What is Prayer Beads (Tesbih)?
Prayer beads are an instrument for worship. Tesbih is consisting of 33 beads on a string so that we use it for the purpose of counting Subhanallah, Elhamdulillah and Allahuekbar, which we say after each prayer. Moreover, the number of beads of a tesbih, which is 99, symbolise 99 names of Allah (Esma-ul Husna).
Prayer beads are important not only in Islam but also in other religions. The prayer beads consisting of 100 beads is prevailing in Far Eastern religions. The beads consisting of 64 beads which are carried by priers and priestess in Europe are supplementing the religious attire, representing Crucified Christ. It is suspected that prayer beads firstly used as an instrument of worship in 800 B.C by Hindus. In Orthodox Greece, there are rosaries which are called “ komboloi” for pottering about and which consist of nut definite number of beads such as 15,18.
For Turks, prayer beads are more than “an instrument consisting of stringed beads”. Prayer beads represent different values such as the original raw material of beads, how the beads shaped in lathe and the master who made it.
There is saying from past for the Turkish Calligraphy Art “ Quran was revealed in Hicaz, It was read with the best voice in Egypt and it was written in the best way in İstanbul”. There is an idiom which is said for our art of tasbih ; the most beautiful tasbih is made in Turkey. Since 16th century the most beautiful tasbihs of Islamic world were made in Istanbul by Ottomans and still is made.