Sajdah – Prostration

Closeness to Allah is by sajdah, by prostration, which is the outer proof of inner abandonment. Outer prostration is the manifestation of an inner state; if it is not, it becomes an empty ritual. Sajada, the root of sajdah, also means “to obey,” meaning to obey the purpose of existence. The purpose of existence is merciful and benign.

Another meaning of sajada is “to submit,” and through that submission comes freedom. The only freedom is the recognition of no freedom. The only freedom is the direct inner recognition that there is absolutely no possibility of freedom. From that comes the ultimate freedom and release which is the real and infinite freedom, freedom that is beyond our creation and after our end. Our purpose is to be in that state of inward drunkenness and outward sobriety, inward abandonment and outward courtesy and correctness. In this state we become awareness itself, not aware of something. This then is the outer manifestation of sajdah, of prostration, which is spontaneous. It is the only human position and it is the final as well as the first human position.

By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri from the book “Beams of Illumination from the Divine Revelation – A Commentary on the Last Section of the Qur’an”