Friday, 4 May 2018

Weakness of Moving Finger in Tashahhud


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على رسوله الكريم

والعاقبة للمتقين

In the previous entry, we looked at the issue of pointing with the index finger in the sitting between the two prostrations, something which is practiced by many Salafis attached to the Saudi, Hanbali shaikhs Abd ul-Aziz bin Baz and Ibn Uthaymin. Albani, however, considered that an innovation. At the same time, Albani favored the practice of moving the index finger during the Tashahhud position, in accordance with this Hadith of Wa’il b. HujrRA:
ثُمَّ قَعَدَ وَافْتَرَشَ رِجْلَهُ الْيُسْرَى وَوَضَعَ كَفَّهُ الْيُسْرَى عَلَى فَخِذِهِ وَرُكْبَتِهِ الْيُسْرَى وَجَعَلَ حَدَّ مِرْفَقِهِ الأَيْمَنِ عَلَى فَخِذِهِ الْيُمْنَى ثُمَّ قَبَضَ اثْنَتَيْنِ مِنْ أَصَابِعِهِ وَحَلَّقَ حَلْقَةً ثُمَّ رَفَعَ إِصْبَعَهُ فَرَأَيْتُهُ يُحَرِّكُهَا يَدْعُو بِهَا
Then he (Prophet) sat up and placed his left leg under him; he 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 together and made a circle, and raised his forefinger, and I saw him moving it and supplicating with it. (Sunan an-Nasa’i #890)
 
The Salafi scholar of Yemen, shaikh Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi’i (d. 2001), who established the Dar al-Hadith madrassa in the town of Dammaj, considered the addition “and I saw him moving it” as being shadh and was opposed to moving the finger during the Tashahhud:
“However, in reference to moving it, then the only one who narrated that was Zaa'idah bin Qudaamah and he has contradicted 13 narrators (who all narrated this same hadeeth from Waa'il): Bishr bin Al-Mufadhdhal with Abee Daawood, Sufyaan bin 'Uyainah with An-Nasaa'ee, Ath-Thawree with An-Nasaa'ee, 'Abdul-Waahid bin Ziyaad with Ahmad, Shu'bah with Ahmad, Zuhayr bin Mu'aawiyah with Ahmad, 'Abdullaah bin Idrees with Ibn Khuzaymah, Khaalid bin 'Abdullaah At-Tahhaan with Al-Bayhaqee, Muhammad bin Fudhayl with Ibn Khuzaymah, Abul-Ahwas Sallaam bin Sulaym with At-Tayaalisee, Aboo 'Awaanah and Gheelaan bin Jaami' both were quoted by Al-Bayhaqee as mentioning it (i.e. this hadeeth without moving the finger), and all of them reported it from 'Aasim bin Kulayb (who narrated it from his father, from Waa'il) and none of them mentioned moving (the finger) in it. It was also reported from the companions 'Abdullaah bin Az-Zubayr, 'Abdullaah bin 'Umar, Aboo Humayd As-Saa'idee, Aboo Hurayrah, Sa'd bin Abee Waqqaas, Ibn 'Abbaas, Khaffaaf bin Eemaa', and all of them did not mention moving (the finger). So it is known from this that the report of Zaa'idah is strange and contradicting (Shaathth). And Allaah knows best.” (as-Sahih al-Musnad Mimma Laysa fi al-Sahihayn, v.2 p.239)
 
 
In another Hadith, the Prophet (upon whom be peace) is reported to have said:
تَحْرِيكُ الأُصْبُعِ فِي الصَّلاةِ مَذْعَرَةٌ لِلشَّيْطَانِ
“Moving the finger in the Salat is terrifying for Satan” (Sunan al-Kubra of al-Bayhaqi)
But this narration is weak due to the narrator Muhammad b. Umar al-Waqidi, as Imam al-Bayhaqi commented:
تَفَرَّدَ بِهِ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عُمَرَ الْوَاقِدِيُّ ، وَلَيْسَ بِالْقَوِيِّ
“Muhammad bin Umar al-Waqidi is alone in narrating it, and he is not strong.”
 
One of the proofs for not moving the finger in the Tashahhud is the Hadith of Abdullah bin al-ZubairRA:
أَنَّهُ ذَكَرَ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يُشِيرُ بِأُصْبُعِهِ إِذَا دَعَا وَلاَ يُحَرِّكُهَا
He mentioned that the Prophet (upon whom be peace) would point with his forefinger when he supplicated, and he would not move it. (Sunan Abi Dawud #989)
However, Albani and others have deemed the additional wording “and he would not move it” as not authentically established. Nevertheless, the lack of any strong evidence from the Sunna that the Prophet (upon whom be peace) would move his finger during the Tashahhud is sufficient to abandon that strange practice, which appears to be contrary to the tranquility and stillness that is generally required in the Salat.

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