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If for example, I do something regular, and it counts as a prostration of worship in another religion, which I didn't know, does it count as a prostration of worship, and does it mean, I have to repent?

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Prostration (sujod) is worship when your intention is to venerate a deity.

When Allah commanded everyone to prostrate to Adam =

And when We said to the angels, "Prostrate to Adam," and they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was of the jinn and departed from the command of his Lord...

(18:50)

This prostration in itself was not worship of Adam, it was simply something Allah ordered.

Similarly when Prophet Jacob (Yaqob) and his family prostrated to his son Prophet Joseph (Yusef) =

And he raised his parents to the throne and they fell down before him prostrate...

(12:100)

Neither of these two incidences were worship. They were simply acts of respect and not forbidden.

Therefore, when does prostration becomes worship? It's when your intention is to worship. And you don't worship unless you believe the object is a deity or divine.

So if you believed an idol was divine and you prostrate to it with the intention of worship, then it becomes worship.

If you're prostrating just for other reasons besides worshiping, then it's perfectly fine.

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  • great answer, by this logic it is allowed to prostrate while kissing the feet of one's mother?
    – user5608
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 2:36
  • In india there is a tradition to receive blessings by touching the feet of older people. I heard this was an act of sin, by your explanation it seems that the act was justified. So can we do the same?
    – Syed Anas
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 5:58
  • @user5608 Yes it's a cultural matter and it's fine. Ali bin Abi Talib kissed the hands and feet of al-Abbas. (al-Adab al-Mufrad, Book of Greetings). Did Ali worship al-Abbas? No.
    – Sayyid
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 6:00
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    @anas seeking blessings is different. It's crossing the line of religion now bc "blessings" are only known through Quran and Sunnah. So it's an innovation and unislamic (not shirk though). But if they touched the feet in respect, it's totally fine.
    – Sayyid
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 6:02
  • And they may have misunderstood a hadith (weak) that says "paradise is at the feet of your mother." I wouldn't blame them for it if they did. But otherwise if no misunderstanding of hadith and it's just a cultural thing to seek "blessings" then it's a innovation.
    – Sayyid
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 6:04
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It is haram to do sajdah of respect. It is polytheism to do sajdah for worship to other than Allah.

Previous Ummahs were permitted sajdah of respect. Our Ummah is forbidden to perform sajdah of respect.

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  • How is that? explain! And what is the relevance to the question asked. See How to Answer.
    – Sassir
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 15:25

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