Similarities of prayer movements in Judaism and Islam

  • Yosef

In both Jewish and Islamic tradition there are patterns of movement in prayer, this is particularly noticeable in how both show physical recognition, submission and reference to the Creator through the act of movement.

Torah 3rd Century Aramaic Rabinic Arabic
Rising to pray qam qam qiyam
Standing prayer ‘amad tzaluta ‘amidah tefillah tzalat (salat)
Raising hands nisiyat kapayim
prisat kapayim
nisiyat kapayim nisiyat kapayim niyyat
Bowing down with hands resting on knees (expressing recognition) bereikha bereikha barkhu ruku
Feet, hands and face to the ground (expressing submission) qida qida 4 times in the amidah sajda (4 sajadat, 2 times each raqah – fajr)
Full prostration arms, legs spread no face to ground (after sacrifice) hishtakhawah sajda - -
Kneeling, suplicating prayer kri’ah (hands outstretched, not sitting on feet) kri’ah ‘alenu qu’ud (sitting on feet)
Taking leave shalom shalom oseh shalom salaamu ‘alaikum
Face to the ground (petition for forgiveness) nifilat apayim nifilat apayim face rests on arm during tachnun salatul tasbih

These movements should not be followed by religious readers trying to find the correct way to pray, for this you should consult a religious authority.

Reproduced from an article by Rabbi Ben Abrahamson

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