Prostration to Allah, referred to as Sajda (or Sujood) is an important part of a Muslim’s prayers. A Sajda to Allah reflects humility and Khushu that is in one’s heart. Both the Quran and Hadith have highlighted the numerous blessings associated with the act of Sajda (prostration). More importantly, Sajda provides the Muslim with an opportunity to get closer and nearer to his (or her) Creator and Lord.
Rabie bin Ka’b was one of the prominent companions of the Prophet (S). As is narrated in Sahih Muslim, he said that one night while he was with the Prophet (S), the Prophet (S) asked him to bring water for him. Rabie brought him some water and whatever else the Prophet (S) had asked to bring. On this, the Prophet (S) became pleased with him and offered Rabie to ask for anything that he liked. After contemplating the offer, Rabie told the Prophet (S) that he wanted the Prophet’s companionship in Jannah (Paradise). The Prophet became amazed at this and became silent, after which he asked Rabie again if he wanted anything else. Rabie responded by saying that that was all he wanted. On this the Prophet (S) advised him to devote himself to a lot of Sujood so that it may facilitate his path to Paradise to join the company of the Prophet (S).
This, therefore, is an indication to Muslims to stay steadfast on their obligatory prayers and increase their optional prayers (and hence the Sujood that are part of them.)
Many other hadith of the Prophet (S) also tell us of the benefits and blessings of performing Sujood. Here are some of them.
The prophet (S) reminded us that the slave of Allah is closest to Him when the person is in a state of Sujood. That, therefore, is an excellent opportunity to make a lot of Dua to Allah. According to the hadith, he said:
“The nearest a salve of Allah is to his Rabb (Lord) is in the state of Sujood (Prostration) so increase the Dua (that you make to Allah).” (Sahih Muslim)
The Prophet (S) also reminded us that whoever humbles himself or herself in front of Allah, Allah will raise his status. The Prophet (S) said:
“Whoever humbles himself in front of Allah, He will raise him (in status and rewards).” (Sahih Muslim and Tabarani)
The Prophet (S) also said:
“Perform Sujood much because there is no Muslim that prostrates (perform Sajdah) to Allah except that Allah raises him one degree (in Jannah (Paradise) by it and forgives for him a sin.)” (Hadith by Ahmad)
Allah says in the Quran:
Nay! (O Muhammad (S))! Do not obey him (referring to Abu Jahl). Fall prostrate and draw near to Allah! (Quran, Surah 96:19).
Another verse of the Quran says:
“… You see them bowing and falling down prostrate (in prayer), seeking Bounty from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. The mark of them (i.e. of their Faith) is on their faces (foreheads) from the traces of prostration (during prayers)….” (Surah Al-Fath, 48:29)
Scholars such as Mujahid state that the mark refers to that of Khushoo (humility) rather than a physical mark. In this context, the Prophet (S) had said,
“My nation (ummah) on that day (the Judgement Day) will surely have bright faces because of sujood (that they would have performed), and bright arms and feet because of wudu (ablution).” (Hadith of Ahmad)
When in Sujood (in a state of prayers), one should make a lot of Dua. However, making Sujood outside prayers solely for the sake of making a Dua is not recommended (Ref). This is because many hadith point to the Prophet’s actions (and encouragement) of raising ones hands when making Dua.Hadith and Prophet’s Saying on good deeds to avoid punishment – Sahih Bukhari
Outside the regular prayers, the Prophet’s hadith taught us to perform Sujood in the following states:
- Sajdat Al-Tilawah (Sajdah during recitation) – This refers to the Sajdah that a person performs when reciting some special verses (as marked in the Quran).
- Sajdat Al-Shukr (Prostration of Thankfulness) – This refers to the prostration when a person performs in gratitude and in thanking Allah. The Prophet (S) performed this Sajdah at numerous occasions when he received any good news. Similarly, the companions of the Prophet (S) did the same.
Also, according to hadith of the Prophet (S), one is not allowed to recite any part of the Quran in a state of Sujood. Rather, the prophet (S) encouraged the recitation of certain Azkar (mentioned below) and to strive in Dua. (Sahih Muslim 479). In another hadith in Sahih Muslim (480), Ali ibn Abi Talib mentioned that the Prophet forbade him to recite the Quran verses in a state of prostration. However, many scholars agree that it’s permissible to recite those verses of the Quran that have a Dua in them. So, the intent there is that of making a Dua and not reciting Quran (Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 6/443).
Supplications for Sujood
The following are the two prayers that one can say in a state of Sujood (prostration):
Allaahumma laka sajadtu wa bika aamantu wa laka aslamtu wa anta rabbi, sajada wajhi lilladhi khalaqahu wa sawwarahu wa shaqqa sam’ahu wa basarahu, tabaarak Allaahu ahsan al-khaaliqeen (O Allaah, unto You I have prostrated and in You I have believed, and unto You I have submitted and You are my Lord. My face has prostrated before Him Who created it and fashioned it, and brought forth its faculties of hearing and seeing by His Might and Power. Blessed is Allah, the Best of creators). ‘Jami’ al-Tirmidhi [Narrated by ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin Abi Salma b. ‘Ubaidulla]. Also, this was narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh, 1290
“Subhaana Rabbiy al-A’laa (Glory be to my Lord Most High)