The Prophet talked about a man leveling the earth on prostrating, and said, “If you have to do so, then do it once.”
They used to pray on bare earth back then, so ‘leveling the earth’ was required. So if you’re leveling the earth or the mat you’re praying on, do it once only. Any more than that might disturb the khushoo` of your prayer or of those praying with you.
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
We used to pray with the Prophet in scorching heat, and if someone of us could not put his face on the earth (because of the heat) then he would spread his clothes and prostrate over them.
Women may use their dupattas for this purpose, and men should have spare hankies with them. :)
Hadith is a repeat, by the way. Read here.
Narrated Muhammad bin ‘Amr bin ‘Ata’:
I was sitting with some of the companions of Allah’s Apostle and we were discussing about the way of praying of the Prophet. Abu Humaid As-Saidi said, “I remember the prayer of Allah’s Apostle better than any one of you. I saw him raising both his hands up to the level of the shoulders on saying the Takbir; and on bowing he placed his hands on both knees and bent his back straight, then he stood up straight from bowing till all the vertebrate took their normal positions. In prostrations, he placed both his hands on the ground with the forearms away from the ground and away from his body, and his toes were facing the Qibla. On sitting In the second Rak’a he sat on his left foot and propped up the right one; and in the last Rak’a he pushed his left foot forward and kept the other foot propped up and sat over the buttocks.”
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Buhaina:
(he was from the tribe of Uzd Shan’u’a and was the ally of the tribe of ‘Abdul-Manaf and was one of the companions of the Prophet): Once the Prophet led us in the Zuhr prayer and stood up after the second Rak’a and did not sit down. The people stood up with him. When the prayer was about to end and the people were waiting for him to say the Taslim, he said Takbir while sitting and prostrated twice before saying the Taslim and then he said the Taslim.”
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Malik bin Buhaina:
Once Allah’s Apostle led us in the Zuhr prayer and got up (after the prostrations of the second Rak’a) although he should have sat (for the Tashah-hud). So at the end of the prayer, he prostrated twice while sitting (prostrations of Sahw).
- Sitting after two rak’aat is important. If one forgets to do so, he must perform sajda sahw: two sujud (prostrations) at the end of the prayer.
- If one forgets to perform sajda sahw before Taslim (saying Salam), he may do the two prostrations after Taslim.
Ahadith 779-780 are repeats. Read ’em here.
The Prophet used to say frequently in his bowing and prostrations “Subhanaka-Allahumma Rabbana Wabihamdika, Allahumma Ighfir-li” (I honor Allah from all what (unsuitable things) is ascribed to Him, O Allah! Our Lord! All praises are for You. O Allah! Forgive me). In this way he was acting on what was explained to him in the Holy Qur’an.
The du`a in Arabic:
سبحانك اللهم ربنا وبحمدك اللهم اغفرلي
The reference from Qur’an (mentioned in Hadith: “In this way he was acting on what was explained to him in the Holy Qur’an”)
فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ
“So glorify the Praises of your Lord, and ask His Forgiveness.” [Surah an-Nasr: 3]
Tafseer by Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – Tafhim al-Qur’an – The Meaning of the Qur’an:
Hamd implies praising and hallowing Allah Almighty as well as thanking and paying obeisance to Him; tasbih means to regard Allah as pure and free from every blemish and weakness. The Holy Prophet was enjoined to do hamd and tasbih of Allah when he witnessed this manifestation of His power. Here, hamd means that in respect of his great success he should never entertain even a tinge of the idea that it was the result of any excellence of his own, but he should attribute it to Allah’s favor and mercy, thank Him alone for it, and acknowledge with the heart and tongue that praise and gratitude for the victory and success belonged to Him alone. And tasbih means that he should regard Allah as pure and free from the limitation that exaltation of his Word stood in need of his effort and endeavor, or was dependent on it. On the contrary, his heart should be filled with the faith that the success of his effort and struggle was dependent upon Allah’s support and succor. He could take this service from any of His servants He pleased. and it was His favor that He had taken it from him, and made His religion meet success through him. Besides, there is an aspect of wonder also in pronouncing the tasbih, i.e. Subhan Allah. When a wonderful incident takes place, one exclaims subhan-Allah, thereby implying that only by Allah’s power such a wonderful thing had happened; otherwise no power of the world could have caused it to happen.
“Pray for His forgiveness”: “Pray to your Lord to overlook; and pardon whatever error or weakness you might have shown inadvertently in the performance of the service that He had entrusted to you,” This is the etiquette that Islam has taught to man. A man might have performed the highest possible service to Allah’s Religion, might have offered countless sacrifices in its cause, and might have exerted himself extremely hard in carrying out the rites of His worship, yet he should never entertain the thought that he has fulfilled the right his Lord had on him wholly. Rather he should always think that he has not been able to fulfill what was required of him, and he should implore Allah, saying: “Lord, overlook and forgive whatever weakness I might have shown in rendering Your right, and accept the little service that I have been able to perform.” When such an etiquette was taught to the Holy Messenger (upon whom be peace), none in the world conceivably has toiled and struggled so hard in the cause of Allah as he did, how can another person regard his work as superb and be involved in the misunderstanding that he has fulfilled the right Allah had imposed on him? Allah’s right, in fact, is so supreme that no creature can ever fulfill and render it truly and fully.
Allah in this command has taught Muslims an eternal lesson: “Do not regard any of your worship, devotion or religious service as something superb; even if you have expended your entire life in the cause of Allah, you should always think that you could not do all that was required of you by your Lord. Likewise, when you attain some victory, you should not regard it as a result of some excellence in yourselves but as a result of only Allah’s bounty and favor. Then bowing humbly before your Lord, you should praise and glorify Him, and should repent and beg for His forgiveness instead of boasting and bragging of your success and victory.”
This Hadith (one aspect of it) has been covered before. Read here.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
The Prophet was ordered (by Allah) to prostrate on seven parts and not to tuck up the clothes or hair (while praying). Those parts are: the forehead (along with the tip of nose), both hands, both knees, and (toes of) both feet.
Note, the seven bones do NOT include the elbow, so keep ’em off the floor!
Oh, and note: this Hadith doesn’t say this way of prostration is for men only.
And don’t forget, rubbing your nose on the ground is a very important part of sajdah. For it is the true manifestation of humility.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
The Prophet said, “We have been ordered to prostrate on seven bones and not to tuck up the clothes or hair.”
I understand the seven bones part. But what does it mean to not tuck up one’s clothes or hair?
While offering Salah, one should not engage in arranging his clothes or removing his hair from his forehead. He should devote himself to the Salah with submissiveness. – M. Muhsin Khan’s footnote on this Hadith
Okay, I don’t understand the ‘removing hair from his forehead’ part. Who does that?
Anyway, my understanding is: we’re not supposed to play with our clothes/hair during Salah. It does not let khushoo` come to our prayer. So focus your mind AND body completely on Salah. Saddidoo! [Seedhay ho jao!]
Hadith no. 775 is a repeat. Read it here.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
The Prophet said, “I have been ordered to prostrate on seven bones i.e. on the forehead along with the tip of the nose and the Prophet pointed towards his nose, both hands, both knees and the toes of both feet and not to gather the clothes or the hair.”
Ahadith 680 and 681 are repeats. Read here.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Once Allah’s Apostle prayed two Rakat (instead of four) and finished his prayer. Dhu-l-yadain asked him whether the prayer had been reduced or whether he had forgotten. Allah’s Apostle asked the people whether Dhu-l-yadain was telling the truth. The people replied in the affirmative. Then Allah’s Apostle stood up, offered the remaining two Rak`aat and then finished his prayer with Taslim and then said, “Allahu Akbar.” He followed it with two prostrations like ordinary prostrations or a bit longer.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet prayed two Rakat of Zuhr prayer (instead of four) and he was told that he had prayed two Rakat only. Then he prayed two more Rakat and finished them with the Taslim followed by two prostrations.
Prophet (SAW) had forgotten during the prayer. So he prayed two Rak`aat for Dhuhr instead of four. And when was asked about it, he immediately stood up and completed the prayer. That is, he offered the remaining two rak`aat followed by sajdah sahw (two prostrations).