How hard or soft should the place to prostrate on be? Is it permissible to prostrate on sponge?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

To prostrate on cotton, snow and similar soft things:

When a person prostrates on similar things like the ones above, prostration is permissible if the forehead does not sink into those things and remains on them by feeling some hardness. Otherwise, it is not permissible.

It is necessary for the place to prostrate to be harder than the nose of the person who prostrates. Otherwise, it is not permissible. It is permissible to prostrate on sacks that contain wheat, barley, rice and corn. (Fatawa al-Hindiyya.) (Celal Yıldırım, Kaynaklarıyla İslam Fıkhı, Uysal Kitabevi: 1/243.)

The place to put the forehead on in prostration must not be very soft. If it is slightly soft and if the forehead feels the hardness of the ground/floor, this prostration is permissible but if the forehead does not feel the hardness of the ground on the things like wool, cotton, straw and snow though the face sinks completely, this prostration is not permissible. The basic condition for the face is not to sink and for the forehead to feel the hardness of the ground. (Şamil İslam Ansiklopedisi)

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