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The manner in which the index finger should be moved during the tashahhud
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Question: What is the manner [in which] the [index] finger should be moved during the prayer in tashahhud?

Response: There is the hadeeth of Waa.il ibn Hajar[1] [wherein it mentions] he saw the Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) when he was sitting in tashahhud in prayer, and he said: And I saw him moving his finger and supplicating [as he was moving] it.

This movement does not mean [simply] raising and lowering [the finger], since no hadeeth exists to suggest this; Rather, that which is intended by the moving [of the finger] is moving it [whilst it is extended from the resting clenched hand] in its place.

And it has been authentically reported from Imaam Ahmad, that he said: "And it is to be moved vigorously"[2].

Shaykh al-Albaanee
Fataawa ash-Shaykh al-'Allaamah Muhammad Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee fil-Madeenah wal-Imaaraat - Page 95-96

1) Transmitted by Ahmad 4/318, Abu Daawood 726-728, an-Nasaa.ee 2/127 and Ibn Maajah 810.