The Value of Religion
$65 for a tasbih?! $100 for a tasbih??! Are you serious? Yes, some people pay as much as this for tasbihs. I never saw the sense in this; how did people justify spending so much money on one thing, when you don’t even have to use one to make your dhikr, you can use your fingers instead! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going Salafi on you, I believe it is acceptable to use rosemary beads but I would never spend so much on it, especially when that money could be used in other beneficial ways.
It didn’t feel right to me so I asked a teacher about how we can justify spending like this and what constitutes “excessiveness” in our religion. She agreed that yes, sometimes spending large amounts of money on religious items can be unnecessary and can fall into excess, especially if the intention is not right, but then she also said there can be a benefit in it too.
Relating what she heard Shaykh Nuh once say, she said that these days religion has become cheap. Religious items such as the prayer breads, prayer mats and the Quran are so widely available that their price is not much and since they do not cost much, the value and care and significance we give to these items is not much either. Compare this back to when paper itself was an expensive and limited resource, imagine how valuable a copy of the Quran would have been to the ones who were able to afford one! If you had to spend months working and saving to get your shoes or your games wouldn’t you make the most of those items once you had them while taking good care of them? So by spending so much on a prayer bead you would be more inclined to use it more often and thereby reap the rewards of dhikr.
So the more you spend on something, the more you cherish it and want to keep it in a good condition. My teacher said that Shaykh Nuh even advised on spending perhaps a little more on these religious things then one would normally, so that one reveres them and the religion and gives them the degree of importance and commitment they deserve.
I had never of thought of it like that before. I have to admit though, I do have one of those $65 prayer beads…but it was a gift and it was a used and much blessed tasbih Inshallah. But would I now spend such amounts on religious items? Probably still not, but then I also hope that are our intentions behind purchasing (or not purchasing) these items are sincere and right Inshallah.