2

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?

2

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.

  • great answer, by this logic it is allowed to prostrate while kissing the feet of one's mother? – user5608 Aug 7 '14 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? – Anas Aug 7 '14 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 Aug 7 '14 at 6:00
  • 1
    @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 Aug 7 '14 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 Aug 7 '14 at 6:04

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