Sujood (Prostration) - The Differences for Male and Female
  • Question:

    I have a question regarding salah. When men and women do sujud during salah, is it the same for both, or are women supposed to alter their sujud?


    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    May Allāh reward you for your great concern regarding matters of prayer.

    The differences found in the method of sujūd (prostration) for male and female are based on interpretation of source reports.

    Yazīd bin Abī Habīb (may Allāh be pleased with him) reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) passed by two women who were praying salāh. He said, 'When you prostrate, let part of your body cling to the earth, for women are unlike men in this regard'. (Marāsīl of Abū Dāwūd)

    Imām Baihaqī says,”All of the laws of salāh, in which a woman differs from a man are based on the principle of satr (concealment)”. This means that the woman is instructed to do all that which is more concealing for her.

    Here below are listed the differences, according to the various schools of jurisprudence;

    The Hanafī School
    A man will keep his stomach away from his thighs and his elbows away from his flanks when prostrating. A woman on the other hand will join her stomach to her thighs while observing this position.

    The Mālikī School
    A man will keep his stomach away from his thighs and his elbows away from his flanks and knees when prostrating. A woman on the other hand will join her stomach to her thighs while prostrating.

    The Shāfi’ī School
    A man will keep his elbows away from his flanks and his stomach away from his thighs while performing rukū’ and prostration. A woman on the other hand will join her stomach to her thighs and will join her knees and feet together during rukū’ and prostration.

    The Hanbalī School
    Apparently there is no difference between the prayer of a male and female in this school.

    (See: al Fiqh al Islāmī wa Adillatuhū)

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah Institute
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