Chapter Thirteen: On the sajdas of the Qur'an

The prostrations of the Qur'an are sunna. The decision of Ibn 'Arafa is the preferred. It is said that they are meritorious. Ibn al-Hajib and others said that it is well-known for the reciter and the one who intends to listen, not the one who hears it.

13.1 Preconditions

[There are three preconditions for the prostration of the listener.

  1. The reciter is fit to be Imam, i.e. he is a sane, adult male in wudu'. He does not prostrate when he hears an ayat of prostration recited by a hermaphrodite, woman, child, or someone not in wudu'.
  2. The listener is sitting to learn from the reciter what he needs of recitiation in idgham or memorisation of what is recited.
  3. The reciter has not sat so that people can listen to the excellence of his recitation. He has sat to recite the words of Allah or intends to let people listen for the sake of admonition and preventing acts of disobedience.

When these preconditions exist, and the reciter does not prostrate, the one who intends to listen prostrates according to the well-known position.]

13.2 Verses where prostration is made

There are eleven sajdas in the Qur'an, these being the places where you are commanded to go into sujud. None of these are in the Mufassal . They are:

[ They are called 'aza'im in Arabic to encourage that it be done out of fear of abandoning them which is disliked. The Mufassal are those frequently separated by the basmala, the first of which is al-Hujurat (49), according to some. So there is no prostration in an-Najm, al-Inshiqaq (84), and al-Qalam (68).

The first is:]

1. In Surat al-A'raf, (7:206) where Allah ta'ala says: (And they glorify Him and to Him they prostrate) which is the end of the sura.

If you are doing the prayer you should go into sujud when you reach this point and then recite what is easy for you from Surat al-Anfal or some other sura and then go into ruku' and sujud.

[ If you are doing a prayer, whether nafila or obligatory and recite it, then you prostrate for it at the moment of respect because it is subject to the prayer. It is disliked to intentionally recite an ayat of prostration in an obligatory prayer. After prostrating, it is recommended that you stand and recite some of al-Anfal or another which is easy, then do ruku' as normal so that it is not immediately after prostration.

The rest are:]

2. In Surat ar-Ra'd (13:15) where Allah ta'ala says: (...and their shadows in the morning and the afternoon).

3. In Surat an-Nahl (16:50) where Allah ta'ala says: (They fear their Lord above them and do what they are ordered to do.)

4. In Surat al-Isra (17:109) where Allah ta'ala says: (They fall on their faces weeping and it increases them in humility.)

5. In Surat Maryam (19:58) where Allah ta'ala says: (When the signs of the Rahman are recited to them they fall down prostrating and weeping.)

6. In Surat al-Hajj (22:18) where Allah ta'ala says: (Whomever Allah abases no one can ennoble. Surely Allah does what He wills.)

7. In Surat al-Furqan (25:60) where Allah ta'ala says: (Should we prostrate to what you order us to prostrate to? And it makes them run even further away.)

8. In Surat an-Naml (27:26) where Allah ta'ala says: (There is no god except Him, the Lord of the Mighty Throne.)

9. In Surat as-Sajda (32:15) where Allah ta'ala says: (They glorify their Lord with praise and they are not proud.)

10. In Surat Sad (38:24) where Allah ta'ala says: (He sought forgiveness from His Lord and fell down bowing and turned to His Lord in repentance.) It is also said that this sajda is done after the words. ( exalted place with Us and an excellent return.) (38:25)

11. In Surat Fusillat (41:37) where Allah ta'ala says: (And prostrate to Allah who created them if it is indeed Him you worship.)

13.3 How the prostration is done

13.3a. You must be in wudu'

You do not do these sajdas in the Qur'an unless you are in wudu'.

[Preconditional for it is what is preconditional for the other prayers: purity from both major and minor impurity and facing qibla.]

13.3b. The takbir

You say a takbir for them

{In going down and coming up by agreement if that is while he is in the prayer, and in the well-known statement, if he is not in the prayer. It is said that it is disliked and it is said that he can choose between the takbir or not doing it. Then there are three positions. He does not raise his hands, which is disliked in going down and rising. There is no tashahhud in the well-known position. It is also said that there is a tashahhud.]

13.3c. No salam

but do not say the salam.

[There is no salam, i.e. it is disliked unless he intends to remove any dispute.]

13.3d. The takbir on rising

There is leeway as to whether you say 'Allahu akbar' as you come up from the sajda although we consider it preferable to do so.

[ It a fourth position in the question in which Ibn al-Hajib relates three positions, i.e. he has a choice when he rises, but not when he does down, as Ibn Naji pointed out. Do his words, 'Whether you say 'Allahu akbar' although we consider it preferable' refer to the takbir when rising? i.e. does it mean that he says the takbir when rising as he does when going down so that it is the same as the first of the three positions, or does the takbir refer to rising and going down which is also the first? So in any case he chooses the well-known position.]

13.4. When to do or omit the prostration

13.4a. In the prayers

You should do these sajdas, if you recite the ayats where they come, in both fard and nafila prayers.

[These prostrations are done in the fard and nafila prayers, whether you are the Imam or praying alone, even if it is disliked to recite them intentionally in the fard prayer in the well-known position. It is disliked for the Imam and someone praying alone to recite the prostration ayat deliberately in the fard because if he does not prostrate, he enters into the threat, and if he prostrates, he increases the prostation over the obligation and that might lead to confusing those following. As for the nafila, it is not disliked to intentionally recite the prostration ayat in them alone or in a group, outloud or secretly, resident or on a joruney, at night or day, confirmed or not confirmed, fearing to confuse the one behind him or not.]

NOTE ONE: Part of what he says about the fard and nafila is that if he recites them in a khutba he does not prostrate. It is said that is since there is no space in it in the order of the khutba and the judgment is that reciting it is disliked. If it occurs that he prostrates in the khutba, it is not invalid, even if he is forbidden to prostrate.

NOTE TWO: If an imam recites a prostration ayat and does not prostrate, then the follower leaves it. If the follower prostrates when his Imam has not done so, his prayer is invalid when that is deliberate rather than inadvertant, as the prayer of the follower is not invalid by not prostrating with the Imam who prostrates, even if he leaves it deliberately - but he has behaved badly. Ibn Wahb related that it is not disliked to recite it in the fard. Al-Lakhmi, Ibn Yunus, Ibn Bashir and others say that is correct since it is confirmed that the Prophet continued to recite the prostration ayat in the first rak'at of the Subh prayer on Jumu'a. Ibn Bashir said, "Our excellent shaykhs and theirs used to persevere on that, and it is done at any time of day or night except the Friday khutba, sunrise, when it becomes yellow and daybreak. It is disliked to do it at these times. There is disagreement about doing it at daybreak and yellowing after praying Subh and afrer praying 'Asr. In the Muwatta' it is absolutely not allowed after them, either in yellowing or daybreak. In the Mudawwana, it is the accepted position that he can prostrate after it after them as long as it is not yellow or daybreak. This is what the shaykh says.]

13.4b. At times when prayer is forbidden

You should also do them if you recite any of these ayats after praying subh, provided the light is not yet bright, and after 'Asr provided the sun has not turned yellow.

[ This is a confirmed sunna. Thus it resembles funerals. and there is a difference between the one who does them in the two times because of it being confirmed sunna because the simple nafila are not done after 'Asr and after Subh.]

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