Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)
My wife was remembering Allah using a subhah (prayer beads) on the bus on her way to Jum`ah. A man came and told her that doing so was an innovation and forbade for her from doing so. He then took the subhah from her. What should my response be?
You should pity this person who has such a poor understanding that he has done such a thing. Not only has he misunderstood the concept in question, but he has wrongly taken someone else’s property. His state is pitiful and we hope that Allah will save him from this state. If she is able to meet him with a smiling face and is able to overlook what he did this is more in accordance with the meaning of tasbih (declaring Allah’s transcendence).