The Verses of Prostration
There are several verses of the Quran that speak about sajdah or sujūd (prostration), that is bowing down to the ground before God (normally in the direction of the Kaaba at Mecca), as indicated with the symbol ۩ in the Quran text. This practice is usually observed and known from the Muslim salah (daily prayers).
In addition to prostration during the daily prayer, there also exists some obligatory (wājib) and recommended (mustahab) prostration during recitation of the Quran. Chapter 32 of the Quran is even named after the Prostration (al-Sajdah) mentioned in one of its verses.
There are 14 (some scholars count 15) verses in the Quran where prostration occurs – normally the actual bowing down to the ground or prostration take place after complete recitation of any of the given prostration verses. Generally the Muslim will make a supplicat, praise or glorify God in the actual performing of the prostration.
The Four Obligatory Prostrations
Four verses in the Quran necessitate prostration:
- Chapter al-Sajdah (Prostration) verse 32:15
- Chapter Fuṣṣilat (Elaborated) verse 41:38
- Chapter al-Najm (The Star) verse 53:62
- Chapter al-ʿAlaq (The Clinging Mass) verse 96:19
The Ten Recommended Prostrations
Ten (some scholars count elleven) verses in the Quran recommends prostration:
- Chapter al-Aʿrāf (The Elevations) verse 7:206
- Chapter al-Raʿd (Thunder) verse 13:15
- Chapter al-Naḥl (The Bee) verse 16:50
- Chapter al-Isrāʾ (The Night Journey) verse 17:109
- Chapter Maryam (Mary) verse 19:58
- Chapter al-Ḥajj (The Pilgrimage) verse 22:18
- Chapter al-Ḥajj (The Pilgrimage) verse 22:77 *
- Chapter al-Furqān (The Criterion) verse 25:60
- Chapter al-Naml (The Ants) verse 27:26
- Chapter Ṣād (Ṣād) verse 38:24
- Chapter al-Inshiqāq (The Splitting) verse 84:21
* According to the Sunni al-Shafi‘i and all Shi’a schools.