THE ATTITUDE OF A MUSLIM TOWARDS AN ECLIPSE – NOT A TIME FOR KUFFAAR-TYPE ENTERTAINMENT
Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “The sun and moon are two signs from amongst the signs of Allah. They (i.e. the sun and moon) do not eclipse due to someone’s death or someone’s birth. When you see them like this (in eclipse) then hasten towards the remembrance of Allah and Salaat.”
In another Hadeeth, it is mentioned that Allah Ta’ala instils fear into His servants by means of these eclipses. The purpose of the eclipse is to remind us of our sins. It is to remind us of Allah. It is not for the sake of spectating and entertainment. Hence, Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam instructed us to resort to Salaah and Zikrullah (the remembrance of Allah) at the time of an eclipse.
Everything is in Allah’s control. The eclipse takes place only by the Will and Permission of Allah. It is not a co-incidence. Allah Ta’ala created the moon and the sun. Thus, we worship Allah – not the sun and moon. We make Ruku and Sajdah unto Allah – not the moon and the sun.
The wisdom underlying these occurrences is to make us realise the Qudrat (Power) of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala has power over everything. Allah Ta’ala is very merciful to us. Despite the eclipsing of the sun and the moon, we should make Shukr unto Allah Ta’ala for not punishing us for our sins.
Thus, we should fear Allah. The eclipse should remind us of Allah’s Punishment for those who disobey Him. There is a need for us to sincerely turn unto Allah with humility and plead unto Allah to save us from all types of punishment – in this Dunya in the form of natural disasters, the Athaab (punishment) of the Grave, the terrifying Day of Qiyaamah and the horrifying Fire of Hell (Jahannam).
Strong winds, hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, extreme darkness during the day, extreme fear, panic, continuous rain that does not seem to stop, contagious viruses, abnormal light at night, drought, or any such fearful occurrences should remind us of the Aakhirah and of our sins. Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam has stated that whenever we observe any of these occurrences/occasions, then we should hasten to Salaah. This is Masnoon.
The following acts should be carried out at the time of an eclipse:
- Abundance of good deeds.
- Dua, Tasbeeh and Zikr
- Taubah (repenting for one’s sins)
- Istighfaar (seeking Allah’s forgiveness)
- Salaatul Kusoof or Salaatul Khusoof as long as it is not at the impermissible Salaah times, viz. sunrise, Zawwaal and sunset.
SALAATUL KUSOOF – صلوة الكسوف
On the occasion of the eclipse of the sun the Shariah has ordered that a Salaat be performed. This Salaat is known as ‘Salaatul Kusoof’. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said that when an eclipse occurs one should become fearful (of Allah’s Punishment) and engage in Istighfaar, Dhikr, and Dua. Salaatul Kusoof consists of two raka’ts and is performed in jamaa’at.
- There is neither Azaan nor Iqaamat for Salaatul Kusoof.
- The Qiraa’at will be recited inaudibly.
- The Qiraa’at in this Salaat should be exceptionally long, e.g. Surah Baqarah.
- The Ruku and Sajdah should also be very lengthy.
- After the Salaat, a collective dua will be made by the jamaa’at.
- All should remain in making dua until the end of the eclipse. However, if it is time for sunset then the dua should be ended and the Maghrib Salaat performed.
- Some people wrongly believe that it is not lawful to eat or drink during an eclipse. This belief has no Shari basis.
SALAATUL KHUSOOF – صلوة الخسوف
The Salaat which is performed on the occasion of the eclipse of the moon is called ‘Salaatul Khusoof’. This Salaat is made individually wherever one may be and not in jamaa’at. Preferably this Salaat should also be lengthy. Salaatul Khusoof also consists of two raka’ts. It is not Sunnat to perform this Salaat in the Musjid. It should be performed at home.
Whilst some people regard these eclipses to be ‘great’ and ‘supernatural’ occurrences, they forget that Allah is the Greatest. For the Kuffaar and for lost ‘Muslims’, it is an event to spectate and forget our Creator, Allah. Thus, we notice Muslims turning away from the Deen, and participating in silly viewing sessions of the eclipse at auditoriums, observatories, churches, etc.
The practice of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) teaches us that these are occasions when a Mu’min should display fear for Allah Ta’ala. Looking directly at the eclipse demonstrates the opposite. These events should instill fear for Allah Ta’ala in hearts of Muslims. It is a demonstration of Allah Ta’ala’s Qudrat (Power), that He can alter the norm of things. We are supposed to hasten towards Salaat and supplicate for His Mercy and Forgiveness.