Prostrations while reading

Prostrations while reading

Prostrating (sajdatu at-tilawa - السَّجْدَةُ التِّلُاوَةُ) in certain places when reading the Quran is a sunnah for the reader and listener according to Imam Shafi'ee, Malik and Hanbal (may Allah have mercy on them), and according to Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah have mercy on him)it is mandatory.

They are marked by the word السَّجْدَةُ in the margins of the Quran and a special icon:

If a person recites one of these verses during a prayer, they perform sajdah (prostration) directly in the prayer.

If the imam recites those prayers that are recited aloud, then he does sajdah and the people behind him repeat the same. If the imam recites prayers that are recited quietly, then it is not necessary to do sajdah at-tilawah, so as not to confuse people, because they will not know the reason and may think that the imam is mistaken.

A way of performing sajdah during prayer:

When finished reading an ayah, go down in the sajdah position, reciting «Allahu Akbar». In sajdah recite three times:

سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الأَعْلَى
Субхана раббия ль-а'ля

After sajdah, return to the standing position, saying «Allahu Akbar» and read the surah further. And if this is the last verse of the surah, then it is recommended to additionally read something from the Quran before bowing down (ruku), according to Imam ash-Shafi'ee.

It is also reported in Sahih Muslim that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited the following dua in sajda:

اللَّهُمَّ لكَ سَجَدْتُ، وَبِكَ آمَنْتُ، وَلَكَ أَسْلَمْتُ، سَجَدَ وَجْهِي لِلَّذِي خَلَقَهُ، وَصَوَّرَهُ، وَشَقَّ سَمْعَهُ وَبَصَرَهُ، تَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ

Also there are some other good duas in the Sunnah and it is allowed to recite them during sajdah at-tilawah.

How to make the prostration outside salah (prayer):

We raise our hands, saying «Allahu Akbar» and then go down to prostrate. In the prostration we recite the following three times:

سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الأَعْلَى
Субхана раббия ль-а'ля

Then, raising the head, we say ‘Allahu Akbar’ and conclude with a greeting according to the madhhabs of Imams Shafi'ee and Ahmad ibn Hanbal (may Allah have mercy on them):

According to the Hanafi and Maliki scholars, the tasleem (the greeting at the end of the prayer) is not needed.

Conditions for performing sajdah at-tilawah outside the prayer:

1. Intention

2. Islam

3. The age of puberty and sound mind

4. Facing the qiblah

5. Being free from ritual impurity (wudu)

6. Covering the ‘awrah.

There are 2 opinions in some of these questions:

1) The opinion of the four imams is that the same conditions that apply to salah are necessary for the performance of sajdah tilawah: the presence of major and minor ablutions (ghusl and wudu), the closure of the ‘awrah and standing in the direction of the Ka’bah.

2) The opinion of a salafi group and some scholars (Ibn Hazm, Ibn Taymiyah, al-Bukhari, ash-Shawkani, etc.) is that sajdah tilawah is not equated with prayer, but refers to the remembrance of Allah and praising Him, and accordingly it is not necessary to have ablution, to cover the head with hijab (for women) and to stand towards qiblah, but is desirable. It is also reported from Aisha (may Allah have mercy on her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) remembered Allah in any state. Allah Almighty says in Surah Ali 'Imran:

الذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَى جُنُوبِهِمْ
[They are] those who remember Allah while standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth [and pray], “Our Lord! You have not created [all of] this without purpose. Glory be to You! Protect us from the torment of the Fire.
Surah 3 Ali Imran, ayah 191

Being in a state of ritual purity for the remembrance of Allah is not a necessary condition.

And also the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), when he recited the verses of sujood at gatherings, he would perform prostration and the companions would repeat after him, and he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not say that only those who have ablution could perform sajdah.

As for orienting towards qiblah, sajdah tilawah is a sunnah, according to the majority of scholars. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would recite optional prayers while sitting on a camel while riding. Thus, if a person is in a vehicle: a car, an airplane, a train, etc., then they can do sajdah in the direction in which they are moving if they can.

Some aspects related to sajdah at-tilawah:

If a person is reading the ayat of sujood and they are standing, then they go down in sajdah from a standing position. If they are sitting, then from a sitting position or they stand up for this, and this is more preferable. If leaning, then they should sit down or better stand up, and then perform sajdah.

If a person is listening to the Quran on the radio or by recording and they hear a verse of sujood, then the prostration is not mandatory since the listener must do sajdah if the reader has done it, and here the person does not know whether the reader has performed sajdah or not.

If the teacher in the classroom has read the ayah of sujood, then it is desirable for them to make a sajdah tilawah, as well as for their students. But if the teacher does not do this, then this prostration is Sunnah and not performing it is not a sin. And in this case too, the students repeat after the teacher. Also, if the teacher encounters such verses several times during one lesson, then it is advisable to perform sajdah every time they encounter them, but if they only perform it once, then this is enough. And Allah knows best.

The lesson is based on the fatwas of Sheikh Ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy on him).