Chapter Eighteen: On the eclipse prayer

[Clarification of its general description in the solar and lunar eclipses. The terms kusuf and khusuf are synonyms and both used for the sun and moon. It is said that there is a difference between them: kusuf is when the light changes and khusuf is when the light goes entirely. The moon loses all its light, but the sun is not like that, and so khusuf is used of the moon and kusuf of the sun. Their evidence is in the Sunna where the Prophet said, "The sun and moon are not eclipsed for the death or life of anyone. When you see that, remember Allah." One variant has, "then pray." The eclipse prayer is sunna.]

18.1 The Solar Eclipse

18.1a. Its judgement

The eclipse prayer is an obligatory sunna whenever there is an eclipse of the sun.

[It is agreed that the Solar Eclipse prayer is a confirmed sunna. There is disaagreement about the lunar eclipse. The two famous positions are that the lunar eclipse prayer is recommened as al-Ujhuri stated. The solar eclipse prayer is done in a group or singly. It is better in a group.]

18.1b. How it is done: first recitation

The imam goes to the mosque and begins to lead the people in prayer without either an adhan or an iqama. He recites silently a very long piece of Qur'an such as Surat al-Baqara. Then he goes into ruku' for the same amount of time. Then he stands upright again saying 'sami'a llahu liman hamidah.'

[When the sun is eclipsed, wholly or partly, the Imam goes to the mosque, and when he arrives, he leads the people in prayer. There is no precondition of number in it, like Jumu'a. There is no adhan or iqama or statement, "The prayer is gathered" based on what is transmitted of the action of the Prophet. He says the takbir to begin as in all prayers. Then he begins to recite silently the Fatiha and then a long bit of Qur'an because the Prophet did that. It is defined as being like Surat al-Baqara. The School is that it is recommended to recite al-Baqara in the first standing of the first rak'at after the Fatiha. Opposite is the School that "like" indicates that it is desirable and this sura is not particular. What it is meant is the length. Then he does ruku' for the same length of time, and then comes up. The Imam says "Allah hears whover praises Him" and the follower says "Our Lord, and praise is Yours."]

18.1c. How it is done: second recitation

Then he recites another piece of Qur'an slightly shorter than the first. Then he goes into ruku' again for the same amount of time as he spent reciting. Then he once more stands upright saying, 'sami'a llahu liman hamidah.'

[Then, in the well-known position, he recites the Fatiha. which differs from Ibn Maslama who says that he does not recite. The reason for that is that it is two rak'ats and the Fatiha is not repeated twice in the same rak'at. He recites less than he did in the first standing. It is recommended that it be Ali 'Imran. In his second ruku' he says the tasbhih and does not recite or make supplication.]

18.1c. How it is done: two sajdas

Then he does two full sajdas.

[He does them with tranquillity. There are two positions about whether they are long like the ruku'. The most well-known is the first. The second is in the Mukhtasar of Ibn 'Abdu'l-Hakam. It seems probable.]

18.1d. How it is done: second rak'at

After this he stands up again and recites another piece of Qur'an slightly shorter than the previous one and then goes into ruku' for the same length of time. Then as before he stands upright again and recites one more slightly shorter piece of Qur'an which is followed by ruku' for the same amount of time as the recitation. He stands back upright again and then does two sajdas as before.

[He recites the Fatiha and then a shorter piece, and it is recommended that it be Surat an-Nisa'. Then after the third standing, he goes into ruku' in which he glorifies and does not recite or make supplication. Then he comes up and then recites the Fatiha in the well-known position and then a shorter sura than the third, and it is recommended that it be be Surat al-Ma'ida.]

18.1e. How it is done: tashahhud

Finally he says the tashahhud and then the salam.

[This is the description which the shaykh mentioned. Al-Fakhani says it is our School and the school of the majority. Its evidence are sound explicit hadiths on this previous manner which our author described. Abu Hanifa say that he prays two rak'ats like other nafila prayers.]

18.1f. Can be done at home

If you like the prayer can be done in this way in your own house.

[The eclipse prayer can be done at home when that does not lead to abandoning it in the group. If doing that leading to not doing in the group, then it is disliked to pray it at home. He then goes on to the lunar eclipse.]

18.2 The Lunar Eclipse

18.2a No group prayer

If there is an eclipse of the moon there is no group prayer.

[This is in the well-known position. It is transmitted from al-Qarafi that the prohibition is one of the nature of the haram. As for the group, Malik and Abu Hanifa forbid it because the Prophet did not gather a group for the lunar eclipse. Ashhab and al-Lakhmi allow it.]

18.2b. How it is done

When it happens people should pray individually, reciting outloud as for any other nafila prayer at night.

[People pray in their own in their houses in the well-known position of the School. An opposite position is found in the report that in al-Majmu'a that Malik said that they pray individually in the mosque. Recitation is outloud as for other nafila, since it might be imagined that people pray in the form of the nafila without specific intention. It is possible that it has the form of of the solar eclipse. We read in at-Tahqiq, "The apparent meaning of the words of Malik is that it does not need a specific intention like other nafilas as opposed to the solar eclipse which needs a particular intention. What is desired is obtained by two rak'ats only although it is desirable to pray groups of two rak'ats until it is finished. It's time is the entire night. Its is not done when dawn comes.]

18.3. The khutba after the prayer for the solar eclipse

18.3a. No formal khutba

There is no formal khutba after the prayer for the eclipse of the sun

[There is no khutba before or after the eclipse prayer because a group of the Companions transmitted the description of the Eclipse prayer and none of them mentioned that the Prophet gave a khutba in it. As for what is related from 'A'isha that the Prophet prayed the eclipse prayer and then went and addressed the people and praised and lauded Allah, it means that he spoke some words which contained the praise of Allah and the prayer on the Prophets and admonition as would be found in a khutba.]

18.3b. Informal admonition

but there is no harm in the imam taking the opportunity to admonish and remind people.

[He reminds people about the calamities which happen in this world because of disobeying Allah. It differs from what is before it because the khutba has no meaning except this. It is not the particular form of the khutba. The Mukhtasar says that reminding is only recommended.]

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