The Prostration of Qur'an Recitation

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

Chapter 23. The Prostration of Qur'an Recitation

I: What has come about the sajdas of the Qur'an and the sunan connected to them

1017. It is related that 'Abdullah said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recited an-Najm at Makka and did sajda in it and those with him did sajda - except for an old man, who took a handful of pebbles and brought them up to his forehead and said, 'This is enough for me.' I later saw him killed as an unbeliever."

II: Prostration in Tanzil as-Sajda (32)

1018. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to recite, 'Alif-Lam-Mim Tanzil as-Sajda" and 'Hal ata 'ala'l-insan...' (74) in the Fajr prayer on the day of Jumu'a."

III: The sajda in Sad (38)

1019. It is related that Ibn 'Abbas said, "Sad is not one of those which obliges prostration but I did see the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, doing sajda in it."

IV: The prostration for an-Najm (53)

Ibn 'Abbas transmitted it from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

1020. It is related from 'Abdullah, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recited Surat an-Najm and did sajda in it and all of the people did sajda, but one man there took a handful of pebbles or earth and brought it up to his face and said, 'This is enough for me.' I later saw him killed as an unbeliever."

V: Muslims doing sajda together with idolaters.Idolaters are unclean and do not do wudu'

Ibn 'Umar used to do the sajda without wudu'.

1021. It is related that Ibn 'Abbas said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prostrated in an-Najm and the Muslims, idolaters, jinn and men did sajda with him."

Ibn Tahman related it from Ayyub.

VI: Someone reciting an ayat of sajda and not prostrating

1022. It is related that 'Ata' ibn Yasar asked Zayd ibn Thabit, who claimed that he had recited an-Najm to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he did not do sajda in it.

1023. It is related that Zayd ibn Thabit said, "I recited an-Najm to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, but he did not prostrate in it."

VII: The sajda of "idha's-sama'n-shaqqat" (84)

1024. It is related that Abu Salama said, "I saw Abu Hurayra reciting "idha's-sama'n-shaqqat" and doing sajda in it. I said, 'Abu Hurayra, did I see you doing sajda?' He said, 'If I had not seen the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, doing sajda, I would not have done sajda.'" (Muwatta, Book 15, 12)

VIII: Someone doing sajda together with the sajda of the reciter.

Ibn Mas'ud said to Tamim ibn Hadhlam when he was a boy and recited an ayat of sajda, "Prostrate, for you are our Imam."

1025. It is related that Ibn 'Umar said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to recite to us a sura which contained a sajda and he would do sajda and we would do sajda provided we could find a place to put our foreheads."

IX: The crush of people when the Imam recited an ayat of sajda

1026. It is related that Ibn 'Umar said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to recite an ayat of sajda when we were with him. He would do sajda and we would do sajda with him. There was such a crowd of us that some of us could not do the sajda for lack of room for our foreheads."

X: Someone thinking that Allah the Mighty and Exalted has not made sajda obligatory.

'Imran ibn Husayn was asked about a man who heard an ayat of sajda but was not sitting down when he did so. He said, "I think that even if he is sitting down it is not obligatory for him." Salman said, "We did not come for this." 'Uthman said, "The sajda is obligatory for all who hear it." Az-Zuhri said, "You should only do the sajda in a state of purity. When you do sajda and are not travelling, face the qibla. If you are riding, then you do it whichever way you are facing." As-Sa'ib ibn Yazid did not do sajda when storytellers did it.

1027. It is related from Rabi'a, "'Umar ibn al-Khattab recited Surat an-Nahl (16) on the minbar on the day of Jumu'a. When he reached the sajda, he came down and did sajda and the people did sajda. The following Jumu'a, he recited it. When he came to the prostration, he said, 'O people! When someone comes to an ayat of sajda, if he does sajda, he has acted rightly and if he does not do sajda, he has not done anything wrong.' 'Umar did not do sajda." (Muwatta, Book 15, 16)

Ibn 'Umar added, "Allah has not made the sajda compulsory. It is up to us."

XI: Anyone reciting an ayat of sajda in the prayer should do sajda for it

1028. It is related that Abu Rafi' said, "I prayed 'Isha' behind Abu Hurayra and he recited, 'idha's-sama'n-shaqqat.' He did sajda. I said, 'What is this?' He said, 'I did sajda for it behind Abu'l-Qasim, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I will continue to do sajda for it until I meet him.'"

XII: Someone who cannot find a place to prostrate with the imam due to the crush of people

1029. It is related that Ibn 'Umar said, "When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to recite the sura which contained a sajda, he would do sajda and we would do sajda with him. Some of us could not find any place to put our foreheads.