Prayer Beads(Masbahah) are bid’ah??

Salafis LOVE saying that using the prayer beads is BID’AH ! This is in accordance with the fatwa made by the notorious “Sheikhul Hadith” Nasiruddeen Albani. But, interestingly enough, another big wahabi figure said that it isn’t bid’ah and he is none other than Ibn Baz’s student Ibn Uthaimeen. The following are some extracts from an article written by Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid( http://www.islam-qa.com/index.php?ref=3009&ln=eng ), a popular scholar among wahabis :

“Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (al-Liqa’ al-Maftooh, 3/30) was asked whether using the masbahah for tasbeeh is bid’ah, and his reply was: “It is better not to do tasbeeh with the masbahah, but it is not bid’ah, because there is a basis for it, which is the fact that some of the Sahaabah did tasbeeh with pebbles.”

Contrary to this Albani said :

“He also said (1/117): “If there is only one bad thing about the masbahah, which it is that it takes the place of the Sunnah of counting on the fingers, even though all are agreed that counting on the fingers is preferable, then that is bad enough. How rarely I see people counting their tasbeeh on their fingers!”

**Note: Any novice of Ulum Hadith will know that the Sunnah consist of three main categories i.e. Ahkam -> A. Qawl(words) B. Fi’l(acts) C. Taqrir(approval) **Ref. Dr. Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, Islamic Jurisprudence pg. 164**
If the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. did indeed Taqrir or approved the action of doing tasbih with Masbahah of pebbles which will be elucidated in due course, how then can anyone make such a daft claim as “the masbahah takes the place(replace, substitute) of the Sunnah of counting on the fingers” ?

Albani went as far as to even declare it to be bid’ah when he continued saying :
1. “Firstly, the subhah [masbahah] is bid’ah and was not known at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).”

2. “Moreover, people have invented so many sophisticated ways of following this bid’ah, so you see the followers of one of the [Sufi] tareeqahs wearing the masbahah around their necks!”

**Question : What the Prophet s.a.w. approved is bid’ah ???
Well…either Albani the so called “Sheikh Al-Hadith” was unaware of such instances where the companions used to do the tasbeeh with masbahah i.e. pebbles(which would make him a very poor “Sheikhul Hadith” indeed) and ignorantly declared the companions to be Ahl Bid’ah(na’udhubillah) or that he did know of the narrations and just had a sick habit of mocking the Sunnah and the Sahabah.

To prove his point that Masbahah is bid’ah he offered this weak hadith :
“The evidence for what I have said is the report narrated by Ibn Waddaah in Al-Bid’ wa’l-Nahy ‘anhaa from al-Salt ibn Bahraam, who said: ‘Ibn Mas’ood passed by a woman who had a [masbahah] with which she was making tasbeeh, and he broke it and threw it aside, then he passed by a man who was making tasbeeh with pebbles, and he kicked him then said, “You think you are better than the Sahaabah, but you are following unjustified bid’ah! You think you have more knowledge than the Companions of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)!”’ Its isnaad is saheeh to al-Salt, who is one of the trustworthy (thiqah) followers of the Taabi’een.”

——————————————————————————–

The following is a response to the confusion of the pseudo-salafis :

Using the Masbahah is Sunnah

The following narrations are proofs for the permissibility of using the Masbahah:

First Proof:
“From Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqqaas that he entered with the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) upon a woman and between her hands was a Nawaa (seeds, pebbles) or Hasaa (stones or pebbles) that she was [counting] tasbeeh with…”

This hadeeth is reported by Imaam At-Tirmithi who said, “Hasan Ghareeb from the hadeeth of Sa’ad”. It is also reported by Imaam Abu Daawood in his Sunan, Imaam An Nasaa’i, Ibn Hibbaan, and Imaam Al Haakim in his Mustadarak who said. “Its isnaad is Saheeh, and [they i.e. Bukhaari and muslim] did not report it” and Imaam Adh-Dhahabi agreed with him.

Second Proof:
From Safiyyah who said, ” The Messenger of Allah (saaws) entered upon me and between my hands were four thousand Nawaah (stones or seeds) [that I was making] tasbeeh with. The Nabi said, “You are making tasbeeh with this?! Shall I not teach you that which is greater than this tasbeeh?!” So I said, “Teach me!” So He said, “Say, Subhaan Allah ‘Adada Khaliqih”.

This hadeeth is reported by Imaam At Tirmithi who said after it, “Ghareeb, I only know the hadeeth of Safiyyah by this direction…”

It was also reported by Imaam Al Haakim in his Mustadarak who said, “[This] Hadeeth is Saheeh and they did not report it.” And Imaam Adh-Dhahabi agreed with him. It was also authenticated by Imaam As-Suyooti.

Imaam Ash-Shawkaani states in his Nayl Al Awtaar that these two ahadeeth are proof of the permissibility of counting the Tasbeeh with seeds, stones, or the likes and that is because of the approval of the Nabi (sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) of these two women using them.

Other proofs from the Sahaba are as follows,

Third Proof:
Imaam Ahmad in his “Zuhd” says: “‘Affaan informed us, Abdul Waahid ibn Ziyaad informed us from Yunus ibn ‘Ubayd, from His mother who said, “I saw Abaa Safiyyah – [who] was a man from the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah (saaws) and he was a treasurer – She said he would make Tasbeeh with stones.”

Fourth Proof:
Ibn Sa’ad reports from Hukaym ibn Daylami that Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqqaas would make Tasbeeh with stones. [At Tabaqaat Al Kubraa]

Fifth Proof:
Ibn Sa’ad said in At-Tabaqaat, Abdillah ibn Musaa informed us, Israa’eel informed us, from Jaabir from his female servant from Faatimah bint Al Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Taalib that she would make Tasbeeh with a string with knots in it. [Tabaqaat Al Kubraa]

Sixth proof:
Imaam Abdillah ibn Imaam Ahmad reports through Abu Hurayrah in Zawaa’id Az Zuhd from Abu Hurayrah that he had a rope with a hundred knots in it, and he would not sleep until he had made Tasbeeh with it.

Seventh Proof:
Imaam Ahmad reports in Az-Zuhd from Al Qaasim ibn Abdur Rahmaan who said that Abi Dardaa’ had seeds from pressed dates in a bag. When he had made morning Salah, he would remove one by one from it (the bag), making Tasbeeh with them, until they had finished. [Az-Zuhd page 205]

Eighth Proof
Ibn Sa’ad reports that Abu Hurayrah would make Tasbeeh with a collection of seeds (or pebbles). [ Tabaqaat 106/3 or 346/6]

Ninth Proof
Imaam Ad-Daylami reports in his Musnad Al Firdaws from the way of Zaynab bint Sulaymaan ibn ‘Ali, from Umm Al Hasan bint Ja’far, from her father, from her grandfather, from Ali ibn Abi Taalib marfoo’an: “Yes! Al Muththakir [I reminder you to use] the Subhah!” [Musnad Al Firdaws bi Ma’thoor Al Khitaab]

Lastly, Imaam As Suyootee said in his section called “Al Manhah fis Subhah”, “And there is nothing transmitted from anyone from the salaf or the khalaf, the forbiddance of the permissibility of counting the Tasbeeh with the Subhah. Rather, many of them turned away from it, but they didn’t see that (using it) as Makrooh.”

Brief response:

Those who state that the Masbahah is bida’ah use the following narration:

قال ابن وضاح القرطبي في البدعوالنهي عنها (ص12) : أنا أسد عن جرير بن حازم عن الصلت بن بهرام قال : مر ابن مسعودبامرأة معها تسبيح تسبح به فقطعه وألقاه ، ثم مر برجل يسبح بحصى فضربه برجله ، ثمقال : لقد سبقتم ، ركبتم بدعة ظلماً ، أو لقد غلبتم أصحاب محمد (ص) علماً.
Narrated by Ibn Waddaah in Al-Bid’ wa’l-Nahy ‘anhaa from al-Salt ibn Bahraam, who said: ‘Ibn Mas’ood passed by a woman who had a [masbahah] with which she was making tasbeeh, and he broke it and threw it aside, then he passed by a man who was making tasbeeh with pebbles, and he kicked him then said, “You think you are better than the Sahaabah, but you are following unjustified bid’ah! You think you have more knowledge than the Companions of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)!”‘

This hadeeth is weak due to Inqitaa’ (disconnection) between As-Salt ibn Bahraam and Ibn Mas’ood. As-Salt is from the taabi’t taabi’oon (second generation after the sahabah) and not from the taabi’oon, and this is mentioned in At-Tahtheeb At-Tahtheeb of Ibn Hajr.

Even if this hadeeth were Saheeh, then there is no proof in the action of a Sahabi if it contradicts the Sunnah of Rasoolullah (sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam).

Lastly we recommend the book by Sheikh Mahmood Sa’eed Mamdooh titled, Wusooll at-Tahaani bi Ithbaat Sunniyyat al-Subhah wa ar-Radd `alaa al-Albaani : “The Alighting of Mutual Benefit and Confirmation that the Subhah-Beads are a Sunnah in Refutation of al-Albaani”.

Written by The RevivingIslam.com Research Team and Allahu ‘Alim.

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