Prostration of Recitation

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah that when, the son of Adam recites the Ayah of Sajdah (prostration) and then falls down in prostration, the Satan goes into seclusion and weeps and says: Alas, and in the narration of Abu Kuraib the words are: Woe unto me, the son of Adam was commanded to prostrate, and he prostrated and Paradise was entitled to him and I was commanded to prostrate, but I refused and am doomed to Hell.
(Hadith Muslim Book 1, Hadith 144)

Prostration of Recitation otherwise known as Sujud Tilawah is required when one comes up to the ayah in the Quran that indicates prostration. The symbol in the Quran that indicates this usually looks like this  at the end of the ayah. This prostration of Tilawah is for both the one reading and the one listening. There are fourteen places of prostration in the Quran as follows:

  1. Surah Al-A’raf – The Heights (Q7:206): Surely, those who are with your Lord (angels) are never too proud to perform acts of worship to Him, but they glorify His Praise and prostrate themselves before Him.
  2. Surah Ar – Ra’d – The Thunder (Q13:15): And unto Allah (Alone) falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and in the afternoons.
  3. Surah An-Nahl – The Bee(Q16:49):And to Allah prostrate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the moving (living) creatures and the angels, and they are not proud [i.e. they worship their Lord (Allah) with humility].
  4. Surah Al-Israa’ – The night Journey(Q17:109):And they fall down on their faces weeping and it increases their humility.
  5. Surah Maryam – Mary(Q19:58): Those were they unto whom Allah bestowed His Grace from among the Prophets, of the offspring of Adam, and of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nuh (Noah), and of the offspring of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Israel, and from among those whom We guided and chose. When the Verses of the Most Gracious (Allah) were recited unto them, they fell down prostrate and weeping.
  6. Surah Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage(Q22:18):See you not that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad-Dawabb [moving (living) creatures, beasts], and many of mankind prostrate themselves to Allah. But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honour him. Verily, Allah does what He wills.
  7. Surah Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage(Q22:77): O you who have believed! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good that you may be successful.
  8. Surah Al-Furqan – The Criterion(Q25:60):And when it is said to them: “Prostrate yourselves to the Most Gracious (Allah)! they say: “And what is the Most Gracious? Shall we fall down in prostration to that which you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) command us?” And it increases in them only aversion.
  9. Surah An-Naml – The Ants(Q27: 25-26): [As Shaitan (Satan) has barred them from Allah’s Way] so they do not worship (prostrate themselves before) Allah, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you conceal and what you reveal. [Tafsir At-Tabari]. Allah, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Lord of the Supreme Throne!
  10. Surah As-Sajdah – The prostration (Q32:15): Only those believe in Our Ayat (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate, and glorify the Praises of their Lord, and they are not proud.
  11. Surah Fussilat – Explained in details (Q41:37-38): And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Prostrate yourselves not to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allah Who created them, if you (really) worship Him. But if they are too proud (to do so), then there are those who are with your Lord (angels) glorify Him night and day, and never are they tired.
  12. Surah An-Najm – The Star (Q53:62): So fall you down in prostration to Allah and worship Him (Alone).
  13. Surah  Al-Inshiqaq – The Splitting Asunder(Q84:21): And when the Qur’an is recited to them, they fall not prostrate.
  14. Surah Al-‘Alaq – The Clot(Q96:19):Nay! (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم)! Do not obey him (Abu Jahl). Fall prostrate and draw near to Allah!

What to say in sujud Tilawah:

سَجَدَ وَجْهِي لِلّذِي خَلَقَهُ وَصَوّرَهُ وَشَقّ سَمْعَهُ وَبَصَرَهُ بِحَولِهِ وَقُوّتِهِ تَبَارَكَ اللهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِين
My face fell prostrate before He who created it and brought forth its faculties of hearing and seeing by his might and power. So blessed is Allah, the best to create.


اللّهُمّ اكْتُبْ لِي بِهَا عِنْدَكَ أَخْرًا ، وَضَعْ عَنِّي بِهَا وِزْرًا ، وَاجْعَلَهَا لِي عِنْدَكَ ذُخْرًا ، وَتَقَبّلَهَا مِنِّي كَمَا تَقَبّلْتَهَا مِنْ عَبْدِكَ دَاود

 O Allah, record for me a reward for this (prostration), and remove from me a sin. Save it for me and accept it from me just as You had accepted it from your servant, Dawood.

The reference for the Tasbeeh of Tilawah is the commonly available book of dua called fortification of the Muslim or Husnul Muslim.

Posts in the series....

  1. The Moon and Sun Letters (حُرُوفُ القَمَرٍِيَّة و الشَّمسِيَّة)
  2. Hamzatul Wasl – Connecting Hamzah [ ٱ ]
  3. Tafkheem and Tarqeeq
  4. Prostration of Recitation
  5. Saying the Name of Allah (Al-Basmalah)
  6. Seeking refuge with Allah (Al-Istiaadha)
  7. Sifaat associated with each of the Arabic letters.
  8. Explanation of the Sifaat (Characteritistic) of the Arabic letters
  9. Sifaat – Characteristics of the Arabic letters
  10. Exact point of articulation of the Arabic letters
  11. The 17 Specific Makhraj
  12. The five points of articulation
  13. Tajweed - Introduction
  14. Tajweed ul Quran, So far so good

2 Replies to “Prostration of Recitation”

  1. Assalmu Alaikum
    Baraka Allah Feeki,, may Allah SWT reward your effort and accept them.
    I teach Tajweed to non Arabs which I find quite hard to teach them the rules,, seeing your notes it made my taks easy I used to use About Tajweed note on line but the English is quite high for me– I wish that you continue with your work and make our task easy to do,
    Um Yousuf

  2. Assalaam alaikum Um Yousuf,
    Thank you for your comment may Allah reward you. It is good to know that you find my post useful. I am sorry I don’t post that often, I will try my best. There are other websites other than “About Tajweed” where you can find Tajweed lessons with clear and simple English explanation. My favourite is Tajweed in English. The brother has audio visual presentation that I have found extremely helpful in my understanding of Tajweed rules. If you direct your students there I am sure they will find it as an additional help to what you teach them.

    Besides, I am just a student myself, learning and trying to improve my understanding. So my posts are not authoritative but glad that someone may find them of help in their quest…

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