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Re: Salaat, rukoo and sujood
By:Jawaid Ahmed
Date: Thursday, 4 February 2010, 9:59 am
In Response To: Re: Salaat, rukoo and sujood (Naushad P.)

Maybe this will help:-


Siin, jiim, daal
As sujud means to bow the head; Ibn Faaris says it basically means to be low or to bend over; nakhlatun sajidah: a date palm that is bent; especially one which bends due to the weight of its fruits*; sajjadal baeer: the camel bent its neck so that the man could mount on its back*;

*Taj *Taj, Raghib, Muheet

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therefore, this root means for a man’s head or some other thing to bend(or bow) physically; but behind the human mannerism there is a philosophy and in today’s terms it is called Parallelism ; it means that there is deep linkage between man’s mind and body; and these two operate as parallels, for example, if you are lying down and decide to do something then you get up as the thought crosses your mind; when you wish to rest, you either sit down or lie down; or when you say ‘yes’ you nod your head (automatically and subconsciously) : when you respect someone your hand rises to your forehead (for a salaam or salute) and if your respect transcends this then you start to bow before that person; these actions also affect your speech which is a translation of your bodily movements or expresses the same emotions that the movements signify ; for example, when you say that he bowed his head at my order, you mean that he has accepted to carry out your order; and when we say he rebelled against the law of the state, then we mean that he has refused to accept the state’s law and rebelled against it; since the Qur’an speaks in a particular language (Arabic) it too uses the metaphors of this language to express itself clearly; in this context, it has used the words ‘sajdah’ to mean obedience and faithfulness : surah Nahal says: wa lilllaahi yasjudu ma fis samawati wama fil ardi min da abbatin wal malaikatu wa hum la yastakbiruun: 16:49 and all living things which are in the highs and lows of the universe bow before God and do not rebel ; here yasjudu has been explained by la yastakbiruun ; i.e. they do not disobey the orders of God but instead follow them; the ayat is further explained by: wa yaf aloona ma yu’maroon: 16:50 they do what they are ordered to: therefore, the root of this word (siin, jiim, daal) must be kept in mind to determine whether it means a physical sajdah or a figurartive sajdah. i.e to mean obedience.

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Another thing must be noted here; when the human mind was in its infancy then (like a child) it understood only the physical things and also used o express himself in physical terms; in today’s terminology he was limited to “sense perception”; he had not reached yet the stage of having immaterial concepts or to acquire knowledge through them; therefore, his religion, like other things, was limited also to this sense-perception*; i.e. he was still in the stage of formalism; to represent God he had created idols; in worship etc the stress was on the form of worship (rather than the spirit) ; in fact, form was supposed to be everything.
The Qur’a in its teachins treats man like and adult; it may be said that it wanted to bring it out of the nascent stage and into adulthood: it also stresses knowledge through concept as well as knowledge through precepts; and in the matter of Deen too, it stresses on the intention rather than the form; but it does not altogether do away with the form : it retains a little of it; this because, for concept of ideas a man needs some form and also for satisfaction; even when the biggest of thinkers or idealists speaks, he makes use of his hands, feet, eyes or head for gesturing:it as if he is unable to express himself without these indications: and in this way he explains abstract truths too through sensory examples: this is the reason why Qur’an despite man having evolved much higher than the perceptual stage, has retained some form: the practice of bowing and genuflecting in prayers is a manifestation of this form: for example, in surah Nisaa where observing prayer during a battle has been mentioned it has also been said: that one group may establish the prayer and when it is finished then it may move back ad let the other group observe prayer ;

*For the difference between religion and Deen see headings dhal, heh, beh and dal, yeh, nuun.
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obviously here ‘sajdah’ means to physically bow one’s head before God like was the practice of our Prophet Muhaammed and his followers; in the Qur’an, prayer and Hajj are the two things in which some form has been retained; these two are collective worships and it is necessary to have some uniformity in the collective form of worship ; if in a collective gathering every individual adopts his own for,m of worship then one can well imagine the chaos this may create; (More details about these matters can be found in heading Saad, laam, waw).
But it is also a fact that for man to bow physically before God is the physical display of man’s emotions towards God i.e. he bows before God’s orders;.or he fully obeys God; if his formal sajdah (bowing) is not a display of his inner feeling of subjugation, and is purely formal, then in it there is practically no meaning of such a sajdah: this is the truth forw which the Qur’an has said: laisal birra un tuwallu wujuhakum qibalil mashriqi wal maghribi wala kinnal birr…: 2:177 the path to virtue is not to turn your face towards the west or the east, but it is whether you truly believe in your hearts on God, aakhirat (the life hereafter), malaikah, the (Holy ) Books and the prophets; and gives of his wealth, despite the love of it, to relatives (who need it) , orphans, needy, travelers, and the oppressed; this means that salaat (or prayer) is actually a display of man’s obedience; if man takes the salaat only as an end in itself then it holds no importance with God; instead the Qur’an says: fawailul lil musalleenal lazeena hum un salatihim sahoonaal lazeena hum yuraoona wayamna oonaal ma oon: 107:507 there is destruction for those namazis who ignore the reality of prayer and perform the obvious trappings of the salaat or namaaz to show people (that they are namazis); and think that they have performed the duty of namaaz; in reality the fountainhads of rizq which should be open to all like water and are stooped by them like dams and stopped for their own benefit.

Page 848 and above
Almasjid means forehead which touches the ground (during sajdah in prayer): and almasjid is the place the sajdah is performed; *this is a pronoun and can mean both the place where the sajdah is performed and the time when it is done ; surah Kahaf says that people built a masjid (or mosque) at the mouth of the cave where the seven young men had escaped to; 18:21 that is, as if they were mujahideen (strugglers in the way of Allah) but later (as usually happens) the concept disappeared and in their memory a monument was built which became a place for sajdah; in surah Bani Israeel the Heckel (religious place of worship) of the Jews has been called masjid : 17:7 surah Taubah also mentions the masjid or mosque during the time of Hazrat Muhammed which was based on taqwah : 9:109 and also that which was meant to create sectarianism among the Muslims which the Qur’an has termed Kufr and the sanctuary for those fighting a war against God and His Prophet SAW: 9:107 the Qur’an has declared sectarianism as shirk (the greatest sin, or alluding that there are other gods too) and clearly stated that the mushrikeen, that is, those who allude others with God have no right to habitate the masjids of Allah: and it announced that: unnal masajidillahi fala tad-u ma alahi ahada: 72:18 the masjids are only for Allah, so do not call on others along with Allah: sectarianism is shirk because this does not let you obey God only; if the believers follow purely God’s orders only, there can be no differences between the Muslim ummah and the Qur’an while saying or rather has justified its claim to be God’s Book by saying that it has no contradiction.
Just as sajdah means not only to put your forehead on the ground but also to obey those Godly laws, so masjid is not just the place or building where God’s worship is done; it means the center which is the symbol for establishing God’s laws on earth; the Kaaba has been called the masjidil haraam: 28:27 not because people perform sajda here but because it is the center for God’s Onlyness; it is the center for the Muslim nation because muslim atal lak: 2:128

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i.e. the (nation) which bows before (or obeys) God; since after the Prophet SAW ‘s migration to Madinah from Makkah, Madinah was to become the center of God’s system, therefore in the Qur’an (regarding the night of migration) Madinah has been called masjidil aqsa (the mosque of afar) : subhaanal lazi asra bi abdehi laila minal masjidil haraami ilal masjidil aqsal lazi baarakna haulahu linuriyahu mun aayaatena: 17:1 that being is farthest from any fault which took His banda (slave) one night from masjidil haraam (in Makah) to the masjid which was far away from Makkah: whose atmosphere We had made blessed, so that We show him our signs; after this Hazrat Moosa has been mentioned in surah Taha where Hazrat Moosa has been ordered to go towards the Pharaoh, there too it is said: linuriyaka min aayaatenal kubra: 20:22 so that We show your big signs: this sign was Hazrat Moosa’s success in the struggle against the Pharaoh: this was also the sign which after the Prophet’s SAW migration, from Makkah to Madinah, and which was to be manifested: viz the victory of the Believers over the forces of baatil or falsehood or darkness.
This brings the fact before us that the building of the mosque is not for worship only; various matters of an Islamic state can be dealt with here; actually it is difficult to differentiate between worship and common worldly chores; worship (ibadat) means obedience (see heading ain, beh, waw) and any worldly chore performed according to God’s law becomes worship; since the prayer congregations are in obedience of God’s orders, it is also worship; for ‘worship’ no separate place is required where nothing else can not be done.
Surah Airaaf says: ya bani Adama khuzu zeenatikum inda kulli masjid: 7:31 here masjid has been used to mean to obey, * in this ayat, a great reality has been revealed:

*It is supported by Lissanul Arb

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Christianity (and other religions like it) term monasticism as the height of obedience and worship; i.e. to give up the pleasures of this life, this world; this concept has been refuted by the Qur’an, and it has ssaid that worldly adornment is a way of abiding by God’s laws; one should of course benefit from life’s good things; but only to the extent God has allowed; the next part of this ayat and the next ayat has clarified this meaning by saying: saying: wa kulu washrabu wa la turefu innal laha la yuhibbul musrifeen: 7:31 eat and drink but do not transgress the limits: God does not like those who transgress the limits; the next ayat says: qul mun harrama zeenatall laahi lati akhraja li-ibadehi wat tayyebaatyi minar rizq….: 7:32 ask them who has declared as haraam the things of adornment and the good rizq (sustenance) which has been created by God? Two ayats earlier say: qul amara rabbi bilqisti wa aqimu wujuhakum inda julli masjidin wad-u mukhlisiyaani lahul lazeen …. 7:29 tell them that Allah has ordered you to be moderate: and be obedient to Him only: and while keeping obedience for Him only , call on Him only (for everything); Surah Fatah says about the Prophet SAW and those with him : tarahum ruk un sujjada: 48:29 you will find them in rukuh (bending from the waist forward) and in sajdah( touching their foreheads on the ground as bowing); here if literal meaning of rukuh and sujud are taken then it would mean collective prayer and if figurative meanings are taken then it would mean loaded with responsibilities and subjugating themselves in obedience; after this it is said: seemahum fee wujuhehim min asris sujud: 48:29 commonly the meaning undrstood is: they can be recognized by the signs on their faces : i.e. the peace and tranquility they get from obeying God is evident from the peace on their faces; it is a psychological fact that a man’s internal feeling is reflected on his face; the Qur’an says: yuiraful mujremoona beseemahim: 55:41 the criminals will be recognized from telltale signs:

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here too the psychological situation is pointed out: by obeying God, the inner peace one gets, reflects on the face.

Ruku bending down

Rah, kaf, ain
Raka’a: means to bend face down or to fall down; whether the knees touch the ground or not; but the head should bow; Raghib says rukuh means to bow; this word is spoken sometimes to bow physically and sometimes used for humility and submission whether that be in worship or not: for an old man it is said raka ash sheikh: because in this old age one bends a little due to weakness: if a man’s condition becomes weak then too it is said raka’a fulan:; Ibn Faaris too has said it means to bow : Tajul Uroos says in the era of jahiliat (i.e. before the advent of Islam), the Arabs used to call a man who was haneef as rakiun when he was not a worshipper of idols and would say rakiun ilal lah; Zamkhishri has said it means he was content to turn towards Allah*; raakiun has the plural as rukka-un;
Ruku-un wa sajood (see heading siin, jiim, daal) actually means to bow in submission to God’s laws; in sajdah, there is more intensity (of submission) than rukuh : i.e. total submission and obedience; in surah Baqarah the Jews have been told: wa aqeemus salata wa aatus zakatah warka oo ma ar raki een: 2:43 the group which is genuflecting before God, you too join them and follow My laws like them;
Since man’s movements are an indication of his emotions (for instance when we say ‘no’, our head automatically turns from side to side and when we say ‘yes’ then it automatically moves up and down!);

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therefore the display of bowing before God’s laws is done by rukuh and sujud (i.e. by bending and genuflecting in prayer) ; tarahum rukka un sujjadan….seemahum wujuhehim min asris sujud: 48:29 you see them in rukuh and sujud (bending and genuflecting) ….the effects of their submission are evident from their faces; it is obvious that if a person bends and genuflects before God but he actually follows non Godly laws, then his rukuh and sujud will not be according to God’s will; i.e. for a few minutes, he bends before God, but in his entire practical life he follows ungodly laws therefore his rukuh and sujud are not a true indication of his subservience to Allah: true rukuh and sujud are such that a man’s heart submits to God’s laws and along with his heart his head too bends before God: this is what is desired by the congregations of prayer.

Messages In This Thread

Hicham -- Sunday, 31 January 2010, 4:41 pm
Re: Salaat - Is Not Ritual Prayer
*Dr Shabbir -- Sunday, 31 January 2010, 9:25 pm
Re: Salaat - Masjid
*Dr Shabbir -- Sunday, 31 January 2010, 9:34 pm
Re: Salaat - Musalleen vs Namaazis
*Dr Shabbir -- Sunday, 31 January 2010, 9:40 pm
Re: Salaat - The Praying Ones
*Dr Shabbir -- Sunday, 31 January 2010, 9:42 pm
Re: Salaat
Hicham -- Sunday, 31 January 2010, 9:44 pm
Re: Salaat
UmeAimon -- Monday, 1 February 2010, 7:59 am
Re: Salaat
Jawaid Ahmed -- Monday, 1 February 2010, 4:27 pm
Re: Salaat - edited
Dr Shabbir -- Monday, 1 February 2010, 6:50 pm
Re: Salaat, rukoo and sujood
Naushad P. -- Wednesday, 3 February 2010, 10:29 am
Re: Salaat, rukoo and sujood
Jawaid Ahmed -- Thursday, 4 February 2010, 9:59 am
Re: Salaat - Is Not Ritual Prayer
Mubashir -- Monday, 1 February 2010, 2:41 pm
Re: Salaat - Is Not Ritual Prayer
AmirAbbass -- Tuesday, 2 February 2010, 12:49 pm
Re: Salaat - Is Not Ritual Prayer
ayyub -- Monday, 22 March 2010, 11:31 pm
Re: Salaat - Is Not Ritual Prayer
Dr Shabbir -- Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 2:36 pm