Q: Sallam Alaikum Sheikh, one of the sheiks told me that it is not permissible to use the tesbih in doing zikr. I am confused about this because I see so many fellow muslim borthers using the tesbih. Even my Emir used it and never mention anything about this. This Sheikh’s argument is that tesbih’s weren’t used by the prophet pbuh so therefor we should not either. Even though I have read one of the hadith where it states that one of the sabah had a string with knots tied to it and he would do zikr on it. What is your take on this? Jazzakallahkhair. May Allah reward you.
Time: Wednesday May 25, 2011 at 6:35 am
A: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
The mere claim that something is allowed of forbidden should not deter you from doing the correct thing, nor should it confuse or perplex you. Additionally, many things were not present at the time of Rasulullah (SAW), the lack of something does not mean it becomes forbidden when it later appears. We know well from hadith, when something can be done in a manner that c/would create ease while no direct prohibition exists for it, nor is its usage a violation of any aspect of religion, its usage would be allowed.
Likewise, we know of knots and pebbles being used by sahabah for counting purposes. Few can argue that they are better at understanding religion then the sahaba. Some of these alternative ways to the finger usage method was even utilized at the time of Rasulullah (SAW.)
Although the usage of fingers remain a better option since it is specifically mentioned in the ahadith; the misbah/tasbeeh can function as a reminder to keeping the tongue moist in the remembrance of the Creator. Holding the misbah/tasbeeh can also remind one of using the hands in a responsible/respectable manner (abstaining the fingers to dialing to the forbidden, touching the forbidden, etc.)
Thus, just as one must not be hasty in calling for the ‘tasbeeh’ to be forbidden, nor should one enslave themselves to only one method when other alternatives do exist and remain established from Ahadith.
Allah Certainly Knows Best.
p.s. Imaams: Abu Dawood, Tirmdhi, Nasaai, etc make mention of using pebbles, etc. and have not limited themselves to merely using the fingers for azkar (remembrance of Allah (SWT).