Tasbihs are works of art that have a very noble utility: to keep count of sacred recitations (Zikr).
Most Islamic prayer beads are thus strung with 33, 99, 100, 500, or, of course, 1000 beads. Each of these counts corresponding with common regimens that Muslims engage in on a daily basis.
One of the earliest tasbihs on record was, in fact, a 1000 count set that was comprised of a very long knotted thread.
1000 bead sets, often called 'Alfiyas' have since then been very popular in Muslim culture and are often seen and symbols of deep devotion. As you can imagine, they are very long, and can only be used in very private spaces.
Over time Muslim artisans have engineered counting systems that can capture this spirit in a much more practical and portable fashion.
Of these counting systems, is The Abacus Tasbih Counting System.
This set can not only keep count of the iconic 1000, but can actually go up to one million repetitions.
Yes, that's right.
I'll give a short tutorial.
Hold your favorite Tasbih in a comfortable position (it must, of course, be equipped with the Abacus System counters and accessories).
Start by counting to 100 using the main beads, once you finish 100 you move one of the top counter beads.
There are 10 top-counter beads, so with 10 cycles of 100 counts, we are at 1,000!
Now for every completion of 1,000 counts, move the secondary counter one position (and reset the top counter) 1,000 x 10= 10,000.
Are you following? :)
Now for the quantum leap.
The secret lies in what we call the abacus bead (the single elongated bead that's tasseled on the main string).
For every 10,000 counts, move the Abacus bead one position and fasten it! Around all 100 of the main beads. 10,000 x 100= 1 MILLION.
Although most of us will rarely reach the maximum 1 million counted recitations, this set can essentially count up to any count that you could practically wish to recite.
May your zikr be deep and plentiful! :)