Proper Prostration (Sajdah) for Women in Prayer – No difference from men

american muslim mom Q &AWelcome to the first American Muslim Mom Q & A post. As shared in our About Page, I am not an Islamic scholar. However, when I received the below email, I sought some advice, and the consensus was “When I need Islamic advice [woman to woman], I always call you first”. MashAllah, Alhumdulilah. (God has willed. Praise be to Allah). InshaAllah, God willing, at the very least I vow to  find respectable authentic resources to lead as straight. So, Jazaka Allahu Khayrun to one of our loyal readers for asking this important question about women during sajdah or prostrating while praying.

I got a question for you and thought that you might know the answer or at least [know] where to find the answer.  You are such a wealth of Islamic Information.

A fellow sister has commented that when women pray and are in sujuood that we should curl up into a ball and pull everything in tight.  But all that I have come across says differently.  Is there something out there that says we should or should not do this?  Any advise that you can give is greatly appreciated.

My girls and I have found this to be a big problem here in our new hometown. We’ve noticed that a particular culture directs and teaches their women to prostate in a ball with legs, arms and thighs close to their bellies. Regardless what culture one is born and raised into, it is all our responsibilities to help one another in the most gracious and non-conformational means possible. It is my intention, that if there are future uncomfortable, possibly confrontational debate that may divide our sisterhood, that you will turn here. Through this new Q & A section, you can ask, refer, direct or lead one another to these answers. I promise to keep it in my light sisterly tone to motivate you to stay, rather than scholarly and dry to turn you away. Yar Rabb, Ameen.

Recommended books and slideshow how to pray in Islam

First, I pulled the 2 prayers books I refer too in our Islamic home library.  I recommended this one book and great free slideshow how to pray to new Muslims, and Muslim kids before. But, it can now serve as a perfect medium for native Muslims who need to read and watch prayers taught correctly based on the Qur’an and Sunnah. A more in-depth book that I’ve had since I reverted to Islam is called,

A Guide to Prayer in Islam. Pray as you have seen me praying (Buhkhari)” by M. Abdul Karim Saqib. Although it does not have pictures, it has 63 pages filled with verses from the Qu’ran and authentic ahadith (Bukhari).

Correct position for sajdah (prostration) in Islam

None of these resources showed a different way for a man and woman to pray. They only direct the way in which the Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) prayed and how directed us to follow his way. Only seven parts of our bodies should touch the ground during sajdah (prostration) at the same time:

  1. The forehead along with the tip of the nose.
  2. Right hand. The fingers should be pointing towards the Qiblah (the Kabah in Mecca) without spreading the fingers apart.
  3. Left hand The fingers should be pointing towards the Qiblah (the Kabah in Mecca) without spreading the fingers apart.
  4. Right knee
  5. Left knee
  6. The bottom of your right toes, all pointing in the direction of the Qiblah (the Kabah in Mecca)
  7. The bottom of your left toes, all pointing in the direction of the Qiblah (the Kabah in Mecca)

* Place your hands down on the ground below your ears. Your forearms should not rest on the ground (lazy like a dog–another major mistake).

Pictures and slideshow shows how to prostrate correctly and when done correctly is the most comfortable position, subhannah (Glory be to Allah).

I tried to prostrate in the curled-up ball-like position, and find that one must sway their body back consciously, uncomfortably and unnaturally.  When I was trying to go into this position, I had to actually think about it and go against the natural flow of gravity that my body had to lean with my forehead leading my way. While thinking about this unnatural position, one may be too preoccupied which may in turn take our focus away from Allah (May He be Glorified).

Fatwas supporting that there is no difference for sajdah (prostration) between men and women

Next, I turned to the trusted and respected and found these enlightening fatwa that stresses there is only one way to pray as directed by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him). To pray with different versions for men and women is based on weak ahadith and should not be followed.

Why search engines are NOT the best place for gaining Islamic knowledge

Last, I turned to our not-so-trusted search engines.

There were many posts, articles and even free downloadable ebooks showing the difference between a men and women’s sajdah (prostration). I will not link to any of them because it will only we cloud our minds to read material that leads us astray.

When in doubt, it is important to refer to ahadith written by Bukhari and Muslim. Until we can strive to memorize and embody the Qur’an to its fullest and then the complete collection of ahadith of Sahih Bukhari, we as an ummah (Muslim community) have our hands full. Why debate, try or follow less than perfected ahadith?

Beware where the search engines take you online–not only because it will take you to less than authentic ahadith; but it will take to you fancy, Islamic-looking, web portals not written by Muslims, let alone practicing ones. There are dozens of websites are not to be trusted and should be shut down; simply because they are distorting our blessed religion for the sake of propagating hateful views and thoughts of or just and righteous deen (way of life).

Send your Questions to American Muslim Mom for Answers!

So, that concludes our first American Muslim Mom Q & A. Please share your comments below, and send us your Questions for future Q & A posts. Alhumdulilah, while writing this post and having only shared this idea with a few sisters, we already received 3 new questions. P.S. All questions will be posted anonymously, unless stated otherwise, or asked publicly in the comments section below.

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  1. says

    Wa-alaykum. InshaAllah, you’ll continue to find this resource center helpful for your spiritual growth, as it’s helpful for my family, because I chronicle all the things we learn too ;-)

  2. Sehrish says

    Assalamu Alaikum sister.
    I often have trouble with the sajdah position. My mum just told me that I position myself like men do when they pray. But when I try to do it any other way it is exceedingly uncomfortable and sometimes a little painful.
    What should I do?

  3. says

    Wa-alaykum asalam dear sister Sehrish.
    There is no difference between men’s and women’s sajdah. If you’re doing it as described above, and “like men”, you *are* doing it correctly. Any other position is extremely uncomfortable and painful because it’s not correct and unnatural. Continue to follow the straight path dear sister. A polite way to draw attention to this issue with those who differ may be to share this article, inshaAllah.
    Wa salam,
    Your sister in Islam Ponn

  4. Abdullah says

    Dear Sr. Ponn,

    Stop misleading the Ummah on the pretext of giving them the authentic rulings based on Sahih Ahadith. By reading your article, I am convinced that you are just another misguided person trying to act like a doctor when she doesn’t even know the ABC’s of medicine, leave alone being a scholar.

    The ruling that you are making fun of has been the noble practice of Ahlussunnah wal Jama’ah since the last fourteen centuries. Open your eyes and mind and look at what harm you are doing to yourself and your religion by going against the deen that was brought by Rasulullah saws. You will have to be answerable to Allah on the day of judgement for all this you are doing.

    Pray to Allah swt to guide you on the straight path with a sincere heart and intention and Insha’Allah you will definitely see where you have been going wrong.

    Jazakallah Khair

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