Al-Sabr Jamil owner Ahmed Abdel Aziz - Mohamed Gamal Al-Sabr Jamil owner Ahmed Abdel Aziz - Mohamed Gamal

Alexandria’s old art of Islamic prayer beads

Mon, Jun. 19, 2017
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt - 19 June 2017: The Egyptian industry of prayer beads is a spiritual industry linked to Islamic tradition and heritage which dates back to more than 300 years, and is considered one of many important types of art.

Known in Arabic as misbaḥah, Islamic prayer beads consist of either 33 or 99 beads made of pearls, coral, precious stones or wood and are similar in appearance to the Catholic rosary.

In Egypt’s Mediterranean city of Alexandria, one shop which is particularly known for its misbahah is Al-Sabr Jamil. The shop is located in one of Alexandria’s oldest areas, in front of Sheikh Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi area, which is named after the tomb of Sheikh Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi, a Sufi sheikh who was born in 1219.

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1-The shrine of Sheikh Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi, Alexandria - Mohamed Gamal
Al-Sabr Jamil specializes in the manufacture and sale of misbahah beads. Their masebeh, the plural form of misbahah, are rare and precious pieces of art consisting of many kinds of raw materials, including pearl, coral, amber, turquoise, silver, bronze and special kinds of wood .

“This shop is 40 years old, and it is a family business,” Ahmed Abdel Aziz, the owner of the shop and the oldest misbahah seller in the area, told Egypt Today.

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2- Prayer beads in Al-Sabr Jamil - Mohamed Gamal

"The price of misbahah start at LE 10 ($0.50) and reach thousands of pounds according to the customer's request and the material used,” Abdel Aziz said. ”Some misbahah can contain diamonds, and royalty from Arab countries come to the shop for special orders.”

He also mentioned the healing properties of special stones and crystals which are used in the production of misbahah.

Abdel Aziz told Egypt Today that it is his passion to create pieces of art which “heal the soul and the body.”
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