Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Prostration Outside of Salat


بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم

وعاقبة للمتقين

وَاسْجُدْ وَاقْتَرِب

Prostrate and draw near to Allah!

(Sura 96: 19)


The act of prostration, or Sajda, when done with the intention of degrading oneself before Allâh, is an extremely high and beautiful form of worship that has come to distinguish Islam from virtually all other religions. The Prophet said:

أَقْرَبُ مَا يَكُونُ الْعَبْدُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَهُوَ سَاجِدٌ فَأَكْثِرُوا الدُّعَاءَ

“The nearest a servant comes to his Lord is when he in prostration, so make supplication (in that state)” (Sahih Muslim)

Ma’dan b. Abi Talha reported: I met Thawban, the freed slave of Allah’s Messenger and asked him to tell me about an act for which, if I do it, Allah will admit me to Paradise, or I asked about the act which was loved most by Allah. He gave no reply. I again asked and he gave no reply. I asked him for the third time, and he said: I asked Allah’s Messenger about that and he said:

عَلَيْكَ بِكَثْرَةِ السُّجُودِ لِلَّهِ فَإِنَّكَ لاَ تَسْجُدُ لِلَّهِ سَجْدَةً إِلاَّ رَفَعَكَ اللَّهُ بِهَا دَرَجَةً وَحَطَّ عَنْكَ بِهَا خَطِيئَةً

“Make frequent prostrations before Allah, for you will not make one prostration without raising you a degree because of it, and removing a sin from you, because of it.” (Sahih Muslim)

Rabi’a b. Ka’b said: I was with Allah’s Messenger one night and I brought him water and what he required. He said to me: Ask (anything you like). I said: I ask your company in Paradise. He (the Holy Prophet) said: Or anything else besides it. I said: That is all (what I require). He said:

فَأَعِنِّي عَلَى نَفْسِكَ بِكَثْرَةِ السُّجُودِ

“Then help me to achieve this for you by devoting yourself often to prostration.” (Sahih Muslim)

Salafis and many other Muslims insist that the Sajda whose virtues have been extolled in the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith, such as those cited here, refer to the Sajda which is offered during the Salat and not outside of it. According to them, to offer a single, isolated prostration outside of the Salat without any reason except for drawing closer to Allah or as a supplication to Allah, is a dispraised innovation. They contend that a only a prostration of Tilawa (recitation of the Qur’an) and the prostration of Shukr (gratitude) are legislated in the Religion, but apart from these two it is not allowed to offer an isolated prostration outside of the Salat. To this end, Imam al-Nawawi is cited as saying:

لو خضع إنسان لله تعالى فتقرب بسجدة بغير سبب يقتضي سجود شكر ففيه وجهان حكاهما إمام الحرمين وغيره ( أحدهما ) : يجوز , قاله صاحب التقريب ( وأصحهما ) : لا يجوز

“If a person humbled himself to Allah, the Exalted, and sought nearness to Him through an (isolated) prostration (sajdah) without any reason necessitating that a prostration of gratefulness be made (to Allah), then it has two positions, Imam al-Haramayn (al-Juwayni) and others have cited it. The first, that it is permissible, this was said by the author of al-Taqrib, and [the second] and most sound of them both is that it is not permissible.” (al-Majmu Sharh al-Muhadhdhab (Maktabah al-Irshad, Jeddah, 3/565))

An example of the prostration of Shukr (gratitude) is not only that a worshiper prostrates when he is granted some blessing, such as the birth of a child, but also prostrates when he sees a Sign of Allah:

Narrated ‘Ikrimah: After Salat As-Subh, it was said to Ibn ‘Abbas that so-and-so - one of the wives of the Prophet - has died, so he prostrated. So it was said to him: Do you prostrate at this hour? So he said: Has not the Messenger of Allah [already] said:

إِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ آيَةً فَاسْجُدُوا

“If you see a Sign then prostrate?”

Then which sign is grater than the passing of (one of) the wives of the Prophet ()? (Tirmidhi; Hadith Hasan)

As for offering prostration outside of Salat for the purpose of supplication, it is mentioned that Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyya (rahimahullah) favored it:

“Seeking to get closer to Allaah by prostrating outside the prayer for other than the sujood of the recitation of the Quran or for thanking Allaah for a blessing that he bestowed on a person is an act that is not permissible according to the view of the majority of scholars. However, some scholars considered it to be permissible if there is a reason that necessitates it; such as wishing to supplicate, for example. This is the view favored by Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him. Therefore, if a person wants to do sujood and ask Allaah for a need, and he did sujood for this and supplicated Allaah, then this act is permissible according to the view of some scholars.”

Similarly, ‘Islamweb’ admits that: “As for prostrating for no given reason, it was narrated as lawful in the Shafi’e school.”

1 comment:

  1. *Note: The unnamed author of the Taqrib is in fact Sulaym b. Ayyub al-Razi al-Shafi'i (d. 447 H)

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