Islamic Laws

Sujood

1054. A person offering prayers should perform two sajdahs after the Ruku, in each Rak'at of the obligatory as well as Mustahab prayers. Sajdah means that one should place one's forehead on earth in a special manner, with the intention of humility (before Allah). While performing Sajdahs during prayers, it is obligatory that both the palms and the knees, and both the big toes are placed on the ground.

1055. Two Sajdahs together are a "Rukn" (elemental), and if a person omits to perform two Sajdah in one Rak'at of an obligatory prayers, whether intentionally or owing to forgetfulness, or adds two more Sajdahs, his prayers are void.

1056. If a person omits or adds one Sajdah intentionally, his prayers become void. And if he omits or adds one Sajdah forgetfully, the rules regarding it will be explained later.

1057. If a person who can keep his forehead on the ground, does not do so whether intentionally or forgetfully, he has not performed Sajdah, even if other parts of his body may have touched the ground. But, if he places his forehead on the earth, but forgets to keep other parts of his body on the ground, or forgets to utter the Zikr, his Sajdah is in order.

1058. It is better in normal situation to say Subahanallah three times, or Subhana Rabbiy al-A'la wa bi hamdhi once. And he should utter these words in succession and in correct Arabic. Actually, as an obligatory precaution, uttering any Zikr to this extent is sufficient. And it is Mustahab that Subhana Rabbiyal A'la wa bi hamdhi should be said three, five or seven times, or more.

1059. In the Sajdah, the body should be steady, and one should not move or shake oneself purposely, and as a precaution, one should be totally steady in Sajdah even while one is not engaged in any obligatory Zikr.

1060. If a person intentionally utters the Zikr of Sajdah before his forehead reaches the ground, and his body becomes steady, or if he raises his head from Sajdah intentionally before the Zikr is completed, his prayers are void.

1061. If a person utters the Zikr of Sajdah by mistake, before his forehead reaches the ground and realises his mistake before he raises his head from Sajdah, he should utter the Zikr again, when his body is steady.

1062. If after raising his head from Sajdah, a person realises that he has done so before the completion of the Zikr of Sajdah, his prayers are in order.

1063. If at the time of uttering Zikr of Sajdah, a person intentionally lifts one of his seven limbs from the ground, his namaz will be void. But if he lifts the limbs, other than the forehead, when he is not reciting anything, and then places them back again, there will be no harm, unless that movement renders his body unsteady, in which case, namaz will be void.

1064. If a person raises his forehead from the ground by mistake, before the completion of the Zikr of Sajdah, he should not place it on the ground again, he should treat it as one Sajdah. However, if he raises other parts of the body from the ground by mistake, he should place them back on the ground and utter the Zikr.

1065. After the Zikr of the first Sajdah is completed, one should sit till the body is steady, and then perform Sajdah again.

1066. The place where a person places his forehead for Sajdah should not be higher than four joined fingers, compared to where he places his knees and the tips of the toes. As a matter of obligatory precaution, the place of his forehead should not be more than four joined fingers lower or higher than the place where he stands.

1067. If a person prays on a sloped ground, whose slant may not be known exactly, and if his forehead goes higher or lower than the place where he keeps his knees and tips of the toes by a span of four joined fingers, his namaz will be a matter of Ishkal.

1068. If a person places his forehead by mistake, on a thing which is higher than the span of four joined fingers compared to the place where his knees and the toes are, and if it so high that it does not look like a normal Sajdah, he should raise his head and place on a thing which is not as high. And if the height does not change the appearance of the Sajdah, and his attention is drawn to it after completing the obligatory Zikr, he should raise his head and may complete the prayers.
But if his attention is drawn to it before the obligatory Zikr, he should gradually push or move his forehead to a lower level, and recite the obligatory Zikr. And if that is not possible, he should recite the obligatory Zikr and complete his prayer. It would not be necessary for him to repeat the prayers.

1069. It is necessary that there should be nothing between the forehead of the person offering prayers, and the thing on which he offers Sajdah. If the mohr (sajdagah) is so dirty that the forehead does not reach the mohr itself, the Sajdah is void. But if only the colour of mohr has changed, there is no harm.

1070. In Sajdah a person offering prayers should place his two palms on the ground. In a state of helplessness, there will be no harm in placing the back of the hands on the ground, and if even this is not possible, he should, on the basis of precaution, place the wrists of hands on the ground. And if he cannot do even this, he should place any part of the body up to his elbow on the ground, and if even that is not possible it is sufficient to place the arms on the ground.

1071. In Sajdah, a person should place his two big toes on the ground, but it is not necessary to place the tips of the toes. If he places the outer or the inner parts of the toes, it will be proper. But if he places, instead other smaller toes on the ground, or the outer part of his feet, or if his big toe does not rest on the ground due to very long nails, his namaz will be void. And if a person does not follow this rule due to ignorance or carelessness, he has to pray again.

1072. If a part of the big toe is cut off, one should place the remaining part of it on the ground, and if nothing of it has remained or what has remained is too short, he should, on the basis of precaution, place the other toes on the ground, but if he has no toes at all, he should place on the ground whatever part of the foot has remained.

1073. If a person performs Sajdah in an unusual manner, like if he rests his chest and stomach on the ground, or stretches his feet, his namaz will be correct and valid if it still appears like a normal Sajdah. But if it appears more like sleeping on one's stomach, rather than a Sajdah, his namaz will be void.

1074. The mohr (sajdagah) or other thing on which a person performs Sajdah, should be Pak. If, he places the mohr on a najis carpet, or if one side of the mohr is najis, and he places his forehead on its Pak part, there is no harm in it.

1075. If there is a sore or a wound etc. in the forehead of a person, making him unable to rest his forehead on the ground, and if the sore or the wound has not covered the whole of the forehead, he should perform Sajdah with the unaffected part of the forehead. And if it becomes necessary to dig a hole, or a pit so that the part with the sore or the wound stays there, while the healthy part is on the ground, he should do so.

1076. If the sore or the wound has covered the entire forehead, he should perform Sajdah with other parts of his face. As an obligatory precaution, he should perform Sajdah with his chin, and it that is not possible, with one of the two sides of the forehead. When it is not possible to perform Sajdah with the face in any way, he should perform Sajdah by sign.

1077. If a person can sit but cannot make his forehead reach the ground, he should bow as much as he can, and should place the mohr or any other allowable thing on something high, and place his forehead on it in such a way that it may be said that he has performed Sajdah. But his palms, his knees, and toes should be on the ground as usual.

1078. If a person cannot find something high on which he may place the mohr, or any other allowable thing, and if he cannot find any person who would raise the mohr etc. for him, then as precaution, he should raise it with his hand and do Sajdah on it.

1079. If a person cannot perform Sajdah at all, he should make a sign for it with his head, and if he cannot do even that, he should make a sign with his eyes. And if he cannot make a sign even with his eyes he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, make a sign for Sajdah with his hands etc. and should make a niyyat for Sajdah in his mind, and recite the obligatory Zikr.

1080. If the forehead of a person is raised involuntarily from the place of Sajdah, he should not, if possible, allow it to reach the place of Sajdah again, and this will be treated as one Sajdah even if he may not have uttered the Zikr of Sajdah. And if he cannot control his head, and it reaches the place of Sajdah again involuntarily, both of them will be reckoned as one Sajdah, and if he has not uttered the Zikr, as a recommended precaution, he will do so with the niyyat of Qurbat.

1081. At a place where a person has to observe taqayyah (concealing one's faith in dangerous situation) he can perform Sajdah on a carpet, or other similar things, and it is not necessary for him to go elsewhere, or delay the prayers so that he is able to pray freely at that place without taqayyah. But if he finds that he can perform Sajdah on a mat, or any other allowed objects, without any impediment, then he should not perform Sajdah on a carpet or things like it.

1082. If a person performs Sajdah on a mattress filled with feathers, or any other similar thing, his Sajdah will be void if his body cannot remain steady.

1083. If a person is obliged to offer prayers on a muddy ground, and if no hardship will be caused to him if his body and dress become soiled with mud, he should perform Sajdah and tashahhud as usual. If it is going to prove extremely hard for him, he should make a sign for Sajdah with his head while he is standing, and recite tashahhud in the standing position. His prayers will be in order.

1084. The obligatory precaution is that in the first Rak'at and in the third Rak'at, which do not contain tashahhud (like the third Rak'at in Zuhr, Asr and Isha prayers) one should sit for a while after the second Sajdah before rising.

Things on which Sajdah is allowed

1085. Sajdah should be performed on earth, and on those things which are not edible nor worn, and on things which grow from earth (e.g. wood and leaves of trees).
It is not permissible to perform Sajdah on things which are used as food or dress (e.g. wheat, barley and cotton etc.), or on things which are not considered to be parts of the earth (e.g. gold, silver, etc.). And in the situation of helplessness, asphalt and tar will have preference over other non-allowable things.

1086. Sajdah should not be performed on the vine leaves, when they are delicate and hence edible. Otherwise, there is no objection.

1087. It is in order to perform Sajdah on things which grow from the earth, and serve as fodder for animals (e.g. grass, hay etc.).

1088. It is in order to perform Sajdah on flowers which are not edible, and also on medicinal herbs which grow from the earth.

1089. Performing Sajdah on a grass which is eaten in some parts of the world, but not in the rest, but it is classified as edible, will not be permissible. Similarly, Sajdah on raw fruits is not allowed.

1090. It is allowed to perform Sajdah on limestone and gypsum, but the recommended precaution is that Sajdah should not be optionally performed on baked gypsum, lime, brick and baked earthenware etc.

1091. It is in order to perform Sajdah on paper, if it is manufactured from allowed sources like wood or grass, and also if it is made from cotton or flax. But if it is made from silk etc., Sajdah on it will not be permissible.

1092. Turbatul Husayn is the best thing for performing Sajdah. After it, there are earth, stone and grass, in order of priority.

1093. If a person does not possess anything on which it is allowed to perform Sajdah, or, even if he possesses such a thing, he cannot perform Sajdah on it due to severe heat or cold, he should perform Sajdah on asphalt or tar, and if that is not possible, on his dress or the back of his hand, or on any thing on which it is not permissible to perform Sajdah optionally.
However, in such a situation, the recommended precaution is that as long as it is possible to perform Sajdah on his dress he should not do Sajdah on any other thing.

1094. The Sajdah performed on mud, and on soft clay on which one's forehead cannot rest steadily, is void.

1095. If the mohr sticks to the forehead in the first Sajdah, it should be removed from the forehead for the second Sajdah.

1096. If a thing on which a person performs Sajdah gets lost while he is offering prayers, and he does not possess any other thing on which Sajdah is allowed, he can act as explained in rule 1093, irrespective of whether the time for Namaz is limited or ample.

1097. If a person realises in the state of Sajdah that he has placed his forehead on a thing on which Sajdah is void, and if he becomes aware of it after completing the obligatory Zikr, he can raise his head and continue with his prayers.
But if he becomes aware of it before reciting the obligatory Zikr, he should gradually slide or move his head onto an allowed object, and recite the Zikr. But if that is not possible, he should recite the obligatory Zikr and continue with his namaz. His prayers in both cases will be valid.

1098. If a person realises after Sajdah, that he had placed his forehead on a thing which is not permissible for Sajdah, there is no objection.

1099. It is haraam to perform Sajdah for anyone other than Almighty Allah. Some people place their foreheads on earth before the graves of the holy Imams. If this is done to thank Allah, there is no harm in it, but otherwise it is haraam.

The Mustahab and Makrooh things in Sajdah

1100. Certain things are Mustahab in Sajdah:

It is Mustahab to say Takbir before going to Sajdah. A person who prays standing, will do so after having stood up from Ruku, and a person who prays sitting will do so after having sat properly.

While going into Sajdah, a man should first place his hands on the ground, and woman should first place her knees on the ground.

The person offering prayers should place his nose on a mohr, or on any other thing on which Sajdah is allowed.

While performing Sajdah, fingers should be kept close to each other, parallel to the ears, with their tips towards Qibla.

While in Sajdah one should pray to Allah, and express his wishes, and should recite this supplication: Ya Khayral Mas'ulin wa Ya Khayral Mu'tin, Urzuqni warzuq 'Ayali Min Fazlika Fa Innaka Zulfazlil 'Azim - O You Who are the best from whom people seek their needs, and O You, Who are the best bestower of gifts! Give me and the members of my family sustenance with Your grace. Undoubtedly You possess the greatest grace).

After performing Sajdah, one should sit on his left thigh, placing the instep of the right foot on the sole of the left foot.

After every Sajdah, when a person has sat down and his body is composed, one should say takbir.

When his body is steady after the first Sajdah, he should say:"Astaghfirullaha Rabbi wa Atubu Ilayhi".

He should say Allahu Akbar for going into second Sajdah, when his body is steady.

It is Mustahab to prolong the Sajdah, and when sitting after the Sajdah, to place one's hands on the thighs.

He should recite Salawat while in prostrations.

At the time of rising, he should raise his hands from the ground, after raising his knees.

Men should not make their elbows and stomach touch the ground; they should keep their arms separated from their sides. And women should place their elbows and stomachs on the ground, and should join their limbs with one another.

Other Mustahab acts of Sajdah have been mentioned in detailed books

1101. It is Makrooh to recite the holy Qur'an in Sajdah. It is also Makrooh to blow off the dust from the place of Sajdah, and if, by so doing, one utters anything intentionally, the prayers will be, as a precaution, void. Besides these, there are other Makrooh acts, which are given in detailed books.

Obligatory Sajdahs in the Holy Qur'an

1102. Upon reciting or hearing any of the following verses of the holy Qur'an, the performance of Sajdah becomes obligatory:

Surah as-Sajdah, 32:15

Surah Ha Mim Sajdah, 41:38

Surah an-Najm, 53:62

Surah al-'Alaq, 96:19

Whenever a person recites the verse or hears it when recited by someone else, he should perform Sajdah immediately when the verse ends, and if he forgets to perform it, he should do it as and when he remembers. If one hears the verse without any expectation, in an involuntary situation, the Sajdah is not obligatory, though it is better to perform it.

1103. If a person hears the Sajdah verse, and recites it himself also, he should perform two Sajdahs.

1104. If a person hears a verse of Sajdah, while he is in Sajdah other than that of namaz, or recites it himself, he should raise his head from that Sajdah, and perform another one.

1105. If a person hears the verse of obligatory Sajdah from a person who is asleep, or one who is insane, or from a child who knows nothing of the Qur'an, it will be obligatory upon him to perform Sajdah. But if he hears from a gramophone or a tape recorder, Sajdah will not be obligatory. Similarly, the Sajdah will not be Wajib if he listens to a taped recitation from radio. But if there is a person reciting from the radio station, and he recites the verse of Sajdah, it will be obligatory to perform Sajdah.

1106. As an obligatory precaution, the place where a person performs an obligatory Sajdah upon hearing the verse, should not be a usurped one, and, as a recommended precaution, the place where he places his forehead, should not be higher or lower than a span of four joined fingers than the place where his knees and tips of the toes rest.
However, it is not necessary to be in Wudhu or Ghusl, or to face Qibla, nor is it necessary to conceal one's private parts or to ensure that the body and the place where he has to place his forehead are Pak. Moreover, the conditions for dress in namaz do not apply to the performance of these obligatory Sajdah.

1107. The obligatory precaution is that in the obligatory Sajdah caused by the Qur'anic verse, a person should place his forehead on a mohr, or any other thing on which Sajdah is allowed, and also one should keep other parts of one's body on the ground, as required in a Sajdah of prayers.

1108. When a person performs the obligatory Sajdah upon hearing the relevant verse, it will be sufficient even if he does not recite any Zikr. However, it is Mustahab to recite Zikr, preferably the following: La ilaha illal lahu haqqan haqqa; La ilaha illal lahu imanan wa tasdiqa; la ilaha illal lahu 'ubudiyyatan wa riqqa; Sajadtu laka ya Rabbi ta'abbudan wa riqqa la mustankifan wa la mustak biran bal ana 'abdun zalilun za'ifun kha'ifun mustajir.