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IslamQA: The proper way to sit during salah and where to gaze during tashahhud

Salam! I have two questions about prayer: during tashahud, do you have to look at your raised finger and does not looking invalidates the prayer? What about the tashahud position: do you have to sit on your left foot? I find that that position difficult and I've always sat on my both crossed feet, is that wrong? Thanks!

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

There are different opinions on that and I prefer the Maliki opinion that there is no need to look at the finger during tashahhud, and I prefer the opinion that we can look comfortably ahead and down (such as at the place where we put our foreheads at prostration, although it doesn’t have to be strictly there, just whatever is most comfortable).

As for the sitting position, it is permitted to sit in any comfortable position as long as it generally resembles the common way people sit in the prayer. So according to Imam al-Nawawi and others there is no issue with sitting on your crossed feet, which is in fact what I do. Sitting on the left foot is considered Sunna, it is not obligatory.


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