As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 6


The Prostration of the Angels was before Adam (alaihi as-salaam) but the Obedience was to Allah

Before creating Adam (alaihi as-salaam), Allah informed the angels that He was going to create a human being, and when He had finished forming him, they were to prostrate to him. This indicates the great honor that Allah granted Adam and He reminds Adam's offspring of this fact in numerous Qur'aanic verses. Allah says in Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 34, 'And (remember) when We said to the angels, 'Prostrate yourselves before Adam.' And they prostrated…' [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 34]

This prostration of the angels before Adam was a sign of honor and respect and out of obedience to the command of Allah. Qatadah commented, 'The obedience was for Allah and the prostration was before Adam. Allah honored Adam and commanded the angels to prostrate before him.' [See at-Tabaree (1): 512]

Some people said that this prostration was just a prostration of greeting, peace and honor, hence Allah's statement, 'And he (Prophet Yusuf) raised his parents to the throne and they fell down before him prostrate. And he said, 'O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream afore time! My Lord has made it come true!' [Soorah Yusuf (12): 100]

The practice of prostration was allowed for previous nations but was abolished for ours. Mu'adh (radhi allahu anhu) said to the Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam), 'I visited ash-Sham and found that they used to prostrate before their priests and scholars. You, O Messenger of Allah, are more deserving of prostration.' The Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said, 'No. If I was to command any human to prostrate before another human, I would command the wife to prostrate before her husband because of the enormity of his right on her.' [Tirmidhee (1109)] [See, Tafseer Ibn Katheer]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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