The eclipse of the Sun and the Moon are two natural phenomena which, when they occur, cause dismay and unrest to those who witness them. For this reason, it is the tradition in Islam to perform a special prayer when these phenomena occur requesting Allah, the Almighty, to bless the Muslim Nation (Ummah) by clearing the eclipse. The Prophet (peace be upon him) says:� The sun and the moon are two of the signs of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) and are not eclipsed for the death or livelihood of any person. Therefore, when you witness the eclipse of the sun and moon resort to prayer� (Reported by Imam Bukhari).
This prayer is composed of two rakaats which are performed in congregation and for which neither a first call (Adhan) nor a second call (Iqamah) is required. It is performed in the following manner:
Note: Upon completing the eclipse prayer as discussed, it is recommended that the Imam delivers a brief sermon in which he speaks of the lessons to be learned from the manifestations of the eclipse. He draws the attention of the unmindful to the greatness of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) and that He possesses unrestricted power to act in any way He wishes with His creations.
- After reciting "AL-Fatihah". the Imam would recite a long passage from the Holy Qur'an with the congregation listening attentively to the recitation.
- Upon completing the recitation, the Imam comes up with the bowing "Rukuu" position and as usual, the congregation would follow him accordingly.
- The Imam thereafter, raises up from the "Rukuu", but instead of continuing on to the prostration "Sujuud" position, he once again resumes the recitation of some passages from the Holy Qur'an after reciting chapter 1 (AL-Fatih).
- After the above recitation, the Imam comes up with another "Rukuu".
- The Imam then, raises up from the Rukuu position and proceeds to prostration "Sujuud".
- The Imam has thus, completed the first rakaat, and from the'Sujuud" position, he would resume the standing position to begin the second rakaat which would be performed exactly as the first rakaat in the manner described above.
- Upon raising the head from the second prostration of the second rakaat, the Imam would sit for "At-Tashahud" and would then conclude the prayer as usual with "Tasleem".