Question # 123: I had a question regarding where my eyes should look during the Ruku. Is it towards the sujood area or towards where the head would naturally fall? Jazakallah Khair for your help in this

bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: According to the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’, during Ruku`, the worshiper should also look at the spot of Sujud, while according to Hanafi Madhhab, one is to look at the backs of one’s feet. According to Shaykh Assim Al-Hakeem, the worshiper can either look at the spot of Sujud, or at the feet or in between these two locations – all are acceptable.

Long Answer: During Ruku`, the worshiper should look at the spot of Sujud, whereas during tashahhud they should look at their pointing (index) finger. During Sujud, they should look at the place where their eyes meet the ground. (Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’: ‘Abdullah ibn Qa`ud, `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan, `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify and `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz)

There are ahadith among the sahih Sunnahs which mention the teaching of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) concerning looking at the place of prostration during prayer… These texts include the following:

Ibn Hibbaan and al-Hakim narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (رضي الله عنه) said: “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) entered the Ka’bah and his gaze did not go beyond the site of his prostration until he came out.” (Classed as sahih by al-Albaani in Sifat Salaah al-Nabi)

With regard to the reports of some of the salaf that were quoted by ‘Abd al-Razaaq al-San’aani in al-Musannaf, these include the following:

  • It was narrated that Abu Qalaabah said: I asked Muslim ibn Yassaar where should my gaze fall whilst I am praying? He said: If it falls where you prostrate, that is good.
  • It was narrated that Ibraaheem al-Nakha’i used to like for the worshiper not to let his gaze wander beyond the place of prostration.
  • It was narrated that Ibn Sireen used to like for a man to focus his gaze on the place of prostration. (Musannaf ‘Abd al-Razzaaq)

…Ibn Qudamah said: “It is mustahabb for the worshiper to fix his gaze on the place of prostration. Ahmad said, according to the report of Hanbal: Proper focus and humility (khushu’) in prayer means that (the worshiper) should fix his gaze on the place of prostration, this was narrated from Muslim ibn Yasaar and Qataadah.” (Al-Mughni) (Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid)

However, according to Hanafi Madhhab,”…while bowing, one is to look at the backs of one’s feet…” (‘Islamic Jurisprudence According to the Four Sunni Schools’ by ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Jaziri)

Lastly, according to Shaykh Assim Al-Hakeem, during Ruku`, either looking at the spot of Sujud, or at the feet is acceptable. Moreover, looking in between these two locations is also better.

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.