Sajdah in Bohrism
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers has asked this question:
Let me ask you, if the Sajdah is only for the Allah ta'ala, why Allah ta'ala himself told Shaitan to perform Sajdah to Aadam, who was created as an Insaan, nothing more ? Bohra's understanding of Sajdah is not exactly similar to Shujud of Namaaz, but more close to expression of the ultimate obedience and benediction to their foremost religion head, who advice them to the right path in din and duniyah both.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our brother for circulation in confidentiality.)
Sajdah in Bohrism
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
To understand this concept of the angels and the jinns bowing down to Allah’s ‘khalifa’ (vicegerant) Adam on earth, let me relate an example. When any central government appoints a chief minister to a state, all the army officials, police officers, civil beaurocracy, etc. come to the chief minister and give their salutation. But when an arrest order from the central governments comes, these very same army or police officers go and arrest the chief minister and throw him in jail. Thus when Allah ordered the angels to bow down, they all bowed down, and when Allah commands the angels to destroy a habitation, the same angels follow Allah’s command. When Allah orders them to take out the soul of so and so man, the same angels go and do as ordered. Thus, to bow down to man was a direct command from Allah, and all the angels and jinns, except Iblis, bowed down, following the order of their Lord and Creator.
In the deen of Islam, Allah commanded us muslims to bow down to Allah and no one else. Religion and all rites of religion are exclusively Allah’s rights, and when we bow down to anybody else, we are giving the rights due to Allah, to somebody else. This is a clear form of ‘shirk’, which is the absolutely the biggest sin in Islam.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumur verse 2: So worship Allah Alone, making your religion His exclusively. Beware! Religion is the exclusive Right of Allah.
We are commanded by Allah in the Holy Quran, that the act of prostration or sajdah is the exclusive right of our Creator, and no one else. None of the noble companions of the Holy Prophet (saws) ever bowed down in prostration to him! So how could we possibly bow down to another man, when Allah is the Creator of the TUS, and of us, and everything else that exists. We are commanded in the Holy Quran to bow down only to our Creator, and commanded strictly not to bow down in sajdah to anybody else whatsoever.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 41 Surah Fusselat verse 37: Do not do ‘sajdah’ to the sun and the moon, but do ‘sajdah’ to that Allah, Who Created them, if you really are indeed His worshippers.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 13 Surah Ar-Raad verse 15: For it is Allah Alone before whom everything in the heavens and the earth do ‘sajdah’ willingly or un-willingly. Even the shadows of all things do ‘sajdah’ to Allah in the morning and evening!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 16 Surah Nahl verse 48-50: And don’t they observe anything created by Allah: how it casts its shadow right and left, doing its ‘sajdah’ to Allah Alone? Thus do all things express their humility to Allah. All the animate creation in the heavens and the earth and all the angels do ‘sajdah’ in adoration to Allah Alone. They do not show any arrogance at all, and fear their Lord, Who is above them, and do whatever they are bidden by Allah.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 77: O you who believe, do ‘rukoo’ and ‘sajdah’ to Allah Alone, worship Allah Alone, and do righteous deeds. It may be that you attain true success.
There are several other aayahs in the Holy Quran, whereby Allah exhorts the believers to do ‘sajdah’ to Allah alone, as this is His Right Alone, and no one else’s’!
Thus, it really does not matter what the Bohra understanding of the word ‘sajdah’ is, because Allah on the Day of Judgment is not going to judge you and me on the Bohra understanding of events, but on the commandments of the Holy Quran, and how much we followed them. Yes, I have heard Bohras say they prostrate to their Syedna in respect and tahdeem, but doing sajdah to anybody or anything other than Allah is a clear form of ‘shirk’ as understood from the Holy Quran, be it in respect or be it in submission. Allah alone deserves our act of sajdah, our total obedience, our total respect, our total humility, our total submission and our total worship! There is absolutely no place for sajdah for anybody or anything besides Allah (Laa ilaaha illallaah). Nobody in the history of mankind respected their leader more than the noble companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws), but they never once went down in prostration to him! These noble companions were ever ready to sacrifice their lives and their wealth for the love of Allah and His Messenger (saws), but there is not even one narration where somebody came into the presence of the Messenger of Allah and prostrated to him in respect or for anything else! Then how come everytime the Bohras are in the presence of the Syedna, they bow down in sajdah? Do they claim to love and respect the Syedna more than the noble companions of the Messenger of Allah loved and respected the Prophet (saws)?
The Holy Quran has 15 places in it, where we are commanded to do ‘sajdah’ when reciting the Quran. All of these ‘sajdah’ aayahs are when Allah says He is our Lord and we are commanded to worship Him Alone and everything in Creation is doing ‘sajdah’ to Him, therefore we are commanded to do ‘sajdah’ along with them in humility and worship to our Lord and Creator. There are approximately 20 times the story of Adam and Iblis is related in the Quran, but not once are we commanded to do ‘sajdah’ when the angels and jinns are commanded in the Quran to do ‘sajdah’. This is not because Allah and His Messenger (saws) forgot to tell us to do ‘sajdah’, but it is because we are not allowed to do ‘sajdah’ to anybody or anything else other than Allah Alone in Islam, be it in submission, be it in worship, or be it in respect. Sajdah is the right of Allah Subhanah alone, and if one does sajdah to anything or anybody else, is guilty of the heinous sin of ‘shirk’.
Whenever one writes a letter to the Syedna, it ends with the words “…Ma’a sajdat-ul-uboodiyah”, which translated into English means “… with the ‘sajdah’ of worship”. The Arabic words ‘uboodiyah’ and ‘ibaadah’ (both meaning worship) are derived from the same root ‘abd’ meaning slave. Thus it is absolutely incorrect to state that the Bohra understanding of the sajdah is from respect. The fact of the matter is that the sajdah to the Syedna is nothing less than an act of submission and worship, as demonstrated by the use of the words “ma’a sajdat-ul-uboodiyah (…with the sajdah of worship!)”. I cannot give you more proof that the Bohra understanding of sajdah is nothing but worship and invocation! And this act is undoubtedly an act of ‘shirk’.
Brother, this shirk is such a grave sin in the eyes of Allah, that one must not take it lightly. Allah has promised Hell Fire to anyone who commits an iota of shirk! This act of sajdah is so serious that our whole afterlife depends on it. Allah has revealed in various aayahs in the Holy Quran and we know from the authentic traditions of the Prophet (saws) that doing sajdah to anything or anybody else is a form of shirk. Whatever the Bohra understanding is, it is a concoction of man, and unacceptable in the court of Allah. Can you imagine the state of a muslim standing in the court of Allah and trying to plead his case with Allah Subhanah on the Day of Judgement, that he did sajdah to the Syedna and his ancestors in the grave in respect!
What has happened here is that Shaitaan has made this act of sajdah to human beings and graves fair seeming to them. If you read the history of mankind, and especially all the stories of the prophets in the Holy Quran, Shaitaan always incited the people to commit ‘shirk’, for he knew that ‘shirk’ is the only sin that Allah does not forgive, and all the acts done by man are fruitless in the court of Allah if he were to die committing ‘shirk’. Thus Shaitaan makes the act of sajdah fair seeming by giving it fancy names like respect and tahdeem, whereas this act is nothing but a pure act of submission and worship!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 16 Surah Nahl verse 98-100: Then, when you begin to recite the Quran, seek Allah’s refuge against the accursed Shaitaan, for he has no power over those who believe and put their trust in Allah. Shaitaan has power (to inspire) only over those people, who make him their patron, and practice ‘shirk’ by his temptation.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 29 Surah Ankaboot verse 38: Shaitaan made their deeds fair seeming to them and misled them from the right path, although they were sensible people.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 72: Whoever commits ‘shirk’ (invoking anything with Allah), Allah shall forbid him Paradise, and Hell shall be his abode. And for such wrong doers there will be no one to help.
The choice is yours. You either do sajdah to the Rabb-ul-Aalemeen, or do your sajdah to anyone or anything else. Allah says in the Holy Quran, that having invoked Him along with anybody, is like not having worshipped Him at all!!! The choice is yours! You want to stand in the court of Allah with the ones who invoked Allah Alone, or with the ones who invoked their pious leaders and their ancestors in their graves and thus committed the heinous crime of ‘shirk’. The choice is yours! You want to become slaves of Allah (Abd-Allah) or you want to become slaves of Syedna (Abd-Syedna)! The choice is yours! You want to believe in ‘Tawheed’ (One God) and deserve Allah’s Mercy, or believe in ‘Shirk’ and deserve Allah’s Wrath and Anger! The choice is yours!
May Allah guide you and us to read and understand the Holy Quran so that we can distinguish between the concepts of “Tawheed”(worship of One God) and “Shirk” (invoking others with Allah). May Allah guide you and us to the Straight Path of Islam.
May Allah guide you and us all to the Siraat al-Mustaqeem
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,