Prayer beads are common in most of the major religions of the world--Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as Islam. In Islam, the beads are called "subha," which means "to exalt" in Arabic. They come in different sizes, but the most common has 100 beads. The beads are used to recite the attributes of God, and the last bead is for reciting the name of Allah. Islamic prayer beads can be made fairly easily and inexpensively.
Divide beads into three sets of 33 and one extra. It is easiest if each set is the same color and/or kind of bead. Often three different prayers said, one for each set of beads. The extra bead is called the leader bead and can be larger than the others, for ease of use as well as for stringing both ends of the line through it at the completion of the beading.
Take the string or line and start stringing it through the holes of the beads. Start with the first set of 33, then the second set, then the third.
When all three sets of 33 beads are on the string, bring the ends together and through the leader bead, so this last bead can be pulled taut against the circle of beads.
Attach the tassel to the end of the strings next to the leader bead. Make sure the beads are not too loose on the string so they slide around, but not so taut that the circle of beads is not easily bendable.
- ['100 beads', 'Strong string or nylon line', 'Tassel']
Be careful to not allow the beads to slip off one end of the string while you are adding more on the other end; place string on a flat surface and string slowly while keeping an eye on the beads already strung. Or tie a knot in one end of the string large enough to stop the first bead.
- Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images