Prostrating in worship to anything besides Allah Ta’ala is Shirk (polytheism), the most severe Kufr (disbelief).
The Holy Qur'an states: “Worship Allah only and do not ascribe anyone as His partner.” (Surah Nisaa, verse 36)
Never was this Sajda-e-Ibaadat permissible for anyone. “Do not prostrate to the sun or the moon but prostrate to Allah.” (Surah Haa Meem Sajdah, verse 37)
1) “And remember when We ordered the Angels to prostrate to Adam.” (Surah Baqarah, verse 34)
(2) “They (the parents and brothers of Hazrat Yusuf (Alaihis Salaam) fell in prostration to him.” (Surah Yusuf, verse 100)
In our Shari’ah, however, i.e. the Shari’ah of Sayyiduna Muhammad Mustafa (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) Sajda-e-Taazeemi is prohibited. Hence, prostrating to respect the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam), any Wali, the Holy Ka'aba, Peer-o-Murshid, Mazaar Shareef, Qabar of a Wali, parents, etc. is Haraam and contrary to the Shari'ah of Islam. This is proven from the Holy Qur’an, Ahadeeth-e-Mubaaraka and rulings of the Ulema of Islam.
The Holy Qur’an: Abd bin Hameed reports in his “Musnad” that Imaam Hasan Basri (radi Allahu anhu) states: A Sahabi submitted to the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam), “We greet you like how we greet each other. Should we not make Sajda to you?” Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied, “No, but respect your Nabi and Sajda is the right of Allah only. Make Sajda for Him because prostrating to anyone besides Him is not permitted.”
Due to this incident, Ayah 80 of Surah Aale-Imraan and some verses before it were revealed. Allah Ta'ala states: “Will he order you to do disbelief even though you have become Muslims.” (Surah Aale-Imraan, verse 80)
Although some Commentators of the Holy Qur’an have written that this verse was revealed concerning the Christians of Najraan, but the general body of Mufasireen, e.g. Imaam Raazi, Imaam Nasafi, Imaam Suyuti, Allama Sulaiman Jamal, etc. have cited the first incident as the background of this Ayah's Revelation. Refer to “Tafseer Kabeer”, “Tafseer Madaarik”, “Tafseer Jalalain”, “Hashia Jamal ala Jalaalain”, etc. under this Ayah.
This is established that when some Sahaba asked Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) to permit them to make Sajda to respect him, he declined and said that Sajda must be made for Allah Ta’ala only! They didn't request him to worship him with the Sajda because they and everyone else knew that he called people to worship Allah Ta’ala (Tauheed).
The word “Kufr” was used by the Qur’an to demonstrate the severity of the prohibition of Sajda-e-Taazeemi, i.e. it is the likeness of disbelief (Kufr-e-Suwari).
Ahadeeth-e-Mubaraka: There are many Prophetic Traditions that can be cited but for the sake of brevity, we present only three Ahadeeth.
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) states that the Messenger said, “If I were to make anyone to make Sajda for any creation, I would order a woman to prostrate to her husband.” (Mishkaat Shareef, pg. 281, with ref. to Tirmidhi) Mulla Ali Qari writes under this Hadeeth, “Sajda for Ghair-Allah (anyone besides Allah) is not permitted.” (Mirqat, Vol. 3, pg. 467)
Hazrat Qais bin Sa’ad (radi Allahu anhu) states, “I visited the city of Heera where I saw that the people there made Sajda for their leaders. I thought in my heart that Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) is much more worthy of prostration.” The Sahabi then came to Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam), related what he witnessed and said that he was more worthy of Sajda. The Noble Messenger (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) then asked him, “If you pass my Mazaar (Tomb), will you make Sajda to it?” He answered, “No.” Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) then said, “Don't ever prostrate to it. If I were to command Sajda, I would definitely order women to prostrate to their husbands.” (Mishkaat, pg. 286, with ref. to Abu Dawood)
Sayyidah Aisha (radi Allahu anha) reports that the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) to have said, “May the Curse of Allah be upon the Jews and Christians because they have made the graves of their Prophets places towards which they make Sajda.” (Mishkaat, pg. 69, with ref. to Bukhari and Mulsim)
The commentators of Ahadeeth have explained that the Jews and Christians used to make Sajda towards the graves and Mazaars of their Prophets. Refer to “Mirqaat”, Vol. 1, pg. 456 and “Ashiatul Lama'at”, Vol. 1, pg. 330 by Mulla Ali Qari and Shaikh Abdul-Haq Muhaddith Dehlwi, respectively.
Rulings of the Ulama: Shah Abdul-Azeez Muhaddith Dehlwi states, “There is 'Ijma (consensus) on this Sajda being prohibited.” (Fatawa Azeezia, Vol. 1, pg. 101)
Refer to the treatise Az-Zubdatuz-Zakiya fi Tahreemi Sujoodit Tahiya by A’la Hazrat Imaam Ahmed Raza Khan for the complete discussion on this topic.
There are a few objections by those who allow Sajda-e-Taazeemi, e.g. how can Ahaad Ahadeeth (single narrations) annul the permissibility of this Sajda which is proven by the Holy Qur'an, etc.
There are some who allow this prostration and use the following argument to substantiate their stance.
“Sajda-e-Tazeemi's practice is proven from the Holy Qur'an: “And We said to the Angels, 'Prostrate to Adam.'” [Surah Baqarah: 34] and “They (the parents and brothers of Hazrat Yusuf) fell in Sajda to him.” [Surah Yusuf: 100], so how can a Hadith annul something which the Holy Qur'an permits?”
ANSWER: The Ulama have different rulings about the Sajda made to Hazrat Adam (Alaihis Salaam) and Hazrat Yusuf (Alaihis Salaam). According to the Mufasireen (commentators), Hazrat Adam (Alaihis Salaam) and Hazrat Yusuf (Alahis Salaam) were only the Qibla (direction) but the Sajda was actually for Allah Ta'ala, just as how the Holy Ka'aba is the Qibla but our Salaah is for Allah Ta'ala. Refer to Tafseer Khaazin, Mu'aalimut-Tanzeel and Baidawi under the above-mentioned Ayahs.
Even if it is accepted that the Sajda made was for Hazrat Adam (Alaihis Salaam) and Hazrat Yusuf (Alaihis Salaam) it was not a Sajda in which the forehead touches the ground. Rather it was only bending and showing reverence. Refer to Tafseer Khaazin, Mu'aalimut-Tanzeel and Jalaalain under the above-mentioned Ayahs.
When there is such a great difference about the Sajda, this proves that the Ayahs are not “Qatee-ul-Dalaalat” (explicit proof) on the permissibility of Sajda-e-Taazeemi. Hence, it is not necessary for that which annuls to also be Qatee (explicit). The permissibility of this Sajda is based on “Zanni” (most probable) proof. Even the commentators who accept the Sajda to have been placing the foreheads on the ground have themselves explained that this Sajda is annulled in our Shari'ah. If you accept their ruling on its permissibility, accept their ruling about its annulment also. (extracted from Fatawa Amjadia, Vol. 4, pg. 117-8)
The Hadith Shareef wherein Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “If I were to command anyone to prostrate to anything I would order a woman to prostrate to her husband,” with a slight difference in wording has been reported by Hazrat Abu Hurairah in Nisaai, Hazrat Mu'aaz bin Jabal, Abdullah bin Abi Aufa, Anas and Aisha in Musnad Imaam Ahmed, Hazrat Bareerah and Qais bin Sa'ad in Haakim's Mustadrak, etc. etc (Radi Allahu Anhum). All report the prohibition of the Sajda-e-Taazeemi. So although the words of the Hadith Shareef are single in narration, it is however Mutawaatir (successive) in meaning. This is why Shah Abdul Azeez Muhaddith Dehlwi (Alaihir Rahmah) states that the permissibility of Sajda-e-Taazeem is annulled by Mutawaatir Ahadith. (Tafseer Azeezi)
In short, no accepted Sharee' reasoning can be found permitting Sajda-e-Taazeemi.