What You Should Know If Eclipse Happens Tomorrow

MORE DETAILS ON ECLIPSE.

ECLIPSE (of sun or moon) : What Muslims Should Know

Praise be to Allaah. May His peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad.

The applicable word for
eclipse varies in the Arabic language to about six variations, all of which are found in the hadiith texts of Al-Bukhaarii and Muslim; the most popular
terminology according to Muslim jurists is to use the word, ﻛﺴﻮﻑ kusoof with respect to a solar eclipse, and the word ﺧﺴﻮﻑ khusoof, for a lunar
eclipse. The most correct employment of the two terms is to use them interchangeably for both solar and lunar eclipses.

There are no other weather related phenomena, or celestial events for which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has sanctioned a particularly styled
prayer in congregation, apart from an eclipse.

There is no specific congregational prayer for earthquakes, tornadoes, sandstorms, rain storms, hailstorms, comets, shooting stars, solar flares, blizzards, or
for any other such events besides an eclipse, hence, its significance, and the importance of making the salaatul Kusoof (eclipse prayer) in
congregation.

Making du’aa during rainfall is sunnah, and there is a salaat for rain (salaatul istisqaa ) in
cases of drought. However, these prayers are general in nature and do not follow particular performance protocols, or time requirements like
salaatul Kusoof .

Eclipses are a sign from Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa, intended to strike awe into
the hearts. They are usually rare in occurrence.

THE SALAAT DURING THE ECLIPSE

Performing the salaat during a solar or lunar eclipse is considered Sunnah mu’akkadah (constant,
uninterrupted sunnah) by agreement of the scholars; based on the hadiith; “ Neither the sun, nor the moon,
eclipse due to the death, or life of anyone, but they
are signs from amongst the signs of Allaah Ta’aalaa, so
if you see any one of them, stand up and pray ”[1] .

The Prophet (SAWS) prayed this salaat, and a miraculous occurrence took place; in the hadiith of
ibn Abbaas, he said: Once a solar eclipse occurred during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allaah
(SAWS). He offered the eclipse prayer. His
companions asked, “O Allaah’s Apostle! We saw you trying to take something while standing at your
place and then we saw you retreating.” The Prophet said, “ I was shown Paradise and wanted to have a
bunch of fruit from it. Had I taken it, you would have
eaten from it as long as the world remains .”

HOW IT IS PERFORMED

Salaatul Kusoof has no adhaan, no iqaamah, and is preceded by the words, as-salaatul jaami’ah (the
prayer is gathering) as reported in the hadiith of ‘Aaisha; an eclipse of the sun occurred during the time of the Prophet (SAWS) and he ordered a man to call out: ‘as-salaatul jaami’ah’ . [2]

Salaatul Kusoof
consists of TWO RAK’AAT , and each rak’ah has two
rukoo’s, two qiyaams, and two recitations instead of one respectively for other prayers.

It is Sunnah to
perform salaatul kusoof in congregation, inside the
Masjid, behind an Imaam where salaatul Jumu’ah is
held as was the practice of the Prophet (SAWS).
However it is permissible to pray in other areas as well

WHEN IS IT PERFORMED?

Salaatul Kusoof can only be done during a solar or lunar eclipse. The time for performing salaatul Kusoof begins at the beginning of the eclipse and concludes when the eclipse is completely ended.
The prayer can begin as soon as the eclipse starts or at anytime thereafter, and it is Sunnah to continue
praying until the eclipse has ended.

The prayer should NOT be done once the eclipse is over, because the time has gone. If an eclipse ends before one knows about it, one does not have to pray, because the reason for the prayer is no longer there.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND ?

Salaatul Kusoof is legislated for the resident (non-travelling) person as well as the traveler. It is
permissible for men, women and children in the same manner as salaatul Jumu’ah.

ISSUES RELATED TO SALAATUL
KUSOOF

* DO NOT observe salaatul kusuuf based on the news from astronomers that an eclipse was going to happen, rather it should be observed upon ACTUAL SIGHTING of the eclipse. The astronomic prediction however, is useful, as it provides a hint to the possibility of its occurrence

* IT IS NOT PRESCRIBED for the people who live in a locality or country where the eclipse is not happening to offer the prayer

* It is a sign of ignorance about the religion, to be watching eclipse with special glasses or carrying cameras during the event

* The entire sun or moon may be eclipsed, only half of it, or one-third of it

* If a person waits until after the eclipse is over, then he should not pray salaatul Kusoof, based upon
the hadiith: “If you see it, pray until it has cleared”.
[3]

* If people are praying Kusoof and it clears during their salaat, then they should continue praying until
they finish the salaat, but then it should be shortened. They should not cut off or abruptly stop the salaat.

* The Sunnah is to lengthen the recitation during salaatul kusoof based upon the hadiith of Ibn
‘Abbaas; “The sun eclipsed and the Prophet (SAWS)
prayed while the people prayed with him, and he stood a long time for an extent that was something like suurah al-Baqarah”. [4]

* It is permissible to pray a shorter length. According to Imaam an-Nawawii, the minimum recitation for
salaatul Kusoof is to recite suurah al Faatiha during each recitation. [5]

* After the salaat, it is Sunnah for the Imaam to deliver a
khutbah, in the same manner as the khutbatul
Jumu’ah, as was done by the Prophet (SAWS). This is based upon the hadiith of ‘Aaisha; “Although the
Prophet finished the salaat (Kusoof), he delivered a khutbah wherein he thanked Allaah and praised Him’.
[6]

* It is recommended to give sadaqah after
salaatul Kusoof, based upon the hadiith; “and if you see that (The Eclipse), pray and give sadaqah ”[7]

* It is permissible to pray salaatul Kusoof individually.
However, if possible, it is better to do it with an
Imaam in the Masjid as was practiced by the Prophet
(SAWS).

CONCLUSION

Salaatul Kusoof is an important Sunnah of the Prophet (SAWS). It should be prayed in congregation in a Masjid whenever possible and people should come
out to observe the prayer if they are able.

And Allaah knows best.

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[1] Collected by Al-Bukhaarii and Muslim, with multiple
narrations from several companions of the Prophet (SAWS), including Ibn Abbaas, Abuu Muusaa, Jaabir ibn Abdullaah, Mugheera ibn Shu’bah, and others.

[2] Collected by Al-Bukhaarii

[3] Collected by Muslim in the narration of Jaabir.

[4] Collected by Al-Bukhaarii and Muslim.

[5] Kitaab al-Maj’moo , vol. 5, p. 53.

[6] Collected by Al-Bukhaarii and Muslim.

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