There are two tashahuds.
1. Tashahud awal.
– for all prayers except in Fajr prayer.
– It is during the second rakaat
2. Tashahud akhir
– for all prayers
– During the last rakaat of each prayer.
Correct Way of Sitting
Sahih Al Bukhari – Book of Characteristics Of Prayer
Volume 001, Book 012, Hadith Number 790.
Narated By ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdullah RA : I saw ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar RA crossing his legs while sitting in the prayer and I, a mere youngster in those days, did the same. Ibn ‘Umar forbade me to do so, and said, “The proper way is to keep the right foot propped up and bend the left in the prayer.” I said questioningly, “But you are doing so (crossing the legs).” He said, “My feet cannot bear my weight.”
SAHIH BUKHARI (Volume 1 Book #12, Hadith #791)
Narrated by Muhammad bin ‘Amr bin ‘Ata’
Abu Humaid As-Saidi said, “I remember the prayer of Allah’s Apostle better than any one of you. … On sitting in the second Rak’a he sat on his left foot and propped up the right one; and in the last Rak’a he pushed his left foot forward and kept the other foot propped up and sat over the buttocks.”
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Zubayr said:
When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sat during the prayer, he would place his left foot between his thigh and calf, and tuck his right foot underneath him, and place his left hand on his left knee, and place his right hand on his right thigh, and point with his finger.
Also, “Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam forbade a man who was sitting in prayer resting on his left hand, and said: Verily, that is the prayer of the Jews; in one wording, Do not sit like this, for indeed this is the way of sitting of those who are punished; in another hadeeth, It is the sitting posture of those who incurred (Allaah’s) anger.184
1. In tashahud awal, one must prop up the right foot, bend the left foot while sitting on the left foot.
2. In tashahud akhir, one must also prop their right foot, but push the left foot between his thigh and calf while placing the left upper thigh and buttocks on the floor. The left palm covers the left knee, leaning heavily on it. This is called Mutawarrikan.
3. Left hand must be placed on left knee while right hand on the right thigh with finger pointing forward.
4. Do not rest on the left hand
What to Say in Tashahud
For the last tashahud, one repeats what was read as the first tashahud and continue with the greetings of Prophet Muhammad sallahu alaihi wasalam and his family and also Prophet Ibrahim alaihi salam.
Fudalah b. ‘Ubaid reported that
the Prophet (s) heard a man supplicating during prayer. He did not glorify Allah, nor did he invoke blessings on the Prophet. The Prophet (s) said, “He has been hasty.” Then he called the man and said either to him, or to someone else, “When any one of you prays, he should begin by glorifying and praising his Lord and then he should invoke blessings on the Prophet, peace be upon him, and after that he should supplicate Allah for anything he wishes.”
In the tashahud this is what we are doing, in the first part we are glorifying Allah and in the second part we are sending salah to Prophet Muhammad allahu alaihi wasalam. This is to prepare you to make du’a before you give salam and ending the prayer.
Narrated Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Laila:
Ka’b bin Ujrah met me and said, “Shall I not give you a present I got from the Prophet?” ‘Abdur-Rahman said, “Yes, give it to me.” I said, “We asked Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! How should one (ask Allah to) send blessings on you, the members of the family, for Allah has taught us how to salute you (in the prayer)?’ He said:-
Say: O Allah! Send Your Mercy on Muhammad and on the family of Muhammad, as You sent Your Mercy on Abraham and on the family of Abraham, for You are the Most Praise-worthy, the Most Glorious. O Allah! Send Your blessings on Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as You sent your blessings on Abraham and on the family of Abraham, for You are the Most Praise-worthy, the Most Glorious.’ ” (The arabic words above)
Raising the Index Finger During the Tashahud
We will be using the fatwa in ISLAMQA concerning the matter Insya Allah.
1. To point the index finger. And also making a circle with the middle finger and the thimb
2. To make sure it is pointing towards qiblah
3. To move the finger as according to the du’a recited
4. To look at the finger all throughout
Every time you make du’aa’ you should point your finger, indicating the greatness of the One to Whom you are making du’aa’.
In a two rakaah prayer (Fajr), the sitting of the final rakaah is Muftarishan i.e. as the sitting of tashahud awal.
As other acts of solah, one should remain calm and not be hasty.