Monday, 18 Muharram 1431
Answering Al-Albani's Sifah salaah al Nabiyy (Sall Allahu 'alaihi wa sallim)
Moving the Finger in Tashahhud
With reference to al-Albani's recently translated book "The Prophet's Prayer described from the beginning to the end as though you see it (Sifah Salah-al-Nabee)", al-Albani claimed (pg. 66):
"Further, the Hadith that he would not move his finger does not have an authentic Isnad, as I have explained in Daeef Abi Daawood (175)."
But when I looked this Hadith up in the English Translation of the Sunan of Imam Abu Dawood (1/984, pg. 252) I found that Abdallah ibn al-Zubair (Allah be pleased with him ) said :
"The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to point with his finger (at the end of tashahhud) and he would not move it."
But lo and behold, this very Hadith has not been listed In "Daeef Ahadith of Abu Dawud's Sunan", by his followers; which means to the user of this list that this Hadith is acceptable to them, and is either of the rank of SAHIH or HASAN to the user of this list! Imam Muslim (Rahimahullah) also reported Ibn al-Zubair (Allah be pleased with him) narrating from his father: "That when the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) sat for supplication, i.e. Tashahhud, 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 (middle) finger, and covered his knee with the palm of his left hand." (Sahih Muslim, 1/1202, English ed'n)
According to the Hanafi, Hanbali and Shafi'i Madhhabs, one should not continuously make supplications with the fore-finger. It is written in the English translation of Fiqh-us-Sunnah, by As-Sayyid Sabiq, (vol. 1, pg. 157): "Wa'il ibn Hajr (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would place his left palm on his left thigh and knee. He would place the end of his right elbow upon his right thigh and would then close his right hand, forming a circle. In another narration it states, he would make a circle with his middle finger and thumb and point with his index finger, and (Wa'il) saw him moving it to make supplications (related by Ahmad)." Explaining the Hadith, al-Bayhaqi (Rahimahullah) says, "The implication of 'he would move it' is that he would point with it, not that he would continue to move it." This would be in agreement with the narration of Ibn az-Zubair (Allah be pleased with him), who reported, "The Prophet (Peace be upon him) would point with his finger while supplicating, and he would not move it." This is related by Abu Dawud with a Sahih chain. An-Nawawi also mentioned it
(NB - Both Imams al-Bayhaqi and Nawawi were great Shafi'i scholars of Hadith who followed this Hadith of Ibn al-Zubair, besides so many other scholars of Hadith).