One of the etiquettes of reciting Qur’an is to perform sujud al-tilawah or prostration for recitation, when one recites an ayah containing a ‘sajdah’ or place where a prostration is required.
In His Book, Allah describes the Prophets and the righteous as follows:
“… When the Verses of the Most Beneficent were recited unto them, they fell down prostrating and weeping.” (Surah Maryam 19:58)
Ibn Katheer, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “The scholars agreed that we should prostrate here [when reciting this ayah] so as to follow their example.” (Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Azim, 5/238)
Sujud al-Tilawah in prayer is very important because it increases khushu. Allah says:
“And they fall down on their faces weeping and it adds to their humility.” (Surah al-Israa’ 17:109)
It was reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, prostrated when he recited Surah al-Najm in his prayer. Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy on him, reported in his Saheeh that Abu Raafi’ said:
“I prayed ‘Isha with Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him and he recited Idhaa al-samaa’u inshaqqat [Surah al-Inshiqaaq] and prostrated. I asked him about it, and he said, ‘I prostrated behind Abu’l-Qaasim [the Prophet] (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and I will continue to do so until I meet him again.” (Saheeh al-Bukhari, Kitaab al-Adhaan, Baab al-Jahr bi’l-‘Ishaa’).
It is important to maintain the practice of sujud al-tilawah, especially since it causes annoyance to the Shaytan and suppresses him, thus weakening his hold on the worshipper. Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:
‘When the son of Adam recites a sajdah, the Shaytan goes away weeping, saying, “Woe to him! He was commanded to prostrate and he prostrated, so Paradise is his; I was ordered to prostrate and I disobeyed, so Hell is my fate!” (Recorded in Muslim no.133)