An eclipse of the moon (lunar eclipse), which will be total, will be visible from South Africa on the night of Friday, 27th July 2018.
This phenomenon takes place when, by the Will of Allah, the earth comes between the sun and the moon and covers the entire moon with its shadow.
The moon will begin to be partially eclipsed between 8:24pm and 12:19am, for a duration of 3 hours and 55 minutes, making it the longest eclipse of this century.
The recommended duration for Ṣalātul Khusūf(Ṣalāh and Du’ā), in this instance, will be approximately 4 hours. If this is not manageable, then what ever duration is possible will In-Shā-Allah be acceptable.
NOTE: Imāms of the Masājid are requested to remind their congregations during the Jumu’ah talk and after the ‘Ishā Ṣalāh on the importance of this noble practice.
Abū Mas’ūd Raḍiyallāhu ‘Anhu narrated that Nabī ﷺ_ said, “The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of the death of someone from the people but they are two signs amongst the signs of Allah. When you see them stand up and pray.” (Bukhārī)
Abū Bakrah Raḍiyallāhu ‘Anhu narrated that Rasūlullāh ﷺ 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 warns His devotees with them.” (Bukhārī)
The eclipse of the sun or the moon is a reminder of the Last Day: _”When the sky is cleft asunder, and when the stars are scattered, and when the seas burst beyond their bounds, and when the graves are overturned, every human will (at last) comprehend what he has sent ahead (for the Hereafter) and what he had held back (in this world).”_ (82:1-5)
It is a demonstration of the Power and Majesty of Allah Ta’ālā. _”Verily, in the creation of the heavens and earth, and in the succession of night and day, there are indeed messages for all who are endowed with insight.”_ (3:190)
It is a confirmation of how insignificant, defenceless, and vulnerable man is on earth. “Think not that those who gloat in what they have produced, – and who love to be praised for what they have not done – think not that they can escape the punishment, for a grievous suffering does await them. And unto Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and earth; and Allah has power over all things.” (3:188-189)
The Ṣalāh at the time of the eclipsing of the sun and moon is therefore performed as a means to beg the forgiveness and protection of Allah Ta’ālā. It is performed to acknowledge the power, awe, majesty and greatness of the All-Powerful Being. It is Allah alone that controls every created entity, even the celestial entities. He alone controls light and darkness. He alone controls space and time.
Certain superstitious beliefs are connected to the eclipse of the sun and moon. These beliefs are incorrect. It is not permissible to attribute any harm or benefit to this phenomenon. Nabī ﷺ has clearly stated that ‘the eclipsing of the sun and moon are among the signs that Allah sends forth, they do not appear on account of the death or birth of any person.’ Nabī ﷺ here implied that such signs are not related to any kind of good or bad omens.
Laws Pertaining to Ṣalātul Khusūf
• The performance of this special Nafl Ṣalāh during a lunar eclipse is called Ṣalātul Khusūf.
• Its performance is recommended by Rasūlullāh ﷺ.
• Ṣalātul Khusūf consists of two Rakā’ah. Four Rakā’ah or more is also acceptable.
• The Ṣalāh is performed individually – without any congregation.
• It shall be performed at home.
• There is no requirement for this Ṣalāh to be performed in the Masjid.
• There is neither Adhān nor Iqāmah for Ṣalātul Khusūf.
• The Niyyah for the Ṣalāh should be for the performance of Ṣalātul Khusūf (Ṣalāh of the lunar eclipse), as it is performed due to an uncommon and frightening phenomenon.
• The Qirā’ah can be recited audibly or inaudibly.
• The Qirā’ah in this Ṣalāh should be exceptionally long, or as much as one can endure. Sūrah Baqarah and similar Sūrahs may be recited if one is a Hāfidh.
• The Rukū’ and Sujūd should also be exceptionally long, or as much as one can endure.
• Various types of Masnūn Du’ās may be recited in the Rukū’ and Sujūd.
• After the Ṣalāh, a lengthy Du’ā should be made, whilst pleading to Allah Ta’ ālā for forgiveness, protection from Allah’s anger, safety against calamities, and for one’s needs.
• Various types of Istighfār, Tasbīhāt, Adhkār, etc. may also be made thereafter. Charity should be given.
• Devotion to Allah should cover the entire period of the eclipse, or as much as a person can manage.
• It is also acceptable for various persons of the household to individually engage in Ṣalāh, Du’ā, etc. at different periods during the eclipse in a manner where the entire period of the eclipse is spent in the devotion to Allah Ta’ālā
May Allah Ta’ālā grant us the ability to practice on this noble Sunnah of Rasūlullāh ﷺ.
May He protect us and pardon us. Āmīn.
Jamiatul Ulama South Africa