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Dick Osseman | profile | all galleries >> Istanbul >> Museums - Müzeler >> Prayer Beads Museum tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

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Prayer Beads Museum

Bütün Türkiye resimleri için buraya basınız veya Istanbul sayfa veya müzeler,
Istanbul start page, or to a large collection of just museums to Start page for other Turkish cities

The Hilye-i Şerif ve Tesbih Müzesi in Turkish.
While climbing up to the Süleymaniye Mosque I came across a former medrese that I knew was being renovated. It turned out that it had recently opened as a museum for prayer beads. Entrance was possible, and free. I entered in order to at least inspect the building, but soon found I got increasingly impressed by the quality of the exhibits: prayer beads in all sorts of material and design. Some were very long, some were shorter. In the Wikipedia I found their length can vary: “In Islam, prayer beads are referred to as Misbaha (Arabic: مسبحة mas'baha ), Tasbih or Sibha and contain 99 normal-sized beads, (corresponding to the Names of God in Islam) and two smaller or mini beads separating every 33 beads. Sometimes only 33 beads are used, in which case one would cycle through them three times. The beads are traditionally used to keep count while saying the prayer. The prayer is considered a form of dhikr that involves the repetitive utterances of short sentences in the praise and glorification of Allah, in Islam. The prayer is recited as follows: 33 times "Subhan Allah" (Glory be to God), 33 times "Al-hamdu lilah" (Praise be to God), and 33 times "Allahu Akbar" (God is the greatest) which equals 99, the number of beads in the misbaha. To keep track of counting either the phalanges of the right hand or a misbaha is used. Use of the misbaha to count prayers and recitations is considered an acceptable practice within mainstream Islam. While they are widely used today in Sunni and Shia Islam, adherents of the Ahmadiyya and Salafi sects shun them as an intolerable innovation. According to Mirza Tahir Ahmad of the Ahmadiyya community, the use of prayer beads is a form of innovation which was not practised by the early Muslim community.“ Elsewhere I read of lengths of even 1000 beads.
I show pictures of the building as such, and several of the exhibits. The building is the Siyavuş Paşa Medresesi. Its founder was brother-in-law of Murat III and served three times as his Grand-Vezir. Nearby he had a magnificent palace. The medrese was founded before his death in 1601. It has a dershane (class room) directly after the entrance, and cells along an irregular courtyard.
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