Salam (Peace) Dear Questioner,
Thank you so much for this important question and for wanting to know more about this beautiful act of worship in Islam.
One Is Nearest To His Lord In Sujood
Indeed sujood is one of the most beautiful, most special and most elevating acts of worship a believer can do to His Most High Creator.
We learn from the Prophetic sayings of The Last Messenger of Allah Muhammad (peace be upon him) that:
“A slave becomes nearest to his Lord when he is in prostration. So increase supplications while prostrating.” [Muslim]
So, this position is the nearest a believer can be to his/her lord.
It is an act of utter humility before the Might of The Creator of Heavens and the earth and everything in between them, the King and Sustainer of the Heavens and the earth.
One Submits To His Lord In Sujood
This act of sujood achieves the utter physical submission one can do before the Creator. As The Messenger taught:
“When a person prostrates, seven parts of his body prostrate: his face, his two palms, his two knees and his two feet.” [Sahih Muslim]
In sujood, the person puts his most noble features (face and forehead) to the ground in an act of humility and submission, but Allah elevates him/her on account of that one degree.
Thauban (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “I heard Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying:
“Perform Sujood (i.e. in prayer) more often. For every prostration that you perform before Allah will raise your position one degree and will remit one of your sins“. [Muslim]
Sujood Opens the Doors of Paradise
We also learn from Prophet Muhammad that this act of sujood (especially in prayer) is something that opens the doors of Paradise to the sincere humble seeker of his/her Lord.
Narrated Rab’iah b. Ka’b al-Aslami:
“I used to live with the Messenger of Allah at night. I would bring water for his ablution and his need. He asked: Ask me. I said: Your company in Paradise. He said: Is there anything other than that ? I said: It is only that. He said: Help me for yourself by making prostrations abundantly.” [Sunan Abi Dawud]
And Allah Almighty says in His Noble Book and His Direct Speech in the Quran:
“…But prostrate and draw near [to Allah].” (Quran 96: 19)
Du’aa’ To Say In Sujood
We also learn a very beautiful supplication that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) used to say while in prostration.
When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prostrated he would say:
“Allahumma laka sajadtu wa laka aslamtu wa bika amantu sajada wajhi lilladhi khalaqahu wa sawwarahu fa ahsana suratahu wa shaqqa sam’ahu wa basarahu, tabarak Allahu ahsanul-khaliqin“
(O Allah, to You I have prostrated and to You I have submitted, and in You I have believed. My face has prostrated to the One Who created it and shaped it and shaped it well, and brought forth its hearing and sight. Blessed be Allah the best of Creators.) [Sunan an-Nasa’i]
May Allah grant us humility to do sujood with sincerity and earn the rewards and closeness to Him that come with this beautiful act of worship!
I hope this helps answer your question.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From AboutIslam’s archives)