Moving Index finger IN Tashahhud


It was narrated that Waa’il ibn Hajar said: I said: I will certainly watch how the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prays. So I watched him and he stood up and said takbeer (“Allaahu akbar”), and raised his hands until they were level with his ears. Then he placed his right hand on his left hand, wrist and lower forearm. When he wanted to bow, he raised his hands likewise, and put his hands on his knees, and when he raised his head he raised his hands likewise. Then he prostrated and put his hands level with his ears, then he sat with his left foot tucked underneath him and put his left hand on his left thigh and knee, and he put the edge of his right elbow on his right thigh. Then he held two of his fingers and made a circle, then he raised his forefinger and moved it, making du’aa’ with it.

{ Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 889; classed as saheeh by Ibn Khuzaymah, 1/354; Ibn Maajah, 5/170; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 367. }

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) quoted this hadeeth – “Moving it, Making du’aa’ with it” – as evidence that moving the forefinger during the tashahhud should be done with every phrase of the du’aa’. He said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’:
The Sunnah indicates that he should point with it when making du’aa’, because the wording of the hadeeth is “Moving it, Making du’aa’ with it”. So every time you make du’aa’, move your finger thus indicating the exalted nature of the One to Whom you are addressing your du’aa’s. So we say:

“Al-salaamu ‘alayka ayyuha’l-Nabiyyu (peace be upon you, O Prophet)” – you should point your finger because this salaam is a kind of du’aa’. “Al-salaamu ‘alayna (peace be upon us)” – you should point your finger. “Allaahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad (O Allaah, send blessings upon Muhammad)” – you should point your finger. “Allaahumma baarik ‘ala Muhammad) O Allaah, send blessings upon Muhammad)” – you should point your finger. ‘A’oodhu Billaahi min ‘adhaab jahannam (I seek refuge with Allaah from the torment of Hell)” – you should point your finger. “Wa min ‘adhaab al-qabr (and from the torment of the grave)” – you should point your finger. “Wa min fitnat il-mahya wa’l-mamaat (and from the trials of life and death)” – you should point your finger. “Wa min fitnat il-maseeh il-dajjaal (and from the tribulation of the Dajjaal) – you should point your finger. Every time you make du’aa’ you should point your finger, indicating the greatness of the One to Whom you are making du’aa’. This is closer to the Sunnah.

The sunnah with regards to pointing is to move the forefinger throughout the tashahhud,in accordance with the hadeeth of Wail ibn Hujr(ra) -which is reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal (4/138), Abu Daawood (no.727), an-Nasaaee(2/236), ad-Daarimee (1/314-315), Ibn ul-Jaarood (no.208) and Ibn Khuzaimah (no.714) with Saheeh isnaad and there occurs in it, “…then he closed his fingers and made a ring, then he raised his finger and I saw him moving it and making duaa with it, then I came in a time and when it was cold and so I saw the people with cloaks upon them moving their hands beneath their clothes due to the cold”.

Note  al-Nasaa’i (1270) and Abu Dawood (989) it says: “He used to point with his finger when making du’aa’ but he did not move it.”

This addition – “but he did not move it” – was classed as da’eef by Ibn al-Qayyim in Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1/238. It was also classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in Tamaam al-Minnah, p. 218And in the hadeeth of Abdullah ibn az-Zubair(ra)-where in is mentioned that the prophet (saw) used to point with his finger when he made duaa and not move it. It is reported by Abu Dawood(no.989); its isnaad is not authentic since it contains Muhammad ibn ‘Ajalah, about whom adh-Dhabee says, “of average memory,” The ahadeeth of the like of him are not acceptable if they contradict anyone who is more reliable than him and his narration becomes shaadh and therefore Muslim does not report from him except to endorse something. Even if this hadeeth were established, then it is a denial and the hadeeth of Waail ibn Hujr is affirming. That which affirms is taken over that which denies, since the one who affirms something has an increase in knowledge and he knows is a proof against he who does not. This sunnah is also from the sayings of Imaam Maalik(ra)-as occurs in the book ar-Risaalah of Abdullah ibn Abee Zaid al-Qairwanee al-Maalikee (p.27) and the book al-Fiqh alal madhaahib il-Arbaah(no.98).

Imaam Ahmad (Rahimuallah) was asked, Should a man point his finger in the Prayer? So he said, “Yes Vigorously.” See Masaail ul-Imaam Ahmad the narration of Ibn Haani(1/80)..
Conclusion :  .. The concept of raising the finger on saying “Laa Ilaaha” and putting it back down on saying “Illallah” is not proven from any hadeeth. It is taught by our great Scholars Like the Aaimah ‘Arba and etc, but since it is not proven from any sahih hadeeth, we leave the doubtful matter and stick to the confirmed one. What is proven from the generality of ahadeeth is that we should make a ring and point and move as you wish) with the index finger from the beginning of the tashahhud till the end (before Salaam).


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