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Is Bending Or Kneeling In Front Of Another Person Considered Prostration To Other Than Allah?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: Does bending or kneeling in front of another person in a way that resembles the posture of prostration considered prostrating to someone other than Allah Most High?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,

No. Merely bending down before someone or falling into a posture that resembles prostration does not constitute prostrating to that person.

Prostration is defined as placing the forehead on the ground in a manner expressive of reverence. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

None of these meaning apply to the specifics of your question.

Bowing To Other Than Allah

Though what you described in your question does not apply here, it is important to clarify that bowing or prostrating to other than Allah Most High is strictly prohibited, even if merely out of reverence and not worship.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “It is not appropriate for any human to prostrate to another human. Had it been appropriate for a human to prostrate to another, I would have commanded the wife to prostrate to her husband due to his profound right over her.” [Nasaa’i; Ahmad]

Prostrating To Another: Sin or Disbelief?

Prostrating out of reverence (not worship) was permitted in previous revelations as is clear from the story of Yusuf (Allah give him peace), in which the parents and siblings of Yusuf prostrated to him out of reverence. Furthermore, Allah’s command to the angels to prostrate to Adam (Allah give him peace) out of reverence is clear in this regard. [Ali Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh al-Mishkat]

The guidance brought to us by the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and give him peace) fully abrogated this ruling. Thus it is unanimously prohibited to prostrate to anyone other than Allah Most High. [Ibid.]

If one does prostrate (or bow) to another out of reverence, it is strictly prohibited and requires repentance. If such a prostration was done with the added intention of worship of that person, it is an act of disbelief. [Ibid.]

I hope this helps,
Alah knows best.
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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