Reminder: Lunar Eclipse Tonight!

Lunar Eclipse [Photo by Fort Photo]

Just a short notice to the MM readers that there will be a total eclipse of the moon tonight, which should be visible anywhere in the world, except Asia and Oceania. Those who are able to see the eclipse should perform the special Sunnah prayer, known as Salat-al-Kusuf.

Please read this previous MM article to remind yourself of the significance of this celestial event, and what the prayer entails.

Here are some timings that I managed to nab from Facebook:

In North America (Canada & the US), the Total Eclipse takes place during:

Newfoundland ~ 11:30 p.m. – 12:21 a.m.
Atlantic ~ 11:00 – 11:51 p.m.
Eastern ~ 10:00 – 10:51 p.m.
Central ~ 9:00 – 9:51 p.m.
Mountain ~ 8:00 – 8:51 p.m.
Pacific ~ 7:00 – 7:51 p.m.

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MEXICO, Central America and the Caribbean include all time zones listed above, so if you’re not sure which time zone you’re in, just keep your eyes on the skies from 7pm until midnight!

South American time zones range from UTC (GMT) -5 to -3, so the time will be from 10pm until 1am.

In Europe and Africa ~ 3:00 a.m. – 3:51 a.m. UTC (GMT) in the early morning of February 21.

Abu AnonyMouse advises those who may be asleep during the eclipse (such as myself!) to wake up and pray, if possible.

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16 responses to “Reminder: Lunar Eclipse Tonight!”

  1. mummyjaan says:

    Thank you, iMuslim, for the reminder.

    Would you mind repairing the link to the previous MM article please?

    Thanks!

  2. AnonyMouse says:

    Link is fixed, and correction for Pacific timing: it’ll be completely hidden at around 7pm (Pacific time), but will begin at around 5pm, insha’Allah.

  3. SaqibSaab says:

    When will it take place?
    In North America (Canada & the US), the Total Eclipse 2008 takes place during:

    Newfoundland ~ 11:30 p.m. – 12:21 a.m.
    Atlantic ~ 11:00 – 11:51 p.m.
    Eastern ~ 10:00 – 10:51 p.m.
    Central ~ 9:00 – 9:51 p.m.
    Mountain ~ 8:00 – 8:51 p.m.
    Pacific ~ 7:00 – 7:51 p.m. (some say earlier, 5pm)

    Why pray during an Eclipse?
    The Prophet [saw] used to pray during an Eclipse. Solar and lunar eclipses are reminders of the Day of Judgment, when the sun, moon and stars will all lose their light.

    From the Quran about the Day of Judgment
    “When the sight is dazed, and the moon is buried in darkness, and the sun and moon are joined together: Man will say on that day, Where is the refuge?.” (Surat al-Qiyamah, the Resurrection)

    Ruling
    The eclipse prayer is considered by the scholars a very important Sunnah of the Prophet (Sunnah muakkadah). Imam Abu Hanifah said it was obligatory (wajib), and Imam Malik regarded it as equal to Salat al-Jumu’ah (Friday Prayer) in importance.

    Format
    The eclipse prayer consists of two rak’at, similar to praying two rakah Sunnah like in any other prayer in a normal day. There are only a few differences.

    Congregation
    The Sunnah is for the prayer to be held in congregation in the masjid, although individuals who cannot reach the congregation may pray alone. Women may attend the congregation or pray at home individually.

    Timing of the prayer
    The prayer is supposed to be longer than normal two rakahs. The time for the eclipse prayer lasts throughout the eclipse. The prayer must be started during the eclipse, although it can end during or after the eclipse is over.

    Khutbah (Sermon)
    A khutbah is given by the Imam after the congregational prayer, based on the admonition of the Messenger of Allah [saw], part of which is quoted at the beginning of this article. The khutbah is also recommended (mustahabb).

    Length of the prayer
    The eclipse prayer should be longer than normal daily, weekly or annual prayers. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) offered the eclipse prayer with other people, they stood with him for a very long time, roughly the time that it takes to recite the chapter of the Qur’ân entitled Sûrah al-Baqarah. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

    If you are leading the prayer for others, you may elect to recite for a shorter period of time, taking into consideration the abilities and the condition of the people who are following you in prayer.

    http://islamtoday.com/show_detail_section.cfm?q_id=744&main_cat_id=25
    http://www.ummah.net/sunnah/printsufeature.php?sufid=1

  4. Dawud Israel says:

    So we are supposed to pray during the time that the moon actually is completely blocked out and not the partial time it takes…?

  5. Dawud Israel says:

    I’ve been getting confused cuz the entire thing is like 3 hours long or the 1 hour slot mentioned above. I have a hard time imagining that the Prophet SAAWS would recite long surahs like Surah Baqarah during one hour.

  6. Voyageur says:

    akhi Dawud, the timings listed above are for ‘total’ lunar eclipses.
    Now the question is, did he, alayhi salaatu wa salaam started praying before the total lunar eclipse or when he sighted the moon being eclipsed? (as they didn’t have pre-reminders about the eclipses back in the days)

  7. Anisa says:

    Asalaamu Alaaikum

    JazaakAllah Khair for the reminder. =)

  8. iMuslim says:

    Some more info about the timings from the NASA website.

    I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to your questions Dawud, though it seems from the previous article we published, the prayer can end during the eclipse. I think this means that the time period in which the eclipse is visible is simply the time that salat-al-kusuf is valid. Like the timing for Fajr is between dawn and sunrise, but one doesn’t spend the whole time praying the same two rakaat (though you can do, if you like). This is my interpretation of the advice in the article, anyway.

  9. iMuslim says:

    More from Ummah.net:

    Timing of the prayer: The time for the eclipse prayer lasts throughout the eclipse. The prayer must be started during the eclipse, although it can end after the eclipse is over. The khutbah is delivered after the prayer, whether or not the eclipse is still in progress. Once the eclipse is over, the requirement and time for the prayer no longer exists and therefore it is invalid to pray Salat al-Kusuf outside the time of the eclipse. Imams Abu Hanifah and Ahmad have stipulated that the eclipse prayer cannot be held during times when prayer is normally discouraged (makruh), i.e. when the sun is rising or setting over the horizon, or when it reaches its zenith; other Imams say that the recommendation of the eclipse prayer takes precedence over these discouraged times.

    Length of the prayer: The eclipse prayer should be longer than normal daily, weekly or annual prayers. The eclipse prayer performed by the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was extremely long: it started soon after the beginning of the eclipse and ended after the eclipse was over (i.e. two rak’at lasting perhaps 2-3 hours!). His prayer included four instances of recitation from the Qur’an, with the first and longest of them being reckoned as about as lengthy as Surat al-Baqarah. Further, the qiyam, ruku’ and sujud were described as longer than any others seen performed by him, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. However, the Imam should as always bear in mind the capabilities of his congregation, and the prayer should not be prolonged excessively for the old and weak amongst them. There is no requirement to prolong the prayer throughout the eclipse, nor to pray extra rak’at: the two-rak’at prayer is made as long as is reasonable, and the remainder of the eclipse is spent in supplication (du’a), general mention and remembrance of Allah (dhikr, including recitation of the Qur’an) and giving charity.

  10. mohamed says:

    your website is very informative about the eclipse

    salaam

  11. awake says:

    During a solar eclipse, we are warned not to look directly at the eclipse because it is so damaging to our eyes. The Prophet (s) taught us to do nothing but pray during an eclipse. In fact he (s) would ‘rush nervously to the masjid’. Allahu Akbar.

  12. AnonyMouse says:

    I did it!!! :D

    BTW, I asked my dad the questions about the salaah and so on, and basically it’s sunnah to start praying from the moment you notice the eclipse right ’till it ends… you could also just pray for the duration of the total eclipse (what we did here due to time constraints). This means that the salaah can last for hours!
    My dad said when he first prayed Salaatul Khusoof in Medinah, it lasted at least two hours… tonight we only prayed for one hour, and masha’Allah it certainly was an experience! In fact, it reminded me somewhat of Taraweeh (most likely because our imaam was the same haafidh who led us in Ramadhan)… subhanAllah.

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