As Salaamu Alaykum wa Rahmat ALLAHe wa Barakaatu. While in congregational prayer, how should one make prostration during recitation of the Qur'aan (Sujood at-Tilaawah) in Surah al-Alaq? The method seems quiet complicated for whether one should prostrate (for Tilaawah) or bow for rak'ah in the end of the verse, can you relieve us with this matter with the help of ALLAH (The Almighty)? Jazaak ALLAHu Khair.
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
The prostration of the recital of the Quran whether during the prayer or outside the prayer is not an obligation, so whoever recites a verse of Sajdah (i.e. a verse in which a prostration is required to be performed), he has a choice, if he prostrates, he will be rewarded, and if he does not prostrate, he is not sinful. It is confirmed that ‘Umar said: “O people, we recite the verse of Sajdah, so whoever prostrates, he does the right thing, and whoever does not prostrate, he is not sinful.” [Al-Bukhari]
Another narration reads: “Allaah has not made the prostration (of the recital of the Quran) compulsory, but if we wish we can do it.” So, whoever is an Imaam and he recites a verse of Sajdah and he wants to prostrate, then when he finishes the recitation of the verse of Sajdah, he should say Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar) and then he should prostrate, and a person who is performing the prostration of the recital of the Quran says what he says in the prostration in the prayer. However, it is desirable that he says what Ibn ‘Abbaas narrated: “Allaahumma iktub lee biha ‘indaka ajra, wa dha’ ‘annee biha wizra, waj’alha lee indaka thukhra, wataqabalha minnee kama taqabaltaha min ‘abdika Daawood.”
‘O Allaah, record for me a reward for this (prostration), and remove from me a sin because of it. And save its reward for me (in the Hereafter) and accept it from me just as You had accepted it from Your servant Daawood (David ).’ Then, he should say Takbeer while standing up, and when he stands straight, he has the choice either to bow down immediately [without reciting any Quran] or he may recite whatever he wishes of the Quran. However, the Imaam should recite even a short verse so that the praying people behind him would not be confused, and it might be that there are some very elderly people who need a rest for a while [before they prostrate again] after standing up from the prostration.
As regards a person led in the prayer, if he recites in his prayer a verse of Sajdah whether it is the Sajdah of Chapter Al-‘Alaq [Quran 96] or any Sajdah – then he does not prostrate, because the person led in prayer does not prostrate for the recitation of the Quran unless the Imaam leading him in the prayer, prostrates. For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 131947 and 84896.
Allaah Knows best.
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