CIF INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION

العقيدة الإسلامية الصحيحة

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

THE CONCEPT OF PROSTRATION IN ISLAM

 

Written   By

Shaikh Mir Asedullah Quadri 

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INTRODUCTION 

    

بِسم الله الرحمنِ الرحيم  

 الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين

  
There are two types of prostrations in Islam, namely, (i) Prostration of Worship (Sajdah-e-Ibadah), and (ii) Prostration of Reverence (Sajdah-e-Tahiyya or Sajda-e-Ta'azeem).
 
Sajda-e-Ibadah (Prostration of Worship) to anyone other than Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) is Shirk in Islam.  A person who commits shirk is treated as out of Islam.
 
Sajda-e-Tahiyya  is a kind of greeting.   In earlier times, when a person used to meet a dignitary, he used to prostrate  in front of him.  Sajda-e-Tahiyya has never been an act of Shirk.  Angels prostrating to Adam ( علیھ السلا م )  and brothers of Youssef ( علیھ السلا م ) prostrating in front of him are the examples of  Sajda-e-Tahiyya.  Since Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) stopped people from doing Sajda-e-Tahiyya, it is forbidden in Islam.  Now, if a Muslim greets a dignitary with Sajda-e-Tahiyya,  it will be treated as undesirable and sin.
 
This book is written to clarify certain misconceptions of the deviant Sects like Salafis/Deobandis and their like minded in this context.  Needless to say that it is an important read for all Muslims. 
 
 

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The reward (Thawaab) or torment (Azaab)  for an action depends upon the intention.  
It is in Hadith - Narrated  Umar bin Al-Khattab (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) : I heard Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) saying, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.  (Bukhari - Book #1, Hadith #1).
 
Thus, a person's act of  prostration will be judged according to his intention.
(i) If we see a Sahih-ul-Aqeedah Muslim prostrating in a mosque towards Qibla (Kabatullah), it will be considered that this is 'Prostration of Ibadah'.
 
(ii) If a Non-Muslim is seen prostrating in front of a Deity or Idol, it will be concluded that his prostration is 'Idol Worship' because he associates divinity (Uloohiyah) with that Idol.
 
(iii) If a Hindu is prostrating in his house or in a Muslim mosque where there is no idol or picture of an idol, still it will be concluded that his action is Idol worship because while prostrating he imagines a particularly shape in his mind and considers that shape to be his  God.
 
(iv) Suppose a Non Muslim declares himself Muslim and goes to Masjid-e-Haram in Makka and Masjid-e-Nabawi in Madina and performs congregation Salah there, but in his mind he continues to imagine a particular shape  to be his God, then the Angels who record peoples' deed will write his actions to be Idol Worship,   even though he is apparently doing Salah in front of Kaabatullah  or in Masjid-e-Nabawi. The Angels may add an extra qualification of that person in their records and write him an 'hypocrite' (Munafiq) also.

It is in Quran -  يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّهَ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَمَا يَخْدَعُونَ إِلَّا أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ - فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللَّهُ مَرَضًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ  [They seek to deceive Allah سبحانہ و تعا لی ) and those who believe.  Nay, themselves do they deceive, though they are not conscious of it.  There is a disease in their hearts, so Allah سبحانہ و تعا لی ) lets them increase their disease and for them there is a grievous torment (Azaab) for the false assertions they have made.] (Al-Baqara - 9-10)

It is in Quran - بَشِّرِ الْمُنَافِقِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا [ O'Prophet - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Convey the hypocrite the tiding that for them there is a painful torment.]  (An-Nisa - 138).

It is in Quran -  إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ فِي الدَّرْكِ الْأَسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ نَصِيرًا [Indeed, the hypocrites (will be) in the lowest depth of the Hell Fire and you (O'Prophet - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) will not find any helper for them.] (An-Nisa - 145).

(v) If we see a Muslim, Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama'at (whose Aqeedah about Allah -  سبحانہ و تعا لی   is correct ), prostrating in front of a Mazaar of a Wali Allah,  we will question him about his intention of prostration.  If he says that he was not prostrating, rather  he was kissing the Grave of Wali Allah, or kissing the entrance or threshold of  the Dargah out of reverence, it will be concluded that he was acting upon Sunnah and the widespread practice of Sahabah (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ). 
 
If the person says that he was prostrating in view of his excessive love of Wali Allah,  then he will be counseled that though 'prostration of reverence' (Sajda-e-Tahiyya) is not shirk,  however it is forbidden in Islam. What he was doing is not appropriate, and is sin; therefore he should stop it because Awliya Allah get annoyed if someone prostrate in front of them.   Kissing of their graves is allowed because it has been the practice of Sahabah (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ).
 
It is in Hadith - Narrated  Anas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ).  "A camel came and prostrated in front of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). A goat came and prostrated in front of him. (Looking at this) Abu Bakr Siddique (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) and other companions also sought permission to prostrate (in front of him). But the Prophet  (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, ‘It is not appropriate for a human being to prostrate in front of another human being’. (Ahmad, al-Bazzar).

It is in Hadith - Narrated  Abu Huraira (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ): Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: "If I were to command anyone to prostrate to anyone other than Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی).  I would have commanded women to prostrate to their husbands. (Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah).
 
It is in Hadith - It is narrated that when Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) came back from Syria he prostrated to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: “What is this, O'Mu’adh (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)?” He said: “O Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), I saw them in Syria prostrating to their bishops and patriarchs and they narrated that from their Prophets.” He said, “They are lying, O' Mu’adh (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) if I were to command anyone to prostrate to anyone else I would have told the women to prostrate to their husbands because of the  of their rights over them. O' Mu’aadh (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), do you think that if you pass by my grave you will prostrate?” He said, “No.” He said: “Do not do that.”  (Ahmad and others).
 
(vi) If we see a Sahih-ul-Aqeedah Muslim, Ahle Sunna Wal Jama'a kissing the feet of his parents or his Shaikh or bowing to kiss their hands, it will be treated that he is acting upon Sunnah. 
 
 
SALAFI WORSHIP
 
 
If a person who follows Salafism in any of its formats is seen prostrating in a mosque or in front of Kabatullah or  in Masjid-e-Nabawi,  the Angels who record his deeds will write his name as Idol worshiper only because he is prostrating to an Idol God who is made up of a physical-human-like body and who is sitting physically on the Skies. There cannot be two opinions in this context because his intention is very well  known to the Angels.  He will also be recorded as a hypocrite (Munafeq) in angels' books because he is claiming himself to be a Muslim.
 
The Idol worship of Salafi Groups  is more serious than Hindu and other Idol worshipers in the sense that they  have created an  Sky Idol God for themselves by misinterpreting Quranic verses and Ahadith. This is similar to the people of  Musa ( علیھ السلا م ) who  made an Idol of Calf as their God and started worshiping the Calf God in the absence of Prophet Musa (علیھ السلا م ).

It is in Quran -  وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ ۗ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ  [And who is more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) or (he who) gives the lie to His communications (verses of Quran); surely the unjust will not be successful. ] ( Al-An-A'am - 21).

Salafis and their like minded people have been told for centuries by sincere Ahle Sunnah Ulema that  'what they are doing is Idol worship on one hand,  and disrespect of Prophet Mohammad (  صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) and Sahabah and Awliya Allah on the other,  and that they should  sincerely repent, pray for Allah's ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) forgiveness and come back to the mainstream Islam. But they insist upon their Idol worship and disrespect of Prophet صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ).  Since all these facts are known to the Angels who record people's deeds, there is no hope that the Salafi Groups will get salvation in Hereafter.
 
It is important to note that our discussion here  is limited to explanation of facts in the light of Quran and Ahadith. Therefore, we are not passing judgment on the fate of Salafi Groups. However, we are telling them in clear terms what could be consequences of their actions and beliefs.  Guidance is from Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) which is the issue between the servant and  Allah (  سبحانہ و تعا لی ). If Hidaya comes to a person, he may repent and come back to Islam.  Everyone has a chance to correct his faith until he dies.
 
Salafis have changed the entire books of Ahadith,  removed hundreds of chapters containing thousands of Ahadith from the authentic Ahadith books.  They changed the meanings of Quran by publishing "Noble Quran". If their beliefs were as per Quran and Ahadith, then where was the need for them to change authentic Ahadith books like Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasa'i, Ibn Maaja, Abu Dawood and many other famous books at this massive scale.  They are like Jews and Christians who have changed their books completely.
 
It is in Quran -  وَإِنَّ مِنْهُمْ لَفَرِيقًا يَلْوُونَ أَلْسِنَتَهُم بِالْكِتَابِ لِتَحْسَبُوهُ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَقُولُونَ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ [And there is a party of them who distort the Scripture with their tongues, that you may think that what they say is from the Scripture, when it is not from the Scripture. And they say: It is from Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) when it is not from Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ); and they speak a lie concerning Allah( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) knowingly.] (Aal-e-Imran - 78).
 
Salafis destroyed entire Islamic Heritage, humiliated Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and his family and Sahabah (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ) by destroying their graves and houses, mosques and changed Prophet Mohammad's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) house into a Public Toilet in Makka.   Anyone who has a little common sense or  has an idea about the history of nations, whether Muslim or a Non-Muslim, will understand this simple fact that  all Salafi Groups have contributed and helped each other in destroying original Islam.
 
Salafis quote a  Hadith narrated by Abu Huraira (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) : The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) said  'Allah سبحانہ و تعا لی ) created Adam (علیھ السلا م ) on his image (Bukhari  - 2/434, Muslim - 2560, Ahmad - 2612). 
 
They misinterpret the above Hadith and  claim that since Adam (علیھ السلا م ) has a face, eyes, hands, foot, therefore Allah سبحانہ و تعا لی ) is a big human being and others are small human beings. (La haula wal Quwwata Illa Billah).
 
The above Hadith is not to be interpreted to anthropomorphize (attach a human body and organs to Allah-سبحانہ و تعا لی ).  It refers to the fact that Allah سبحانہ و تعا لی ) created Adam (علیھ السلا م ) with the abilities to see, hear, speak, etc., which are the also the attributes of Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ).
It is in Quran -   لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ ۖ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ  ( There is nothing is like Him and He is all Hearer and all Seer' (Ash-Shura - 11).
 
Imam Bukhari translated 'Wajhu' as 'dominion and sovereignty (mulk) in verse  كُلُّ شَيْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلَّا وَجْهَهُ ۚ (Everything will perish save His countenance (Al-Qasas - 88) in the 'Book of Tafsir in Sahih Bukhari.  
  
Salafis also mention a Hadith related by Malik in Muwatta and by Muslim in his Sahih, that Muawiya Ibn al-Hakam came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and told him " I am very new from the Jahiliyya and now Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) has brought Islam" and he proceeded to ask about various Jahiliyya practices, until at last he said that he had slapped his slave girl, and asked if he should free her, as was obligatory if she was a believer. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) asked that she be brought and then asked her, "Where is Allah( سبحانہ و تعا لی )? and she said, "In the sky (fi al-sama)"; whereupon he asked her, "Who am I"? and she said, "You are the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)"; at which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said 'Free her, for she is a believer (Sahih Muslim).
 
Salafis try to interpret the above Hadith to prove a physical body for Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) and his sitting on the skies?  It is important to note that this  Hadith is Ahad (singular).  It comes from Muwaiya Ibn al-Hakam via the route of At'a bin Yassar, therefore it is Ahad.  The fundamental principle is that 'Ahd Narrations' cannot be taken as conclusive proof in Aqidah issues. 
 
When someone says that Allah سبحانہ و تعا لی ) is in Skies, does it mean that He is only in Sky and nowhere else?    
 
It is in Quran -  وَهُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّمَاءِ إِلَـٰهٌ وَفِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَـٰهٌ ۚ وَهُوَ الْحَكِيمُ الْعَلِيمُ- [ It is He,  Who is Allah -سبحانہ و تعا لی in skies and Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی on Earth; and He is full of Wisdom and Knowledge.]  (Az-Zukhruf - 84).
 
Salafis misinterpret these verses and try to convince innocent Muslims that their Sky Idol God is the real God of all and they call their God as Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ).  To create confusion in Muslims' minds,  they claim that  Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی ) has limitations, as He cannot move out of Sky; therefore his nearness to creatures is only by his knowledge.  (Astaghfirullah).  This belief is Shirk-e-Akbar.  
 
It is in Quran -  اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ  (Allah (  سبحانہ و تعا لی ) is the light (existence) of the Heavens and Earth’. (An-Noor -35).
 
It is in Quran - وَلِلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ ۚ فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّوا فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ   [ Whichever side you turn, you will find Allah سبحانہ و تعا لی ) ; Verily ( in truth ) Allah – سبحانہ و تعا لی ) is Omnipresent (existing everywhere every moment) and Omniscient ( infinitely wise )]. ( Al-Baqra – 115 ).

It is in Quran - وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ  [Wherever you are, He is with you.]  (Al-Hadid – 4).

It is in Quran - وَفِي أَنفُسِكُمْ ۚ أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ [He is in your own self, will you not then see.] (Adh-Dhariyat – 21).
 
It is in Quran - هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ ۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ [He is the First, and the Last, He is the Manifest (apparent) and the Immanent (actually present through out the material world) and is knower of all things]. (Al-Hadeed – 3). 

It is in Quran - وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ [We (Allah سبحانہ و تعا لی ) are closer to you than your jugular vein]. (Qaf – 16).

It is in Quran - وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي [ When My servants ask you ( O’ Prophet صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) concerning Me, ( tell them ) I am ever present ( with them ) and I listen to the call of him that calls Me].(Al-Baqara – 186).


It is in Hadith -  Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said "There was Allah (  سبحانہ و تعا لی ) and nothing existed but Him".  He existed from eternity and there was nothing else." (Bukhari, Baihaqi).
 
Consider the above, it is very very clear.  It is important for a physical body to have a place to exist. When Allah سبحانہ و تعا لی ) existed when there was nothing, no sky, no universe then where was  He sitting. There has to be place for a body to exist. The Hadith also clarifies  that Allah's سبحانہ و تعا لی ) existence is pure from the requirement and consideration  of a body, form and shape. 
 

 
HOW SALAFIS  
MISLEAD INNOCENT MUSLIMS
 

What Salasfis do is,  they misinterpret categorical verses (Ayaat-e-Muhkamaat) of Quran to establish their self concocted beliefs. 

In addition, they insist on literal (textual) translation of allegorical verses (Ayaat-e-Mutashabihaat) of Quran to consolidate their self fabricated notions.

This practice is exactly the opposite of what should be done. Meaning, the categorical verses (Ayaat-e-Muhkamaat) should be understood in their literal meanings and allegorical verses (Ayaat-e-Mutashaabihaat) should be interpreted to get to the factual meanings.  Look at the following Quranic verse.

It is in Quran - إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ ۚ أَيْدِيهِمْ [ Certainly, those who are doing ‘the promise of allegiance’ ( b’aya ) to you, O’ Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), they are actually doing the promise of allegiance to Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی).  Allah’s (سبحانہ و تعا لی)  hand is upon their hand.]  (Al-Fath – 10).

Salafis claim that from the above verse Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) hands are established, therefore Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) has hands (La haula wala quwwata illah billah). 

Even an average Muslim knows that it is an allegorical (metaphorical - symbolic ) expression.  It means that the people should take the hand of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)  in all the seriousness as if it is the hand of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) while doing ba'ya. 

We can understand it by an example.  When a Secretary of State signs a document in other country for a treaty or agreement with that country, he signs on behalf of the President of United States. 

Similarly, the above Quranic verses can be understood in its real meanings.  But no.  Salafis insist on textual translation of this verse to establish hands for Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) (Astaghfirullah).  

Saudi Royal Family came to power in Arabian Peninsula with the help of Salafi ideology in early 20th Century. This kind of translations and understanding of Quran and Ahadith by Salafi scholars, in collusion with Saudi Ruling family,  is a deliberate attempt to misguide people in order to hold them at ransom in the name of Islam and enjoy their hold on power and leadership eternally. 

They have published a "Nobel Quran" which contains misleading translation of important verses of Quran. 

Read the following Quranic verse to understand this issue clearly.   

It is in Quran -  هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ ۗ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ  [He is who has sent down to you (O'Prophet - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) the Book (Quran).  Some verses of it are definite in meaning (Ayaat-e-Muhkamaat).  These form the mother of the Book (the basic there in) and the rest are figurative (metaphorical) (Ayaat - e - Mutashaabihaat).  But  they,  in whose minds there is a tendency to deviate from truth, take the metaphorical (verses in their literal / textual sense) craving discord, and craving to give them their own interpretation, although none knows the reality about them except Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی).  And those who make it right approach to knowledge could only say  'we believe therein all that is from our Lord'.  None can catch their significance except those gifted with insight.] (Aal-e-Imran - 7).
 
Who are the people who are gifted with insight by Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی)? They are Awliya Allah, Imams of Fiqh, and Sahabah.
 
The problem with Salafis is, they regard all Sahabah as bida'atees (innovators). One of the most famous Salafi Scholar of recent times Al-Bani (1914-1999) declared Sahabah, including Khulfa-e-Rashideen, Members of Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) family, Muhajireen and Ansars  (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ) as Bid'atees. 

Al-Bani's declaration is  supported by all prominent Salafi Scholars in the world. Al-Bani also declared Imam Bukhari, Imam Abu Hanifah and other prominent Imams as Kafir. Salalfis reject all Imams of Fiqh and Ahadith and  claim their following as Shirk.  They also reject Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Ahadith which clearly establish Salafi beliefs as un-Islamic.  They changed almost all Ahadith books and removed over 5000 Ahadith from them.  They denounce Awliya Allah and Shaiks of Ihsan as Sufi innovators.

After all these rejections, how could they be treated as Muslims?  As a matter of fact, Salafis are the sub-sect of Kharijis who were declared as out of Islam by Ijma (consensus of Islamic Ulema) long time ago.     

Their insistence on self study and self understanding of Quran has led them to the greatest invention in human history - a Sky Idol God for their worship, who has hands, eyes, face, tongue and a huge human like physical body; who is sitting on a big chair over the skies.  They claim that this Idol is self made, only one of its kind, independent, neither beget nor begotten and none is like him.  They also claim that this Idol has created this Universe.  They prostrate in front of this Idol 5-times a day during their modified Salah.