WHAT IS TASBEEH?
HISTORY OF PRAYER BEADS/ROSARY/TASBEEH BEADS
Before we explore the meaning of TASBEEH in the light of the Quran, let us go through some history of prayer beads. The use of prayer beads originated in ancient India with the Hindus. In India, sandstone representations have been found which date back to 185 BC, showing people holding prayer beads. Most of the scholars agree that the use of prayer beads had become widespread in 8th century BC in ancient India.
Around 500 BC, Buddhism was born in India, which adopted the Hindu practice of using Mala for repeating mantras. Although no definitive date is known but most scholars agree that Muslim traders and explorers brought the tradition of bead prayers from Buddhism to Islam. European Christians began using bead prayers around 7th century AD.
THE MEANING OF TASBEEH
Now, let us see the meanings of word TASBEEH from nowhere else but within the Quran. I shall refer to existing prevalent translations:
See the following two verses which contain the word “YASBIHOON”. The meaning of this word has been underlined.
21:33 And He is the One who has created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon, each of them is swimming (Yasbahuna) in its own orbit.
36:40 The sun is not required to overtake the moon, nor will the night precede the day; each of them is swimming (Yasbahuna) in its own orbit.
See the following two verses in which the word “SABHAN” has been used:
79:3 And those that swim along (Sabhan).
73:7 For you have many duties (Sabhan) during the day.
As a verb, Sabaha means:
-To travel along swiftly
-To glide along
-To swim along
As a noun, Sabhan, means:
TASBEEH means carrying out the assigned duties swiftly and expeditiously.
Allah’s TASBEEH means to carry out duties assigned by Allah swiftly and expeditiously.
SUBHANALLA means to come to Allah (and Allah’s way) quickly and swiftly.
Keep these meanings in your mind and see the following verses:
57:1 Whatever is in everything in the heavens and on the earth Does TASBEEH OF ALLAH. He is the Noble, the Wise.
59:24 He is Allah; the Creator, the Initiator, the Designer. To Him belong the most beautiful names (Asma ul Husna). Whatever is everything in the heavens and on the earth Does HIS TASBEEH. He is the Noble, the Wise.
61:1 Whatever is in everything in the heavens and on the earth Does TASBEEH OF ALLAH. And He is the Noble, the Wise.
62:1 Whatever is in everything in the heavens and on the earth Does TASBEEH OF ALLAH; the King, the Holy One, the Noble, the Wise.
64:1 Whatever is in everything in the heavens and on the earth Does TASBEEH OF ALLAH. To Him is all kingship, and to Him is all praise, and He is capable of all things.
Is whatever in the heavens and on earth, having prayer beads in their hand and uttering names of Allah?
Is whatever in the heavens or on earth, doing expeditiously the duties that Allah assigned to them?
I hope you would have known by now that TASBEEH does not mean uttering Allah’s name on the prayer beads but TASBEEH means, doing the duties assigned by Allah swiftly and expeditiously.
TASBEEH is not saying something on prayer beads but doing what Allah has asked us to do.