Raising the Finger during Supplication

 عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ أَبِى وَقَّاصٍ قَالَ مَرَّ عَلَىَّ النَّبِىُّ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- وَأَنَا أَدْعُو بِأُصْبُعَىَّ فَقَالَ « أَحِّدْ أَحِّدْ ». وَأَشَارَ بِالسَّبَّابَةِ.

Sa’d  ibn Abi Waqqas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: “ The Messenger of Allah (sallahu alayhi wa salim) passed by me when I was supplicating with my fingers and he said: “Use only one, Use only one” and he pointed with his forefinger.[1]


Benefits for this hadeeth:

  • It’s prohibited to supplicated to Allah using more than one finger.[ Tashih Ad-Dua by Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd (may Allah have mercy on him)]


  • “ Use only one means: Point with only a finger, because the One you’re calling on is One. Sa’d was pointing with two fingers and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered him to use only one finger.[2]


  • Imam Abu Dawud held the view that took place outside of the prayer, and Imam An-Nisa’I analysis was, this took place while Sa’d was praying. Both actions are possible  for this particular hadeeth ,and Allah knows best. At any rate this hadeeth shows it’s recommended to make dua to Allah using only one finger.[3]


  • Tn (I ask Allah for pardon): Imam At-Tirmithi held the view that the finger is pointed during the Shahadah, but he didn’t specify if it’s in prayer or not.


  • It’s appears from this hadeeth that the companion was using his index and middle finger for dua.The phrase,” Use only one”, is connected to Tawheed. That is to say,”Allah is One”. So, in other words use only finger because you are pointing to the One Who is Alone in His existence and attributes.[4]


  • It’s a legislated act to point with the finger while making dua, especially during Jumu’ah for the Khateeb. And it’s an innovation for him to raise his hands during dua in the Khutbah .[5]


  • TN: This act is rarely practiced among those who deliver the Khutbah today. Allah’s Help is sought.


  • Based on the various explanations for this hadeeth this is why you find during prayer some people pointing with their index finger when they reach the Shahadah in prayer. This is view of the consensus of the scholars, except a few of the Hanafi’s. Furthermore, it’s also correct to point with finger during Dua and Thikr in Salah.[6]
  • Pointing with the index finger during Dua is harder on Shaytaan than Steel.[7]
  • Tn (May Allah pardon me) In conclusion, raising the finger to sky during Dua is an established act during dua. This was the view of Abu Dawud in his Sunnan as mentioned earlier. Moreover, this act is established for supplicating in the Khutbah. Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Adam and Ash-shaykh Abdul Muhsin Al-Abbadd (may Allah preserve them ) both mentioned that based on this hadeeth, it’s recommended to raise the finger during Dua. Ash-Shaykh Abdur Razzaq ibn Abdul Muhsin Badr (may Allah preserve him) said, “Raising the right finger during dua is an established act in the Sunnah and it affirms Allah’s Uluw.

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Translated and compiled by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

Doha,Qatar 1432


[1] Collected by Abu Dawud (1499), An-Nisa’I ( 1273) and others. Al-Hakim and Al-Albani (may Allah have mercy on them) graded this hadeeth as being Sahih


[2] Sharh Sunnan Abi Dawud Badrud deen Al-‘Aynee (855 H may Allah have mercy on him)]

[3] [ Sharu Sunnan An-Nisa’I Shaykh Muhammad Adam Al-Ehtiopi (may Allah preserve him)]

[4] [ Muraqatul Mafatih Mulla Ali Qari [1014H May Allah have mercy on him])

[5] Thalatheeyat Musnad Ahmed by As-Saffareni (1188H May Allah rest him in Jannah)]

[6] [ Wablul Ghamamah fee Sharhu Umdah li ibn Quddamah]


[7] [ Ahmed, Bazzar, Abu Ja’far refer to The Prophet’s prayer Al-Albani]


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