Can you explain how does one perform sujud syukur? Do we need to be in the state of wudhuk and face the qibla?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
It is sunnah to perform sujud syukur or prostration of gratitude when we are blessed by Allah SWT, such as the birth of our child, when our sustenance increases, we are promoted, we excel in our examinations and others. Furthermore, it is also sunnah to perform sujud syukur if we are saved from a disaster, such as accidents, earthquakes and others. This is the opinion of the scholars of mazhab al-Syafie’ as well as the imam himself (Muhammad bin Idris al-Syafie’), the scholars of mazhab Hanbali as well as the imam himself (Ahmad bin Hanbal), Ishak, Abu Thaur and Ibn al-Munzir. While al-Nakhai’e, Malik and Abu Hanifah ruled sujud syukur as makruh (undesirable) . However, there are some Malikiyyah scholars that state sujud syukur as sunnah.
The Commandment of Sujud Syukur
The evidence of the commandment of sujud syukur is a hadith of the Prophet PBUH narrated by Abu Bakrah RA:
أَنَّهُ كَانَ إِذَا جَاءَهُ أَمْرُ سُرُورٍ أَوْ بُشِّرَ بِهِ خَرَّ سَاجِدًا شَاكِرًا لِلَّهِ
“When anything came to the Prophet (ﷺ) which caused pleasure (or, by which he was made glad), he prostrated himself in gratitude to Allah.”
Sunan Abu Daud (2774)
It is also narrated that the companions of the Prophet PBUH perform sujud syukur when they receive good news. For example, Abu Bakar RA perform sujud syukur on the opening of Yamamah. The same for Ali RA, where he performed sujud syukur when he heard the news of the capture of Dzu al-Thudayyah by the Khawarij. Ka’ab bin Malik performed sujud syukur when he heard that his repentance is accepted by Allah SWT.
In fiqh books of mazhab Syafi’e and Hanbali, sujud syukur is perform in the same way as sujud tilawah (prostration of recitation) outside of prayer. Thus, when someone want to perform sujud syukur, he must first take his ablution (wudhuk), cover the aurah, his body, his clothes and the place he is going to perform the sujud must be clean from any najis (impure things in syarak), and finally, he has to face the qibla. 
To perform sujud syukur one must: 
- Set the intention of performing sujud syukur in his heart.
- Takbir (the same as the takbiratul ihram in prayer) raising his arms, for it is analogically deduced (qiyas) as the same as prayer.
- Takbir again (without raising the hands) this time moving down for prostration.
- Then perform prostration (once), the same as the prostration in prayer. As for the recitation, the recitation is the same as in prayer but tahmid (praises to Allah SWT) can be added for the blessings He has given.
- Then rise up from the prostration (in sitting position) and give salam. It is not necessary or sunnah to recite the tasyahhud.
Sujud Syukur Without Wudhuk Or Not Facing the Qibla
There is also a discussion among scholars regarding the way to perform sujud syukur without ablution or facing the qibla. This is the opinion of some malikiyyah scholars and the predecessors (salaf).  This is also the opinion of Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Syeikh al-Islam Ibn Taimiyyah , Ibn Qayyim , al-Syaukani  and al-San’ani .
Their reasonings and justifications for their opinion are as the following:
- The opinion that state sujud syukur is performed in the state of wudhuk should have evidence supporting their opinion. Using qiyas to compare it with prayer is inaccurate for it is a just a prostration not a prayer.
- According to the hadith from Abu Bakrah, it is stated through apparent meaning that the Prophet PBUH immediately prostrated when he received news that make him happy, without mentioning the Prophet PBUH taking an ablution first. If ablution is necessary, surely the hadith would mention it.
- Sujud syukur is performed when we receive blessings or saved from a disaster immediately. If wudhuk is necessary, it cannot be done immediately for one must first perform ablution and face the qibla before performing the sujud.
In this issue, we are inclined towards the opinion that states that it is permissible to perform sujud syukur without wudhuk or facing the qibla. The reason is, there is no evidence that commanded the ablution or the facing of qibla.
It is permissible to immediately perform sujud syukur when someone receives good news, such as a promotion, birth of a child or excellent results in exams or when someone is saved from disasters such as an accident or an earthquake.
It is also not an issue if he chooses to follow the opinion that states ablution and facing the qibla is necessary, for it is a debatable subject.
May this explanation give us understanding and guidance when we want to perform sujud syukur. Wallahua’lam.
 See al-Mughni (1/449), al-Majmu’ (4/70)
 See al-Majmu’ (4/63)
 See al-Mu’tamad fi al-Fiqh al-Syafi’e (1/358)
 See Mawahib al-Jalil fi Syarh Mukhtasar al-Khalil (2/62)
 See Al-Fatawa al-Kubra (5/340)
 See Tahzib Sunan (1/69)
 See Nayl al-Awtor (3/127)
 See Subul al-Salam (1/315)