Meaning of 'Their mark is on their faces …'
Fatwa No: 28034

  • Fatwa Date:9-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 8, 1435
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Question

I would like to ask about the prayer mark that shows on the forehead, why does it show on men and not on women? There are men who prostrate a lot but they do not have this mark. Is this mark what Allaah Almighty Means by Saying (what means): {…Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration…}[Quran 48:29]With due thanks and appreciation.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The tangible mark that shows on the forehead due to prostration is not the mark that Allaah Almighty Mentioned among the characteristics of the Companions of Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, at the end of the Surah of Al-Fat-h. Allaah Almighty Says (what means): {…Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration…}[Quran 48:29]

It rather refers to what appears on the face of the person who prays to Allaah sincerely and submissively, fulfills His obligations and abstains from His prohibitions. This mark is the good halo, submissiveness, solemnity and modesty that show on the face. These meanings were transmitted by Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him in his Tafseer on the authority of a number of the righteous predecessors such as Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him and Mujaahid  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him. Mansoor  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him quoted Mujaahid  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him as saying:

{…Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration…} means submissiveness. I used to think of it as being the mark that shows on the forehead, which might be seen on the face of a person who is crueler than Pharaoh.

Some righteous predecessors said, “The face of the one who prays a lot at night looks beautiful during the daytime.

Why does this mark show on men’s foreheads and not on women’s and why does it not show on many people who pray a lot? This is because bodies differ in their nature and people are different in how they prostrate and how long they stay in prostration. The most important element is the thing on which one lays his head. The rougher this thing is, the more evident this mark will be. This mark is not what is meant by the verse and it is not a sign of the righteousness of the person who has it.

Allaah Knows best.

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