The Tasbeeh (Rosary) Project

A Spectacle of Divine Inspiration

In 2013 (some 7 years ago), the author was impelled to delve deeply into the beautiful Names of Allah (Asma al Husna) and invoking them in the form of a Tasbih (known as misbahah in Arabic and rosary in Christianity), a reflective and inspiring humble gesture, as a measure of acknowledging the Divine’s countless and limitless bounties and blessings. From tender years, the author had heard and learnt a rendition of a hymn (known as ginan), recited for centuries, in the mosques ascribing to there being 21,600 breaths in a day of mankind. Reflecting on this, the author decided to investigate the validity of this claim and sure enough found scientific evidence to verify that this is so. Working on a mean average, we breath (inhale and exhale) 12-16 times every minute---a scientific reality! i.e. 21,600 breaths each day.

Based on the premise that what is said above, represents One day in the life of the author, a Tasbih (misbaha/rosary) project was undertaken (as depicted in the accompanying photographs), consisting of 100 bead-bands joined together, making up 21,600 beads, each bead representing individualized human breath. During the beading process, on each bead was invoked a Divine Name (from the conventional list of Asma al Husna-His Divine Names (attributes) enumerated in the Qur’ān), a sublime gesture of submission. The process was recorded in the author’s “Beading Diary” and it was completed with love, affection and dedication over 102 hours, just over a period of six weeks. Based on a mathematical calculation of the author’s life expectancy of 75 years, this gesture represents a meagre 0.01% of his life. This has been a joyous, illustrious and spiritually uplifting journey for the author.

The relevance and significance of this inspired gesture began to unfold (or manifest) years later (some seven years) as the author started serious research before putting pen to paper and started writing his Fragrance books. Mindful of the fact that knowingly or unknowingly, we invoke ALLAH as we inhale (i.e. the sound of “AH” is made when inhaling) and HE (i.e. the sound of “HU”) when we exhale, we are reminded in the all the Abrahamic Scriptures that mankind was created by the infinite Breath of the Divine, deeply rooted in the practices (Tariqahs) of the Sufis (Gnostics). Hu is the echo in the hollow of your heart.

HU is the key syllable in the Tasbeeh most frequently invoked, namely, ‘ALLAH Hu Akbar’ Whenever we say that, we reflect on ALL HIS DIVINE NAMES!! Between the breaths, everything is wiped out and then recreated. Moment to moment, each breath, a creation and dissolution. Our lives start with AH (inhale) and ends with HU (exhale) Each of us, knowing or unknowingly, invoke ‘Allah’ when we inhale, namely “AH” (the first and last letter of the ALLAH) and also when we exhale, namely “HU” (meaning “HE”). It is the breath of the infinite compassion and the initial of “hu” which transcends all qualities. When we say “Ha/Hu”, this is the sound of the breath, an embodiment of all His Divine Attributes. When letters of Arabic alphabet are analysed, phonetically HA is at its deepest letter of breath and WAW (HUWA) is the highest. Between them, all the divine Names and Cosmos come into existence.

Was it not the Greek philosopher Aristotle who once said :“Soul is the celestial hologram in a terrestrial body?” Is it not the case that our supply of oxygen (absolutely crucial to human survival) comes in through the conduit of the act of breathing? The significance and importance of this process on the heart’s survival is discussed at length in the author’s Fragrance of Rāhma (Divine Mercy) 2020 Chapter 3, under the sub-heading called, “Heart and Intention.”