Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 2: The Prostration of Thankfulness (Sajdatush-Shukr)
The majority of the scholars say that it is preferred to make prostrationsof thankfulness (shukr) when one receives a bounty or is rescued from sometrial. Abu Bakr reports that, when the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallamreceived something which pleased him or some glad tidings, he would make thesajdah in thanks to Allah. This is related by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, andat-Tirmizhi who says it is hasan.
And al-Baihaqi records, with a chain that meets al-Bukhari's conditions,that when 'Ali wrote to the Messenger of Allah, informing him that Hamazhan hadembraced Islam, the Prophet prostrated, and when he raised his head, he said:"Peace be upon Hamazhan, peace be upon Hamazhan."
'Abdurrahman ibn 'Auf relates that the Messenger of Allah went out once andhe followed him until he entered a grove of palm trees and prostrated. Hisprostration was so long that 'Abdurrahman feared that Allah had taken his soul.'Abdurrahman came to look at him and he raised his head and said: "What iswrong, Abdurrahman'?" Abdurrahman mentioned what had happened, and hesaid: "Gabriel alehi as-salam came to me and said: 'Shall I not give you gladtidings'? Allah says to you, Whoever prays upon you, I pray upon him. Whoeversalutes you, I salute him.' Therefore, I prostrated to Allah in thanks."This is related by Ahmad and by AlHakim who says: "It is sahih accordingto the criterion of al-Bukhari and Muslim. And I do not know anything moreauthentic than that."
Al-Bukhari records that Ka'b ibn Malik made a sajdah when he received thenews that Allah had accepted his repentance. Ahmad records that 'Ali performedthe sajdah when he heard the news that Zhul-Thudayyah of the Khawarij waskilled. Also, as mentioned before, Sa'id ibn Mansur recorded that Abu Bakr madesajdah in thankfulness when Musailimah was killed.
The prostration of thankfulness is bound by the same requirements as theprostration in prayer, while some disagree as it is not a prayer. The author ofFath al-'Alam remarks: "This latter opinion is closer to beingcorrect." Ash-Shaukani said: "There is nothing in the hadith to provethat ablution and purity of the clothes and place are required for sajdat-ushshukr.And that is the opinion of Imam Yahya and Abu Talib. And these hadith aresilent about any takbir being made with the prostration. In alBahr it is statedthat there is a takbir. Imam Yahya says: 'One is not to make the prostration ofthankfulness during a prayer as it is not part of the prayer.'"