When I first learned to pray, I was instructed to rest my arms on the floor, and was told that only men are required to lift them. But recently, after I moved to Palestine, it seems that everyone believes the opposite. I have been told many times that you must lift you arms when making sujood, and have been getting tapped on the arm to do so while praying. So which is the correct way of doing sujood - should I rest my arms or slightly lift them as I recently have been instructed?

Its very uncomfortable to slightly lift them, and feels awkward.


9 Answers 9


There are different views for different sects and madhabs.

Do not rest your arm as it makes you equivalent to a dog

Rest your arm on the ground

Also the following is stated on this website (Thanks to Gulshan)

The Hanafi Madh-hab

Allaamah Muhammad Amin Ibn Abidin as-Shami rahimahullah:

"A woman should not raise her hands till her shoulders. She should not take her hands out of her sleeves. She should place one palm over the other on her breast . She should bend only slightly in ruku'. She will not spread her fingers out in ruku' but rather keep them close together and place her palms on her knees without clasping them. She should bend her knees slightly. She should contract herself in ruku' and sajdah. She should place her arms flat on the ground. She should sit with her legs out and resting on her posterior in tashahhud. In tashahud she should keep her fingers close together. If any mistake occurs in salah, she should clap her hands without uttering anything. She cannot make imamah of a male. It is makruh to have a female only congregation. The female imam will stand in their midst. It is makruh for her to attend the congregation. In a mixed congregation the females will stand at the rear. Jumu'ah is not obligatory for her, but if she attends it, she will be absolved of responsibility. Neither is Eid compulsory on her nor the takbir of tashriq. It is not mustahab for her to perform Fajr when it brightens up. In the loud salahs she will not raise her voice. "

Most of the shias rest their hand on the ground, some don't.

Just a muslim

Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 11 :: Hadith 604
Bukhari :: Book 9 :: Volume 91 :: Hadith 352

Narrated Malik:

... He also mentioned some other things which I have (remembered or) forgotten. The Prophet then added, "Pray as you have seen me praying and when it is the time for the prayer one of you should pronounce the Adhan and the oldest of you should lead the prayer.

As you see in this women should pray as men as nothing special is specified for women. Thus raise your arm from the ground.

[Proof for hanafee] This & this
Rest are from observation

  • 1
    The mentioned Shafiee view is not proved from any shafiee scholar/book in the link. So, please consider editing the Shafiee view with links or placing a notice of possibility or removing that point. I am writing this, because I heard the Shafiee view is same as Hanafee in this matter. And for more clear description of hanafee view, this link seemed useful- qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?ID=1311
    – Gulshan
    Jul 30, 2012 at 6:21
  • @Gulshan and regarding the shafaee part it is difficult to find proofs as there are hardly any shafaee forums or articles
    – Ashu
    Jul 30, 2012 at 9:27
  • The Shafiee view is not different from the Hanafi in this matter, nor of any of the other four schools.
    – UmH
    Aug 26, 2020 at 11:07

There is a hadith which discourages putting forearms on the ground:

Beware of your Position O Men & Women when prostrating to ALLAH (SWT) . Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet said, "Be straight in the prostrations and none of you should put his forearms on the ground (in the prostration) like a dog." {Sahih Bukhari, Book #12, Hadith #785}


Women are not created like men, otherwise if you are mentioning that Pray as you have seen me praying can lead to a conclusion that women can also become Imam of men, as we have seen(ahadith) Prophet leading prayer. O Allah save Islam from this Fitna of innovation and practicing islam whatever they understand from your Ayah's and your prophets words.

For Muslim Womens seeking correct way of doing sajdah please read carefully. You have different body then men.

See also the following question/answer from askimam.org: Women’s Sajdah


You should lift them as much as you can. There is a hadith that says you should and it does not differentiate between a man and woman.

Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, "Do the prostration properly and do not put your fore-arms flat with elbows touching the ground like a Dog. And if you want to spit, do not spit in front, nor to the right for the person in prayer is speaking in private to his Lord." (Bukhari, Book #10, Hadith #509)

Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet said, "Be straight in the prostrations and none of you should put his forearms on the ground (in the prostration) like a Dog." (Bukhari, Book #12, Hadith #785)


The Rulings of the 4 Imams of the Ummah (عنھم الله رضى:(

  1. Imam Noman bin Thabit Abu Hanifa الله رحمه : ‘A woman will gather herself when prostrating, she will stick her stomach and thighs together because this method is more ‘concealing’ for her (which is understood from the proofs of the Ahadith above).’ (Hidayah vol 1, p110)

  2. Imam ‘Darul Hijrat’ Malik bin Anas الله رحمه – : whose school of thought’s foundation was based on the practices of the people of Madinah Munawarrah in his time. ‘The men will separate the knees, the elbows and the thighs from the stomach during prostration in prayer. However, a woman should gather all these parts together.’ (Al Sharhul Saghir, vol 1, p328)

  3. Imam Muhammed bin Idress Al Shafi’ الله رحمه states: ‘Allah and His Prophet has shown the women the manner in which to conceal themselves. And I, Imam Shafi’ الله رحمه ,prefer that women join one part of their body with the other during the prostration in prayer. In the same way a woman should do so in Qiyam and Ruku (keep the body parts joined and close together). And women should keep their coverings loose and open so that the shape of the body is not apparent.’ (Kitabul Umm vol 1, p100)

  4. Imam Ahmed bin Hambal الله رحمه : The well known books of the Hambali Fiqh ‘Zad’ul Mustakna’ and ‘Al Mughni’ have recorded: Imam Ahmed الله رحمه stated: ‘Women should not spread out when performing the prostration during prayer. The reason being that they are ordered to be concealed and they should therefore gather their bodies together in the prostration, they should place their feet towards the right side whilst prostrating (by doing this, it allows the body to be closer to the ground)…it is also related from Sayyidina Ali and Abdullah ibn Umar that they ordered that women should gather their bodies together in prayer. (Al Mughni by Ibn Qadama vol 1, p562)


Salam brothers and sisters.
The above answer is correct but it is only half of the answer. If you check the link above you will note that although the Holy Prophet saw mentioned to keep elbows up during prostration, another hadith also states that:

Yazid ibn Abi Habib related that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) passed by two women praying and said, “When you prostrate, draw your limbs closely together. Verily, the woman is not like the man in that action.”
إذا سجدتما فضمَّا بعض اللحم إلى الأرض ؛ فإن المرأة ليست في ذلك كالرجل
[Abu Dawud in al-Marassel] (Seekershub)

So therefore

In prostration, it is sunna for a woman to draw all of her limbs closely together in order to achieve maximum modesty. Her abdomen rests on top of her thighs and her upper-arms remain closely at her sides while her forearms lay on the floor. [Bada’i al-Sana’i, Radd al-Muhtar, Maraqi al-Falah, Tabayyin al-Haqaiq Sharh Kanz al-Daqaiq, & al-Bahr al-Raiq Sharh Kanz al-Daqaiq] (same source)

However I note that many women notably the Arabs do not prostrate in this way. Having said that, your prayer will not be void if you do raise your elbows in prostration but personally I would rather follow the Sunnah of the Prophet as he advised those women and keep my modesty. Hope that helps. Fi Aman Allah

  • The hadith quoted is da'if (mursal-> the chain is incomplete) it might go ahead with the hanafi madhhab, but that isn't an eveidence for it being a sunnah of the Prophet who said "pray as you've seen me praying" and "Women are the twin halves of men" which means there shouldn't be a difference in the way we worship, unless when it comes to covering.
    – Medi1Saif
    Dec 8, 2017 at 14:12

It means women can be like dogs???where it is told dont be like dogs except women???limbs bringing close doesnt need forearm to touch the grounds...just falling like a piece of flesh on ground doesnt make a good sujood.limbs a little bit closer but elbow above the ground(its a generalized rule)


If you read all the Sahih Hadiths carefully, you'll not find any single narration differentiating the method of salah for the men and women. You'll only find the sahabas and sahabiyas narrating the method of salah of the prophet s.a.w. and whatever method they narrated, women are not excepted from any of that. That means the method of salah for both men and women is same and Allah knows the best.


Sajdah is same for men and women

  • Salam and welcome to Islam SE the Q&A site about Islam we require answers here to be well elaborating, answering the actual question and claims be supported by evidences read How to Answer. I strongly recommend you to take our tour and check our help center to learn more about our site and model!
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