بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

اللهم صل على سيدنا محمد الفاتح لما أغلق والخاتم لما سبق ناصر الحق بالحق والهادي إلى صراطك المستقيم وعلى آله حق قدره ومقداره العظيم

Tariqa Tidjaniya

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.”

In his book « Minha fi Isti’mal Subha », the great Imam Jalaldin Suyuti (may ALLAH be pleased with him) wrote that the origin is to be found in the Quran and the Sunnah. As opposed to those who assert that it is a recent good innovation.

He also wrote that many companions used it such as Aisha, Abu Hureyra, Abu Darda (may ALLAH be pleased with them) and also many Saints such as Djuneyd, Djilani, Ma’ruf El Karkhi (may ALLAH be pleased with them).

In his book Musnad Firdaws, Daylami wrote that AbdSamad ibn Mussa (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had said: “I was told by Zayneb, daughter of Suleyman son of Ali, that she had heard Umm el Hassan, daughter of Dja’far, son of Husseyn, according to his father who held this from his own grandfather, that our Master Ali ibn Abi Taleb said: “The Subha is an excellent means of remembrance.” ”

Il a rapporté selon Zadhani (qu’Allah l’agrée) qu'il a dit :

According to Zadani (may ALLAH be pleased with him): “I took some subha from Ummi Ya’fur and when I met the Imam ‘Ali, he said to me: “give the subha back to Ummi Ya’fur”

In the « Tabaqat » by UbeydAllah ibn Musa, ibn Sa’d relates that Fatima (may ALLAH be pleased with her), daughter of Imam Husseyn (may ALLAH be pleased with him), son of Imam Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him), used to perform zikr with a knotted thread in her hand.

He also said: “None of the pious ancestors or their successors forbade the use of the Subha to perform Zikr. On the contrary, many of them used one Subha and did not consider it as disapproved.

The Hadith related by Ibn ‘Umar (may ALLAH be pleased with him) speaks of the preference of evoking using one’s fingers, but only if we are sure not to make a mistake.

Most of the evocations inherited from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) are difficult to count on one’s fingers due to the large number to be recited, and even if it were possible, focusing on the number reduces concentration. With a Subha, we are less likely to lose our concentration. Thus, the Subha is a beneficial means to maintain presence during the Zikr. (Imam Suyuti)

In the book « El Kamel » Hafiz Abdelghani related about the biography of Abud Darda (may ALLAH be pleased with him) that he recited one hundred thousand glorifications every day. Salamata ibn Shu’ayb (may ALLAH be pleased with him) related that Khalid ibn Ma’adane (may ALLAH be pleased with him) performed forty thousand every day. Abu Hurayra (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had a thread made of one thousand knots and he did not go to sleep until he had recited twelve thousand glorifications.

In the book « Zawa-id Zuhd », AbdAllah son of Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal relates that according to Na’im son of Muhraz son of Abu Hurayra (may ALLAH be pleased with him), that his grandfather Abu Hurayra (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had a thread made of one thousand knots and he never went to sleep until he had used it for his evocation. Na’im also related that his grandfather also had a small bag containing stones and date pits that he used to evoke ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted).

In the book « Zuhd » by Imam Ahmed, it is related that Qasem ibn AbdRahman (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “Abu Darda (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had a bag containing date pits which he took out one by one after each morning prayer and he used them to recite until the bag was empty.

In the book “Mu’jamu Sahaba” by Baghawi, it is related that Abi Safiya (may ALLAH be pleased with him), the servant of the Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) had a basket full of stones that he used to use for his evocations from morning until noon and from Dhohr until evening.

In the book « Zuhd » by Imam Ahmed, Yunus ibn ‘UbeydALLAH related that, according to his mother: “I saw Abi Safiya, one of the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). He was our neighbour. He used to use stones for the Tasbih (recitation of glorifications).

It is narrated by Ibn Sa’d that, according to Hakim ibn Daylami, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas (may ALLAH be pleased with him) used to perform his evocations with stones.

It is also reported by Tabarani that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) entered the home of Safiya (may ALLAH be pleased with her), the mother of believers, and found her evoking with four thousand pits in her hands.

El Hakem narrated that Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had said:

With the Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him), I entered a woman’s house and we found her evoking with stones or date pits that she held in her hands.” (This woman was probably Safiya)

Hafsi said: “It is preferable to count on one’s fingers, except if one is afraid of making a mistake. So, we use the Subha or a knotted thread and this is the reason why one prefers to use the Subha.”

A great saint who was holding a Subha was asked: “Why is it that you, who have attained such a station of perfection, still use the Subha?” He answered: “When a person has become used to something since the beginning, he cannot then abandon it.”

 

Reply to those who criticize a fixed number to be recited in the Zikr.

Some people have claimed that limiting the number of recitations during the Zikr constitutes an innovation (Bid’a). Those claims are a serious mistake and should be rejected because this is contrary to that which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions (may ALLAH be pleased with them) had validated.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said (or words to that effect): “The deeds most loved by ALLAH are those which are continuous, however little.” (Related by the two Shuyukh)

Evidently, a person who is constant in his adoration (Dawama) has (and needs) a limit according to his own capacities.

One of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) mentioned to him the case of a woman who had spoken of the large number of prayers that she had accomplished. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) answered (or words to that effect):

“…You are required to take upon yourselves only what you can carry out easily. By Allah, Allah does not withhold His Mercy and forgiveness of you until you neglect and give up (good works)…” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Abdullah bin ‘Amr: “The Messenger of God was informed that I had taken an oath to fast daily and to pray (every night) all the night throughout my life (so he came to me and asked whether it was correct): I replied, “Let my parents be sacrificed for you! I did say so.”  The Prophet then said, You cannot do that. So, fast for few days and give it up for few days, pray and sleep. Fast three days a month as the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times and that will be equal to one year of fasting.” I replied, “I can do better than that.”  The Prophet said to me, “Fast one day and give up fasting for a day and that is the fasting of Prophet David and that is the best fasting.” I said, “I have the power to fast better (more) than that.” The Prophet said, “There is no better fasting than that.” (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 197)

It is narrated by Abu Dawud that Abu Hurayra (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had a bag containing stones or pits with which he performed Tasbih. El Hafiz ibn Rajab Hanbali said that it contained twelve thousand stones.

It has been authenticated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did no more than thirteen rakats of prayers, whether during the Ramadan or at any other time. It is unanimously recognized by the community that Muslims get up at night to pray and perform more or less than thirteen rakats depending on their capacities like the companions (may ALLAH be pleased with them) had done.

If the community had limited itself to the number performed by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) then they would have rendered unlawful any non-conformity. For example, at the time of the Khalifat of ‘Umar ibn el Khattab (may ALLAH be pleased with him), he exceeded this number by performing twenty rakats, as did his companions. This was also the case at the time of the Caliphate of ‘Umar ibn Abdelaziz (may ALLAH be pleased with him) when this figure increased to thirty-six rakats which created no divergence among the Muslim Scholars.

Ubayy said: “Ya rasulallāh innī ukthiru al-salāta `alayka fa kam aj`al laka min salātī "O Messenger of Allah, I make much salawat upon you as a habit. How much of my prayer should I devote to you?" The Prophet said: "As much as you like." Ubayy said: "A quarter?" The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "As you like, but if you add to that it will be better for you." Ubayy then mentioned a third, then a half, then two thirds, and always the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) answered: "As you like, but if you add to that it will be better for you." Finally Ubayy said: “yā rasulallāh innī urīdu an aj`ala salātī kullahā lak - "O Messenger of Allah, I want to devote my entire prayer (i.e. du`a) to you." Whereupon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Then you will be freed from your worries and your sins will be forgiven." (Another version has: "Then Allah will suffice you in the matter of your worldly life and your hereafter") [at-Tirmidhī and al-Hākim narrated it and graded it sound.]

Consider the meaning of “quarter”, “half”, “as you like”. Therefore those who claim that limitation is an innovation are actually the innovators.

They want to put themselves forward before by declaring unlawful something that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had authorized and encouraged and which was also practiced by his companions (may ALLAH be pleased with them) after him.

Research and translation by Zawiya Tidjaniya el Kubra in Lyon, France