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Raising and moving index finger in Tashahud

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Raising and moving index finger in Tashahud

 

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

Answer

There are numerous ahadith which indicate to raising the index finger in tashahud as an act of sunnah.

 

Saaiduna Abdullah Ibn Umar Radiallahu Anhu said “When the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam sat for tashahud, he placed his left hand on his left knee and placed his right hand on his right knee, and he formed a ring like, and pointed with his finger at ‘La Ilaha’ ”.   (Sahih Muslim)

 

Saaiduna Waail Ibn Hujr Radiallahu Anhu narrates that he saw the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam when he sat in prayer spread out left foot and placed his hands on his thighs and pointed with his index finger making supplication in this way. (Sunan Nasai p.187v.1)

 

Hazrat Moulana Muhammed Zakariya (RA) has given an overview of the four Schools of Thought with regards to whether the index finger should be raised and moved continuousy or not. Imam Abu Hanifah (RA), Imam Shafi (RA) and Imam Ahmed Hanbal (RA) are of the view that the finger should not be moved continuously in tashahud.

The most common view in the Maliki Fiqh is of moving the finger, however Ibn Qasim and Ibn Arabi oppose this view. (Awjazul Masalik p.117 v.2)

 

Imam Nawawi (RA) has said that the movement of the finger in Salah is Makruh. (Al Majmu p.454 v.3)

 

Ibn Qudamah has also said that the index finger should not be moved in the tashahud. (Mughni p.99 v.2)

 

The view of Imam Abu Hanifah (RA), Imam Shafi (RA) and Imam Ahmaed Hanbal (RA) is established through the hadith narrated by Saaiduna Abdullah Ibn Zubair Radiallahu Anhu that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam would point with his finger when he prayed and he would not move it. (Sunan Nasai p.187 v.1)

 

Those who choose to continue moving the finger in tashahud use the hadith narrated by Saaiduna Waail Ibn Hujr that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam clenched two of his fingers and made a circle with them. He then lifted his finger and I saw him moving it and praying with it.” (Sunan Nasai p.187 v.1)

 

The extra wording of (Yuharikuha) “moving it” is “Shaadh.” (This is a hadith, which is reported by a trustworthy person but goes against a narration by an even more reliable authority). Only Zaidah bin Qudamah has reported the extra wording of (Yuharikuha) “moving it.”

 

With regards to whether the index finger should be dropped at the time of Illallah Imam Haskafi (RA) has said that the finger should be raised at the time of negation (La illalah) and then placed on affirmation. (Illalah) (Raddul Muhtar p.218 v.2)

 

However some scholars have said that the index finger should be kept raised till the end of Salah. (See Mirqat p.575 v.2 and Moulana Yusuf Binnori’s Maarifus Sunan p.107 v.3)

 

Similarly Hazrat Moulana Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi (RA) has said “It should be known regarding what some fuqaha have said about raising the finger at the time of negation and putting it down at the time of affirmation, that the established method in the hadith is to keep the finger raised till the end of Salah.” (Kawkabu Durri p.289 v.1)

 

The aforementioned view can be supported through the following hadith in which Saaiduna Numair Al Khuzai Radiallahu Anhu relates that he saw the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam seated in Salah. He had placed his right arm upon his right thigh and raised his forefinger, having bent it slightly whilst praying. (Sunan Nasai p.187 v.1)

 

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

 

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Q867: Moving the index finger in Tashahhud

Tafseer Raheemi

 

A2. According to the hanafi madh’hab, You should only raise the finger once when saying the shahadah during tashahhud. There should be no continuous movement of the index finger either.

 

الثاني بسط الأصابع الى حين الشهادة فيعقد عندها و يرفع السبابة عند النفي و يضعها عند الإثبات. و هذا ما اعتمده المتأخرون لثبوته عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم بالأحاديث الصحيحة, و لصحة نقله عن أئمتنا الثلاثة. (رد المحتار 509-1)

 

عن عبد الله بن الزبيز أن البني صلي الله عليه و سلم
كان يشير بإصبعه إذا دعا و لا يحركها
(رواه النسائي و سكت عنه رقم الحديث 1270, و قال النووي إسناده صحيح, و رواه أبو داود في السنن باب الإشارة في التشهد 989).

 

The Hadith narrated by imam Nasai in his Sunan states that “Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam would point with his finger and he would not keep moving it” (Imam Nawai classed it as saheeh)

(Siraj M 9/13)

 

 

 

 

 

An objection on the index finger question and the answer

Tafseer Raheemi

 

Objection:

If he would point with his index finger then why dont the hanafis point with their index finger from the moment of sitting in tashahhud until tasleem? There is no hadith which says it should be raised at time of saying shahadah. Check sahih muslim properly. There is no support of your position at all.

——— ———– ———– ———-

 

Reply:

You are wrong to assume that there is no support of the hanafi position. The hadith provided for the answer has the evidence itself. If you read it properly, it says that the prophet would raise his finger when he would suplicate. And the supplication begins with the shahadah.

 

Let me substantiate this with another hadith.

 

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن رجلا كان يدعو بإصبعيه. فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم: أحد أحد.
رواه الترمذي 3557 ص195 ج2، و قال حسن غريب، و معني الحديث إذا أشار الرجل بإصبعيه في الدعاء عند الشهادة لا يشير إلا بإصبع واحدة.

 

Over here the shahadah is being referred to as dua. And this is what Imam Tirmizi has interpreted it as.

This hadith is also in Sunan Abi Dawud (1499 the book of salah, chapter of dua) and in Mishkaat in the chapter of tashahhud (913).

There is further evidence to support the raising of the finger during the shahadah. The hadith is in Sunan Nasai.

عن مالك بن نمير الخزاعي من اهل البصرة أن أباه حدثه أنه راي رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قاعدا في الصلاة، واضعا ذراعه اليمني على فخذه اليمني، رافعاإصبعه السبابة، قد أحناها شيئا و هو يدعو. (أخرجه النسئي باب رقم الحديث 1274 و سكت عنه)

 

عن عبد الله بن الزبير عن أبيه رضي الله عنهم قال: كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إذا جلس،في الثنتين أو في الأربع يضع يديه على ركبتيه، ثم أشار بإصبعه. (أخرجه النسائي رقم الحديث 1161 ص173 ج1 و سكت عنه)

 

This hadith is crystal clear that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not raise his finger right from the beginning. The word وضع is indicating that first the hand be placed on the thighs normally. Then with the words ثم أشار بإصبعه there is no scope of doubt left that the index finger is raised afterwards. The word thumma requires a delay of some sort.

 

Similarly all the ahadith that mention وضع and قبض, This cannot take place at once or the tahaqquq of each of them will not be possible. So it is not clear enough to prove that it should be raised right from the beginning as you may be implicating.

 

So if you say that it should be raised from the beginning till the end then it is now you that needs to substantiate your claim with evidence.

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