Important questions and answers regarding the eclipse

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.

Question: What is a solar eclipse? 

According to what we know – and Allah knows best – a solar eclipse occurs during the orbit of the moon around the earth; when it moves between the sun and the earth, it blocks the light of the sun from reaching the earth. This causes an eclipse of the sun, or solar eclipse.

Question: What is a lunar eclipse?

When the Earth is between the sun and the moon, it blocks the sunlight that normally is reflected by the moon. The moon will appear red or orange, as opposed to white or yellow A lunar eclipse occurs during the night of a full moon.

Question: What is the wisdom of Allah behind an eclipse?

Everything which Allah wills and decrees to occur is due to a wisdom. The eclipse is not a mere coincidental natural occurrence, rather it is decreed by Allah for a great benefit.
Allah decrees for it to occur to remind the people of His ability and power, for the Believers to fear Him and as an admonishment regarding the Hereafter. Just as the eclipse is a change to normal circumstances, similarly the Final Day will see monumental changes. People will be in a state of dread and fear, only concerned with themselves. Each person will forget his/her father, mother, spouse and children, standing in front of the Almighty Allah. The sun will be brought close such that people are drowning in their sweat, except those whom Allah has mercy upon.

{And We send not the signs except as a warning} [17:59]

Question: Did an eclipse ever occur during the time of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam)?

Yes, it occurred in the year in which the third son of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) called Ibraheem died.

“The sun eclipsed in the life-time of Allah’s Messenger on the day when (his son) Ibrahim died. The people said “the sun has eclipsed because of the death of Ibrahim”.

Allah’s Messenger replied,

The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of the death or birth of anybody. When you see the eclipse pray and invoke Allah.” [1]

In another narration, the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) said,

The sun and the moon are two signs amongst the signs of Allah and they do not eclipse because of the death of someone but Allah frightens His worshippers with them.” [2]

Question: What did the Prophet do during an eclipse?

The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) had left his house in the morning, riding an animal. This was in the morning in which his son Ibraheem passed away and it was a day of exceptional heat, then the sun eclipsed.

Upon seeing the eclipse, the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) returned home quicky, and then came out in a state of fear and dread.

As he was rushing to the Prayer area, his cloack fell down behind him however he did not notice such was his fear on that day.

He then came to the Prayer area, and stood to lead the people in Prayer. The call was made:

Salaat Al-Jamaa’ah ([Gather] for the congregational Prayer].

Upon hearing this call, the old and young; the men and women; rushed out of their houses to join the Prophet (sal Allaaju alayhi wa sallam). He then led them in Prayer and after the Prayer, he delivered a short sermon.

During the Prayer, he was shown Paradise, Hell and other occurrences which will occur. [3]

Question: How is Salaat Al-Kusoof (Eclipse Prayer) performed?

  1. Salaat al-kusoof is prayed in congregation, and is attended by both men and women.
  2. There is no Adhan for it, rather it is called to by shouting out: “As-salaatu Jaami’atun” (the prayer in congregation)
  3. It is a loud prayer of two lengthy Rak’aat, but each Rak’ah contains two Rukoo’ (bowing) 
  4. In the first Rak’ah, the Imaam stands and recites Soorah Al-Faatihah, then he reads a lengthy passage of the Quran. The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) recited to the amount of Soorah Al-Baqarah. 
  5. Then the Imaam performs Rukoo’ (bowing)  and stays in this position for a long amount of time, glorifying Allah. 
  6. He then stands up, but instead of going into Sujood (prostration), he remains standing and begins to recite Soorah Al-Faatihah and another lengthy passage of the Qur’an, but not as lengthy as the first passage. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) recited to the amount of Soorah Aal Imran. 
  7. The Imaam then goes into a lengthy Rukoo’ but not as lengthy as the first one. 
  8. After standing, the Imaam goes into Sujood (prostration) and lengthens it in order to glorify Allah and Supplicate to him. 
  9. After two Sujood, the Imaam stands up and repeats the above process for another Rak’ah. Each standing, recitation, Rukoo’ and Sujood is lengthened but each one is slightly shorter than the previous one. 
  10. He finishes with the Tasleem. [4]

Question: How long does Salaat Al-Kusoof last for?

There is no minimum amount of time it lasts for. It begins when the eclipse is sighted by the people, and the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) continued in the Prayer until the eclipse had disappeared.

It is important to emphasise that the Eclipse Prayer is based on the sighting of the people, not the mere forecasting of observatories. 

Question: What actions are legislated for a Muslim to perform during an eclipse? 

There are 15 actions which are legislated:

  1. The Prayer. 
  2. Supplications. 
  3. Make Takbeer (saying Allaahu Akbar). 
  4. Donate to charity. 
  5. Seek refuge in Allah from the punishment of the grave. [5] 
  6. Make Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah. 
  7. Seek forgiveness through Istighfaar. [6]
  8. Making Tasbeeh (Glorifying Allah by saying SubhanaAllah).
  9. Making Tahmeed (Praising Allah by saying Alhamdulillah). 
  10. Making Tahleel (Singling out Allah by saying Laa ilaaha illa Allah). [7]
  11. Seek refuge in Allah from the punishment of the Fire. [8]
  12. To physically show anxiety and concern. [9]
  13. Fear Allah in one’s heart. [10]
  14. Emancipate slaves. [11]
  15. For the Imaam to give a khutbah (sermon) and for the people to generally advise each other. [12]

Success and guidance lies with Allah alone, may peace and blessings be upon his Prophet and his followers. 

Written by, 

Abul Abbaas Naveed Ayaaz 

Nelson, Lancashire 

14th Dhul Qi’dah, 1439

Corresponding to 27th July, 2018



[1] Narrated by Al-Mugheerah Ibn Shu’bah; Collected by Al-Bukhaaree. 

[2] Narrated by Abu Bakrah; Collected by Al-Bukhaaree

[3] This description is paraphrased from a treatise authored by shaykh Albaani called: “Siffatu Salaatin Nabee li Salaat al-Kusoof”. He has combined this description from a number of narrations collected by: Al-Bayhaqee, Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and An-Nasaaee

[4] This description has been summarised and paraphrased from the Hadeeth of Aaisha and Ibn Abbas, both collected by Al-Bukhaaree & Muslim

[5] The above five actions are taken from the Hadeeth of Aaisha (radhiAllaahu anhaa), collected by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, in which the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayho wa sallam) said,
“If you see it (the eclipse), supplicate, say the Takbeer, pray Salaah and give in charity.”
In one narration, “He then ordered the people to seek refuge from the punishment of the grave”.

[6] These two actions are mentioned in the Hadeeth of Abu Moosa Al-Ash’aree, collected by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, that the Prophet said,
“If you see this, turn to His remembrance, supplications and seeking forgiveness”

[7] These three actions are taken from the Hadeeth of AbdurRahman Ibn Samurah, scted by Muslim,

“He then began to make Tasbeeh, Tahmeed, Tahleel, Takbeer and Duaa

[8] This is from the Hadeeth of Aishah, collected by Muslim,
“I heard the Messenger of Allah seeking refuge from the punishment of the Fire and the punishment of the grave”

[9] This is from the Hadeeth of Abu Moosa Al-Asha’aree, collected by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, that the Prophet (Sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) “became frightened regarding the establishment of the Hour” .

[10] Due to previous Hadeeth of Abu Bakrah in which the Prophet said, “the sun and moon are two signs from the signs of Allah, He uses them to frighten His worshippers.”

[11] From the Hadeeth of Asmaa Bint Abee Bakr, collected by Al-Bukhaaree, that the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) “encouraged for slaves to be emancipated”. 

[12] In the Hadeeth of Aa’ishah, collected by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) turned to the people after the Eclipse Prayer and admonished the people, he praised Allah and reminded the people to repent. The sermon is for the Imaam alone, however the obligation to advise each other remains between the people.

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2010. He currently resides in Nelson, Lancashire.

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