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This is a special series of Blogs which describes my time and experiences during Hajj this year.

Part 31

DAY 32 – 21 August 2019 – 20 Zilhajj 1440

Aziziya – Haram Shareef

Yesterday, I got many blessings by Allah’s Grand Grace.

I came to Haram Shareef; prayed Asr, Maghrib and Isha, and went back to building.

Came back late night. Prayed Qiyam ul Layl, Fajr and Ishraq. It is a huge blessing. And Allah makes it easy to take. And makes it easy every day.

Today, I reached at Asr. Prayed Asr and now sitting in Mataf. What better life can I desire? None at all.

Dates are probably the highest selling item during Hajj. The next hot selling article is Tasbeeh (rosary). These are sold by millions I reckon. The variety is huge; so is the price range. You could buy 10 Tasbeeh for 5 Riyals or you can buy 1 Tasbeeh for 5000 Riyals.

In a Makkah Tower shop just outside Haram Shareef, I saw a beautiful 33 beads Tasbeeh with a price tag of 3000 Riyals. I was intrigued. I asked the shopkeeper what it was made of. He said it was made of Ivory, with Marjan added on every bead.

I went to Sudan first time in 2003. From Om Durman, I bought a 33 bead Tasbeeh made of Ivory; the craft is local industry there. I don’t remember exactly, but surely it was under 100 US$. Marjan is also a semi-precious stone.

I told the shopkeeper so and said that the Tasbeeh should not be so expensive. He shrugged.

Counting a Tasbeeh is a special activity. Almost all pilgrims carry a Tasbeeh with them. They keep doing their regular chores; the Tasbeeh also keeps revolving.

Doing Tasbeeh for Allah is a beautiful act. Durood is also recited; and may be other things.

I wish to raise a point, very humbly.

When we ask from Allah, we ask without count. In fact, we don’t want to count. For example, we never pray “Allah! Please give me 200,000 rupees” or “Allah! Please protect me for one year” and so on.

We ask everything from Allah without count. “Allah! Give me Rizq without count”. “Allah! Forgive all my sins; small and big; intentional and intentional”. “Allah! Protect me at all times from all evils” and so on.

However, when we do Tasbeeh, we become accountants quickly. This name of Allah will be recited 100 times. Durood will be recited 100 times. Once someone asked me to recite two names of Allah 515 times every day. Everything that we recite on a Tasbeeh has a fixed count.

It looks like an anomaly, that we pay with strict count, but wish to receive without count. I am neither referring to, nor challenging what the traditions say about it. I am only contesting our passion for counting. We are so rigid in counting that we shall not exceed even by one. And in order to ensure correct counting, we have many kinds of Tasbeeh with many sub-counters. The more modern people are wearing electronic counters on their finger which keeps ticking, but with strict count.

Question is, if Allah’s Tasbeeh and Durood is recited without count, will it reduce the Thawab (reward) in any way?

Tasbeeh certainly has one utility. It can help to focus and act as a reminder to keep reciting; no more than that.

For many Arabs, Tasbeeh is part of men’s jewelry. They will buy sets of matching watch, pen, cufflinks, and Tasbeeh. These sets can be enormously expensive also. They always carry a 33 beads Tasbeeh in their hands and it keeps moving, no matter what they are doing.

Africans have a different kind of romance with Tasbeeh. They like to carry large Tasbeeh with several attachments and keep revolving it. They would throw it on the floor while praying. One day, an African came and stood next to me in Mataf. He took his large Tasbeeh, rolled it around his chappals, put the chappals in front and started praying.

Back to the point.

It is narrated that some pious elder used to get shoes mended by a particular cobbler. One day, while he was trying to pay him, the coins fell down and the count was lost. The Buzurg asked for cobbler’s pardon. He replied, “why count with a friend?”. The Buzurg got the message. He threw his Tasbeeh away.

Why count with Allah? Why count with our beloved Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him)?

My Ivory Tasbeeh is still lying unused.

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