As-Salamu ʿalaykum:

A solar eclipse is predicted for Wednesday 29 March 2006. It will be visible as a total eclipse (Moon's umbra) in a narrow corridor which begins in Brazil and extends across the Atlantic, northern Africa, and central Asia including the middle of Turkey from 9:39 UT to 12:12 UT, ending at sunset in western Mongolia.

A partial eclipse will be seen within the much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow, which includes the northern two thirds of Africa, the totality of Western and Eastern Europe, and central and south Asia. The map of both areas can be seen at:

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There will be a webcast telescope-feed at:

Neither site warned of the dangers of looking at the sun during the solar eclipse. Such direct sighting can cause major eye damage and possible blindness. Eye damage can occur rapidly, without any pain, since there are no nerves in the eyes, or more surprisingly the loss of eye light or blindness could happen even after many years at any given moment.

At any rate, in our Religion this is not a spectacle or chance for tourism in Turkey and Libya but a time to ponder the finiteness of life and repent from our heedlessness out of fear of the great disasters that precede the Day of Resurrection.

Allah Most High said {We do not send forth signs except for deterrence} (Isra' 59).

The Prophet ﷺ upon him blessings and peace said:

"Truly, the sun and the moon are among the signs of Allah and they do not undergo eclipse for anyone's death nor anyone's life, but Allah Most High deters his servants through them. When you see any such eclipse, pray and supplicate Allah until that condition is removed from you." Narrated from Abu Masʿud al-Ansari by Muslim, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah and from Abu Bakrah by al-Bukhari.

In al-Bazzar from Samura, the Prophet ﷺ upon him blessings and peace, said:

"Truly, the sun and the moon do not undergo eclipse for anyone's death nor anyone's life, but they are signs among the signs of Allah Most High by which he reprimands his servants, to see who among them fear Him, and who among them remembers Him."

Our Mother ʿA'isha, Allah be well-pleased with her, narrated:

The sun was eclipsed in the time of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ upon him blessings and peace, whereupon the Messenger of Allah prayed among the people and stood for a long time. Then he bowed and stayed bowing for a long time. Then he stood again and stayed standing for a long time, but less than the first time. Then he bowed [again] and stayed bowing for along time, but less than the first time. Then he prostrated and stayed in prostration for a long time. Then he did in the second rakʿa what he had done in the first. Then he finished [the prayer] and the sun had been uncovered again. Then he addressed the people. He glorified and praised Allah then said:

"Truly, the sun and the moon are among the signs of Allah and they do not undergo eclipse for someone's death nor for his life. Therefore, when you see them eclipsed, say: 'Allahu akbar,' supplicate Allah, pray, and give sadaqa. O Umma of Muhammad! There is no one more jealous than Allah that His servant and maidservant should not fornicate. O Umma of Muhammad! I swear by Allah, if you knew what I knew you would weep much and laugh little. Lo! Have I conveyed the message?"

Narrated by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Malik, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa'i, and Ahmad.

They also have similar narrations with the wordings:

- "Pray" from Ibn ʿAbbas, Ibn Masʿud, Ibn ʿUmar.
- "Remember Allah" from Ibn ʿUmar and Ibn ʿAbbas.
- "Pray and supplicate Allah" from al-Mughira ibn Shuʿba.
- "Pray and supplicate until Allah brings it to pass" from
Abu Bakrah and Abu Masʿud al-Ansari.
- "Get up and pray" from Ibn Masʿud and Abu Masʿud al-Ansari.
- "Rush to prayer" from Ibn ʿAbbas and ʿA'isha.
- "Rush to prayer until Allah delivers you from it" from ʿA'isha.
- "Remember Allah until either the solar or the lunar eclipse is over"
from Jabir and ʿA'isha.

Imam al-Rafiʿi narrated in Tarikh Qazwin from ʿAli ibn al-Husayn ibn ʿAli ibn Abi Talib, Allah be well-pleased with them: "By Allah! none is awed by the Two Signs [eclipses and earthquakes] and none is shaken by them except a believer."

In the Shafiʿi School the only sunna prayer to come before the congregational eclipse prayer in absolute terms is ʿEid. The eclipse prayer is emphatically a congregational prayer and al-Asnawi in Sharh al-Minhaj said there is no disliked time for such a prayer, but it is silent if in daytime, loud if at night. Muqaddima Hadramiyya and al-Suyuti's Kashf al-Salsala ʿan Wasf al-Zalzala.

Al-Suyuti said that among the emphasized forms of dhikr during eclipses is Subhan Allah and Allahu akbar as well as the invocation of blessings on the Prophet as it repels every affliction and harm as well as deserves a part in every worldly and otherworldly principle.

Our teachers particularly emphasize two acts of devotion on the day of this eclipse: abundant Istighfar and abundant Sadaqa.

Wal-ʿAqibatu lil-muttaqin.


© GF Haddad

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