What does it mean when a Muslim raises the index-fing­er?

index finger
The index finger, when a Muslim makes a sign with it (by raising it), symbolizes the unity of Allah.

In Arabic, the index or fore finger is called Musabbiha (مُسَبِّحة), mostly used with the definite article: al-Musabbiha (الْمُسَبِّحة). Some­times also this word is used: al-Sabbāha (السَّبّاحة).

This finger, when a Muslim makes a sign with it (by raising it), symbol­ises the unity of Allah.

Let’s dig deeper. You might know the Arabic word Subhāna (سُبْحانَ). The expres­sion “Subhāna Allah” (سُبْحانَ الله) expresses a Muslim’s admira­tion as an exclama­tion of surprise. It is used a lot in the daily life of Muslims. We could translate it as: Praise Allah! Or: Allah be praised!

Let’s have a look at another Arabic word derived from the same root:

A rosary is called Misbaha (مِسْبَحة) or Subha (سُبْحة). It con­sists of beads on a string, 99 in num­ber, and having a mark after each 33 – with which a Muslim performs the act called al-Tasbīh (التَّسْبِيح) meaning the re­petition of the praises of Allah.

Usually Muslims repeat the expressions Subhana Allah and Allāhu ’akbar.

picture credit: pixabay (people-313593_1280)

  1. Isn’t there also a significant to pointing to Mecca (not sure if thats correct) if a Muslim believes they are about to die?

    1. Oh, I know what you mean. When someone is in hospital or in danger and he thinks he’s about to die, he raises his index finger upward (to heaven not Mecca) and says the shahadah (the testimony: there’s no god, but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah)

      Though, a Muslim isn’t required to do it.

  2. assalamwalekum brother,jazakallahu khairan for doing such a wonderful job mashallah.
    A request to please teach the words of Adhan esp Hayya in Arabic grammar point of view,is it imperative?

    also Iqamah too.


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