Tafsir is loosely translated as “Translation” from the Arabic language. More precisely, Tafsir is an in depth interpretation of the Quran. During Ramadan, Tafsir circles sprout all around Muslim communities. In major mosques, on main streets and “bases” of young people, Tafsir is organized by Imams and young people alike to rekindle faith and redirect lost souls.
I sat in one Tafsir circle last week. The preacher, my neighborhood imam went through a plethora of topics. He has a way with weaving in various contemporary issues in his lessons. From politics, sports, sins committed by young people to getting back in touch with God, he thrills his audience just as much as he awakens their spirit.
In the lesson I sat in, we came to a verse of the Quran which talked about how non-believers will see the truth of Islam but not submit to Allah in prostration. At this juncture, he called on all gathered to make prostrations (Sujuud) to Allah. Simultaneously, we all placed our foreheads on the ground and called onto Allah. It was a beautiful sight to behold.
Sujuud is one of the greatest ways to physically submit to Allah. In every Salat (Prayer), prostrations are made. Allah talks of them as the closest his servant can get to Him. In that moment when your humility is at its peak with your face on the ground, you submit everything to the power of Allah. Deeper reflection would make you aware of how humbling that moment is. It is in those instances that Allah asks that you pour out every single thing in your heart unto him.
Sujuud is held so dearly by Allah, He demands His servants to make it at least 32 times each day to Him. But Allah did not reserve this only for Himself. To show how highly honored mankind is to Allah, He demanded the angels and other heavenly creatures to make Sujuud to Adam when he was created. Islamic tradition point this as the moment Satan who at the time was known as Iblis, had a fallout with Allah.
If supplications are the weapon of the believer, then Sujuud is the bullet. It gives precision to whatever the believer asks from His lord. So the next time you see a Mustapha with His forehead pressed to the ground, know that He is in direct communication with His lord. And was Jesus not reported to have done Sujuud several times in the Bible?