We are very well aware about the phenomenon of a Solar or Lunar eclipse.But,have you ever given it a thought,what does Islam say about the same?Not many would bother themselves amid the pursuit for worldly aspirations,for a petty issue such as this.I admit the fact that it’s not a subject as important as those,if not acted upon,obligates retribution.On the other hand,neither is this an area deserving such dereliction from our side.Ask yourself,what do you do on knowing about an eclipse?If your integrity has not been rented out to the demon,surely would you come up with reality.We are either glued to the ‘idiot box’, or continue surfing,shopping,chatting ,etc.If not engulfed by the aforementioned ‘priorities’,there still is an option for promenade.All what I want to emphasize is the devastating change in our preferences,of which this is just a small manifestation.
Eclipses have deep implications with regard to Islam.They are directly related to the Sun and Moon,both of which are in themselves,strong signs of the existence of Allah.”It is He who created the night and the day and the sun and the moon. All (the celestial bodies) swim along, each in its orbit.” (Qur’an 21:33).Our Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) feared the eclipsing of sun and moon to a great extent.He used to lead the congregation and remember Allah during the eclipse.Salatul Khusoof is performed when an eclipse is witnessed by Muslims.It begins with the occurrence of the Lunar or Solar eclipse and continues till its end.It is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad to address the people after having led the congregation and deliver a sermon on the significance of the same.Narrated Abu Masud: The Prophet 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.” (Volume 2, Book 18, Number 151,Sahih Bukhari).An eclipse is a reminder of the Day of Judgement,when the Sun will loose its brightness and will be overthrown,the stars will fall(Qur’an 81:1),sight would be dazed,the moon will be eclipsed and it would be joined with the sun(by going into one another, or folded up, or deprived of their light)(Qur’an 75:8-9).Therefore,Muslims should fear any such event that resembles the Day of Resurrection.Salatul Khusoof is considered as an important Sunnah(mu’akkadah),about which Imam Abu Hanifah said that it is Wajib(obligatory),while Imam Malik opined it is equal to Friday prayer,in importance.All the references given above describe the essentiality of an eclipse and highlight how it can help the believers to turn to Allah,the most gracious.
In the year 2011,there have been no less than six eclipses,from which four were partial solar and the rest were total lunar.I hope that someday,we will be able to comprehend the real meaning of such an unusual event and follow the foot steps of Allah’s Messenger,for,an eclipse is not merely confined to the peripheries of science and technology.May He guide us all.