Revive a Sunnah

In the name of Allah
Revive a Sunnah: Using Our Fingers for Dhikr

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, "Hold fast to Tasbeeh (Subhan Allah), Tahleel ('La ilaaha illa Allah'), and Taqdees1, and close the fingertips, for indeed they shall be questioned, and they will be made to speak. [2] And do not become heedless so that you forget about the Mercy (of Allah)." [At-Tirmithi - Al-Albaani graded it hasan (good) in his book Saheeh Al-Jaami‘]

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  (rahimahullah) was asked, "Should one count the number of Tasbeeh with the fingertips or the fingers?" He answered, "Tasbeeh with the fingertips or fingers is a flexible matter. If he wishes, he counts with the fingertips, and if he wishes, he counts with the fingers."

Hence, there is no specific method to count the number of Tasbeeh and Dhikr. The matter is simple and open for personal preferences; it is allowable to count the Tasbeeh with the fingertips or the joints of the fingers, or one may count on the palms with each finger. There is no harm in using any of these methods.

Some scholars say that it is permissible to use masbahah (prayer beads), however, it is preferable to do tasbeeh (count praises) on one’s fingers; others say using masbahah is makrooh (disliked) while some others say it’s a bid’ah (reprehensible innovation) especially, when a Muslim believes that using masbahah has any special virtue or superiority. 

Nevertheless, the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Count on your fingers, for they will be asked, and will be made to speak.” Also, it is better to do tasbeeh preferably using the right hand because the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to count his tasbeeh on his right hand. [3] Further, the scholars say that using masbahah may also be contaminated with some element of showing off, because some people carrying masbahah move the beads through their fingers as if they are involved in dhikr of Allah, whilst their heart and tongue are distracted by worldly matters, talking or listening to others; they are absent-minded and not focused.

Let’s revive the sunnah of making dhikr on our fingers. This will increase our rewards since we’ll get the reward of remembering Allah and the reward of following the sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).


1 Taqdees means saying 'Subhaan Al-Malik Al-Quddoos' (Glory be to The Sovereign, The Most Holy) or 'Subboohun Quddoosun, Rabbu-l-Malaa'ikati war-Rooh' (The Most Glorious, The Most Holy; The Lord of the angels and of Jibreel).
2 That Day, We will seal over their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their feet will testify about what they used to earn. [36:35]
3 ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr (radi Allahu anhu) said, ‘I saw the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) counting the tasbeeh on his right hand.’” [Abu Dawud and Nasa’i]


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