The creation of the Sun and Moon is one of the greatest signs given to humans by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala of His existence. No doubt the absence of both these created blessings would create havoc in any living being’s life.
“Blessed is He who has placed in the sky great stars and placed therein a [burning] lamp and luminous moon.”(25:61)
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala also shows us His great power and control over the universe by the solar eclipse and the lunar eclipse happening every few months. These major events, when the unusual happens in the well balanced system of the universe, demand more from us than merepublicizing on media or thousands of people coming out to witness it.
The eclipse of the sun or moon is one of the signs of the Day of Judgment and the fact that it occurs every few months requires our serious attention. Few might know that the solar or the lunar eclipses are actually great reminders and alarms given to us by the Lord of the worlds, to check ourselves, to repent and return to Him with a humble heart.
In the Quran, Allah Ta’ala says:
“He (man) asks, ‘ When is the Day of Resurrection?’ So when the vision is dazzled. And the moon darkens. And the sun and moon are joined.” (75:6-9)
“…when the sun will be wound round and will lose its light and be overthrown and the stars will fall.” (Surah at-Takweer 81:1)
This is why Muslims should be alarmed by eclipses.
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to fear Allaah very much, and one day he came out in an agitated state, thinking that the Hour had begun, when the sun was eclipsed during his lifetime… This is indicative of the great extent to which he kept the Hour in mind and feared it, even though Allah had forgiven all his sins and promised him paradise.
We, on the other hand, have become negligent and most of us no longer think of eclipses as anything other than a natural phenomenon which we go out to watch with special glasses, carrying cameras. We limit themselves to the worldly scientific explanation without understanding the reminder of the Hereafter which it brings. This is one of the signs of hard-heartedness and a lack of concern about the matters of the Hereafter. It reflects a lack of fear of the onset of the Day of Judgment, and ignorance of the aims of sharee’ah and the reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to feel fear when these eclipses happened. The Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) used to stand to pray the eclipse prayer, because they believed that if indeed the Hour had come, they would not then be counted negligent of their prayer, and if this eclipse was nothing to do with the Hour, then they would not lose anything by praying, for they would have earned a great reward!!!
In the early Islamic period, the solar eclipse (kusoof As Shams) happened just once in the life-time of our beloved Prophet Muhammad. (sallallahu alayhi wassallam)
It was narrated by Al Mughira bin Shuba that,
The Solar eclipse occurred on the day when the prophet’s son Ibrahim passed away. When he (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) saw the sun turn dark.., he was terrified and thought the Hour had come.(Bukhari)
Narrated Abu Bakr (may Allah have mercy on him)
The solar eclipse occurred while we were sitting with the Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wassallam). He got up dragging his garment (on the ground) hurriedly, till he reached the mosque. There, he offered a two-Rak’ah prayer until the eclipse was over and said, “The sun and the moon are two signs among the signs of Allah, so if you see a thing like this (eclipse) then offer the prayer and invoke Allah until He removes that state.”
Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from’Aishah that the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alayhi wassallam) said:
“The sun and the moon are two signs from among Allah’s signs and there is no eclipse due to the life or death of anyone. If you see that [an eclipse] [lunar or solar] supplicate to Allah, extol His greatness, give charity and pray.”
They also record from Abu Musa that there was a solar eclipse and the Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wassallam) said:
“If you see something of this nature, rush to the remembrance of Allah, supplicating Him and asking His forgiveness.”
Salaat Al Kusoof
Narrated Aisha (may Allah have mercy on her) On the day of a solar eclipse, Allah’s Messenger (sallalahu alayhi wassallam) rushed to offer the eclipse prayer. He called out: “”Salat-ul-jami’ah “” and started the prayer,
* he recited Surah al Fatiha and then Surah al Baqarah till the end,
* then he bowed down for Ruku’,
* and then he raised his head saying.
“Allah hears him who sends his praises to Him.”
* Then he again recited Surah Fatiha and began reciting surah al Imran,
* then bowed down for a second ruku’, raised himself and recited,
“Allah hears him who sends his praises to Him.”
* Then he performed two long sujood
* and then performed the second Rakah in the same way as he had done the first.
By the time he had finished his prayer with Taslim, the solar eclipse had been over!
Then he addressed the people referring to the solar and lunar eclipses saying,
“These are two signs amongst the Signs of Allah, and they do not eclipse because of anyone’s death or life. So, if you see them, hasten for the Prayer.” (Al Bukhari)
According to these hadeeths this prayer consists of two rakahs, four qiyams, four rukus and four sujood.
It is not compulsory to recite Surah al Baqarah or Surah Al Imran in this prayer. We can recite any surah that we wish. According to various scholars this prayer is wajib on Muslims.
It is preferred to make Dhikr, duas, to give charity, make serious repentance, try to mend our ways and ask Allah to guide us and our families and also to save us all from the punishment of the grave as the darkness in the grave would be more than the darkness of the day of solar eclipse.
May Allah forgive us, bless us with the knowledge of His religion and make us practising Muslims.
And all praise belongs to Allah, Who guided us to this precious information. May the best of peace and blessings of Allah be on Muhammad, his family, his companions and all those who follow them in righteousness.
-Written by Mariam Anwer