WASL E-Subha

Rethinking prayer beads

Project team
Jo Barnard, Léa Berger, Ben Polhill, Andy Trewin Hutt


Our task was to digitalise prayer beads or Subha, an object that has been used for thousands of years, with the hope to attract younger users into performing Dhikr (devotional acts).


What makes the Wasl E-Subha unique is the considerations for intuitive use for anyone.


The result is a considered, personal device that modernises the prayer beads, while maintaining the original user experience.

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Inclusive design

Islam is the second most widely practised religion in the world. Developing a product aimed specifically at a Muslim audience meant an opportunity to reach a very large user group. In order to achieve this we focused on ensuring an inclusive experience, using vibration feedback to help users navigate the settings without needing to look at the display and a carefully considered wearable feature.

Design considerations

The final product had to be beautiful, non-intrusive and comfortable to use for hours at a time. We took time to regularly discuss our ideas and development with target users in order to understand the ritual associated with Dhikr and, most importantly, break down our assumptions. With a low manufacturing cost driving the project, we had to be concise and efficient in our use of electronics PCB, vibration motor, L.E.D.’s, battery and casing to create Wasl at a viable cost price.

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