Thursday, 27 September 2007

Prostration of Tilawat & Prostration of Thanks


The Qur'anic Recital Prostration (Sujud Al-Tilawat)

To prostrate (make Sujud) for recital of appropriate verses of the Qur'an is Sunnah for the person reciting, listening, or merely hearing.

One makes Sujud for one's own recital if praying by oneself or if one is Imam, but it invalidates one's prayer to intentionally and with knowledge of its prohibition recite one verse for the purpose of Sujud during the prayer (if one makes Sujud therein), except for Surah Al-Sajdah recited in Subuh Solat on Friday.

Nevertheless, if such a verse merely occurs in the course of one's Solat, as when one is reciting a particular Surah containing it, one may make Sujud. But if either of them prostrates upon hearing someone else's recital, it invalidates their Solat. A follower may only make this Sujud with his Imam. The follower's prayer is invalid if he prostrates for his own recital, the recital of someone besides the Imam, or does not prostrate when the Imam does.

There are fourteen (14) prostration verses, whereby two of them are in Surah Al-Hajj of the Holy Qur'an. They do not include the prostration at Sad (Surah 38: Ayat 24), which is a prostration of thanks, not of Qur'anic recital, and is only performed outside of Solat. To purposely prostrate for it during the prayer invalidates the prayer.

When one prostrates for reciting while in Solat, it is recommended to say "AllahuAkbar" before prostrating and again when rising from prostration. It is obligatory to stand again after it, (or to sit up again if performing a non-obligatory prayer seated) and recommended to then recite more of the Qur'an before one bows for Ruku'.

When one prostrates for reciting while outside of the prayer, it is obligatory to say an opening AllahuAkbar and to finish with Salams.

The four integrals of both the prostration of Qur'anic recital outside of prayer and of the Sujud Syukur (prostration of thanks) are:

(a) the intention;

(b) the opening AllahuAkbar;

(c) the prostration;

(d) and the final Salams - which can only be performed in a sitting position.

Whether in or out of Solat, the things that invalidate a normal prayer invalidate the prostrations of recital or thanks, and the conditions of the prayer i.e. Ablution (Wudhu), clothing the Aurah, the entry of the proper time which is when the the last letter of a prostration verse has been recited - facing the direction of prayer (Qiblat), and so forth, are also conditions of these prostrations. It is recommended to say "AllahuAkbar" when one makes Sujud and rises from Sujud, though not to recite the Testification of Faith (Tashahhud) therein.

If one delays the recital prostration past its time and the interval is brief i.e. meaning less than the time of two brief, medium-length raka'ats - then one is still entitled to prostrate. If longer than that, one does not make it up. When one repeats a Sujud verse within one sitting or within one raka'at and one has missed the prostration at its first mention, then it may be accomplished by a single prostration though if one prostrates for the first, one still prostrates for the subsequent times, as the reason to do so has been renewed.

When reciting the Qur'an, whether during the prayer or not, it is recommended to ask Allah for mercy at the verses mentioning mercy, and to seek refuge in Him (Ta'awwudh) at verse mentioning punishment.

Prostration of Thanks (Sujud Al-Shukr)

Whenever a blessing appears in one's life - such as a child, wealth, or prestige, it is recommended to prostrate out of Shukr and thanks to Allah, and likewise when an affliction is averted, such as being saved from drowning, regaining health, or the reappearance of someone lost or the death of a tyrant ruler, or when one sees someone disobedient to Allah being afflicted with illness, though in the latter case one should prostrate in private, so as not to sadden the person. The prostration of thanks is the same as the Qur'anic recital prostration outside of the prayer - regarding its integrals and conditions as mentioned above. It invalidates one's prayer if performed during it.

It is Haraam to prostrate without occasion merely to humble oneself to Allah to draw near to Him - and this is a reprehensible innovation i.e. Bid'ah. This must be clearly understood, so as to protect the sanctity and authenticity of the Muslims' domain of specific worship, which cannot be modified simply by mere emotions, but is rigidly spelled out by the methods performed by Rasulullah SAW and his Sahabah RA.

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