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Question: I often listen to the Qur'an while driving? What should I do when I come across verses that indicate sajdah al-tilawah?

Sajdah al-tilawah is a highly recommended act to do when a person is listening to, or reading the specific part of the Qur'an where there is an indication of sajdah. Though highly recommended in ordinary circumstances, it is not always a must to do so. One must not do it-- especially when it is unsafe to do so.

It should satisfy us to know that the second Caliph Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, read surah al-Nahl (Surah 16) on the Mimbar one Friday, and upon reaching the place of sajdah (i.e., verse 48), he stepped down and prostrated, and the people followed him. However, during the next Friday, he read the same surah, but he skipped the prostration, saying that it is not always a must to do so. If Umar had been wrong, the companions would have pointed it out to him. It is thus clear that the above opinion of Umar, is shared by other companions of the Prophet, peace be on him, as well.

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