Prostrations And Kinds Of Prostrations
Rasheed: “Do you consider all the impermissible polytheistic deeds to be good?
Hameed: I did not understand what you are trying to say?
Rasheed: I mean the people prostrating, kissing the graves and other strange deeds demonstrating infidelity and polytheism.
Hameed: Gentleman! First and foremost thing which you must always bear in mind is that the inmates of the graves whom you consider dead are not dead. Argue or criticise only by keeping these things in mind. Tell me what do you know about prostration? Is it bowing once head in reverence or does it involve bowing of hands and legs as well? Or is intention important for prostration? Tell me can you know the intention of the people by seeing them? Are you aware of “knowledge of the unknown” ? Without reading their heads and hearts, to label them as infidels or polytheist is wrong.
Rasheed: No Brother! But even the external appearance does matter.
Hameed: Just now I said that intention is a very important thing for prostration so only by looking at the external appearance and labelling them infidels or polytheists, without reading their hearts is not fair. Prostration or bowing in reverence to a non God is exempted. Prostration is of two kinds: Prostration in worship (Sajdah-e-Tabbudi) this prostration is only for God and it is strongly forbidden for others. Prostration in reverence (Sajdah-e-Tazimi) this prostration is forbidden since Rasool Allah’s time.
Rasheed: From where have you drawn two kinds of prostration?
Hameed: Prostration in worship is evident from Salaat itself and prostration in reverence is found in the holy Quran. After creating prophet Adam (PBUH) Allah SWT ordered all angels to prostrate him. In another place, when prophet Yousuf's brothers and parents came to egypt all of them prostated him as per the tradition of that time.
"And he raised his parents high on the throne (of dignity) and they fell down in prostration (all) before him. He said: "O my father! this is the fulfilment of my vision of old! Allah hath made it come true!"
Now it is clear that the angels prostrated prophet Adam (PBUH) in reverence but did not worship him and so did brothers of prophet Yousuf (PBUH). This prostration in reverence was permitted before Rasool Allah’s time but Rasool Allah SAW made it forbidden for his Umma. This bowing in reverence becomes polytheism and infidelity only if the person’s intention is worship.
Rasheed: When you consider it as forbidden then to commit it is a sin but this is often seen near graves.
Hameed: Those who indulge in such activities near graves are illiterates but when people go and worship idols it is clear polytheism. I pity you for finding faults with people visiting graves of holy Saints and do not blame those who visit forbidden places. I fully agree with you that prostrating in reverence near graves is not good and must not be entertained. But to label those individuals as infidels or polytheist is wrong as well.