Sunday 18 August 2019

Understanding the Holy Quran: Sajda-e-Tilawat - Prostration while Reciting the Quran

The Holy Qur'an is a Divine Book, which contains commandants, prohibitions, and directions for the mankind as how to lead their life as envisioned by none other than Allah, God to some. Therefore while reciting the Holy Qur'an, one must adhere to etiquette as a gesture of extreme respect and uphold its diginity and sacredness. 

While reciting the Holy Qur'an, one comes across at a number of places as given below where one is obliged to prostrate, called as Sajda-e-Tilawat - Prostration while Reciting the Quran. Generally, up to fifteen points in the Quran, a prostration is considered Waajib (necessary). These are:
  1. Chapter 7       Surah Al A’Raf - Ayat 206  
  2. Chapter 13     Surah Al Ra’d - Ayat 15
  3. Chapter 16     Surah Al Nahl - Ayat 50
  4. Chapter 17     Surah Al Isra - Ayat 109
  5. Chapter 19     Surah Maryum - Ayat 58
  6. Chapter 22     Surah Al Haj - Ayat 18
  7. Chapter 25     Surah Al Furqan -) Ayat 60
  8. Chapter 27     Surah Al Naml - Ayat 26
  9. Chapter 32     Surah As Sajdah - Ayat 15
  10. Chapter 38     Surah Sa’d - Ayat 24 (There exists a difference of opinion on Sajdah in verse 24)
  11. Chapter 41     Surah Fussilat - Ayat 38
  12. Chapter 53     Surah Al Najam (53) Ayat 62
  13. Chapter 84     Surah Inshiqaq - Ayat 21
  14. Chapter 96     Surah Al Alaq - Ayat 19
As for the second sajda mentioned in Surah Al Haj [Chapter 22] - Ayat 77, one is not liable to perform Sajdah as the Command of Allah in this verse is solely about prayers.  According to the Shafi'is and Hanbalis, this is the only surah to have two prostrations of recitation, however the Hanafis and Malikis do not recognise the second apparent sajda on a person to perform Sajdah (prostration)

The places where Sajda-e-Tilawat is to be offered are either denoted by Arabic word "Al Sajda" [Surah Al A’Raf - Ayat 206]:
Or denoted by a symbol [Surah Al Isra - Ayat 109]:
Or by both the Arabic text and symbol [Surah As Sajdah - Ayat 15]:

Narrated Ibn `Umar: When the Prophet recited a Surah that contained the prostration he would prostrate and we would do the same and some of us (because of the heavy rush) could not find a place for prostration. [ Sahi Bukhari, Hadith No. 1075]

The Prophet of Allah when prostrating for sajda-e-tilawat would say Allahu-Akbar, prostrate and while rising from sajdah with Allahu-Akbar. Sajda-e-tilawat which may be performed sitting or from standing position."

However, there are two views on sajda-e-tilawat; One school of thought considers it obligatory, like fard, and the other takes it as sunnah, an act of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). In some instances the Prophet of Allah has been mentioned of skipping the sajda on the same verse in which he had earlier performed prostration. This shows that sajda-e-tilawat is Sunnah. This implies that offering prostration of recitation will fetch the believer many rewards, but no one will be penalized for skipping it. So we should do it for our good deeds and resultant Thawab / sawab are always lagging behind our bad deeds. However, many take it as obligation and stress on MUST rather than option. 

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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