Would the act of prostrating (making sajda) be worship in of itself?

I have been thinking about this issue and I would say it does not because Prophet Yaqoub did it to his son Prophet Yousef.

However, I'm curious to see if anyone holds a different view and WHY do you hold that view? Evidences are the main issue.

Please don't say it was a different Shari'ah, as this itself has no evidence.

  • There is a prostration of respect and prostration of worship. You would have to define worship first before you answer this question. Also an elaborate discussion spirituality is also required ie what is spirit and spirituality.
    – Abu Nooh
    Jun 7 '14 at 0:21
  • An act would only be worship if the person believes the divinity of an object. Like the difference between a Muslim prostrating to an idol vs a mushrik is that the later believes the idol is god or at least divine.
    – Sayyid
    Jun 8 '14 at 23:20

From all of the discussions I've had regarding prostration, I've concluded the following =

  • There's no sufficient evidence from Quran and Sunnah explicitly saying prostration is an act of worship in of itself.

  • If prostration was worship, every Muslim would be worshiping the thing in front of them. There would be no Muslims left on earth.

  • The angels would've been worshiping Prophet Adam.

  • Prophet Yaqoub and his family would be worshiping Prophet Yousef.

  • Rasolullah himself would be worshiping the Kaba.

So from the lack of explicit evidence and the rational conclusions, prostration is NOT and act of worship in of itself.


Assalam o alaikum ya akhi,

This is a good question. I will mention few points insha'Allah and you are to decide as I am not a scholar,

Allah knows best


Yes, prostration is an act of worship in itself.

The reason is quite simple. If you see someone prostrating in front of someone or something, there is no doubt in our mind that he is worshipping.

Over the period of generations, certain acts have become so universally associated with worship, that they are now in-separable.

If you look at differents act of worship in Haj, you will notice that all the acts of worship that humans have constructed to worship any deity, Allah has individualized them for Himself. e.g. circling of Kaaba, shaving of head etc

  • Something is worship because Allah tells us. We're not the ones to decide what act is worship. Therefore, do you have evidence from Quran or Sahih Hadith that mentions sajda is worship?
    – Sayyid
    May 27 '14 at 18:30

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