Is it sunnah to keep the heels together in sujud or to separate them?
I found for both instance a Hadith:
Keeping them together:
‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: I noticed that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was not there and he had been with me in my bed. I found him prostrating, with his heels together and his toes turned towards the qiblah, and I heard him saying, “I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your wrath, and in Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and in You from You; I praise you and I cannot praise You enough.”
(Related by Al-Bayhaqy, Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, Book on Salah, Chapter on about putting the two heels together in Sujud, no. 2552; Al-Hakim, Al-Mustadrak, vol. 1, p. 352, no. 832; and Ibn Hibban, Sahih, vol. 5, p. 260, Book on Salah, Chapter on mentioning the Hadith that refutes those who claim that this Hadith was only narrated by `Ubaydullah ibn `Umar, no. 1933; al-Tahhaawi in Bayaan Mushkil al-Athaar (1/104); Ibn al-Mundhir in al-Awsat (no. 1401); Ibn Khuzaymah in his Saheeh (1/328)
Keeping them apart:
Imam Bayhaqi related on the authority of Bara’ that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) would, وإذا سجد وجه أصابعه القبلة فتفاج
“When he made sujud he would face his toes towards the qiblah…”
(Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra v. 2, p. 113)
In Talkhis al-Habir v. 1, p. 618, Hafiz Ibn Hajar mentioned:
يعني وسع بين رجليه, “Meaning: he would space out his feet.”
As you have pointed out, there is support for both practices. One may do either of the two.
However, sticking to a norm (that is backed with proofs) is always better than causing disruption or confusion by enforcing a new practice.
By that I mean that if in one area, or masjid, the people have the habit of separating the feet in sajdah, one should avoid objecting on them, even though one prefers to keep them together.
This is because both practices are backed with proofs and views of the Scholars.
Matters such as these should never become a cause for discord.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar