How should the position of prostration be? Is it necessary to bend the body fully or is it enough to keep a bit clear?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Sajdah (prostration), which is one of the fards of prayer, is performed as follows:

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"I have been ordered to prostrate on seven bones: forehead, both hands, both knees, and the ends (tiptoes) of both feet." (Tajrid Sarih Translation, II/847)

According to the hadith above, the seven organs mentioned there must touch the ground. There is no full agreement about whether the nose must touch the ground along with the forehead but Abdullah b. Abbas, the reporter of the hadith, says the Prophet (pbuh) also pointed to his nose when he showed his forehead. Abu Said al-Khudri narrates:

"When the Messenger of Allah led a prayer, traces of mud were seen on his forehead and nose." (Sunanu Abu Dawud, II, 54)

It is necessary for the hands and feet face toward the qiblah. As a requirement of the hadith above, the seven organs including the nose touch the ground at the same time. It is sunnah for the chest and elbows not to touch the ground, to keep the arms open by not cowering and to remain straight. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states the following:

"When one of you prostrates, he should not place his hands like a dog does; he should keep his thighs adjacent." (Abu Dawud, II, 48).

The feet are held upright, the toes touching the ground; the feet must not be raised during prostration.

It is more virtuous for women to be more closed in prostration. After ruku’, the arms are not held above the ground like men in prostration; they are placed on the ground. They are held adjacent to the ground up to elbows. Men place only their hands on the ground; they hold their arms above the ground.

When the head is in prostration, women do not keep their toes upright like men; they make their feet face the ground. They do not have to keep the thumb of the right foot upright. It is understood that the feet being placed on the ground by facing the ground is more appropriate in terms of tasattur.

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