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.


~ by usma on 29, July, 2009.

3 Responses to “The Value of Religion”

  1. Jazakallah khayr, that was a beautifully written and thought provoking post! Ahhh i miss al Hayy!

  2. Jazakallah khair for reading Anjum!

  3. Salam alikum,mashalah it’s a good article,the cheap subha and cheap thing are just symbol of this new civilation,I live in Morocco, if you see any old building or old houses or any thing ancient and compare it with the new buiding for exmaple,you ll see how ugly they re and you ll appreciate those people from the past who build lovely stuff with simple tools, no machine no computer but still they gave something beautiful.for example in Fez (moroccan city), lots of handycraft disappear, we use to have people who made combs from the horn of sheep for exemple, but not any more, no one is buying them NOW, they prefer a cheap plastic one who don’t look nice, just because they re cheap. Unfortunatly, people who made beads in morocco they disappear they couldn’t survive against thos cheap plastic one madein a factory in china or somewhere else, but thanks to god i found a someone who still made them, just one man in the whole city;they ll coast me about 80$, but i can’t wait to see them, may be after 1 months may be more, and that made me appreciate them more.

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