What is Lunar Eclipse:
Lunar Eclipse is a natural phenomenon observed several times a year. Due to the different speeds and circular orbits of the earth and the moon. The planet earth sometimes blocks the sun’s radiations falling on the moon, making it unusually dark- The Lunar Eclipse. However, it is until recently that science has discovered the actual reason for the lunar eclipse. Before that, different cultures had different mythical beliefs and rituals associated with the lunar eclipse. However, Islam debunked the myths and superstitions about lunar and solar eclipses. As the task of a religion or a deen is not to describe scientific phenomena, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) advised Muslims to offer Salatul Kusoof at the lunar eclipse. We will explain the method of Salatul Kusoof later in this article.
Primitive beliefs associated with Lunar Eclipse
Lunar Eclipse is a usual event, especially the changed red colour of the moon during the lunar eclipse has always caught humankind’s attention. As a result, there have been different beliefs associated with a lunar eclipse at other times. For example, Egyptians considered the lunar eclipse the moon eaten by a sow. Mesopotamians thought the moon was under the attack of demons, and to repel them, they used to throw stones at the planet. Some Chinese tribes believed that a dragon was biting the moon, and they rang bells to prevent the dragon from doing so.
Similarly, Arabs also had many superstitions associated with this natural thing. They thought that the moon and sun mourn the death of a person, and thus they turn red and lose their natural shine.
Prophet Muhammad’s teachings regarding Lunar Eclipse
It is reported that Prophet Muhammad’s (SAWW) beloved son Ibrahim died. As a parent, Prophet Muhammad was in grief. Coincidentally, a solar eclipse occurred. People started associating the eclipse with the demise of the son of Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad cleared that solar or lunar eclipse has nothing to do with the death of anybody.
Hazrat Ayesha (RA) reports that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to lead the Salatul Kusoof of people during the lunar or solar eclipse. When He stood in Qayaam, he stood for a long time, and when bent for Ruqu, he remained in Ruqu for a long time. Then raised again for Qayaam; and held for less time than before. Then he bent over for Ruqu, which was shorter than the previous Ruku. Then he prostrated and prostrated for a long time. He repeated the same in the second Rakaah. And when He finished salaah, the eclipse was over (Solar in this case).
Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
Then Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) gave the sermon, in which he praised Allah subhana hu wa tala and then explained :
“The sun and the moon are the two signs of Allah; they are not eclipsed on account of anyone’s death or account of anyone’s birth. So when you see them, glorify and supplicate Allah, observe the Prayer, and give alms. O Ummah of Muhammad! None is more indignant than Allah when His servant or maid commits fornication. O people of Muhammad, by Allah, if you knew what I know, you would weep much and laugh little. O Allah, witness, I informed them.”
How to Pray Salatul Kusoof?
Salatul Kusoof is the Prayer recited when the moon comes between the Sun and Earth.
Here are the ways to recite Salatul Kusoof.
- Identify when there will be a solar or Lunar Eclipse.
- Perform Ghusl before you Pray
- Make an intention for the Prayer and say the opening Takbir.
- Recite the Fatiha quietly or in your head when the eclipse starts.
- Recite a long Surah
- Praying for the First and Second Rakah
- Completing the Prayer and Service
May ALLAH grant us Hidayah to follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). Do share this information with others since the century’s longest lunar eclipse is happening now. It is high time that we consumed our time in Salatul Kusoof and Zikar.