The origins of the rosary, i.e. the beads (Subha)
In his book Musnad El Firdaws, Abi Mansur Daylami relates that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had said (or words to that effect): “The subha is an excellent means for remembering.”
It was related by Ibn Abi Shayba, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nassa-I and El Hakim that Umar (may ALLAH be pleased with them) said: “I saw the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) holding a knotted subha in his hand.”
In the chapter concerning « The subha and its justifications in the Sharia » of his book "Tawassul wal wasila”, Sheikh Mussa Muhammad Ali wrote: “The subha is permitted in Islam, and it is in no way an innovation as some have claimed.”
In the commentary of the book « Azkar » by Imam Nawawi, it is written: “They count with their phalanges because they (the phalanges) will be questioned.” This is the reason why both those who dedicate themselves to worship and others began to use the Subha.
Ibn El Jawzi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “The Subha is recommended (Mustahab) on the basis of the Hadith about Safiya (may ALLAH be pleased with her) which states that she used fruits pits or stones and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) accepted this. The fact that the Subha is on a thread or detached makes no difference.”