The eclipse prayer

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

The eclipse prayer


A while ago, a solar eclipse took place. Should we offer an eclipse prayer and how is it performed?


The eclipse prayer is a confirmed prophetic tradition.

Description of prayer

The eclipse prayer is a two rak'a prayer that is observed either congregationally or individually. Each rak'ah (unit of prayer) comprises:
- standing twice;
- reciting the Fatiha and another chapter or some verses twice;
- bowing twice;
- prostrating twice.
After the prayer, the imam delivers a speech urging the people to repent and do good deeds such as supplicating and making remembrance of Allah, and giving out in charity. This is because of the hadith narrated by Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said, "The sun eclipsed in the life-time of the Messenger of Allah; he stood up and led the people in prayer. [During the prayer], he prolonged his recitation; bowed and prolonged his bowing; lifted his head and prolonged his recitation though it was shorter than the first; bowed down again and prolonged his bowing though it was shorter than the first; lifted his head and prostrated twice. He then stood up and performed the second rak'ah in the same manner as the first. He then said, 'The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of anyone's death or birth but they are two of the signs of Allah which He reveals to His slaves. So, when you see them resort to prayer"
[Bukhari and Muslim]
The prayer for a solar eclipse is inaudible like the Afternoon and Mid-afternoon prayers while the prayer for a lunar eclipse is audible like the Sunset and Nightfall prayer.

Allah the Almighty knows best.

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