Q. I usually keep a tasbeeh (rosary) in my hand for thikr. My friend advised that I should not display the tasbeeh in public as it smacks of riya. Please advise.
A. Yes, it does smack of riya.
Although some of our Mashaaikh did advise keeping a Tasbeeh in hand as a muthakkir (reminder) for permanent Thikr, it is only a temporary measure. It should not become a permanent amal. The Maqsood (Objective) is to embed Allah’s Name in the heart, and this is achieved by Thikr-eLisaani (Thikr of the tongue).
The objective is not the number of times one recites the Name of Allah Ta’ala. The Objective is that the Name of Allah Ta’ala must be permanently ingrained and embedded deep in the heart. Do not adopt the display of the Tasbeeh as a permanent amal. The nafs is a cunning ustaadh. In subtle ways will it contaminate and corrupt one’s Ikhlaas (sincerity). Without even realizing, you will become vain (develop ujub) and feel pleased when people look at you in the state of ‘thikr’ which could ultimately be rejected by Allah Ta’ala. Regarding the flaunting of the Tasbeeh in public, Hadhrat
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) said:
“At all times, while walking, sitting or reclining, recite Durood Shareef. Wudhu is not necessary for this nor is any specific number of times necessary for this continuous recitation of Durood (or any other Thikr of Allah Ta’ala). Do not walk around at all times with a tasbeeh (rosary) in the hand.”
While it is 100% correct that wudhu is not necessary for engagement in Thikrullah, this applies to those who are not in the practice of permanent Thikrullah. But for the Saalikeen, being without wudhu when even eating food or at any other time of the day OR night is unthinkable and intolerable. Go to bed with Wudhu and the Name of Allah Ta’ala on your tongue. Then your every breath during your sleep will be recorded as a Tasbeeh.