Is “Every prostration will elevate you one degree and will delete one of your sins” a hadith?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Yes, there is a hadith narration with that meaning:  

“Try to prostrate a lot! Allah will elevate you one degree and will delete one of your sins for every prostration you perform for Allah.” (Muslim, Salah 225)

The servant goes a long way by being elevated a degree in return for each prostration and getting rid of a sin. That is, elevation and happiness for the servant are possible through worshipping.

It should not be forgotten that the Prophet (pbuh) gave that advice to the poor Muslims in his personal service.

There may be other ways for those who want to elevate their rank and get rid of their sins. However, especially poor Muslims can achieve it by worshipping more.

According to what is learned from the narrations of the hadith in Muslim and Tirmidhi, Thawban was asked “to say a deed that will take a person to Paradise” and this request was repeated three times; thereupon, Thawban narrated the hadith above. (see Riyazü’s Salihin - İmam Nevevi Tercüme ve Şerh)

Apart from the prostration, which is one of the fards of the prayer (salah), there are other types of prostration such as prostration that must be performed in case of delaying one of the pillars of the prayer by mistake, or abandoning or delaying one of the wajibs of the prayer, and prostration that has be performed when one of the verses of prostration in the Quran is read or heard inside or outside the prayer.

The prostration performed as an expression of gratitude to Allah for attaining a blessing or getting rid of a trouble or misfortune is called “prostration of gratitude”.

The majority of fiqh scholars thinks that the prostration of gratitude is legitimate acting upon the narration that the Prophet (pbuh) performed prostration of gratitude when he received some pleasing news (Abu Dawud, Jihad, 174) and the same practices of Abu Bakr (r.a.) and some Companions, including Ali (r.a.).

According to the common view in Shafii and Hanbali madhhabs, prostration of gratitude is sunnah, and according to Hanafi madhhab, it is mustahab.

In addition, prostration of repentance and forgiveness made with the hope of Allah’s forgiveness can also be mentioned. As a matter of fact, the Messenger of Allah explained the prostration attributed to the Prophet Dawud (Sad 38/24) as the prostration of repentance. (Nasai, Iftita, 48) Accordingly:

- The servant is exalted by prostration and worship.

- The hardest thing for the soul is to “prostrate”. Satan was cursed eternally for opposing the command to “prostrate”.

- Struggling with the nafs (soul) is possible through increasing prostration. Therefore, it is necessary to increase worship.

- The Companions answered the questions they were asked with what they heard from the Prophet (pbuh) and what they learned from him.

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