Yusuf ( AS) succeeded the throne after the toil and trial that he went through with the queen`s accusation.His brothers who had deserted him in the jungles were brought to him by Allah`s command. When they recognised Yusuf (AS),then with guilt and shame they prostrated Yusuf (AS) in order that he pardons them. Later when Yusuf (AS) father learnt about the whole story and that Allah had chosen his son as prophet then he too fell in sajda to Yusuf (AS) with due respect. When Allah declares that a father prostrates his son, then don't you think that there is nothing wrong in our sajda to bawa saheb.It only spells our gratitude and respect for him.The sajda is no way an ibadat or worship.
Nothing wrong in doing Sajdah
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
In the story of Hadrat Yusuf (a.s.) in Surah Yusuf of the Holy Quran, Allah does say that his brothers bowed down to Yusuf(a.s.) in ‘sajdah’. We believe in every word of the Glorious Quran and what you have said is true.
But the question here is not whether Yusuf’s brother did sajdah to Yusuf (a.s.)or not, but whether we can do sajdah to some human being today in Islam, even if it is for respect and gratitude.
The Messenger of Allah (saws), even after reading and understanding the same aayahs of Surah Yusuf as we recite today, did not allow any of his companions or believers to do sajdah to any human being in Islam. He absolutely forbade this act of prostration and said from the Holy Quran that this is a rite of worship in the ‘Shariah’ of Islam. He commanded that Allah Alone deserves the right of prostration or ‘sajdah’ and no body else. The Prophet (saws) was the best of creation, and his companions loved and respected him (saws) more than their lives, their wealth, their parents and their children put together! Even then, there is not one instance where it is mentioned that the they did prostration to the Prophet (saws). In the ‘Shariah’ revealed to Prophet Mohamed (saws) ‘sajdah’ is a rite of worship and the only being who deserves to be prostrated to, is the Lord of the Worlds and no one else.
When Hadrat Ali (r.a.) became the Ameer ul Mu’mineen, some people who loved and respected him beyond imagination, came to Ali, and said that they wanted to prostrate themselves to him. Ali forbade them in strong terms, but they would not listen. It has been report that Hadrat Ali (r.a.) rebuked them, and put them in prison, but they would not budge from their belief of wanting to do ‘sajdah’ to Hadrat Ali(r.a.). It has been reported in some narrations that ultimately Hadrat Ali (r.a.) sentenced them to death!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 41 Surah Fusselat verse 37: Do not do ‘sajdah’ to the sun and the moon, but do ‘sajdah’ to that Allah, Who Created them, if you really are indeed His worshippers.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 77: O you who believe, do ‘rukoo’ and ‘sajdah’ to Allah Alone, worship Allah Alone, and do righteous deeds. It may be that you attain true success.
Allah Himself states in the above aayahs of the Glorious Quran, that He Alone deserves our rites of ‘sajdah’ and no one else. In the “Shariah” of Mohamed (saws), ‘sajdah’ is an integral part of our prayers and worship and these are for Allah Alone. It is a confirmation that we submit our lives and our wills to the Will of the One we are doing ‘sajdah’ to.
The Holy Quran has 15 places in it, where we are commanded to do ‘sajdah’ when reciting the Quran. All of these ‘sajdah’ aayahs are when Allah says He is our Lord and we are commaded to worship Him Alone and everything in Creation is doing ‘sajdah’ to Him, therefore we are commanded to do ‘sajdah’ along with them in humility and worship to our Lord and Creator. There are approximately 20 times where the story of Adam(a.s.) and Iblis is related in the Quran, but not once are we commanded to do ‘sajdah’ when we recite these aayahs of the Quran. Similarly there is one aayah where the brothers of Yusuf did sajdah to Yusuf(.a.s..), but we are not commanded by Allah to do ‘sajdah’ when we recite this aayah. This is not because Allah and His Messenger (saws) forgot to tell us to do ‘sajdah’, but it is because we are not allowed to do ‘sajdah’ to anybody or anything else other than Allah Alone in Islam, be it in love and respect, or worship and ‘ibaadah’.
The second part of your question states that mu’mineen do ‘sajdah’ to the TUS in love and respect and not ‘ibaadah’ or worship. Brother, please note that nobody loved the Prophet (saws) more than his companions and the believers, but they never did the act of ‘sajdah’ to him (saws) … Not even once! In the ‘shariah’ revealed to Prophet Mohamed (saws), ‘sajdah’ is an act of worship and ‘ibaadah’ and not love and respect, and make no mistake about it, that if anyone does ‘sajdah’ to anybody or anything else, Allah has termed it ‘shirk’ in the Holy Quran. And ‘shirk’ is the only sin which Allah has made it incumbent upon Himself not to forgive, and the doers of ‘shirk’ are confirmed the fire of Hell.
The other reason ‘sajdah’ cannot be done to the TUS is there is absolutely no ‘daleel’ or evidence from the Quran that he deserves your ‘sajdah’. Why only him and his ancestors, etc.? Just because Yusuf’s brothers are mentioned in the Quran doing ‘sajdah’ to Yusuf, it does not mean that the TUS deserves our ‘sajdah’! The Holy Quran has to be understood in context, and the whole Quran is exhorting us not to worship or invoke anybody or anything except Allah Alone. We are not even allowed to invoke our beloved Prophet Mohamed (saws) after he died!! Have you ever wondered why the ‘sajdahs’ to the TUS are only done in India, Pakistan, UK, USA and other polytheistic nations. Why does he not accept the ‘sajdah’ of the mu’mineen in places like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc.? Why these double standards? What is there to be afraid of if you are doing the right thing!! I swear by Allah, a true mu’min, who believes and worships Allah Alone, will do ‘sajdah’ to Him, whenever and whereever the time of prayer happens to be … in any nation of the world! ‘Sajdah’ is the right of Allah Alone, and it can only be done in humility, awe, obedience and worship.
If you read the letters that one writes to the TUS, you will notice an arabic phrase which most people write but don’t understand. The words used just before signing off are ‘ma’a sajdatul uboodiya’, which simply means ‘with the sajdah of worship’ (‘uboodiya’ is derived from the same root of the Arabic word ‘ibaadah’). You might say that you have never written this letter, but this is the standard of all the letters that are sent to the TUS. You might say, that the TUS did not write it … True, but he accepts it, and does not stop the mu’mineen from writing these abomination and ghastly words!! The act of ‘sajdah’ is nothing but the act and rite of worship and this act is due to no one else, except the Creator of the Universe. He is our Lord and the Lord of the TUS, and He alone deserves the act of ‘sajdah’.
Brother, the concept of practising ‘shirk’ is so great and grave, that it cannot even be done in ignorance. This matter of ‘shirk’ is so serious, that I urge you not to take my word for it. But at least give Allah’s words, one hearing! I urge you to read and understand the Quran once. Then after understanding the context of the Holy Quran, you still think that the ‘sajdah’ to the TUS is allowed, follow your way. Allah says in the Holy Quran that if someone worships or invokes Allah, and also invokes somebody else, it is like not having worshipped Allah at all! When Allah asks you on the Day of Judgment why you shared his rites of worship to somebody else, you try to explain to Him that you did it out of love and respect. If you think He will accept your excuse, fine. If not, prepare yourself for a severe accounting, for ‘shirk’ completely destroys and overtakes all the good deeds done in your life!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 72: Whoever commits ‘shirk’ (invoking anything with Allah), Allah shall forbid for him Paradise, and Hell shall be his abode. And for such wrong doers there will be no one to help.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumar verse 65-66: But it has already Been revealed to thee-“If you commit ‘shirk’ all your works will be rendered vain and you will be among the losers. Therefore, you should worship Allah Alone, and be among His grateful servants.”
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumar verse 67: These people (who commit shirk) have not recognized the true worth of Allah, as His worth should truly be recognized. (As for His Omnipotence) the entire earth on the Day of Resurrection shall be in His grasp and the heavens shall be rolled up in His Right Hand. Glorified is He and Exalted above the ‘shirk’ that these people commit.
Allah is Most High and Exalted above the ‘shirk’ these people do and accept in the name of Islam. May Allah guide us to read and understand the Glorious Quran, so that we can understand the difference between love and respect, and worship and ‘ibaadah’. May Allah keep us far away from committing any acts of ‘shirk’, the reward of which is confirmed to the eternal torture of the fire of Hell. May Allah guide you and us all to the Straight Path of Islam. Ameen.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength
Your Brother and well wisher in Islam,