For Muslims, bowing down and prostrating to Allah several times a day during daily prayer is a key element of their faith. There are fifteen verses in the Quran that praise those who “prostrate to Allah.”
For Muslims, showing humility to Allah in this way is what separates believers from unbelievers. When reading the verses listed below, Muslims should perform an extra prostration to show a willingness to humble themselves before Allah.
This act is known as “sajdah al-tilawah” (prostration of recitation).
The Prophet Muhammad once said that:
When the son of Adam (i.e. human beings) recites a verse of prostration and prostrates himself, Satan withdraws, weeping and saying: ‘Woe to me… the son of Adam was commanded to prostrate and he prostrated, so Paradise will be his; I was commanded to prostrate and I refused, so Hell is mine.’
Proper Practice for Muslims Reading the Verses
When reading the verses or listening to a recitation, it is recommended to prostrate one time after reading one of these verses. However, it is not an obligation to do so, and it is not a sin to omit this practice.
When praying at the recitation of such a verse, the worshiper should say “Allahu Akbar” and go directly from standing to prostrating, without bowing in between. After one sujood, the worshiper says, “Allahu Akbar,” stands up and continues the prayer. If praying behind an imam, you should only make sujood al-tilawah if the imam does so.
For Which Verses Should We Make Sajdah al- Tilawah?
The locations of these verses are marked in the Arabic text of the Quran with a symbol in the shape of a mihrab. The fifteen verses are:
1- Verse 7:206
Surely those who are with your Lord (the angels) are never too proud to perform acts of worship to Him, but they glorify His Praise and prostrate before Him. (7:206)
2- Verse 13:15
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. (13:15)
3- Verse 16:49
And to Allah prostrate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the live moving creatures and the angels, and they are not proud. (16:49)
4- Verse 17:107
Say (O Muhammad): Believe in it (the Quran) or do not believe. Verily! Those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration. (17:107)
5- Verse 19:58
… When the Verses of the Most Beneficent (Allah) were recited unto them, they fell down prostrating and weeping.” (19:58)
6- Verse 22:18
See you not that to Allah prostrates whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth, and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, all living creatures, and many of mankind? (22:18)
7- Verse 22:77
Oh you who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good that you may be successful. (22:77)
*This verse is disputed as a verse of sajdah by some scholars. There are unconfirmed reports that early Muslims did make sujood at this verse, but others cite a lack of evidence. So some scholars count it while others do not.
8- Verse 25:60
And when it is said to them: ‘Prostrate to the Most Beneficent (Allah)!’ They say, ‘And what is the Most Beneficent? Shall we fall down in prostration to that which you (O Muhammad) command us?’ And it increases in them only aversion.” (25:60)
9- Verse 27:25
Satan has barred them from Allah’s way, so that they do not worship (prostrate before) Allah, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you conceal and what you reveal. (27:25)
10- Verse 32:15
Only those believe in Our signs, who, when they are reminded of them fall down prostrate, and glorify the Praises of their Lord, and they are not proud. (32:15)
11- Verse 38:24
… And Dawood (Prophet David) guessed that We had tried him and he sought forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down prostrate and turned (to Allah) in repentance. (38:24)
12- Verse 41:37
And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or to the moon, but prostrate to Him Who created them, if you (really) worship Him.” (41:37)
13- Verse 53:62
So fall down in prostration to Allah, and worship Him (Alone). (53:62)
14- Verse 84:21
And when the Quran is recited to them, they do not fall prostrate. (84:21)
15- Verse 96:19
… Fall prostrate and draw near to Allah! (96:19)