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Can prostration (sajood) be of two types?


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Author Topic: Can prostration (sajood) be of two types?  (Read 195 times)
Heba E. Husseyn
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« on: June 04, 2011, 03:41:57 am »

 

BismEm


I recently came across a lecture by Sheikh Abu Abdissalam on this topic.  The Sheikh began with Verse 7:11 in which Allah Almighty tells the angels to prostrate before Adam and they all prostrated except Iblis (Satan) who was of the jinn, so he demurred through pride and refused to prostrate. 

"And We created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration."  (7:11)  Surah Al-Araf.
 
Iblis was of the jinn.  Allah elevated his rank to that of an angel so that he could enhance his piety in the worship of Allah.  We don't know the background of the facts that led to the promotion of Iblis from a jin to an angel.  That's only known to Allah alone.
 
Paraphrasing Sheikh Abu Abdissalaam, he mentioned that there are two kinds of sajood or prostration:

(1) The prostration of worship (or Ibadah) and
(2) the prostration of magnification.   

Before the coming of Islam among the previous nations which had received the Message it was permissible for them to prostrate before the creation out of respect, but it was not a sign of worship and therefor prostration out of respect had to be kept strictly separate from the act of Ibadah or worship.  As for the prostration of worship, it was always prohibited before any creation.  This was reserved only for Allah (Subhana Wa'Tala).  When Allah Almighty created Adam and told all angels including Iblis to prostrate before Adam, this was NOT a prostration of worship, but it was  prostration to confirm human superiority as a species over other species.  I will mention a few other relevant points as I proceed.  In Verse 7:11 when Allah tells the angels to prostrate before Adam, Allah is NOT telling the angels to worship Adam but this is only a gesture of respect towards the first human creation created by Allah.   Because Iblis refused to perform this prostration of respect before the creation of Allah, he showed his disobedience to Allah's commandment out of arrogance.  Iblis showed no regret for his disobedience nor did he ask forgivness of Allah.  For this disobedience, Iblis was doomed forever by Allah and his destination is Hellfire. 

This explanation of Sheikh Abu Abdissalaam is largely correct, but he has made a  mistake too by partially misinterpreting Verse 7:11.  To mention that before the coming of Islam among the previous nations it was permissible to prostrate before the creation, even if it was out of respect, is NOT right nor true. 

Allah's command to the angels to prostrate before Adam was an exclusive case, it's purpose being the practical demonstration of respect for the great ability of Allah Almighty with which He created the first human species.  It was basically a ceremonial act to mark the beginning of creation of the human race and the importance to obey the order of Allah by showing respect for His creation.  But this does NOT mean that prostration before humans by other humans should ever be done on earth.  After the creation of Adam, it is Adam and his race who have been forever commanded to prostrate before Allah Almighty alone.  The Noble Quran does not mention anywhere nor is there any record in history where any Monotheistic believer prostrated before another, neither "out of respect" nor for the purpose of "magnicfication."  We are to show our respect for a worthy believer through our good and respectful conduct, NOT by prostrating. 

Thus, Sheikh Abu Abdissalaam clearly misinterpreted partly the meaning of Verse 7:11.  This Verse does NOT imply that there are two types of prostrations.  The description of Verse 7:11 is only a one-time ceremonial gesture of respect toward the creation of Allah and this gesture ends here.  From now onward, prostration only means humans falling prostrate (or performing sajood) as an act of Monotheistic worship before Allah alone.


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Zeynab
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2011, 12:14:40 am »

Well elucidated, sister Heba.  I don't know how this sheikh could have come up with such a misinterpretation.   The purpose of Allah's command to the angels in Verse 7:11 is not supposed to mean that it's okay for humans to prostrate before other humans out of respect.  As you correctly put it, the creation of Adam by Allah Almighty marked the start of the human race.  The angels were ordered by Allah to prostrate before this new creation as a gesture to magnifiy the magnificence of Allah, the Creator of this new being.  Allah's command to the angels to prostrate before Adam is also a gesture of recognition of the responsibilities bestowed on the human race by Allah - humans being given the ability to choose their path of conduct which makes the human race the superior-most species among all of Allah's creations by the command of Allah. 
 
Also, shiekh Abdissalam's perception of "two types of prostration" doesn't make any sense and is flatly wrong.  He claims to separate the concept of prostrating before a human being out of respect and prostrating before Allah as an act of Ibadah or worship.  When we prostrate before Allah, our desire to prostrate arises out of respect, love and faith in Him.  So, as the sheikh claims, if people in the olden days prostrated before other humans out of respect, they were surely transgressing because of their exaggerated method of expressing their respects.  Such a method of expressing one's respect must only be reserved for Allah.  Verse 7:11 does not mean that just because Allah commanded the angels to prostrate before Adam at the start of the human creation, so any human can prostrate before any other human out of respect.  Not at all.  Verse 7:11 does not convey this concept at all.
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 11:36:20 pm »

I'm glad sisters you have clarified it.  I don't know how this sheikh could make such a blunder in misinterpreting the concept of sajoud by misinterpreting the concept of verse 7:11.  That's why I've become wary about watching or attending lectures online / offline.  They might say several things that are right.  But they always make at least one blunder which ruins the whole lecture. 

Btw, where did you watch this lecture, sister Heba?
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2011, 11:41:17 pm »

Salaams sisters.  Many thanks for your great comments.  Agree with u wholly sister Zeynab.

Sis Rose, I saw it in a video of the lecture site "Islamic Network" titled 'The Prayer.'   http://www.abuabdissalam.com/?p=62
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2011, 04:13:03 pm »



Salaams and hi again folks.   After coming across Verse 100/101 of Surah 12 (Yusuf) a couple of days ago, I would like to add a bit more on this topic.

"And he placed his parents on the dais and they fell down before him prostrate, and he said: O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream of old. My Rab has made it true, and He has shown me kindness, since He took me out of the prison and has brought you from the desert after Satan had made strife between me and my brethren. Lo! my Rab is tender unto whom He will. He is the Knower, the Wise.   (12:100)

O my Rab! You have given me (something) of sovereignty and has taught me (something) of the interpretation of events - Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Protecting Guardian in the world and the Hereafter. Make me to die muslim (unto You), and join me to the righteous."  (12:101)


When Prophet Yusuf's parents fell prostrate before him, it was NOT an act of worship.  Their prostration was NOT to Prophet Yusuf.  It was an expression of extreme gratitude and thankfulness towards Allah Almighty for uniting them with their offspring whom they thought they had lost.  Therefore, this prostration was a sajoud before Allah, the Almighty.   It's always the intention that determines the act.  For that reason I've quoted verse 101 as well.  If you read both the verses together, you will very easily perceive and understand that the focus of gratitude is Allah alone.

Unfortunately, cursory readers take such facts incorrectly and thus end up misinterpreting them, one way or another.

Please know, prostration for a Monotheistic believer strictly as per Quranic rules is only before Allah and none else.
 
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2011, 04:20:37 pm »

When Prophet Yusuf's parents fell prostrate before him, it was NOT an act of worship.  It was an expression of extreme gratitude and thankfulness towards Allah Almighty for uniting them with their offspring whom they thought they had lost.  Therefore, this prostration was a sajoud before Allah, the Almighty.   It's always the intention that determines the act.  For that reason I've quoted verse 101 as well.  If you read both the verses together, you will very easily perceive and understand that the focus of gratitude is Allah alone.   

Very correct.  Of course I've read Surah 12 many times and it's one of my many favorite chapters of the Noble Quran.  I had always understood these 2 verses together precisely as you've stated.  It's really so simple to grasp and follow, yet many people waver off and misunderstand.  Don't know why ..

Thanks again sister Heba.  May Allah Almighty bless your efforts to uphold the truth. 
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2011, 12:05:42 am »

Very interesting thread and intelligently elucidated to bring out the truth.   I agree totally. 
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2020, 01:47:26 am »



Btw, we're having our discussion on this topic tomorrow InshAllah on Zoom.  InshAllah, I will have this topic before me and put forth these points.  A few brothers and sisters in our discussion group also think sajood is to two types but they haven't been able to explain how.   
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2020, 10:57:57 am »



Aw!  so you're having those monthly discussions on zoom .... good idea brother.  I thought because of Covid19 your group has suspended the discussions.  Alhumdulilah, glad to know it's on.
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