“We were with Allah’s Apostle when the sun eclipsed. Allah’s Apostle stood up dragging his cloak till he entered the Mosque. He led us in a two-Rakat prayer till the sun (eclipse) had cleared. Then the Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, ‘The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of someone’s death. So whenever you see these eclipses pray and invoke (Allah) till the eclipse is over.’ “ (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 18)
There was a solar eclipse on the day that the Prophet’s son, Ibrahim (ra), died. He was almost two years old. Superstitious people came to believe that the eclipse happened because of his death, but an eclipse is just a sign of Allah. And today, we will get to see a similar sign inshAllah (well, some of us).
There is a complete lunar eclipse happening today–right now on June 15, 2011. It is the longest lunar eclipse the world has seen in 11 years. And it seems that everyone in the world will be able to see this rare cooperish glow of the moon except those of us in North America. The best places to view it are those locations closest to the Indian Ocean–i.e. the Indian subcontinent, Eastern Africa, extreme western Australia, and the Mideast. But thanks to technology, we Americanos can also see the eclipse through live webcasts which have just started out of India. The eclipse is predicted to last for 100 minutes, so try to catch it! And don’t forget to increase your ibadah–the Prophet advised the ummah to increase their good works during the time of the eclipse. This means dhikr (remembrance of Allah), fikr (reflection), charity, and praying, among other things. And don’t forget to offer the eclipse prayer (salatul kusuf)–two cycles of prayer with an elongated qiyam, ruku, and sujud at least. We have been given a unique and rare opportunity to remember the Majesty of the Majestic through His signs, so let’s start dhikr-ing! The clock’s a-ticking!
For more information about the solar eclipse, check out this GulfNews article that talks about the anatomy of an eclipse.
For more information about the eclipse prayer, check out the Sunnipath Q&A section.