Why There are Two Prostrations in Swalah?

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

It is written in Gardens of Tafsir by Shaykh Ibrahim Niyas (q.s.), a commentary of the following verse:

And behold We Said to the angels, "Bow down to Adam"; and they bowed down: not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: he was of those who reject faith. (Surah al-Baqarah:34)

Originally, the sujud was only done once; that is what qiyas leads to as a conclusion and that is what is appropriate; because Allah (s.w.t.) Who is being prostrated to is Unique.  Prostration was therefore prescribed as once only.  However, when the angels prostrated for half-a-day, which is equivalent to five-hundred years and then raised their heads to see that Iblis had refused to prostrate, they went back in prostration.  They made a second prostration in gratitude to Allah (s.w.t.) for not having put them through tribulation like Iblis.  Prostration thereby became enjoined twice.  Rukuʿ was also prescribed as being once along with sujud.  The second prostration is an expression of gratitude to Allah (s.w.t.).


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