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Mosque Foundation | Bridgeview, Illinois

Mosque Foundation

Drawing Near to Allah Through Sujud

first friday prayer is at 12:30pm.second friday prayer is at 2:00pm

Drawing Near to Allah Through Sujud

By Sh. Ahmed Arafat

“…Bow down in worship and draw close” (Quran: 96:19) 

The path to Allah is not merely a long journey to take but rather it is the removal of a wide variety of barriers. A mindful sujud (prostration) is a great exercise in removing fundamental barriers to authentic spiritual growth. For example, sujud helps us defeat two major hurdles: pride and sin. Pride blocks us from surrendering to Allah whereas sin keeps us from having istiqamah or steadfastness, thus creating a crack for spiritual despair. 

During sujud, we affirm the supremacy of Allah and our complete submission to His Will by placing our foreheads on the ground in complete humility. Not only is the supremacy of Allah clearly acknowledged through the physical act of sujud but also through a verbal act. Every time we make sujud, we say: “سبحان ربي الأعلى” “Holy be my Lord, the most High.” It is best to repeat this statement slowly and thoughtfully to allow the meaning to sink in and take hold in our hearts. Therefore, sujud represents an implicit commitment to obey Allah and a promise to stay away from haram. So when we make conscious sujud, we recognize our sins and shortcomings and plead to renew our covenant of obeying Allah. It is like saying, “Oh Allah, we are sorry for the sins we committed; so, forgive us.” That is why sujud is associated with sorrow as the Quran describes the prayers of the righteous, “They fall down on their faces in tears” (Quran: 19:58).

         Accordingly, we should deal with sujud as a means of ‘daily repentance’ to protects us from the devil’s attempts to make us doubt Allah’s mercy. If a Muslim commits a sin after Thuhr, he or she has an appointment with Allah (SWT) at ‘Asr to wash away this sin and to renew the covenant with Allah. If the same person commits sin after ‘Asr, he or she has an opportunity to get rid of it at Maghrib and renew the relationship with Allah. This happens five times a day. In other words, Allah gives us five chances to turn the page, follow His Way and avoid the paths and whisperings of the devil. 

           In this way, sujud should be considered a fountain of hope for everyone who sincerely tries to overcome the devil’s whisperings and to nurture their spirituality. The late Sheikh al-Sha’rawi once said: “Do you think your car will break down if a mechanic checks it out five times a day? Most likely, it will not. When a mechanic notices a problem, it will be fixed right away. By the same token, Muslims present themselves five times a day before Allah to check the level of their faith and character and to cleanse themselves from the stain of sins.”

         Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim reported, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (R), that the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) once asked his companions, “What do you think if one of you has a river running past your door and one bathed in it five times a day; would there be any trace of dirt left on him?’ They replied, ‘No trace of dirt would remain on him.’ Upon this, the Prophet (PBUH) replied: ‘This is the case with the five daily prayers, through which Allah washes away our sins.’” It is because sujud marks a moment of closeness to Allah, the Prophet (PBUH) recommended increasing du’as during sujud

The Prophet (PBUH) teaches, “Nothing brings a servant closer to Allah than sujud; so, offer more du’as.” When you consider prayer to be an opportunity for true repentance and a means of getting close to Allah, you will not abandon offering du’as due to sins you know you committed. Imam Sufyan al-Thawri said, “Do not let what you know of your sins keep you away from offering du’as. Allah answered the prayer of the devil–the worst of all creations, when the latter said, “My Lord, grant me respite till the day when they will be raised up. He [Allah] said: ‘You are granted respite till the appointed day.” Moreover, the Quran tells us that Allah answered the polytheists’ prayer: “And when they sail in a ship, they purely pray to Allah alone [to save them]. However, when He brings them safely to land, they quickly commit Shirk [ascribing partners with Allah]” (Quran 29: 65). 

          It is of relevance to mention here some of the du’as the Prophet (PBUH) taught us to say during sujud:

 اللهم اغفر لي ذنبي كله دقه وجله وأوله وآخره وعلانية وسره 

This means, “My Lord, forgive all my sins: small and great, first and last, apparent and hidden.” Another du’a the Prophet (PBUH) used to say is: 

اللهم لك سجدت، وبك آمنت، ولك أسلمت، سجد وجهي للذي خلقه وصوره، وشق سمعه وبصره، تبارك الله أحسن الخالقين

This translates to, “My Lord, before You I prostrate, in You I believe and to You I submit. My face prostrated before the One who created and fashioned it, made its hearing and sight. Blessed be Allah, the best of creators.”

         In contrast, abandoning prayer will result in being easily trapped by shaytan and following our whims and desires. In reading the Quran carefully, we find a close connection between abandoning prayer leading to following our lusts and desires. Allah (SWT) says, “There came after them an evil generation that neglected their prayers and followed their whims; so, loss awaits them—except those who repent and have faith and do good deeds. Such will enter heaven and will not be wronged at all” (Quran: 19: 59-60).