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Sajdah ( , ) or sujūd ( , ) is an Arabic word meaning prostration to God in the direction of the Kaabamarker at Makkahmarker which is usually done during the daily prayers (salah). While in sujud, a Muslim is to praise Allah and glorify him. The position involves having the forehead, nose, both hands, knees and all toes touching the ground together.


Sujud is one of the main pillars of daily prayer in Islam. A single act of sujud is called a sajdah (plural sajadāt). Muslims do sujud in each prayer many times depending upon the Raka'ah of prayer. A raka'ah is a unit of set actions that have to be performed in a prayer. The shortest (obligatory) Muslim prayer consists of two raka'ah. The raka'ah can be described as follows:

  • Standing
  • Bowing down with hands resting on knees
  • Standing up from bowing
  • Going in prostration (sajdah) once
  • Lifting the face up from prostration but sitting on the ground
  • Doing a second prostration (sajdah) and then getting up for the second, third, or fourth raka'ah

Points 1-6 define one raka'ah. So the shortest Muslim prayer (2 raka'ah) has a total of 4 sajdahs.

Other types of sujud

1. Sajdah of thankfulness: This is from the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad that whenever he used to hear news which would make him happy, he would make sujud to thank Allah.

2. Sajdah of recitation: During the recitation of the Qur'an there are fourteen places where when Prophet Muhammad recited that ayah (verse) he prostrated to Allah. So whenever Muslims recite ayat (verses) from any of those ayat (indicated with ۩ in most Qur'ans), Muslims also prostrate following the sunnah (example) of Prophet Muhammad.

3. Sajda of forgetfulness: During the prayer if a person forgets to do one of the actions of prayer he can make up for certain actions by performing two sujud at the end of the prayer. This can only be done if specific types of actions are forgotten by the person praying.

Rule of direction of the sujud

Sujud is only made to Allah alone and none other. In prayer, Muslims face the Holy Kaaba in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, but make their sujud to Allah, not the Kaaba. The Kaaba is only a united direction that Muslims face as it is the order of Allah in Qur'an. If any person claiming to be Muslim makes a sujud to any thing/deity/person other than Allah, he is considered a disbeliever.

Sayings during sujud

There are numerous things that a Muslim can say during sujud as is evident from the example of the Prophet Muhammad. Among them are duas (prayers for Allah's help), hamd (praising of Allah), tasbih (glorfying Allah) and statements of Prophet Muhammad which make a person humble. Muslims are not allowed to recite the Qur'an during sujud.

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