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Rules regarding the Prostration of Recitation

MIT
11/23/2016
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The Islamic Conviction calls for believing in One God, i.e. Allah, the Most High and worshiping Him alone. In this regard, Sajdah (Prostration) is a great act of attaining Nearness to the Almighty Lord and weakening the influence of Satan. Muslims all  over the world perform this necessary action of completion of Islamic Faith which is the personification of one`s dependence on One Allah, the exalted in all matters of life and beyond. The prophet(peace be upon him) explained the high significance of Sajdah Tilawat (prostration while reading or hearing specific parts of the Holy Qur'an) in the following way:  “Once, a person prostrates himself after reading a verse requiring the performance of sajdah, the Shaitan (devil) starts crying and wailing in a corner, saying: ‘Alas! The children of Adam were enjoined to perform sajdah and they carried it out, and become entitled to enter Paradise, but I refused to do so and was condemned to Hell.’” (Muslim and Ibn Majah)

Satan was the one who did not prostrate in front of Adam and refused to fulfill the command of Allah. Therefore, he does not like when a Muslim observes this deed which results in the attainment of Jannah (Paradise) in the hereafter. Therefore, it means that the prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), has regarded Sajdah (prostration) as a great means of making the devil fragile which ultimately leads to seeking Pleasure of the Creator of the worlds.

Sajdah Tilawat is the form of prostration that one has to execute before Allah while reading or hearing the recitation of specific parts of the Holy Quran.

The scholars of Islam differed on the ruling of prostration of recitation. Some opined that it is obligatory to do prostration like Abu Hanifah while the scholars prescribed it as a Sunnah (voluntarily act) and is not obligatory. The reason for disagreement arises from their dispute about the implication of the commands requiring prostrations and the traditions that convey the meaning of the commands. For example, Allay says:

إِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ خَرُّوا سُجَّدًا وَبُكِيًّا

" Whenever the Signs of (Allah) Most Gracious are rehearsed to them, they would fall down in prostrate adoration and in tears." Q19:58.

Are these words of the Exalted, to be interpreted as an obligation or a recommendation. The scholars who opined that the prostration of recitation is obligatory interpreted them in their apparent meaning of obligation, while the others followed the (interpretation of) the Companions of our beloved prophet (peace be upon him), as they were the ones best grounded in the affair of Islamic law. Thus, it has been established that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab recited surat al-Sajda (the chapter of prostration)  on a Friday. He descended (from the pulpit) and made a prostration and the people prostrated with him. On the next Friday, he recited it again and the people prepared for the prostration, so he said, "Wait! Wait! Allah has not prescribed it for us, unless we want to do it".

They said that this occurred in the presence of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all), and no disagreement was transmitted from any of them. They were the ones who best knew the essence of the law. This is used in support of that view by those who rely on the opinion of a Companion when there is no other conflicting evidence. The disciples of al-Shafi'i argued on the basis of the tradition of Zayd ibn al-Thabit, who said.  "I used to read out the Qur'an for the Messenger of Allah (God's peace and blessings be upon him). Once I recited surat al-Hajj and he did not prostrate, and neither did we". These jurists also argued on the basis of the report "that the Prophet (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) did not prostrate during (the recitation of ) al-Mufassal Surahs", and also on the reports that he did prostrate during their recitation, a reconciliation between these implies that the prostrations are not obligatory. It is also narrated from Umar that he said: "O people, sometimes we recite the verse of Sajdah, so whoever makes a prostration he acts correctly and there is no sin upon the one who does not do so" . (Al-Bukhari).

Finally, it is clear from the above evidences that prostration while reading or hearing the verses of the Holy Qur'an is not obligatory but it is Sunnah(voluntarily act). So if someone does it, he will be rewarded and if he does not, there is no sin on him.   

 






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