Question 48: Is It Allowed To Prostrate Before Anyone Or Anything Other Than Allah?

Question: The Almighty Allah states in Surah Yusuf, Ayat No. 100:

And he raised his parents upon the throne and they fell down in prostration before him and he said: O my father! This is the significance of my vision of old; my Lord has indeed made it to be true:

It was because Yusuf (a.s.) has seen in his first dream that, the Sun and the Moon, and eleven stars are prostrating in front of him.

We read in history that when Amir al-Mu’mineen (a.s.) was going towards Siffeen people of a group, who were standing at the roadside, according to the system for the Sassanid kings fell down in prostration as soon as they saw Hazrat.

Amir al-Mu’mineen saw this spectacle and felt too much of anguish and said: “What kind of unpleasant sin are you committing. Go and do your work, because I am also a creation of Allah, just like you.”

Is this historical fact, not contrary to the above-mentioned Ayat?

Answer: Prostration by way of worship is specifically only for the Almighty Allah and is not permitted for any and other than Him. As is related by Imam as-Sadiq and Hazrat Imam Hadi (a.s.), in tafseer of this Ayat, Hazrat Yusuf's (a.s.) father and mother and brothers had prostrated in front of Allah by way of thanking Him. And as the writer of Majmaul Bayan has said:

In Arabic words, personal pronoun of 'Lahu' is not towards Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.), but it revolves towards Allah. Meaning they prostrated in front of Allah.

As far as the prostration of Angels towards Hazrat Adam (a.s.) is concerned, it has the same meaning i.e. prostration was actually for Allah and Hazrat Adam's (a.s.) position was that of Qibla.

In view of this narration in the mentioned Ayat, there is no dispute in the historical meaning is related by Imam Ali (a.s.).