Forbidden to recite Qur`ān during Rukū’ or Sujud
I am new to Islām and I have learned that it is not allowed to recite the Qur`ān while in sujud. But that is that best time to make du`ā as one is nearest to his Creator. My question is what about the du`ās that we have that is from the Qur`an. Are we allowed to make du`ā with them in prostration? Or is that considered reciting?
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-`ālamīn. There is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam is His Messenger.
Firstly: The Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) forbade reciting Qur`ān when bowing and prostrating.
It was narrated that `Abdullāh Ibn `Abbas (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “I have been forbidden to recite the Qur`ān when bowing or prostrating. As for bowing, glorify your Lord therein, and as for prostrating, strive in du’ā, for it is deserving of a response (from your Lord).” [Muslim (479)]
It was narrated that `Ali Ibn Abi Tālib (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: “The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) forbade me to recite Qur’ān when bowing and prostrating.”[Muslim (480)]
The scholars are in agreement that it is makruh to recite Qur`ān when rukū’ or sujud.
[See al-Majmu’, 3/411; al-Mughni, 2/181]
The wisdom behind the forbidden of reciting the Qur`ān when bowing or prostrating is because the best pillar of Solāh is standing and the best of dzikir is reciting Qur`ān, so the best has been put with the best, and it is not allowed to put it with anything else, lest anyone think that it is equal to other kinds of dzikir.
It was said that it is because the Qur`ān is the noblest of speech, because it is the Word of Allāh, and the position of ruku’ and sujud is one of humility and submission on the part of the worshipper, so it is more appropriate not to recite the Word of Allāh in these two positions.
[Majmu’ al-Fatawa, 5/338]
Secondly: Permissible if the intention is to say it as du`ā’.
If a person recites a duā’ that is mentioned in the Qur’ān when prostrating, such as the words:
“Our Lord! Bestow us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire” [Al-Baqarah, 2:201]; There is nothing wrong with it, if the intention is to say duā’ and not to recite Qur’ān, because the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Actions are but by intentions and each person will have but that which he intended.” [Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1; Muslim, 1907]
Al-Zarkashi (rahimahullāh) said: “It is makruh when it is intended as recitation of Qur`ān, but if it is intended as du’a and praise, then it is like someone who did Qunūt by reciting a verse” Doing Qunūt by reciting a verse from the Qur`ān is permissible and is not makruh.
[Tuhfat al-Muhtaj, 2/61]
Al-Nawawi (rahimahullāh) said: If a person does Qunūt by reciting a verse which includes a duā’, then he has done Qunūt, but it is better to say the duā’ as narrated in the Sunnah. [Al-Adhkār (p. 59)]
This applies if he intends to say duā’ when he recites the verse. [See al-Futuhat al-Rabbāniyyah Sharh al-Adhkār al-Nawawiyyah by Ibn ‘Allān, 2/308]
The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked: We know that it is not permissible to recite Qur`ān when prostrating, but there are some verses which include du’ās, such as the words, “Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us” [Al- ‘Imran 3:8]. What is the ruling on saying such duā’s that is mentioned in the Qur’ān, when prostrating?
The Scholars Standing Committee replied: There is nothing wrong with that if it is done as a du`ā and not as recitation of Qur`ān [which means the du`ās in the al-Qur’ān].
[Fatawa al-Lajnah al-Da’imah, 6/443]
[Excerpted with minor modification from Islam Q&A Fatwa No: 46997]