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What is the exact method of sajda for women. Many people are confused for this. Many ladies put their elbows down and some do not put. Some Muslim scholars recommend that it's not mendatory to put down elbows during sajda. Can any one guide me for this confusion. Thanks

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The prophet () told us to

... pray as you've seen me praying … (Sahih al-Bukhari)

This should apply to both men and women. So there's basically no difference in the manner we pray. Nevertheless some scholars recommended that ladies should pray in a more compact manner (having their body parts:arms and legs closer to the body) to avoid showing men details of their body that might be hidden otherwise. Note that this is the view held by a majority of scholars (some fatwa on Islam web quote from malki, shafi'i and hanbali sources and consider this the recommended position for women see fir example here - in Arabic-) . Here some evidences for this view:

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, the companion of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), that he used to command the men to spread out their arms in their prostration and he used to tell the women to keep their arms close to their sides in their prostration. He used to tell the men to spread their left foot along the ground (and sit on it) and place the right foot upright during the tashahhud and he used to tell the women to sit, kneeling, on their heels.”
Then al-Bayyhaqi said: This is a munkar hadeeth.

Abu Mutee’ al-Hakam ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Balkhi from ‘Umar ibn Dharr from Mujaahid from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a woman sits during the prayer she should place one thigh against the other and when she prostrates she should press her stomach against her thighs, compressing herself in the most concealing manner, for Allaah looks at her and says: ‘O My angels, I call you to bear witness that I have forgiven her.’” Sunan al-Bayhaqi al-Kubra, 2/222. 

This hadeeth is da’eef, because it was narrated by Abu Mutee’ al-Balkhi. (Source islamqa)

Ibn Qudamah (hanbali scholar) -see here in Arabic on islamweb- also quoted a second narration on how the prophet used to prostrate (the first which is generally considered as the way a man should prostrate will be quoted later) from Sunan abi Dawod which seems to describe the recommended way -by the majority of scholars- to perform sujud for women:

Al-Bara' described to us (the nature of prostration). He placed his hands (palms), reclined on his knees, and raised his hips; he said: This is how the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to prostrate himself.

But generally a woman is recommended to pray at home in a more or less private space so there usually won't be any showing-off of their body. And also if they pray in congregation with men they usually pray behind them. As for sujud the sunnah is to have the elbows and arms up and to the sides in a manner that a small animal could walk through the space between arm, underarm and head. (According to Islamweb and Islamonline and the majority of scholars this is only recommended for men)

  • ... He thenm prostrated himself and placed his nose and forehead (on the ground); and kept his arms away from his side, and placed his palms (on the ground opposite his shoulders... (Sunan abi Dawod)

  • The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Be straight in the prostrations and none of you should put his forearms on the ground (in the prostration) like a dog."
    (Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and with similar wordings in other hadith compilations)

And it is strongly makrooh to have the elbows or underarms touching the ground.

 The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: I was commanded to prostrate myself on the seven (bones) and forbidden to fold back hair and clothing. (The seven bones are): forehead, nose, hands, knees and feet. (Sahih Muslim)

Only these seven body parts or bones therefore should touch the ground.

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The hadīth in question is as follows:

عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «اعْتَدِلُوا فِي السُّجُودِ، وَلاَ يَبْسُطْ أَحَدُكُمْ ذِرَاعَيْهِ انْبِسَاطَ الكَلْبِ»

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, “Be straight in the prostrations and none of you should spread his forearms (on the ground) like a dog spreads (his front legs).”[1]

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