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In the Name of God بسم الله

Lifting the index finger in tashahud - Question

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salaam, sorry if i annoy you with all these questions but I seen my sunni friend praying and she raised her index finger during tashahud. I asked her why and she told me that it was when she said lailahailala and it was to express tawheed. Is this also a shia practice?

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Salam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Lifting the index finger up and pointing it towards Qiblah (makkah, which you're already facing) is done in tashahud, because they say that in hadith that the prophet (saw) used to raise his index finger up too.  But I don't know about this hadith's story nor it's authenticity.  I don't know actually whether the hadith said the prophet (saw) was seen lifting his finger up one time, or that he always did that.

I don't think shia scholars have mentioned you have to do that in prayer.  I don't see it's importance either.  As far as I know I haven't seen shia's do it.

Salam.

Edited By Mujahid on 1031646244

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salaamu alaikum

I was wonderin about that as well

I know an Iraqi shia girl and she lifts her finger and I asked her later, why do you do this? and she said, her grandma does it.

so shes just aopeing granny.

hmm

salaams

baheera

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Quote

can someone please post the proof that this is a fabrication/innovation/etc??

Salaam alaikum,

The following is an excerpt from A Shi'ite Encyclopedia

https://www.al-islam.org/es/node/28078#subject-personality-umar-part-1-creation-new-islamic-law

[Mod Note: Start of quote:]

Subject: The personality of Umar

          (Part 3: More on prayrs)

This concerns pointing the finger during the salat, after reading the recent posts on this issue, a few questions come to my mind

    1- Who instituted this practice ?

    2- Was it practiced by the Prophet (pbuh&hf) ?

    3- If yes, please cite the references !

    4- If no, then how did this come into practice ?

Here is my answer :

    Omar was the one who instituted this practice. As

    far as my knowledge asserts, I have not come across

    a hadith that asserts it's truthfulness. Here is

    the reference

    He [Omar] was saying prayers once when at the verse

    ' Then Serve the Lord of this House ' he pointed

    his finger to the Ka'ba. Shah Waliullah remarks that

    a gesture of this kind is permitted in prayers.

Sunni references:

    - ' Al Faruq ' Life of Umar the great-Second caliph

      of Islam, Volume II of II, page 314

      Shibli Numani, Publishers Sh. Muhammad Ashraf

      Lahore, Pakistan

    - Izalatul Khifa, Volume III of IV, page 346

      Shah Wali Ullah Muhaddith Dehlavi,

      Publishers Qadeemi Kitab Khana, Karachi

      Pakistan.

Also the book ' The Reliance of Traveller ' doesn't mention a hadith in this context (as far as practiced by the Prophet, May Allah Bless him and his progeny) ... If this was practiced by the Prophet(pbuh&hf), please prove it! [Mod Note: End of quote]

-----

However, I have seen references in Shia books about raising the finger, not in salat, but as a sign of bearing witness to the Unity of Allah.  I believe this is what is meant by the action, but it is not allowed in salat, because there is no evidence that the Prophet(pbuh&hp) did this.  We can't add anything new to the salat, even something so small as lifting the finger.

From the book, Al-Imám al-Mahdí, The Just Leader of Humanity

2) The two maids at Imam 'Askarí's residence have related that when the Imam of the Age was born he sat on his legs and raised his finger toward the sky [bearing witness to the Unity of God]. Then he sneezed and said: "Praise be to God, the Lord of the universe."

Ithbát al-hudát, Vol. 7, p. 292; Ithbát al-wa#iyya, p. 197.

From the book,Fatima the Gracious

"Fatima used to speak when she was in her Mother's womb; when she was born, she fell on the ground in a prostrating position with her finger raised." [5] Sirat Al-Muwla, Dhakha'er al-Uqbi.

WaSalaam, Hajar

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bismillah

(salam)

Why would simply lifting your finger invalidate a salat? ..when the intention of salat is what's known.

I just wanted to ask if you really thought of this sentence before typing it, brother Mujahid.

If the intention of salat was enough then why dont we pray while eating or pray facing just any place not necessarily the Qiblah.  Anything not mentioned by the Prophet  pbuh  is a bid'a and cannot be taken into consideration.

wa salam

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Salaam,

There are lot of ahadith about this in different collections.

Example in Sunan Abu Dawud:

Book 3, Number 0984:

Narrated Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) used to point with his finger (at the end of the tashahhud) and he would not move it.

Book 3, Number 0986:

Narrated AbuMalik Numayr al-Khuza'i:

I saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) placing his right hand on his right thigh and raising his forefinger curving it a little.

But there are ahadith about this in the collection of Muslim, Nasaa'i, Ahmad, Haakm, ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn al-Jaarood, etc., etc.

If the shias don't have any hadith about this, it's their problem, but this isn't innovation.

was salaam

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salamz

my sunni friend doesn't just hold up his finger, he moves it up and down till he stands up or finishes the salat. I was like, man, why do you do that for? He said, he reackons there are hadith that the rasool used to do it, because shaytan was playing in rasools mind, and making the finger go up and down was a symbol of pushing shaytan down. Like you know those cartoons where a big rock falls on one of the charecters head, and then it keeps bouncing on them till they are burried in the ground, that kinda thing.

i was like, ooooooooo kkkkkkkkkkk

the other one i don't get, is why the sunnis bend their right foot kinda thing. It looks funny cause it makes them lean to the left side. is that a umar thing too???

wassalamz

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Salam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Bro Hussain, can you also show the hadith from Sahih Muslim, if that one has it too.  Thanks.

How authentic is Abu Dawood?  ...were those hadiths talking about prayer though?

Thanks for the info

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bro Hizbullah, you have a point and I have kept that in mind.  However, you have drastically changed the whole scenario, that is not the same issue.  Coughing and sneezing is allowed during prayer, why wouldn't be lifting your index finger if the meaning of it is only for good.  The intentions/belief is only for good, one thinking that the prophet (saw) did do this.  Anways, this in no way compares to eating or not facing qiblah, as we already know the former is not allowed and the latter is obligatory.

My question was wether doing it or not (lifting the index finger), why would it invalidate your prayer?  I know the prayer must be performed correctly.  But how do we know if the prophet (saw) did or did not do this?  as we see Bro Hussain has some hadiths about it, the next thing is to understand where these hadiths came from.  What they are talking about.  Whether they're reliable.  Allah (swt) can fault us for making a mistake I guess, but a mistake can be of two kinds, intentional and not intentional.  How do we know of these?  knowing for sure.

Salam.

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Salamz,

Brother Mujahid, here is one from Sahih Muslim:

Quote
Book 004, Number 1202:

'Abdullah b. Zubair narrated on the authority of his father that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) sat for supplication, i. e. tashahhud (blessing and supplication), he placed his right hand on his right thigh and his left hand on his left thigh, and pointed with his forefinger, and placed his thumb on his (milddle) finger, and covered his knee with the palm of his left hand.

The Sunan of Abu Dawud is a respected authentic collection, it is one of the so called "Sihah Sitta".

Can you give me some ithna asheri hadith about this topic? What do your sources say about the "jalsa"?

It's interest me. :) Thanks,

was-salaam

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Salam Bro Hussain,

I'm not sure about exact characteristics of sitting in prayer, that are mentioned from hadith.  I have heard that the right foot should be over the left foot when sitting, or that it's to be to the side and the left foot under where you sit.  I'm not totally sure.  In general, I think it is pretty much the same.  I would have to research the hadiths, off the top of my head I don't know.  Sorry.

Maybe someone else can help on this matter.

Take care

Salam.

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(salam)

Just to add abt moving fingers ... ive asked my fren who is doing it .... most of then told me that they move their fingers as if writing the arabic word alif, lam, lam, haa, "Allah" .. they said its not just moving fingers up and down afew times ... and i asked them to bring me alhadith and why they need to do point or even move their finger.. they said its a gd deed noting wrong in doing it so they do it...

and abt the siting position (tashahud position) i hav seens  videos of Ayatullah Khameinie leading the jumaat preyers .. and in his tashahud position he sland his body to the right and put his legs on the right side ... just like the norm sunni bro. and sis did .....

and also Ayatullah fazel lankarani leads prayers, In qum... in those pics i notice his tashahud position is also the same ...

but then again i my self had hardship siting in that position hehehe .. so i just sat on both of my legs instead...

salamz

Ihsan

(Singapore)

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salaams  you know, I tried to tell that Irai sister about lifting her finger during Tash and she looked at me like I sprouted a 4th head..aparently her grandma knows more than I do.

LOL...happened another time as well

I gues converts dont know anything. LOL

salaams

baheera

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Asalaamu Alaikom Upittshiagirl ,

        Sister Many people thing that reverts have alot less knowledge than the rest of the born Muslims But this is just a childish generalization. I personally have the least amount of knowledge about Islam yet I know more tham many born Muslims (sad isnt it) You see sister When we become Muslim we strive harder than if we were born Muslim because we know what it was like not to have guidance and what it was like to be without the illuminating light of Al Islam. I got into a conversation with an elder lady once about Islam and I was amazed how much less knowledge she had than me. She said that she started wearing hijjab when she was 45 :o

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Salam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

From the 4 schools of thought in Sunni Islam,  one of them, Imam Maliki said the prophet (saw) prayed with hands down.

Imam Jafar as-Sadiq known as the imam of the shia school of thought, also said to pray with your hands down.  Two of the imam's of the sunni school of thoughts are known to have been students of imam Jafar as-sadiq.

This quote is from muhajiroon.com, which is actually a wahabi website.  This is just to show you that even the extremist wahabi's acknowledge that it's okay to pray with your arms straight. 

Quote
Are we allowed to stand with our hands by our side (Isbaal) in Prayer?

Isbaal Al-Yadein in Salat is the opinion of Imaam Malik (i.e. the Maliki school of thought) and Imaam Ja'far (i.e. the Ja'fari or Imaami school of thought) and the Ibaadhi, Hadawie and Zeidi schools of thought etc.. It is a legitimate opinion, however, the strongest opinion is to put your hands on you chest during Salat.

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(salam)

Br. Mujahid which Mujtahid or scholar do you follow and why. The reason I ask is because since I converted to Shiism about 10 years ago I still feel as if I don't know where to begin or how. I mean I understand the basic ieda of Usool deen and I accept them all but I feel a little lost without a Marja. How did you do it. I mean, did you just accept your familys Marja or did you draw straws or research or what?

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this is sunnah. why such a big argument about something that is optional. we should all follow our hearts and pray to Allah that he guides us. we should not be criticising our brothers/sisters with no evidence to show for it. what will we do when on the day of judgement Allah criticises us. May Allah spare us such harsh criticism. anyway, below is the evidence for the topic for those who really want to know including the principal of which hadith to follow.

 

The fourth condition for a sahih hadith is that the text and transmission of the hadith must be free of shudhudh, or "variance from established standard narrations of it." An example is when a hadith is related by five different narrators who are contemporaries of one another, all of whom relate the same hadith from the same sheikh through his chain of transmission back to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Here, if we find that four of the hadiths have the same wording but one of them has a variant wording, the hadith with the variant wording is called shadhdh or "deviant," and it is not accepted, because the difference is naturally assumed to be the mistake of the one narrator, since all of the narrators heard the hadith from the same sheikh. 

There is a hadith (to take an example researched by our hadith teacher, sheikh Shu‘ayb al-Arna’ut) related by Ahmad (4.318), Bayhaqi (2.132), Ibn Khuzayma (1.354), and Ibn Hibban, with a reliable chain of narrators (thiqat)—except for Kulayb ibn Hisham, who is a merely "acceptable" (saduq), not "reliable" (thiqa)—that the Companion Wa’il ibn Hujr al-Hadrami said that when he watched the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) kneeling in the Tashahhud or "Testification of Faith" of his prayer, the Prophet 

lifted his [index] finger, and I saw him move it, supplicating with it. I came [some time] after that and saw people in [winter] over-cloaks, their hands moving under the cloaks (Ibn Hibban, 5.170–71). 


Now, all of the versions of the hadith mentioning that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) moved his finger have been related to us by way of Za’ida ibn Qudama al-Thaqafi, a narrator who is considered reliable, and who transmitted it from the hadith sheikh ‘Asim ibn Kulayb, who related it from his father Kulayb ibn Shihab, from Wa’il ibn Hujr al-Hadrami. But we find that this version of "moving the finger" contradicts versions of the hadith transmitted from the same sheikh, ‘Asim ibn Kulayb, by no less than ten of ‘Asim’s other students, all of them reliable, who heard ‘Asim report that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not move but rather pointed (ashara) with his index finger (towards the qibla or "direction of prayer"). 


These companions of ‘Asim (with their hadiths, which are well authenticated (hasan)) are: Sufyan al-Thawri: "then he pointed with his index finger, putting the thumb to the middle finger to make a ring with them" (al-Musannaf 2.68–69); Sufyan ibn ‘Uyayna: "he joined his thumb and middle finger to make a ring, and pointed with his index finger" (Ahmad, 4.318); Shu‘ba ibn al-Hajjaj: "he pointed with his index finger, and formed a ring with the middle one" (Ahmad, 4.319); Qays ibn al-Rabi‘: "then he joined his thumb and middle finger to make a ring, and pointed with his index finger" (Tabarani, 22.33–34); ‘Abd al-Wahid ibn Ziyad al-‘Abdi: "he made a ring with a finger, and pointed with his index finger" (Ahmad, 4.316); ‘Abdullah ibn Idris al-Awdi: "he had joined his thumb and middle finger to make a ring, and raised the finger between them to make du‘a (supplication) in the Testification of Faith" (Ibn Majah, 1.295); Zuhayr ibn Mu‘awiya: "and I saw him [‘Asim] say, ‘Like this,’—and Zuhayr pointed with his first index finger, holding two fingers in, and made a ring with his thumb and second index [middle] finger" (Ahmad, 4.318–19); Abu al-Ahwas Sallam ibn Sulaym: "he began making du‘a like this—meaning with his index finger, pointing with it—" (Musnad al-Tayalisi, 137); Bishr ibn al-Mufaddal: "and I saw him [‘Asim] say, ‘Like this,’—and Bishr joined his thumb and middle finger to make a ring, and pointed with his index finger" (Abi Dawud, 1.251); and Khalid ibn Abdullah al-Wasiti: "then he joined his thumb and middle finger to make a ring, and pointed with his index finger" (Bayhaqi, 2.131). 

All of these narrators are reliable (thiqat), and all heard ‘Asim ibn Kulayb relate that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) "pointed with (ashara bi) his index finger" during the Testimony of Faith in his prayer. There are many other narrations of "pointing with the index finger" transmitted through sheikhs other than ‘Asim, omitted here for brevity—four of them, for example, in Sahih Muslim, 1.408–9). The point is, for illustrating the meaning of a shadhdh or "deviant hadith," that the version of moving the finger was conveyed only by Za’ida ibn Qudama from ‘Asim. Ibn Khuzayma says: "There is not a single hadith containing yuharrikuha (‘he moved it’) except this hadith mentioned by Za’ida" (Ibn Khuzayma, 1.354). 

So we know that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to point with his index finger, and that the version of "moving his finger" is shadhdh or "deviant," and represents a slip of the narrator, for the word ishara in the majority’s version means only "to point or gesture at," or "to indicate with the hand," and has no recorded lexical sense of wiggling or shaking the finger (Lisan al-‘Arab, 4.437 and al-Qamus al-muhit (540). This interpretation is explicitly borne out by well authenticated hadiths related from the Companion Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr that "the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to point with his index finger when making supplication [in the Testification of Faith], and did not move it" (Abi Dawud, 1.260) and that he "used to point with his index finger when making supplication, without moving it" (Bayhaqi, 2.131–32). 

Finally, we may note that Imam Bayhaqi has joined between the Za’ida ibn Qudama hadith and the many hadiths that apparently contradict it by suggesting that moving the finger in the Za’ida hadith may mean simply lifting it (rafa‘a), a wording explicitly mentioned in one version recorded by Muslim that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) "raised the right finger that is next to the thumb, and supplicated with it" (Muslim, 1.408). So according to Bayhaqi, the contradiction is only apparent, and raising the finger is the "movement" that Wa’il saw from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the people’s hands under their cloaks, according to Za’ida’s version, which remains, however, shadhdh or "deviant" from a hadith point of view, unless understood in this limitary sense.

 

source: http://www.falaah.co.uk

 

May Allah guides us all to the truth and may he save us from the devil and the evil of our own tongues and in this case fingers.

 

As Salaamu Wa Alaikum, Wa Rahmatullahi, Wa Barakatu.

Brother Abd Ul Lah

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3 hours ago, Whythis said:

Dhulfiqar, I believe claiming Umar as the one responsible is backbiting, which is haram.

The 'Dhulfiqar' you are referring to left ShiaChat in 2014. :D It's not backbiting to say Umar created the innovation of finger pointing in the prayer. Finger pointing is not a problem, but to add such a gesture inside the prayer is an innovation. If you read the other post by Hajar (who used to be a ShiaChat Moderator), there is evidence from Sunni sources that it was Umar who innovated the finger pointing into Sunni prayers.

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/1232-lifting-the-index-finger-in-tashahud-question/?do=findComment&comment=12702

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