I have always loved beads, and recently I decided I’d like to try my hand at making some prayer beads, to blend my love of beads with my spiritual path of Sufism, where most people use prayer beads (sometimes called tasbih or tasbee) to count their wasifas/mantras. Whenever I looked at other prayer beads that were being sold, I felt that they weren’t quite right for me. Usually, they were either too big, or too brightly coloured, or the tassels were too ‘tufty’! Making my own would solve those problems, hopefully, because I could choose all the materials myself. I made a couple, just for my own use, and really enjoyed making them. But then people started to ask if I’d make some for them….
As I’ve written on here before, each year around this time I go to Germany, to a Sufi Summer School (as I follow the Universal Sufi path of the Ruhaniat Sufis). It is a week long retreat, and in the middle of the week there is a market on the Wednesday afternoon, where participants of the retreat can sell things that they’ve usually made themselves, such as jewellery, scarves, clothes, and so on.
A couple of years ago, I made some little embroidered boxes, and they sold well, so this time I thought I’d take some prayer beads (plus a few of the boxes that I still had leftover from before).
Most prayer beads were made of semi-precious gemstones such as amethyst, lapis lazuli or hematite. Some were made of Czech glass, and some were made of painted glass pearls. They were all either 99-bead or 33-bead (suitable for Muslims and Sufis to count wasifas/mantras).
My ‘stand’ at the market was very basic – people just spread out blankets on the floor, put whatever they are selling on the blankets, and sit at the side of their blanket so that people can see what is for sale. So, here is my ‘stand’, in three sections :
I made 36 sets of prayer beads altogether – and was amazed to find that I sold 23 of them during the one and a half hours of the market! I’m definitely going to be making more of these, and will probably start a new website for selling them, soon.
Here are some of the prayer beads, in close-up:
What do you think of them?