The Prostration of Qur'an Recitation (SAJDA-I TILAWAT)
Excellence of prostration during the Quranic recitation:
Abu Hurairah narrates that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "If a son of Adam recites an 'ayyah of prostration and prostrates, the Satan departs from him and cries: 'O woe, he was ordered to prostrate and he did, so for him is paradise. I was ordered to prostrate and I disobeyed, so for me is the Hell." [Ibn-e-Maaja]
- There are fourteen places of sajdah-e-tilaawat in the Quran. Wherever the word "sajdah" appears on the margin of the Quran, then on reciting that verse, sajdah becomes wajib. This sajdah is known as sajdah-e-tilaawat.
- The method of making sajdah-e-tilaawat is as follows: the person should say Allahu Akbar and go into sajdah. When saying Allahu Akbar the hands should not be raised. While in sajdah, he should say: Sub-hana Rabbi-al Aala, at least three times. Thereafter, he should say Allahu Akbar and raise his head. The sajdah-e-tilaawat is now complete.
- It is preferable to stand up, say Allahu Akbar and go into sajdah. And thereafter to say Allahu Akbar and stand up from the sajdah. It is also permissible to go into sajdah and come up from it while in the sitting position without standing up at all.
- Sajdah-e-tilaawat becomes wajib on the person who recites a verse of sajdah and also on the person who hears it being recited. This is irrespective of whether the person had sat down with the intention of listening to the Quran, whether he was preoccupied with some work, or whether he heard it without intending to listen to it. It is therefore better to recite the verse of sajdah softly so that sajdah-e-tilaawat does not become wajib on anyone else.
- Those factors that are a prerequisite for salaat are also prerequisites for sajdah-e-tilaawat. That is, the person must be in a state of wudu, the place must be clean, the body and clothing must be pure, sajdah must be made in the direction of the qiblah, etc.
- Sajdah-e-tilaawat should be made in the same way as sajdah is made in salaat. Some people make their sajdah on the Quran itself. Sajdah in this manner is not valid and one is not absolved from this wajib.
- If a person does not have wudu at that time, he could make wudu at a later stage and then make the sajdah. It is not necessary to make sajdah immediately. However, it is better to make it immediately because it is possible that the person might forget later.
- If a person has several sajdah-e-tilaawats to make and has not made them till now, he should make them now. He should make them at some time or the other of his life. If he does not do so he will be sinning.
- If a woman hears a verse of sajdah while she is in her haid or nifaas, sajdah-e-tilaawat is not wajib on her. But if she hears it when she is in a state when ghusl was wajib on her, it will be wajib on her to make sajdah-e-tilaawat after having a bath.
- If a person hears the verse while he is very ill and does not have the strength to make sajdah, he should make sajdah-e-tilaawat just as he makes the sajdah of salaat through gestures.
- If a person recites a verse of sajdah while he is in salaat, then upon reciting the verse he should immediately go into sajdah, thereafter continue with the rest of the Surah, and then go into ruku. If a person does not go immediately into sajdah, but goes into sajdah after reciting two or three more verses, this sajdah will still be proper. And if he recites several more verses and then goes into sajdah, the sajdah will be proper but he will be sinning.
- If he recites a verse of sajdah while in salaat but does not make sajdah in the salaat, the sajdah will not be valid if he makes it out of salaat. He will remain a sinner forever. Now there is no way of absolving himself except through repentance and seeking forgiveness.
- If a person recites a verse of sajdah and immediately thereafter goes into ruku and makes this intention that he is making this ruku for the sajdah-e-tilaawat as well, even then the sajdah will be considered to be valid. If he did not make this intention in his ruku, the sajdahs that he makes after the ruku will also suffice for the sajdah-e-tilaawat. This is irrespective of whether he makes any intention or not.
- While in salaat, a person hears a verse of sajdah being recited by someone else. He should not make sajdah-e-tilaawat in his salaat but after completing his salaat. If he makes it in his salaat it will not be valid. He will have to repeat it, and he will also be committing a sin.
- A person was sitting in one place and reciting the same verse of sajdah several times- only one sajdah-e-tilaawat will be wajib. He could either recite that verse as many times as he wishes and then make one sajdah right at the end, or he could recite that verse once, make one sajdah and then recite that verse as many times as he wishes. But if he changes his place, and then repeats that verse, then goes to a third place and recites that same verse, and in this way he continues changing places and also continues reciting that same verse - then for every time that he repeats that verse he will have to make sajdah for it.
- If a person sits at one place and recites several verses of sajdah, he will have to make sajdah-e-tilaawat for every verse of sajdah.
- While sitting down, a person recited a verse of sajdah. He then stood up but did not move from that place of sitting, i.e. he stood on the same spot where he had been sitting. He then repeated that same verse - he will only have to make one sajdah-e-tilaawat.
- He recited a verse of sajdah at one place, got up and went to do some work, came back and sat at that same spot and recited that same verse again. He will have to make two sajdahs.
- While sitting in one place he recited a verse of sajdah. On completing the recitation of the Quran, he remained sitting in that place and started doing some other work. For example, he started eating, or a woman started sewing or feeding her child. Thereafter he (or she) recited that same verse of sajdah again. Even then, two sajdahs will have to be made. When a person engages in any other task, it will be regarded as if the place has changed.
- A person recited a verse of sajdah in one corner of a small room or verandah. He then went and recited the same verse in another corner - even then only one sajdah will suffice irrespective of how many times he recites that verse. However, if he commences with some other work and then recites that verse again, he will have to make another sajdah. And if he occupies himself with a third type of work, a third sajdah will become wajib.
- If it is a big house, then by repeating the verse in another corner, he will have to make another sajdah. And if he repeats it in a third corner, he will have to make a third sajdah.
- The rule that applies to a small room also applies to a musjid. That is, if he repeats the same verse of sajdah several times, only one sajdah will be wajib irrespective of whether he recites it while sitting down in one place or he recites it while walking about in the musjid.
- If a person recites the same verse of sajdah several times in one salaat, even then he will only have to make one sajdah. If he wishes, he could recite it for as many times as he wishes and thereafter make one sajdah, or he could recite it once, make one sajdah and thereafter recite it as many times as he wishes in that same rakaat or even in the next rakaat.
- A person recited a verse of sajdah but did not make sajdah-e-tilaawat. Thereafter, he stood up at that very spot, commenced offering salaat, and recited that very verse in his salaat and also made sajdah-e-tilaawat in his salaat. This sajdah which he made will be sufficient for both the recitations. However, if he changed his place, it will be wajib to make two sajdahs.
- He recited a verse of sajdah and also made sajdah-e-tilaawat. Thereafter, he stood up, commenced offering a salaat, and recited that same verse in his salaat. Now he will have to make a sajdah again in salaat.
- The person who was reciting did not change his place. He recited the same verse of sajdah several times. However, the place of the person who was listening changed: he heard the verse in one place for the first time, he then heard it in another place a second time, and in another place a third time. Only one sajdah-e-tilaawat will be wajib on the person who was reciting. But the person who was listening will have to make a sajdah for every time that he hears it.
- If the place of the person who was listening did not change but the place of the person who was reciting changed, then several sajdahs will become wajib on the person who was reciting while the person who was listening will have to make only one sajdah.
- It is makruh to recite the entire Surah and leave out the verse of sajdah. That verse should not be left out merely to save oneself from making sajdah. In doing so, it will be regarded as if the person is rejecting that verse.
- There is no harm in reciting the verse of sajdah only and leaving out the entire surah. If this is done in salaat, then an additional condition is that this one verse must be such that it equals three short verses. However, it is better to recite a few verses together with the verse of sajdah.
- If a person hears an imam reciting a verse of sajdah and he joins the jama'at thereafter, he should make the sajdah-e-tilaawat with the imam. But if the imam has already made the sajdah, there are two conditions for this: (1) If he gets that rakaat in which he heard the imam reciting the verse, he will not have to make a sajdah. By getting that rakaat, it will be regarded as if he got that sajdah as well. (2) He did not get that rakaat. After completing his salaat, it will be wajib on him to make that sajdah out of salaat.
- If a verse of sajdah is heard from the muqtadi, sajdah-e-tilaawat will not have to be made - not by him, not by the imam, nor by those who are with the muqtadi in that very salaat. However, sajdah-e-tilaawat will be wajib on those who are not with them in that salaat. This is irrespective of whether they heard it while they were out of salaat or whether they were offering some other salaat.
- By laughing aloud in sajdah-e-tilaawat (which is offered out of salaat), one's wudu does not break. However, the sajdah-e-tilaawat itself becomes invalid.
- If a woman stands in line with a man, the sajdah-e-tilaawat will not become invalid.
- When sajdah-e-tilaawat becomes wajib in salaat, it is wajib to make that sajdah immediately. It is not permissible to delay it.
- Sajdah-e-tilaawat which became wajib out of salaat cannot be made in salaat. Similarly, if it becomes wajib in salaat, it cannot be made out of salaat. In fact, it cannot even be made in another salaat. If a person recites a verse of sajdah in salaat and does not make sajdah-e-tilaawat in salaat, the sin for that will rest on his shoulders. He can do nothing except make taubah and ask Allah Ta'ala to forgive him through His bounty.
- If two people are travelling separately on horse-back and both of them are offering salaat while the horses are moving. And each one of them recites the same verse of sajdah and both of them hear each others recitation, one sajdah-e-tilaawat will be wajib on each of them. It will be wajib to make that sajdah in their salaat. If they recited the same verse in salaat and thereafter recited it again out of salaat, it will be wajib to make two sajdahs. One because of recitation and the other because of listening. However, the one that is because of
recitation will be considered to be in salaat and will therefore have to be made in salaat. And the one that is because of listening will be made out of salaat.
- The verses of sajdah should not be recited in the jumu'ah salaat, eid salaats, and in those salaats which are offered silently. This is because there is a fear of putting the muqtadis into doubt.