The fingers in Tashahud

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

What is the hanafi ruling on the index finger in tashahud. At what does it come up and what point does it go down (after saying the whole kalima or just the first part about La illaha illala like I learned in the book again. And also do we move it around like I have seen many people do – citing a hadith of the Prophet’s that his finger moved during this part of the salaat.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalamu alaikum,

One raises the index finger, while turning in the first two fingers and making a ring with the middle finger and thumb, as one starts saying la ilaha, and puts it down when saying illa Allah.

Note, as mentioned in a previous email:

Differences in derived rulings arise from differences in methodology and principles.

Ibn Abidin points out something important in his Sharh Uqud Rasm al-Mufti:

“Understanding evidences (dalil) is only (truly) possible for someone at the level of ijtihad (mujtahid), for it depends on knowing that the evidence is free of that which opposes it, which depends on having complete awareness of the primary sources, which is not possible for other than a mujtahid. As for merely knowing that a given mujtahid took a given ruling from a given set of evidences, it is of little consequence…” (Sharh Uqud Rasm al-Mufti, in Rasa’il Ibn Abidin, 1: 30)

The position of some Salafis (not all, though, as they have differences on this point) to keep wiggling the fingers, is weak. The evidence they use was known to the mujtahids of the various schools, and not adopted for various reasons, including its going against stronger, less-questionable proofs.

Faraz Rabbani

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