Date : 29-12-2011

Question :

How is the prayer of lunar eclipse performed?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all of his family and companions.

Allah, The Almighty, Said (What means): "Blessed is He Who made constellations in the skies, and placed therein a Lamp and a Moon giving light." [Al-Furqan/61].

The Moon is one of Allah's signs and universal laws proving His existence, so when the moon eclipse takes place, a believer should remember Allah and perform the "Eclipse prayer" to seek refuge in Allah. Actually, this prayer reflects the greatness of this sign, and it was first performed in the 5th year of Hijrah (The migration from Mecca to Medina).

Moreover this prayer is a confirmed Sunnah, since the Prophet (PBUH) said (What means): "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." [Agreed upon]. Besides, it is permissible to perform it in congregation, and it is called for loudly as follows: "The prayer will be held in congregation."

Further, the "Eclipse prayer" consists of two Rakaa`s (Two units of prayer) and in each Rakaa' two standings should be performed with loud and long recitation. In addition, bowing down should be offered twice where Tasbeeh {The act of saying subhan Allah} is prolonged so long as the period of bowing down is less than the period of prostration. In addition, this prayer is somehow similar to the Friday prayer as the Imam delivers two sermons where he urges the listeners to make sincere repentance, do good deeds, and warns them against carelessness and getting deluded. In addition, both prayers have the same conditions and pillars.

Finally, if a person missed the time of lunar eclipse prayer-the eclipse was clear-and thus he didn't perform it, then he is not permitted to make up for it. This is because the reason for performing it is gone and once that happens, there is no need to perform it. Further, making Ghussel (Performance of ritual ablution) before performing this prayer is an act of Sunnah and it should be similar to the Ghussel of the Friday prayer, since it also has the same purpose of being prayed in congregation where people are gathered as is the case with the Friday prayer. And Allah Knows Best.