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When we do tasbeeh, is it necessary that we count it only on our fingers?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Assalam alaikum


burhan bhai ham tasbeeh padhte hain to kya wo sirf fingers par padhni hai. Agar hum tasbih par padhe to ye galat hai. Zikr agar tasbih par kare to ye bida hai kya. Meri friend ne mujhse kaha k jo bhi zikr hai wo fingers par padhna chahiyye. Aur counting nahin karni chahiyye. Pls mujhe bataiyye ke sahi kya hai.


Pls do remember me in your supplication




Translation of Question: When we do ‘tasbeeh’, is it necessary that we count it only on our fingers? If we do ‘tasbeeh’ through a rosary, would it be wrong? If ‘dhikr’ is done through a rosary, would it be considered ‘bida’? My friend told me that whatever ‘dhikr’ one does, its count should only be done through one’s fingers. And one should not count the ‘dhikr’. Please do let me know what is right.


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Tasbeeh rosary or fingers

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verses 41-42:

41 O ye who believe! Celebrate the ‘Dhikr’ (Remembrance) of Allah and do this (as) much (as possible);

42 And glorify Him morning and evening.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 29 Surah Ankabut verse 45:

45 Recite what is sent of the Book (Al-Quran) by inspiration to thee and establish regular prayer, for prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and the ‘Dhikr’ (Remembrance) of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah Knows all that ye do.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 13 Surah Raad vers 28:

28 Those who believe, their hearts find satisfaction in the ‘Dhikr’ of Allah: for without doubt, (only) in the ‘Dhikr’ of Allah do hearts find satisfaction!


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 152:

152 Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me and reject not faith.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 43 Surah Zukhruf verse 36:

36 If anyone withdraws himself from ‘Dhikr’ of (Allah) Most Gracious, We appoint for him a Shaytaan to be an intimate companion to him!


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 63 Surah Munafiqoon verse 9:

9 O ye who believe! Let not your wealth or your children divert you from the ‘Dhikr’ of Allah. If any act thus, the (severe) loss is their own!



Hadrat Said ibn Jubair (r.a.) reported that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "Anyone engaged in obeying Allah is in fact engaged in the ‘Dhikr’ (Remembrance) of Allah."


Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 9.502 Narrated by Abu Huraira

The Prophet (saws) said, "Allah, The High and Exalted, Says: 'I am just as My slave thinks I am, and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they (the Angels); and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running!'"


Hadrat Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri (r.a.) and Hadrat Abu Hurairah (r.a.) reported that the Prophet (saws) "When any group of men do ‘Dhikr’ (Remembrance) of Allah, the Angels surround them and mercy covers them, tranquility descends upon them, and Allah mentions them to those who are with Him (the Angels)."


The Prophet (saws) said, "The devotees have surpassed all." The companions asked, "Who are these exceptional people (‘Mufarridoon’), O Messenger of Allah (saws)?" The Prophet (saws) replied, "Those men and women who remember Allah unceasingly."

Related by Muslim.)


Hadrat Abu Musa Al-Ashari (r.a.) reported that the Prophet (saws) said: "The likeness of the one who remembers his Lord and the one who does not remember Him is like that of a living to a dead person!''

Related by Bukhari.


A man came to the Messenger of Allah (saws) and complained, "The laws of Islam are too heavy for me, so tell me something that I can easily follow". The Prophet (saws) told him, "Let your tongue be always busy with the ‘Dhikr’ (Remembrance) of Allah."


The Prophet (saws) would often tell his companions, "Shall I tell you about the best of deeds, the most pure in the Sight of your Lord, about the one that is of the highest rank and is far better for you than spending gold and silver, even better for you than meeting your enemies in the battlefield where you strike at their necks and they at yours?" The companions replied, "Yes, O Messenger of Allah (saws)!" The Prophet (saws) said, "The ‘Dhikr’ (Remembrance) of Allah.''

Related by Tirmidhi, Ahmad, and Al-Hakim.


Hadrat Mu'adh (r.a.) reported that the Prophet (saws) said, 'No other act of man is a more effective means for his deliverance from the Chastisement of Allah than the ‘Dhikr’ (Remembrance) of Allah.''

Related by Ahmad.



One is at absolute liberty to make as much ‘dhikr’ or Remembrance of Allah as often as one wills or is easy for them…..and when and only when a specific number or count of a specific ‘dhikr’ or ‘tasbeeh’ is given and endorsed by the Messenger of Allah (saws), one should follow the Sunnah and fulfill that count.


Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.344 Narrated by Ali

Hadrat Fatimah (the daughter of the Prophet (saws)) complained of what she suffered from the hand mill and from grinding, and when she got the news that some slave girls of the booty had been brought to Allah's Messenger (saws), she went to him to ask for a maid-servant, but she could not find him, and she told Hadrat Aisha (r.a.) of her need. When the Prophet (saws) came, Aisha (r.a.) informed him of that. The Prophet (saws) came to our house when we had gone to our beds. (On seeing the Prophet (saws)) we were going to get up, but he (saws) said, 'Keep at your places,' I felt the coolness of the Prophet's (saws) feet on my chest. Then he (saws) said, "Shall I tell you a thing which is better than what you asked me for? When you go to your beds, say: 'Allahu Akbar’ (i.e. Allah is Greatest)' 34 times, and 'Alhamdu Lillah’ (i.e. all Praise is due to Allah) 33 times, and ‘Subhan Allah’ (i.e. Glorified be Allah) 33 times. This is better for you than what you have requested."


Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.514 Narrated by Abu Huraira

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "If one says one-hundred times in one day: "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, the Alone Who has no partners, to Him belongs Dominion and to Him belong all the Praises, and He has power over all things", one will get the reward of manumitting ten slaves, and one-hundred good deeds will be written in his account, and one-hundred bad deeds will be wiped off or erased from his account, and on that day he will be protected from the morning till evening from the Shaytan, and nobody will be superior to him except one who has done more than that which he has done."


Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2185 Narrated by Sa'id ibn al-Musayyib

The Prophet (saws) said, "If anyone recites ten times 'Say, He is Allah, One and Only …. (Surah 112: Al-Ikhlaas), a palace will be built for him in Paradise because of it; if anyone recites twenty times two places will be built for him in Paradise because of it; and if anyone recites it thirty times three palaces will be built for him in Paradise because of it." Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "I swear by Allah, O Messenger of Allah (saws), that we shall then produce many palaces for ourselves”; to which he (saws) replied, "Allah's abundant Grace is even more comprehensive than that."


Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "If anyone said in the morning and evening: 'subhana-Allah wa bihamdihi' (Glory to Allah and all praise to Him), a hundred times, on the Day of Judgment none will come with anything better than that except the person who utters similar words or adds some to them."


Abdallah b. Habib reported that the Prophet (saws) said, "Speak." I asked, "O Messenger of Allah (saws), what should I say?" He (saws) replied, "Recite Surat al-Ikhlas (112th Surah), and the two last surahs (of the Qur'an), i.e. Surat al-Falaq (113th) and Surat an-Naas (114th), in the morning and evening three times, and it will suffice you for everything."


When the Messenger of Allah (saws) guided the believers on any aspect of the deen, then it becomes incumbent upon the believers to obey and accept exactly what is declared by the Messenger of Allah (saws). When the Messenger of Allah (saws) has given a specific number or count of a ‘tasbeeh’ or a ‘dhikr’, then we should know and believe with absolute conviction that it is this number of repetitions alone that is acceptable and best in the Sight of Allah Subhanah; and when the Messenger of Allah (saws) has not given a specific number or count, then it would not befit a believer that he should invent or allocate a specific number towards that repetition from himself without any authority from Allah and His Messenger (saws).


Your Question: When we do ‘tasbeeh’, it is necessary that we count it only from our fingers? If we do ‘tasbeeh’ through a rosary, would it be wrong? If ‘dhikr’ is done through a rosary, would it be considered ‘bida’?

The Messenger of Allah (saws) would count his repetitions of ‘tasbeeh’ on his fingers and it would obviously be best for the believers to follow his (saws) Sunnah and do the same.


The absolute majority of the scholars are of the opinion that it one counts or finds it easier to count the number of one’s repetitions of one’s ‘tasbeeh’ on a rosary instead of one’s fingers, there is absolutely no harm and it would not constitute a ‘bida’ or innovation.


But if one were to believe that the count of a ‘tasbeeh’ or ‘dhikr’ should only be done through a rosary, or one believes that counting a repetition through a rosary earns more reward or is more meritorious in the Sight of Allah….then indeed such determinations would be absolutely incorrect! But if one finds it more convenient or easier to keep count on a rosary rather than on one’s fingers, there is absolutely no harm and no restriction in using a rosary. And Allah Alone Knows Best.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,




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