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The Types of Sajdah

Sajdah forms the apex of the status of a man as a slave of Allah. This is indicative of the humility, submission and devotion of the slave to his Lord. The different occasions on which believers have been ordered to go into sajdah are as follows:

During the recitation of Quran; In the Quran there are certain verses [Ayats] the recitation or hearing of which requires immediate performance of sajdah. One has to go into prostration only once. He does not have to recite either tashahhud or Salam. Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that when a person performs sajdah on an Ayat enjoining sajdah the Devil moves away from him and starts weeping. He says woe be to me for the progeny of Adam were ordered to prostrate so they prostrated and deserved the paradise while I disobeyed and deserved the hell (Muslim, Ibn Maja, Ahmad).

There are fifteen points in the Quran which require the sajdah of recitation. This is indicated on the margin. There are three conditions for performing the sajdah of recitation.

  1. Satr should be covered
  2. Cleanliness and with ablution
  3. Prostration in the direction of Ka’ba.

One should recite this supplication in the sajdah of recitation:

«سَجَدَ وَجْهِي لِلَّذِي خَلَقَهُ وَصَوَّرَهُ وَشَقَّ سَمْعَهُ وَبَصَرَهُ»

(Translation) My face has prostrated before one Who created it and gave it ears and eyes all with His might and power” (Ahmad, Tirmizi, Abu Dawood).

If the imam recites any Ayat of sajdah he is bound to go into prostration immediately. Similarly, if one is praying solitarily and come across an Ayat of sajdah he should prostrate and before the supplication should recite “Subhana Rababiyyal A’la” three times.

Sajdah of Gratitude

It is narrated by Hadrat Abu Bakr RadhiAllahu Anhu that whenever Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) had a good deal or received any happy news, he went into prostration thanking Allah (Abu Dawood, Tirmizi, Ibn Maja). This sajdah of thanks is a Sunnah. This can be done on any occasion of success or riddance from some evil happening. This can be done any time and has no conditions attached except that some theologists enjoin cleanliness, coverage of satr and direction of qiblah. Some others say that if one meets with some good outcome he should perform two rak’ats of nafl.

Sajdah for Omission or Oversight

A performer of salat is enjoined to go into a sajdah twice if he forgets something during his salat.  This is called “Sajdah-i-Sahv”. According to Hanafis and Hanbalis they are obligatory. But other schools of thought hold them to be a Sunnah. This sajdah is occasioned under following conditions:

  1. If there is an omission in the salat, for instance, if somebody performed only three rak’ats of Zohr. On recall he will perform the fourth rak’at and perform two sajdahs for this omission.
  2. If somebody adds to the rak’at by oversight, for instance, he prays five rak’ats for the Zohr. He will have to prostrate twice.
  3. When a worshipper forgets some Sunnah muakkadah or wa’jib.
  4. When he misplaces some recitals for instance, he recites surah Fatiha after tashahhud or recites it after rising from ruku’.
  5. If he develops doubt as whether he performed three or five rak’ats for Zohr. In such cases the three will be considered and he will have to perform the fourth rak’at and prostrate twice.
  6. If the worshipper has forgotten any one of the pillars of salat in any rak’at that rak’at will become null and he will have to repeat it and prostrate twice.


When to Perform Sajdah Sahv?:  It is narrated about the Prophet  (ﷺ) that in case of any doubt or omission of the middle tashahhud he performed the sajdah sahv before reciting the salam. But in case of any omission or excess in the salat he performed the sajdah after the recital of the Salam. But an ordinary Muslim has a choice whether to perform the sajdah sahv before the Salam or after it.


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