The five fingers of your right hand are given to you to remind you to keep the Blessed Five as guides: Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and his four companions Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman and ‘Ali, and to honor what they hold as truth.
When Allah created our father Adam, He placed the light of Muhammad, His first creation, on Adam’s forehead. When the angels encountered Adam, they paid respect and greeted that light, but Adam was dismayed, being unable to see the divine light of Muhammad shining on his own forehead.
So he prayed to his Maker saying:
O my Lord, I would love to see the soul-light of Muhammad, Your Beloved, whom You will bring to Earth as one of my future sons. So please move it from my forehead to where I might see.
So Allah accepted his prayers, and a spark of the divine light shone from the tip of Adam’s index finger. He raised it and said:
I witness that there is no god but Allah and I witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.
That is why the index finger is called “the beautiful one” and is lifted in confirmation of Allah’s oneness and uniqueness in Islam. Then Adam asked his Maker:
O Lord, will there be any of Your divine light left in me for the birth of other chosen ones?
And the Lord said:
Then Adam saw the light of ‘Ali shining from the tip of his thumb, the light of Abu Bakr on his middle finger, the light of ‘Umar on his right finger, and the light of ‘Uthman on his little finger.
Thus Allah placed these on the tips of the five fingers of your right hand to remind you of them and to make no distinction between them, nor between them and our Master Muhammad, Allah’s peace and blessings upon them, as Allah sets them all together:
Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and those who are with him… (Surah Fath, 29)
so that you hold as true what they held as truth. Now the five fingers of your other hand are there to remind you of the five members of the Prophet’s household: Muhammad, ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn, from whom Allah cleansed all impurity, as He says:
Allah only desires to take away all uncleanness from you, O people of the household, and to purify you a thorough purifying. (Surah Ahzab, 33)
And the Prophet said:
This verse is about us, our household–about me, and ‘Ali, and Fatimah, and Hasan and Husayn. (as-Suyuti)
– Ibn ‘Arabi, The Tree of Being (Shajarat al-kawn) An Ode to the Perfect Man – interpreted by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti