, sibha, misbaha, subha, tasbeeh, tesbih, tasbeh or just dhikr beads. We hope this short article provides some pointers and useful information regarding Muslim tasbih prayer beads.