Say, "Believe in it or do not believe. Indeed, those who were given knowledge before it – when it is recited to them, they fall upon their faces in prostration,
And they say, "Exalted is our Lord! Indeed, the promise of our Lord has been fulfilled."
And they fall upon their faces weeping, and the Qur'an increases them in humble submission.
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that when, the son of Adam recites the Ayat of Sajdah (prostration) and then falls down in prostration, the Satan goes into seclusion and weeps and says:
Alas, and in the narration of Abu Kuraib the words are: Woe unto me, the son of Adam was commanded to prostrate, and he prostrated and Paradise was entitled to him and I was commanded to prostrate, but I refused and am doomed to Hell.
[Sahih Muslim Hadiith No. 81]
Narrated Ibn `Umar:
When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) recited a Sura that contained the prostration he would prostrate and we would do the same and some of us (because of the heavy rush) could not find a place for prostration.
[Sahih al-Bukhaari Hadiith No. 1075]
Based on the above 'ahadiith all of the Jurists agree that the Sujuud al-Tilaawah is legislated.
Is the Sujuud al-Tilaawah waajib or not?
On the authority of Zaid bin Thabit, he said:
"I recited to the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) (Surat) An-Najm and he did not prostrate in it."
[Sunan Abi Dawud Hadiith No. 1404]
`Umar bin Al-Khattab recited Surat-an-Nahl on a Friday on the pulpit and when he reached the verse of Sajda he got down from the pulpit and prostrated and the people also prostrated. The next Friday `Umar bin Al-Khattab recited the same Sura and when he reached the verse of Sajda he said, "O people! When we recite the verses of Sajda (during the sermon) whoever prostrates does the right thing, yet it is no sin for the one who does not prostrate." And `Umar did not prostrate (that day). Added Ibn `Umar "Allah has not made the prostration of recitation compulsory but if we wish we can do it."
[Sahiih al-Bukhaari Hadiith No. 1077]
Based on the above two narrations the Shaafi'i and Hanbali schools of thought have said that the Sujuud of al-Tilaawah is not waajib. If one does not prostrate he does not incur sin.
Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said what he said in front of the Companions and none from them rebuked him. This means there is an Ijmaa that the Sujuud al-Tilaawah is not waajib.
They have also drawn evidence from the following hadiith
Narrated Talha bin 'Ubaidullah:
A man came to Allah's Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) asking him about Islam, Allah's Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "You have to offer five compulsory prayers in a day and a night (24 hours)." The man asked, "Is there any more compulsory prayers for me?" Allah's Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "No, unless you like to offer Nawafil (i.e. optional prayers)." Allah's Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) then added, "You have to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan." The man said, "Am I to fast any other days?' Allah's Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "No, unless you wish to observe the optional fast voluntarily." Then Allah's Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) told him about the compulsory Zakat. The man asked, "Do I have to give anything besides?" Allah's Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "No, unless you wish to give in charity voluntarily." So, the man departed saying, "By Allah I will neither do more nor less than that." Allah's Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "If he has said the truth he will be successful."
[Sahiih al-Bukhaari Hadiith No. 2678]
This hadiith shows that the 'asl for that not mentioned in this hadiith is that it is not waajib until proven from another explicit authentic hadith and has no opposition from any other hadiith.
Such is not the case with the Sujuud al-Tilaawah. There is no authentic explicit hadiith which states it is waajib.
Also, there is an Ijmaa that one can do the Sujuud al-Tilaawah when one is riding an animal. One can do it on the back of an animal while riding the animal for travel.
This shows that it is not waajib because had it been waajib then one could not do the prostration of recitation on the back of the animal one is riding just like one cannot do the Sujuud of the obligatory prayers on the back of an animal one is riding.
Is purity a condition for the Sujuud al-Tilaawah?
al-Qurtubi says that the Sujuud of Tilaawah requires that one be pure from hadath and najas. He says there is no difference of opinion on the matter. Then, he makes an exception and says that there is a difference of opinion on the matter which al-Bukhaari has mentioned from Abd Allaah bin Umar (may Allaah be pleased with both of them).
Ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with both of them) would perform the Sujuud of Tilaawah even without purification. He also mentions that al-Mundhir narrated this to be the opinion of al-Sha'bii.
al-Shawkaani says: There is nothing in the ahadiith of the Sujuud of Tilaawah which can be used as evidence that those who made Sujuud were in the state of Wuduu. Those who were present at the time of his (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) recitation would do Sujuud of Tilaawah along with him and it has not been transmitted that he ordered them to do Wuduu. It is unlikely that all of them were in the state of Wuduu. The Mushrikuun would also do the Sujuud of Tilaawah with him as has been mentioned before, and they were najas. Their Wuduu was not valid.
Volume 5 Page 347
How to perform the Sujuud of Tilaawah outside of prayer
You are not praying. You are reciting the Qur'aan. You recite a Verse of the Qur'aan where you are to perform the Sujuud of Tilaawah. How do you do it?
You make the intention that you are about to do the Sujuud for Tilaawah. This is based on the hadiith that al-'amaal bi al-niyyaat.
Then, you say Allaahu 'akbar for the 'iHraam raising your hands to your shoulders just like you do when you begin prayer
Next, you say Allaahu 'akbar for going down in prostration (al-huwii li al-sujuud) and do not raise your hands
You perform only one Sujuud like you perform Sujuud in prayer (i.e. in prayer you perform two Sujuud but here you only perform one like the one you do in prayer)
You raise your head from the Sujuud saying Allaahu 'akbar.
You sit and say Salaam like you do in prayer.
The 'arkaan (pillars) for the Sujuud when done outside of prayer are four:
The takbiir for the 'ihraam
According to the Hanaabilah you only say Allaahu 'akbar once for going into prostration. You do not say Allaahu 'akbar for the 'ihraam according to them.
According to the Hanaabilah you only say one Salaam on your right side.