Assalamu aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
It is an honour to join this forum, I look forward to much enlightening discussion. I am currently reading up on Maliki fiqh, if anybody's in the know I'd just like to nitpick about salat in the madhab, please bear with me!
1. I am aware that at the final tashahud, before giving the salam one should place one's right hand (which was previously in the act of pointing with the index finger) flat on one's right thigh. However, would this also be applicable at the end of the 2nd rakat of a 3 or 4 rakat prayer? In other words, would one have to place one's right hand flat on one's right thigh before pushing off on the floor back to the standing position, or is it sufficient to directly push off on the floor straight from pointing during tashahud?
2. Can somebody please briefly list the multiple ways of pointing/moving the finger during tashahud (making sure to mention what to do with the thumb - I find that this is often neglected in the literature available).
3. During tashahud, is keeping the right hand in the pointing position done for the ENTIRE duration of the sitting, or only up till when one has finished the testification/dua (eg when somebody is praying behind an imam and finishes the testification/dua early, one would put one's hand down and wait for the imam to finish),
4. Whilst it is characteristic of the Maliki madhab to look straight ahead during standing during the prayer, it is apparently also permissible to look down. Is it also permissible to have one's eyes directed downwards during the sitting phases, and when giving the salam?
JazakAllahukhair for your patience and help!