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['Aalim Network QR] Sajdah (Prostration) on 'mudstone'

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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\
Assalamu 'Alaykum
The following question were kindly answered by Mulla Asgher.

Salaams & Duas
Ummulbanin Merali - Moderator - 'Aalim Network


Can you supply hadith or Quranic verses or other sources which explain why
we must use the mudstone or similar thing for prostration in prayer?  Do the
majority of marjahs make it obligatory to use such an object, and if so is
it as a precaution to avoid praying on something improper, or in the time of
the Prophet (pbuh&hf) was it allowed to pray on other things, but
recommended to pray on such objects, or was it obligatory at that time?


Sajdah should be performed on earth, and on those things which are not
edible nor worn; and on those things which grow from earth (e.g. wood and
leaves of the trees). 

The Prophet (P.B.U.H.& H.P.) gave preference to prostrating on the earth. 
In Al-Bukhari, Vol I, page 104, Egyption Edition, we find a narration from
Abu Sa'eed saying:  "I saw the Prophet prostrating upon wet earth, and I
saw the remnants of the earth on his forehead." 

And Qistalani in his commentary on Al-Bukhari, in the chapter on Salaat
being prayed at various surfaces and levels, gives a narration that when
Abdullah b. Masood and Abdullah b. Umar (both are companions of the Prophet,
and the latter is the son of the 2nd Khalifa) travelled on a boat, they
carried with them a small brick for the purpose of sajdah.

And Imam Ahmed b. Hambal has reported in his Musnad from Ummu Salemah (the
Prophet's wife) that the Prophet once told Aflah:
"O Aflah! Soil your forehead with dust (in your sajdah)."

This is why many companions of the Prophet have considered it unworthy to do
sajdah on anything but earth. In Al-Taaj- Vol I, Pg. 192, under footnote
(9), we find that when the companions complained that the earth was
unbearably hot, scorching the forehead, and asked the Prophet to allow them
to place their clothing in between the forehead and the earth, the Prophet
did not allow them to do so, except for those who had a genuine excuse.

In the light of the above, the Shias carry small mud tablets, preferabely
made of clay from Karbala, to enable them to do sajdah on an object most
recommended. This is the sign on ultimate humility before Allah, the Most

 Asgharali M.M. Jaffer 

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