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    Salaatul-Kusoof The Eclipse Prayer

    Salaatul-Kusoof The Eclipse Prayer

    Taken from the book ‘al-Fiqhul-Muyas-sar’
    Translation/amendments/extra points of benefit prepared by Yusuf McNulty

    The definition of al-Kusoof, and the wisdom behind it:

    Al-Kusoof (eclipse) is when the light of either the sun or the moon becomes covered, due to something out of the ordinary happening. Kusoof (solar eclipse – the sun becoming covered during the day) and Khusoof (lunar eclipse – the moon becoming covered during the night) both carry the same meaning in Arabic.

    Allaah makes this happen in order to frighten His servants, so that they return to Him in repentance, just as the Prophet – sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam, said: ((Indeed, both the sun and the moon are two signs from the signs of Allaah, He does not make them eclipse due to the death or life of anyone, but rather in order to terrify His servants.)) [1]

    {{*Point of Benefit:

    Imaam an-Nawawee – rahimahullaah, spoke about this Hadeeth in his famous explanation of Saheeh Muslim (6/200). He said that some of the people used to believe that when an important person dies the sun and/or the moon eclipse, and on the day that the Prophet’s son Ibraaheem died, an eclipse occurred. Some people began to say that this had happened because the son of the Prophet had passed away. So the Prophet – sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam, told them that in fact neither the sun nor the moon do such a thing, they are merely two created beings that Allaah made and controls, and rather the eclipse is to scare the people and encourage them to repent for their sins.

    Allaahu Akbar! Look at how quickly the Prophet would correct people if they said incorrect things, despite the fact he had suffered a great tragedy on that very same day; he was eager to teach them, benefit them and remove their doubts and misunderstandings – sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam.}}

    The ruling of Salaatul-Kusoof and the evidence for it:

    Salaatul-Kusoof is waajib (obligatory), as stated by Aboo `Awaanah in his Saheeh, and was also narrated from Aboo Haneefah. Imaam Maalik held it to be the same as Jumu`ah (in ruling). Ibnul-Qayyim strengthened the opinion regarding its obligation, and Sh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-`Uthaymeen agreed with Ibnul-Qayyim’s view. This is because the Prophet – sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam, commanded with its performance, and he would set out for it immediately, and he informed that it occurs to frighten the servants (of Allaah). [2]

    {{*Point of Benefit:

    The great salafee scholar, Sh `Abdul-`Azeez Ibn Baaz – rahimahullaah, said in his commentary upon Saheehul-Bukhaaree (1/311) that even people who are sick at home, or out travelling far away from town, can pray the Salaatul-Kusoof on their own.

    Important note: Many scholars, from the Salaf up until present day, hold the Eclipse prayer to be a heavily recommended Sunnah, but not obligatory.}}

    It’s time:

    The time of the Salaah begins with the onset of the eclipse, and lasts until the eclipse ends due to the Prophet’s statement: ((If you see anything of it (the eclipse), then pray up until it clears.)) [3]

    {{*Point of Benefit:

    Imaam an-Nawawee – rahimahullaah, said in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim (6/203) that the scholars all agree there is no Adhaan or Iqaamah for Salaatul-Kusoof, but it is allowed to announce it loudly to the people because the Prophet sent someone to do so.}}

    The description of the Salaah and what should be recited
    within it:

    It is two rak`ahs, in the first rak`ah you should recite Soorah al-Faatihah loudly – regardless of whether it is night or day – and also another soorah, which should be long. Then after that you make rukoo`, and this should be prolonged. Thereafter you rise up from the rukoo`, say ‘sami`allaahu liman hamidah’ and ‘rabbanaa wa lakal-hamd’, but there is no sujood just yet; rather Soorah al-Faatihah is recited again along with another long soorah, however it should be a little bit shorter than the first (soorah recited). Then you make rukoo` again, and rise up from it as normal, then sujood is performed, twice as normal, but they should be made long. After standing up, you should pray the second rak`ah just as the first, except make it a little bit shorter, and you end the Salaah with tashah-hud and tasleem as normal.

    The proof for this way of praying it is the Hadeeth of Jaabir – radiyallaahu `anhu, who said: ((There was a solar eclipse in the time of Allaah’s Messenger – sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam, on a very hot day, and so he prayed with his companions. He made the standing very long, until some people almost collapsed, then he bowed in rukoo` for a very long time, thereafter he rose up from rukoo` and prolonged it (with more recitation). Then he made a long rukoo` (again), thereafter making two long sajdahs. He then stood up and did the same (in the second rak`ah). And so altogether there were four rukoo`s and four sajdahs.)) [4]

    {{*Point of Benefit:

    Sh `Abdul-`Azeez Ibn Baaz – rahimahullaah, said in his commentary upon Saheehul-Bukhaaree (1/311) that each rak`ah is caught with the first rukoo`, not the second.}}

    It is recommended for the Imaam to give a sermon to the people after the Salaah, to warn them from becoming heedless with, and deceived by, the life of the Dunyaa. He should command them to make much du`aa and istighfaar (seeking forgiveness for sins). This is what the Prophet did – sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam, he gave a sermon to the people after the Salaah and said: ((Indeed the sun and the moon are two signs from the signs of Allaah and He does not make them eclipse due to the death or life of anyone. Should you see the eclipse; then supplicate to Allaah, glorify Him, pray and give charity.)) [5]

    If the Salaah finishes before the end of the eclipse then it should not be repeated, rather the people should make plentiful dhikr and much du`aa, due to the Prophet’s statement: ((Pray and make du`aa up until it is revealed to you.)) This indicates that if the Salaah finishes before the end of the eclipse one should busy himself with du`aa. If however the eclipse ended whilst the Salaah was still being performed, then it should be lightened and finished quickly, without suddenly cutting it off.

    {{*Point of Benefit:

    Even if the eclipse ends, the khutbah should still be given because it is not restricted to the time of the eclipse, unlike the prayer. The Prophet – sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam, did this himself. This was mentioned by Imaam an-Nawawee – rahimahullaah, in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim (6/199).}}

    And Allaah knows best.


    [1] Agreed Upon, reported by al-Bukhaaree no.1048, and Muslim no.911

    [2] Refer to: Fathul-Baaree (2/612), as-Salaah of Ibnul-Qayyim pg.15, and ash-Sharhul-Mumti` (4/237-238)

    [3] Reported by Muslim no.915

    [4] Reported by Muslim no.904

    [5] Reported by al-Bukhaaree no.1044

    *Please note the amendments made to this article were very slight, not changing the original meaning and were done to make it an easier read in the English language, to aid and ensure understanding of the topic*


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