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Tasbīḥ (Arabic: تسبيح‎‎) is a form of dhikr that involves the repetitive utterances of short sentences in the praise and glorification of Allah, in Islam. To keep track of counting either the phalanges of the right hand or a misbaha is used.[1]


The term tasbih is an irregular derivation from subhan, which is the first word of the constitutive sentence of the first third of the canonical form (see below) of tasbih. The word literally means, as a verb, "to travel swiftly" and, as a noun, "duties" or "occupation." However, in the devotional context, tasbih refers to Subhana Allah, which is often used in the Qur'an with the preposition 'an (عن), meaning "'God is [de]void' [of what they (polytheists) attribute to Him]" (Al-Tawba: 31, Al-Zumar: 67 et al.). Without this preposition, it means something like "Glory be to God."

Tasbih of Fatima[edit]

Qur'an and Tasbih of Fatimah

In the early years of the marriage of Ali and Fatimah, Ali earned little money, and was unable to afford a servant for Fatimah. Fatimah’s hands were blistered from constant grinding; her neck had become sore from carrying water; her clothes had become dirty from sweeping the floor. One day Ali was aware that the prophet had some servants, and advised Fatimah to ask the prophet for one of his servants. Fatimah went, but she was unable to ask. Finally Ali went with Fatimah to the prophet's house. The prophet did not accept their request, saying “there are many orphans (starved), I must sell these servants to feed them”. Then prophet said “I will give you one thing better than helping of servant”. He taught them a special manner of dhikr which is known as the ‘’ tasbih of Fatimah’’. [2]

  1. Subhan'Allah (سبحان الله) (Glory be to Allah) – repeated 33 times.
  2. Alhamdulillah (الحمد لله) (Praise be to Allah) – repeated 33 times.
  3. Allahuakbar (الله أكبر) (Allah is the Greatest) – repeated 34 times.

After this events, Muslims have used to tasbih of Fatimah after his prayer.[3]


Narrated by Abu Huraira: Some poor people came to the Prophet and said, "The wealthy people will get higher grades and will have permanent enjoyment, and they pray like us and fast as we do. They have more money by which they perform the Hajj and 'Umra, fight and struggle in Allah's Cause and give in charity." The Prophet said, "Shall I not tell you a thing upon which if you acted you would catch up with those who have surpassed you? Nobody would overtake you, and you would be better than the people amongst whom you live except those who would do the same. Say "Sub-han-al-lah", "Alhamdu-lillah" and "Allahu Akbar" thirty three times each after every (compulsory) prayer." We differed, and some of us said that we should say "Subhan-al-lah" thirty three times and "Alhamdu lillah" thirty three times and "Allahu Akbar" thirty four times. I went to the Prophet, who said: "Say, "Subhan-al-lah" and "Alhamdu lillah" and "Allahu Akbar" all together for thirty three times." (Book #12, Hadith #804)

Dhikr is of great importance to Muslims and believe that it has to be as taught.[4]

See also[edit]



  • Dubin, L. S. (2009). Prayer Beads. In C. Kenney (Ed.), The History of Beads: From 100,000 B.C. to the Present (Revised and Expanded Edition) (pp. 79–92). New York: Abrams Publishing.
  • Henry, G., & Marriott, S. (2008). Beads of Faith: Pathways to Meditation and Spirituality Using Rosaries, Prayer Beads and Sacred Words. Fons Vitae Publishing.
  • Untracht, O. (2008). Rosaries of India. In H. Whelchel (Ed.), Traditional Jewelry of India (pp. 69–73). New York: Thames & Hudson, Inc.
  • Wiley, E., & Shannon, M. O. (2002). A String and a Prayer: How to Make and Use Prayer Beads. Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.

External links[edit]