Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour
Question: Asalaamu Alaykum,
I read that Ibn Abi Zayd (Risalah) and Al-Azhari (Thamr Ad-Dani) said that the position in the Madhab is that one should point with his index finger uppermost (such that his palm faces the left) while moving his index finger left to right (Mukhtasar Khalil). Al-Kharashi explained that this is to make it look like a butcher’s knife (against the Shaytan) as Al-Baji said Sufyan reported this from Muslim ibn Abi Maryam.
Is it confirmed that this is how Malik or Ibn Qasim pointed in the Salah or did it come later from the Imams of the School?
Answer: Wa alaykum as salam wa rahmatullah,
Between Ibn Abi Zayd and Malik are four teachers. Ibn Abi Zayd took from Ibn Al Lubab who took from Al-Balwi who took from Ibn Habib and Shanun who took from Ash-hab and Ibn Al-Qasim who took from Malik. The strongest chain in the Maliki school is Sahnun from Ibn Al Qasim from Malik.
The positions mentioned in the Mukhtasar are taken from the Mudawwanna, it’s commentaries and many of the early mujtahideen of the madhab.
You may choose to look at those other sources but it will be difficult for them to contradict the strength of the above two sources. As you mentioned, the opinion of the palm facing the left is in the Risala and the Mukhtasar.
And Allah knows best.