Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

Notes and Communications

The thanksgiving prostration (sujūd al-shukr) in Muslim traditions

Roberto Tottolia1

a1 Istituto Universitario Orientale, Napoli

Prostration (sujūd) is a fundamental part of the ritual prayer (xs1E63alāt). It is the highest form of religious devotion and is often mentioned in the Quran as well as in many traditions from all genres of Muslim literature. Prostration is also mentioned in some traditions in relation to what Muslim sources define as sujūd al-shukr, i.e., literally, ‘the thanksgiving prostration’. This is a voluntary act of devotion consisting of a prostration performed by the believer when he wants to thank God for some blessing. There is an abundance of evidence concerning this kind of prostration and it will be discussed here.