There are certain verses within the Qur’an, when recited the Prophet peace be upon would prostrate and his companions would follow suit.
Narrated Ibn `Umar: When the Prophet (ﷺ) recited a Surah 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. (Bukhari)
In another narration, narrated by Abu Rafi`: I offered the `Isha’ prayer behind Abu Huraira and he recited, “Idha s-samaa’u n-shaqqat” (84) and prostrated. On my inquiring, he said, “I prostrated behind Abul-Qasim (the Prophet) (when he recited that Surah) and I will go on doing it till I meet him.” (Bukhari)
These verses are counted to be fifteen in total; the translation of the verses are as follows:
1 – “Surely those who are with your Lord (angels) are never too proud to perform acts of worship to Him, but they glorify His Praise and prostrate before Him.” (Al-A’raaf, 7:206)
2 – “And unto Allah (Alone) falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and in the afternoons.” (Ar-Ra’d, 13:15)
3 – “And to Allah prostrate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the live moving creatures and the angels, and they are not proud [i.e., they worship their Lord (Allah) with humility].” (An-Nahl, 16:49)
4 – “Say (O Muhammad): ‘Believe in it (the Qur’an) or do not believe (in it). Verily! Those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration.” (Al-Isra’, 17:107)
5 – “… When the Verses of the Most Beneficent (Allah) were recited unto them, they fell down prostrating and weeping.” (Maryam, 19:58)
6 – “See you not that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is one the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and al-dawaab (moving living creatures, beasts, etc.), and many of mankind? But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honour him. Verily! Allah does what He wills.” (Al-Hajj, 22:18)
7 – “O you who believe! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good that you may be successful.” (Al-Hajj 22:77) (Please note there is a difference of opinion with regards to prostration after this ayah, as there is no narration of the Prophet doing so, however, it is authentically narrated from some sahabahs, which stands as a proof for it).
8 – “And when it is said to them: ‘Prostrate to the Most Beneficent (Allah)!’ They say, ‘And what is the Most Beneficent? Shall we fall down in prostration to that which you (O Muhammad) command us?’ And it increases in them only aversion.” (Al-Furqan, 25:60)
9 – “[As Shaytaan has barred them from Allah’s Way] so that they do not worship (prostrate before) Allah, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you conceal and what you reveal.” (An-Naml, 27:25)
10 – “Only those believe in Our aayaat (verses, signs, etc.) who, when they are reminded of them fall down prostrate, and glorify the Praises of their Lord, and they are not proud.” (As-Sajdah, 32:15)
11 – “… And Dawood guessed that We had tried him and he sought forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down prostrate and turned (to Allah) in repentance.” (Saad, 38:24)
12 – “And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Prostrate not to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate to Him Who created them, if you (really) worship Him.” (Fussilat, 41:37)
13 – “So fall down in prostration to Allah, and worship Him (Alone).” (An-Najm, 53:62)
14 – “And when the Qur’an is recited to them, they fall not prostrate.” (Al-Inshiqaaq, 84:21)
15 – “… Fall prostrate and draw near to Allah!” (Al-‘Alaq 96:19)
Ruling: The ruling for prostration is that it is a confirmed Sunnah
Purity: According to the more correct opinion one is not required to be in the state of wudhu or ritual purty to perform this sajdah, as it is not a part of the prayer. Similarly, a woman on her menses who recites or listens to one of these ayaat may also perform it.
Qibla: As this sajdah is not considered a part of the prayer, it is not necessary to face the Qibla
Listening to the radio/mp3: in such circumstances it is not necessary to perform the sajdah.
Method of performing:
Sujood at-Tilawah, is performed with a single prostration. If one is praying and recites any of the aforementioned verses of prostration, he should recite takbeer to go down, and upon rising from it. Then he should return to the standing position, and he may continue his recitation and complete his prayer as usual.
If one is reciting outside of prayer, then one should say takbeer upon going down, but not upon rising. There is no salaam following it, and one merely returns to the position upon which he began it.
Whilst prostrating, one should say the same that one says in a regular sujood,
سُبحَان رَبِّي الأَعلى
Subhana rabbi al a’laa (How perfect is My Lord, the Most High)
All others duaas, and athkar are mustahabb.
It was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to make du’aa when he did sujood al-tilaawah, and he would say:
“Allahumma aktub li biha ‘indaka ajran wa’mhu ‘anni biha wizran waj’alha li ‘indaka dukhran wa taqabbalha minni kama taqabbaltaha min ‘abdika Dawood
O Allah, record for me a reward for this (prostration), and remove from me a sin. Save it for me and accept it from me just as You accepted it from Your slave Dawood).” (Tirmidhi, 528).
Narrated A’ishah, the Mother of the Believers, “the Messenger of Allah prostrated himself at night when reciting the Qur’an. He said repeatedly,
Sajada wajhiya lillathi khalaqahu washaqqa sam’ahu wa basarahu bi hawlihi wa quwwatih
(My Face prostrates itself to Him Who created it and brought forth it hearing and seeing by His Might and Power).” (Sunan Abi Dawood)
And in another narration he said,
Allahumma laka sajadtu wa bika aamantu wa laka aslamtu, wa anta rabbi, sajada wajhi lilladhi khalaqahu wa sawwarahu wa shaqqa sam’ahu wa basarahu tabaarak Allahu ahsan al-khaaliqeen
(O Allah, unto You I have prostrated and in You I have believed, and unto You I have submitted, and you are My Lord. My face has prostrated before Him Who created it and fashioned it, and brought forth its faculties of hearing and seeing. Blessed is Allah, the Best of creators). (Sunan An-Nisa’i)
And in the version narrated by Muslim from Ali,
Allahumma laka sajadtu wa bika aamantu wa laka aslamtu, sajada wajhi lilladhi khalaqahu wa sawwarahu wa shaqqa sam’ahu wa basarahu bi hawlihi wa quwwatihi, tabaarak Allahu ahsan al-khaaliqeen
(O Allah, unto You I have prostrated and in You I have believed, and unto You I have submitted. My face has prostrated before Him Who created it and fashioned it, and brought forth its faculties of hearing and seeing by His Might and Power. Blessed is Allah, the Best of creators).