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Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim:

Prostration is one of the highest signs of worship. It is the lowest we can get, in front of the Highest of all. We put the most prized part of our body– our forehead– on the ground, thus acknowledging Allah’s loftiness and grandeur. It is also the time when we’re closest to our Lord. The Prophet (saws) said,

The closest that a person can be to his Lord, the Mighty and Sublime, is when he is prostrating, so increase in supplication then. [an-Nasai]

There are several kinds of prostration, the most common being that which is included in the daily obligatory prayers. Another wajib prostration is the sajdah at tilawah. There are some verses in the Quran where Allah Azza wa Jall commands us to prostrate, and after reciting which the Prophet was reported by the Companions to have prostrated.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to recite the Qur’an to us. When he came upon the verse containing prostration, he would utter the takbir (Allah is most great) and we would prostrate ourselves along with him. [Abu Dawud]

These are, according to al-Quduri rahimahullah, fourteen in total. Reading these verses (or listening to them) and prostrating to Allah is a great act of worship. In fact, it is a matter which makes Shaytan cry:

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that when, the son of Adam recites the Ayat of Sajdah (prostration) and then falls down in prostration, the Satan goes into seclusion and weeps and says:

Alas, and in the narration of Abu Kuraib the words are: Woe unto me, the son of Adam was commanded to prostrate, and he prostrated and Paradise was entitled to him and I was commanded to prostrate, but I refused and am doomed to Hell. [Sahih Muslim]

Below is a list of the places in the Quran, according to al-Quduri, where it is wajib to prostrate after reciting or listening to them.

Places of prostration in the Quran

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ عِندَ رَبِّكَ لَا يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِهِ وَيُسَبِّحُونَهُ وَلَهُ يَسْجُدُونَ ۩

  1. Indeed, those who are near your Lord are not prevented by arrogance from His worship, and they exalt Him, and to Him they prostrate. [al-A’raf, 7:206]

وَلِلَّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَظِلَالُهُم بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ ۩

  1. And to Allah prostrates whoever is within the heavens and the earth, willingly or by compulsion, and their shadows [as well] in the mornings and the afternoons. [ar-Ra’d, 13:15]

يَخَافُونَ رَبَّهُم مِّن فَوْقِهِمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ ۩

  1. They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded. [An-Nahl, 16:50]

وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلْأَذْقَانِ يَبْكُونَ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ خُشُوعًا ۩

  1. And they fall upon their faces weeping, and the Qur’an increases them in humble submission. [Bani Israel, 17:109]

أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ مِن ذُرِّيَّةِ آدَمَ وَمِمَّنْ حَمَلْنَا مَعَ نُوحٍ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّةِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْرَائِيلَ وَمِمَّنْ هَدَيْنَا وَاجْتَبَيْنَا ۚ إِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ خَرُّوا سُجَّدًا وَبُكِيًّا ۩

  1. Those were the ones upon whom Allah bestowed favor from among the prophets of the descendants of Adam and of those We carried [in the ship] with Noah, and of the descendants of Abraham and Israel, and of those whom We guided and chose. When the verses of the Most Merciful were recited to them, they fell in prostration and weeping. [Maryam, 19:58]

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَذَابُ ۗ وَمَن يُهِنِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِن مُّكْرِمٍ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاءُ ۩

  1. Do you not see that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of the people? But upon many the punishment has been justified. And he whom Allah humiliates – for him there is no bestower of honor. Indeed, Allah does what He wills. [al-Hajj, 22:18]

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اسْجُدُوا لِلرَّحْمَٰنِ قَالُوا وَمَا الرَّحْمَٰنُ أَنَسْجُدُ لِمَا تَأْمُرُنَا وَزَادَهُمْ نُفُورًا ۩

  1. And when it is said to them, “Prostrate to the Most Merciful,” they say, “And what is the Most Merciful? Should we prostrate to that which you order us?” And it increases them in aversion. [al-Furqan, 25:60]

اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ ۩

  1. Allah – there is no deity except Him, Lord of the Great Throne. [27:26]

إِنَّمَا يُؤْمِنُ بِآيَاتِنَا الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِهَا خَرُّوا سُجَّدًا وَسَبَّحُوا بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَهُمْ لَا يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ ۩

  1. Only those believe in Our verses who, when they are reminded by them, fall down in prostration and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of their Lord, and they are not arrogant. [as-Sajdah, 32:15]

قَالَ لَقَدْ ظَلَمَكَ بِسُؤَالِ نَعْجَتِكَ إِلَىٰ نِعَاجِهِ ۖ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْخُلَطَاءِ لَيَبْغِي بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَقَلِيلٌ مَّا هُمْ ۗ وَظَنَّ دَاوُودُ أَنَّمَا فَتَنَّاهُ فَاسْتَغْفَرَ رَبَّهُ وَخَرَّ رَاكِعًا وَأَنَابَ ۩

  1. [David] said, “He has certainly wronged you in demanding your ewe [in addition] to his ewes. And indeed, many associates oppress one another, except for those who believe and do righteous deeds – and few are they.” And David became certain that We had tried him, and he asked forgiveness of his Lord and fell down bowing [in prostration] and turned in repentance [to Allah ]. [Sad, 38:24]

فَإِنِ اسْتَكْبَرُوا فَالَّذِينَ عِندَ رَبِّكَ يُسَبِّحُونَ لَهُ بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَهُمْ لَا يَسْأَمُونَ ۩

  1. But if they are arrogant – then those who are near your Lord exalt Him by night and by day, and they do not become weary. [Fussilat, 41:38]

فَاسْجُدُوا لِلَّهِ وَاعْبُدُوا ۩

  1. So prostrate to Allah and worship [Him]. [an-Najm, 53:62]

وَإِذَا قُرِئَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقُرْآنُ لَا يَسْجُدُونَ ۩

  1. And when the Qur’an is recited to them, they do not prostrate [to Allah ]? [al Inshiqaq, 84:21]

كَلَّا لَا تُطِعْهُ وَاسْجُدْ وَاقْتَرِب ۩

  1. No! Do not obey him. But prostrate and draw near [to Allah ]. [96:19]

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