Why do we raise finger in Tashahhud of Salah: We Muslims raise the index finger in Tashahhud of Salah. But you know Why do we raise finger in Tashahhud of Salah? In the Islamic prayer, known as Salah or Salaat, the Tashahhud is a fundamental part of the prayer. It is recited while sitting in the final sitting position before concluding the prayer. During the Tashahhud, Muslims recite specific verses of the Quran (at tahiyyatu), which include raising the index finger.
Raising the index finger during the Tashahhud is based on the teachings and example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is considered a recommended (mustahabb) practice. The act of raising the finger is done while reciting the phrase “Ashhadu an la ilaha illallah” (I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah), where the finger is raised once for each repetition of the phrase.
The raising of the index finger serves as a physical expression and reminder of the oneness of Allah (Tawheed). It symbolizes the belief in the absolute unity and uniqueness of God. By raising the finger, Muslims affirm their testimony of faith and acknowledge that there is no deity except Allah. It is a way to focus the mind and bring a sense of concentration to the declaration of monotheism.
It’s important to note that the gesture itself is not considered a form of worship or an act of prayer. It is simply a recommended practice during a specific part of the prayer. Different schools of thought within Islam may have variations in the manner and timing of raising the finger, but the overall significance remains the same.
Lets learn more about Why do we raise finger in Tashahhud of Salah, in this article.
Is raising index finger in Tashahhud Sunnah?
Firstly, The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is said to have used his index finger to point and move during the tashahhud.
There are various points of view on this, and the scholars have different opinions.
1. According to the Hanafis, the finger should be raised when saying “Laa (no)” in the phrase “Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allah (I bear witness that there is no god except Allaah)” and lowered when saying “ill-Allaah (except Allaah).”
2. According to the Shaafa’is, it must be lifted when uttering the phrase “ill-Allah.”
3. The Maalikis advise moving it to the right and left until one has completed the prayer.
4 – The Hanbalis assert that when uttering the name of Allah, the finger should be held still while pointing.
Regarding the supporting evidence for this assertion:
(a) It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Zubayr said: When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sat during the prayer, he would place his left foot between his thigh and calf, and tuck his right foot underneath him, and place his left hand on his left knee, and place his right hand on his right thigh, and point with his finger.
Narrated by Muslim, 579.
In 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. 218.
(b) 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.
This hadeeth, “moving it, making du’aa’ with it,” was used by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen as proof that the forefinger should be moved during the tashahhud with each phrase of the du’aa’. In al-Sharh al-Mumti, he stated:
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. End quote.
It is Sunnah to gaze at your finger when pointing.
The Sunnah is not to let your gaze go beyond the pointing finger. There is a saheeh hadeeth concerning this in Sunan Abi Dawood. You should point in the direction of the qiblah and intend when pointing to affirm the Oneness of Allaah and exclusive devotion to Him.
Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) was referring to the hadeeth by ‘Abd-Allah ibn al-Zubayr that was previously mentioned. The version Abu Dawood narrated is (989):
“And he should not let his gaze go beyond his pointing finger.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
It is Sunnah to direct it in the direction of the qiblah.
It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar that he saw a man moving pebbles with his hand whilst he was praying. When he finished, ‘Abd-Allaah said to him: “Do not move pebbles whilst you are praying, for that comes from the Shaytaan. Rather do what the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to do. He put his right hand on his thigh and pointed with the finger that is next to the thumb towards the qiblah, and he fixed his gaze on it.” Then he said: “This is what I saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) doing.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 1160; Ibn Khuzaymah, 1/355; Ibn Hibbaan, 5/273. classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i.
It was mentioned in the hadeeth of Numayr al-Khuzaa’i, narrated by Abu Dawood in 991 and al-Nasaa’i in 1275, that the finger should be slightly bent when pointing.
But this hadith is da’eef (weak).