*In spirit of the theme of the title, I dedicate this blog post to all those I adore– beginning with the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), my parents, my sisters & brother, and my dear friends.
If you’ve read the Quran, or parts of it, you may already know that there’s a surah called Al-Sajdah.
If you’re Arabic, or know the language, and were asked to translate the word, you might probably (and correctly) say it means “Prostration.” The surah of Prostration.
But I came across another translation this morning, and it was different, unexpected, but fluid with the term ‘prostrate’. It was so beautiful I had to write this blog post before this fuzzy feeling wore off…
In Sahih International translation, or most others, surah 32 of the Quran is titled Prostration.
In Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation, you are reading surah 32, titled… wait for it!… Adoration.
Yes, you read right! Al-sajdah is translated to adoration! Prostration is adoration.
(Wait, what? How do those two correlate?)
Well, I’m no expert– but I have a personal interpretation. 😉
When we do prostration in prayer, we say a minumum of 3 “subhana rabbi al-a’laa” (Glory be to the Most High”). We put our focus into humbling ourselves, placing the part of you that holds the most pride on the lowest of things, to exalt the Most High.
Now note this:
The head: The most sacred part of an individual’s body. The Prophet forbid hitting on the face, as this is not only painful physically but emotionally as well. It’s where all one’s dignity and pride resides. Ever wondered where the expression ‘his/her nose held up in the air’ came from?
The ground: Where feet step on. The lowest of the low.
So the act of prostrating is putting the most important part of you onto the most unworthy (or so it seems) part of the earth. You’re not placing your face on silk mattresses, velvet pillows or against an upright wall. You’re instead putting yourself in your most vulnerable position. No one would do this if they did not truly feel small, insignificant and thereby submissive to their Lord.
But how many do it purely because of their love and adoration for Him?
I went on dictionary.com to find some exact definitions of ‘prostrate’, and this was the first of five meanings:
We all prostrate out of submission. The stronger in faith, out of submission and humility. But the best combination is in doing so out of submission, humility AND adoration (may God make this as easy on us to do in practice as it is to type it!)
Next time you pray, try taking a different approach. Put a little more focus into feeling the Love you have for Him and the Love He has for you.
After all, who is more worthy of our admiration and adoration than the Most High?
“Only those believe in Our verses who, when they are reminded by them, fall down in prostration and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of their Lord, and they are not arrogant.” [32:15]
Have a spiritually uplifting day! 🙂