1085. SujÙd should be performed on the earth or on things that grow from the earth and are not deemed edible or wearable, such as wood and tree leaves. Therefore, sujÙd on edible or wearable items—such as wheat, barley and cotton—or things that neither grow from the earth, nor are they a part of the earth—such as gold, silver, tar, asphalt, or any similar substance—is invalid. Obligatory precaution dictates that it is similarly invalid to perform sujÙd on valuable stones, such as turquoise or emerald.
1086. It is not permissible to perform sujÙd on vine leaves as long as it is normally edible.
1087. It is valid to perform sujÙd on things that grow from the earth, and serve as food for animals, such as grass and straw.
1088. It is valid to perform sujÙd on flowers that are not deemed edible. It is not valid however, to perform sujÙd on herbal medicine, if the herb itself is edible. Recommended precaution dictates that one should also abstain from performing sujÙd on herbal medicine, the water of which is used by means of boiling and steaming.
1089. The sujÙd performed on plants that are deemed edible in some parts of the world, and inedible in other parts is invalid. Similar is the case of sujÙd performed on unripe fruits.
1090. The sujÙd performed on limestone and gypsum is valid. Recommended precaution dictates that sujÙd should not be performed on baked limestone and gypsum, or brick and pottery made from mud unless one is compelled.
1091. One may perform sujÙd on paper that is made from a material on which sujÙd is valid, such as straw. However, to perform sujÙd on paper that is made from cotton or something similar is problematic.
1092. The best thing to perform sujÙd on is the turbah of Imam Íusayn (Peace be upon him). After it, one should perform sujÙd on earth, stone or plants, in order of priority.
1093. If a person does not possess anything on which sujÙd is valid, or if he possess it, but is unable to perform sujÙd on it due to extreme heat or cold, or similar reasons, he should perform sujÙd on his clothes, provided they are not made from silk. The precaution is that one should give precedence to clothing made from cotton and linen over those made from wool or soft wool.
If a person is unable to procure clothing, obligatory precaution dictates that he should perform it on turquoise, carnelian, and their like, or on paper that is made from cotton. If these are not available either, he should perform it on paper made from silk. If paper made from silk is not available, he should perform it on an object on which sujÙd would usually be invalid unless one is compelled. However, recommended precaution dictates that as long as it is possible to perform sujÙd on the back of one’s hand, one should abstain from performing sujÙd on an object on which sujÙd is usually invalid. If it is not possible to perform it on the back of one’s hand, one should abstain from performing it on other material while cotton, linen, tar or asphalt is available.
1094. The sujÙd performed on mud and soft clay, on which the forehead cannot remain stable, is invalid.
1095. If the turbah sticks to the forehead during the first sujÙd, it is necessary to remove it before the second.
1096. If the thing on which sujÙd is performed is lost during prayer, and he does not possess anything on which sujÙd is valid, he should discontinue his prayer if there is ample time remaining. However, if there is nominal time remaining, he should act according to the instructions provided in article 1093.
1097. If during sujÙd, a person realizes that he has placed his forehead on an object upon which sujÙd is invalid, he should raise his head and place it on something upon which sujÙd is valid if there is sufficient time and if it is possible to do so. Obligatory precaution dictates that he should also perform two sajdah al-sahw. If it is not possible, he should offer his prayer from the beginning. In the event that the time remaining for prayer is nominal, he should act according to the instructions provided in article 1093.
1098. If after raising his head from sujÙd, a person realizes that he had placed his forehead on something on which sujÙd is invalid, he should perform it on something on which sujÙd is valid. Obligatory precaution dictates that he should offer two sajdah al-sahw. However, if this occurs in both the sujÙd of a rak‘ah, his prayer will be invalid.
1099. To perform sujÙd for other than God is forbidden. Some people place their foreheads on the ground before the graves of the Imams (Peace be upon them all). There is no problem in it if it is done with the intention of thanking God. Otherwise it is forbidden.