Bismihi Ta`ala Some scientific calculation are projecting that Central African countries, Southern Africa, Madagascar, Comores, Mayottes, Seychelles, Reunion, Mauritius and Rodrigues may see a solar eclipse on Thursday 1st September 2016. This calculation may be used as a point of reference for us to look for it, but it is not a definite order for us to follow. Calculations can be used as a reference for us to look in the sky, but cannot decide anything of shariah. In fact the beloved prophet SAW said:سَمِعَ ابْنَ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا
عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ إِنَّا أُمَّةٌ أُمِّيَّةٌ لَا نَكْتُبُ وَلَا نَحْسُبُ الشَّهْرُ هَكَذَا وَهَكَذَا يَعْنِي مَرَّةً تِسْعَةً وَعِشْرِينَ وَمَرَّةً ثَلَاثِينَ
‘‘We are an ummah analphabet such that we don’t write and we don’t count. The month is like that and like that. That is sometimes 29 and sometimes 30.’’(Bukhari)
The meaning of the hadith is to leave all technicalities, communication technology and scientific calculations for moon sightings. In fact the calculation of 29 days brings us to look at the sky and look for the new moon. But the calculation does not decide on the moon sighted or not. Likewise all the scientific projections can be used for a reference to look in the sky and should not be decisive on our shariah applications. It is what is being seen with bare eyes that will have shariah injunctions. So on Thursday, those countries and those close to Gabon, Dr Congo, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mauritius should look whether the solar eclipse is visible to naked eyes or not.
That is whether there is a shade coming in the sun light on the ground or its light has dim a little. If no such change, then according to shariah there is no eclipse. If the eclipse occurs at Makrooh times like before Ishraaq, Zawaal time or after Assr, then no salaah applicable. But there are other prescriptions of Sun eclipse: Du`as, Allahou Akbar, Istighfaar, Sadaqahs and fear Allah Ta`ala.
In case that sun eclipse is visible to naked eyes, then men are recommended to call the official imaam of the masjid(that read Jum`ah) to read 2 rakaats or 4 rakaats of salaah. This salaah of sun eclipse is sunnah. No azaan or khutbah for eclipse salaah. There may be announcement: ‘’As Salatu Jami`ah’’. Qirat in salaah is silent as in Zohr and Assr salaah. Normal salaah with one ruku` and 2 sajdahs for each rakaat.
For sun eclipse salaah, it is recommended for men to do with jamaat, if the official imaam is available. If the official imaam of the masjid not available, then men will pray individually in the masjid. Recommended to lengthen salaah until eclipse finishes or make a long du`a after salaah until eclipse finishes. Women are recommended to pray at home and make du`as individually.
We find the prescription over here for men to make du`as collectively after salaah:ثم يدعو بعدها جالسا مستقبل القبلة أو قائما مستقبل الناس والقوميؤمنونشامي
‘‘Then(after salaah) the imaam will do du`as sitting towards the qiblah or he will stand towards the people and the people will make ameen on the duas.’’(Shami)
A support for those who advocate to make brief du`as aloud after farzs salaahs. That is the imaam may do duas aloud and musallis say ameen.
Khair, these are prescribed for solar eclipse: Salaah, Du`as, Allahou Akbar, Istighfaar, Sadaqahs and fear Allah Ta`ala(Bukhari).
Else for moon eclipse, men and women are recommended to read 2 rakaats salaah at home individually. There is no bad omen as to concern as eclipses. There is no specific danger on pregnant women, taking knife, mirror, etc. The beloved prophet Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam said that eclipses are only a sign of Allah and that Allah Ta`ala want to the muslim to be fearsome. So with fear of Allah and zikrullah one may look at the eclipse as a sign of Allah. But sunnah to keep in salaah, duas, Allahou Akbar, Sadaqahs and istighfaar throughout the eclipse and busy oneself with these until the sun comes normal.(Bukhari)
Eclipse to be observed on Thursday 1st September:
Kinshasa 8:30 am
Dares salam 11:30am
Port Louis: 2 pm
Mowlana Adbul Hamid said: ‘‘Scientists should not be believed right away on their sayings. Because their findings change with time. Before they use to tell us that diabetes is caused with mainly sugar. Now they added rice and bread to the causes. Their findings changes with time and are hence are not completely reliable.”