People attend the morning prayers
The General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments announced it will hold a solar eclipse prayer across the UAE on Thursday, 26th of December 2019 at 07:40 in the morning. Image Credit: Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Muslims in the UAE are encouraged to perform the solar eclipse prayers in conjunction with the partial eclipse of the sun expected on Thursday.

The General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments announced it will hold a solar eclipse prayer across the UAE on Thursday, 26th of December 2019 at 07:40 in the morning, at Shaikh Zayed mosques and other major mosques in each emirate.

What is eclipse prayers?

Eclipse prayers is a special prayer in Islam to be performed at the time of an eclipse, whether it be a solar or lunar eclipse. In fact, this prayer is Mustahabb (highly recommended). It is not mandatory, rather advised because Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was said to do it. It is to be performed by both men and women and is recommended to pray it in congregation, although the congregation is not a condition for it.

The wisdom in the eclipse prayer has many aspects.

It is in compliance with the command of the Prophet for he indeed commanded us in seeking to hasten to the prayer. It is also imploring in humility to Allah.

How is it offered?

The prayer is unique because there is no first call or second call to prayer. While not obligatory, Salatul Kusoof (eclipse prayers) is an encouraged act of worship. It consists of two rakaah, with each of the 2 rak’ahs consisting of 2 ruku, 2 qiyam, 2 sujood, and 2 recitations.

Firstly after making the intention and opening the prayer with Takbirat Al-Ihram you read Surah Al Fatiha followed by another Surah of your choice.

Following this, one must bow and prolong his bowing with extra Tasbih and Duaa’.

Then after this, one must stand up again and recite Surah Al Fatihah once more followed by a secondary recitation of the Quran. This is a major difference to normal prayer.

Please note it is Sunnah to prolong one’s standing, however one should try to make their first standing longer than their second standing.

Then after this, one must bow again, and also prolong his bowing, although not as long as the first.

Then after this one continues to pray as normal, by standing back and up and prostrating twice. One must however aim to prolong his Sujood.

In the second Rak’aah, one must repeat the same process as in the first, which consists of two sets of standing for Surah Al Fatihah and a Quran recitation along with two sets of Rukoo’ or bowing.

Then one must get back up stand and then perform two final Sujoods, followed by the Tashahud and Tasleem.

The prayer is two Rak’aat in totality and is recommended to be prayed in congregation. It is also followed by a sermon enjoining people towards righteousness and to leave off sin and vice.

If it is for a lunar eclipse, the prayer is recited aloud while if it is a solar eclipse, the prayer is recited to oneself silently.

Now off course, there are other valid opinions of how this prayer is performed within the four major schools of fiqh, so it’s best to follow the lead of your local scholar and avoid unnecessary debates.

Actions to be carried out during the eclipse:

There are seven things that the Prophet commanded to be done at the time of the eclipse, and all of them are authentically established in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree (one of six major hadith collections, which covers the sayings and deeds of Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh)).

They include:

Seeking forgiveness.
Making the takbeer.
Making dhikr (remembrance of Allah).
Giving in charity.
Freeing slaves.