Monday, 17 October 2011

Solar/Lunar Eclipses in Islam


Muslims recognize that everything in the heavens and on earth is created and sustained by the Lord of the universe, Allah Almighty. Throughout the Qur'an, people are encouraged to look around them, observe and reflect on the beauties and wonders of the natural world - as signs of Allah's majesty.

"Allah is He, who created the sun, the moon, and the stars -- (all) governed by laws under His commandment." Qur'an 7:54

"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


"The sun and the moon follow courses exactly computed." Qur'an 55:05

In remembrance and gratefulness for all of His favors, Muslims all over the world bow down in prayer five times each day. At a time of a solar or lunar eclipse, there is a recommended prayer (salatul-kusuf) that is performed by the Muslim community in congregation.


The Prophet's Tradition (peace be upon him)

During the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), there was a solar eclipse on the day that his son Ibrahim died. Some superstitious people said that the sun eclipsed because of the young child's death and the Prophet's sadness on that day. The Prophet corrected their understanding:

Narrated Al-Mughira bin Shu'ba: On the day of Ibrahim's death, the sun eclipsed and the people said that the eclipse was due to the death of Ibrahim (the son of the Prophet). Allah's Apostle said, "The sun and the moon are two signs amongst the signs of Allah. They do not eclipse because of someone's death or life. So when you see them, invoke Allah and pray till the eclipse is clear."


Reasons that Muslims should be humble before Allah during an eclipse

  • An eclipse is a sign of the majesty and power of Allah.

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."

  • An eclipse can cause people to become frightened. When frightened, Muslims turn to Allah for patience and perseverance.

Narrated Abu Bakr: Allah's Apostle 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 frightens His devotees with them."

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