Book of Eclipses

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

Chapter 22. Book of Eclipses

I: The prayer in a solar eclipse

993. It is related that Abu Bakra said, "We were with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in his house when a solar eclipse took place. The Prophet. may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood up and went dragging his cloak into the mosque. We entered and he led us, praying two rak'ats, until the sun had become clear again. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of anyone's death. When you see them, pray and make supplication until they are over.'"

994. It is related that Abu Mas'ud was heard to say that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of anyone's death. Rather they are two of the signs of Allah. When you see them, stand and pray."

995. It is related that Ibn 'Umar reported from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of anyone's life or death. Rather they are two of the signs of Allah. When you see them, pray."

996. It is related that al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba said, "There was a solar eclipse in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on the day that Ibrahim died and the people said, 'The sun is eclipsed because of the death of Ibrahim.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of anyone's life or death. Rather they are two of the signs of Allah. When you see them, pray and make supplication to Allah.'"

II: Sadaqa during eclipses

997. It is related that 'A'isha said, "There was an eclipse of the sun in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, led the people in prayer. He stood, and did so for a long time. Then he went into ruku' and made the ruku' long. Then he stood again, and did so for a long time, though not as long as the first time. Then he went into ruku' and made the ruku' long, though not as long as the first time. Then he prostrated and made the prostration long. Then he did the same in the second rak'at as he had done the first rak'at. Then he finished when the sun had appeared. He addressed the people and praised and glorified Allah. Then he said, 'The sun and moon are two of Allah's signs. They do not eclipse for the life or death of anyone. When you see an eclipse, call on Allah and say "Allah is greater" and pray and give sadaqa.' He then said, 'O community of Muhammad! By Allah, there is no one more jealous than Allah with regard to a male or female slave of his committing adultery. O community of Muhammad! By Allah, if you knew what I knew, you would laugh little and weep much.'" (Muwatta, Book 12, 1)

III The call that the prayer for the eclipse is to be a group prayer

998. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "When the sun became eclipsed in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, a call was given that the prayer was to be a group prayer."

IV: The Imam's khutba in an eclipse

'A'isha and Asma' said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, gave a khutba."

999. It is related that 'A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There was an eclipse of the sun in the lifetime of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He went out to the mosque and the people formed rows behind him. He said that takbir and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made the recitation long. Then he said the takbir and did a long ruku'. He said, 'Allah hears whoever praises him.' He did not prostrate and recited a long recitation which was close to the first recitation. Then he he did a long ruku' which was close to the first ruku'. Then he said, 'Allah hears whoever praises him. Our Lord, praise is Yours.' Then he prostrated and then said in the second rak'at the like of that. He did four rak'ats with four prostrations. The sun cleared before he had finished. Then he stood up and praised Prophet as He deserves.Then he said, 'They are two of the signs of Allah. They do not eclipse for the life or death of anyone. When you see them, then go to the prayer.'"

It is related that, when 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas was giving an account of the day of the solar eclipse with a similar hadith to that of 'Urwa from 'A'isha, az-Zuhri said, "I said to 'Urwa, 'On the day when there was the eclipse in Madina, your brother did not pray any more than two rak'ats like those of the Subh prayer.' He said, 'Yes, because he was mistaken as to the true sunna.'"

V. CHAPTER: Should the word kasafat or khasafat be used of the sun to denote "eclipse"?

Allah Almighty says, "The moon was eclipsed," using khasafa.

1000. It is related that 'A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, said, "On the day the sun was eclipsed (khasafat), the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said the takbir and made the recitation long. Then he did a long ruku'. Then he raised his head and said, 'Allah hears whoever praises him.' He stood as he had done and then recited a long recitation which was close to the first recitation. Then he he did a long ruku' which was close to the first rak'at. Then he made a long prostration and did the like of that in the second rak'at. Then he said the taslim and the sun cleared. He addressed the people and said about the eclipsing (kusuf) of the sun and the moon, 'They are two of Allah's signs. They do not eclipse for the life or death of anyone. When you see them, then go to the prayer.'"

VI: The words of the Prophet, "Allah makes His slaves feel fear through eclipses."

Abu Musa mentioned this from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

1001. It is related that Abu Bakr said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The sun and the moon are two of the signs of Allah. They do not eclipse because of anyone's death, but Allah makes His slaves feel fear through them."

'Abdu'l-Warith, Shu'ba, Khalid ibn 'Abdullah and Hammad ibn Salama did not mention from Yunus, "makes His slaves feel fear through them."

Al-Hasan corroborated it from Abu Bakra from the Prophet, "Allah makes His slaves feel fear through them."

Ash'ath corroborated it from al-Hasan.

VII: Seeking refuge from the punishment of the grave during eclipses

1002. It is related from 'A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, that a Jewish woman came to beg from her and said, "May Allah give you refuge from the punishment of the grave!" So 'A'isha asked the Messenger of Allah, "Are people punished in their graves?" and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took refuge in Allah from that. Then one morning the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out on a journey and there was an eclipse of the sun, and he returned in the late morning and passed through behind his rooms. Then he stood and prayed, and the people stood behind him. He stood for a long time, and then went into ruku' for a long time. Then he rose and stood for a long time, though less than the first time, and then went into ruku' for a long time, though less than the first time. Then he rose and went down into prostration. Then he stood for a long time, though less than the time before, and then went into ruku' for a long time, though less than the time before. Then he rose and went into prostration. When he had finished, he said what Allah willed him to say, and then he told them to seek protection from the punishment of the grave." (Muwatta, Book 12, 3)

VIII: Lengthening the sajda during an eclipse

1003. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "When the sun was eclipsed in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, a call was given that the prayer was to be done in a group. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did two ruku's before going into sajda. Then he stood up and again did two ruku's before going into sajda. Then he sat and then the sun became clear." 'A'isha said, "I have never ever done a longer sajda than that."

IX: The eclipse prayer in a group

Ibn 'Abbas led them in prayer beside Zamzam. 'Ali ibn 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas and Ibn 'Umar prayed in a group.

1004. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas said, "The sun was eclipsed in the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed. He stood for a long time, about the time it takes to recite Surat al-Baqara. Then he did a long ruku'. Then he stood for a long time, but less than the first standing. Then he did a long ruku' which was less than the first ruku'. Then he did prostration. Then he came up and stood for a long time, but less thant the first standing. Then he did a long ruku' which was less than the first ruku'. Then he stood for a long time, but less than the first standing. Then he did a long ruku' which was less than the first ruku'. Then he prostrated The sun cleared before he had finished. Then he said, 'The sun and the moon are two of the signs of Allah. They do not eclipse for the life or death of anyone. When you see them, then remember Allah.' (Muwatta, Book 12, 2)

"They said, 'Messenger of Allah, we saw you reach out for something while you were standing here and then we saw you withdraw.' He said, 'I saw the Garden and I reached out for a bunch of grapes from it, and if I had taken it, you would have been able to eat from it for as long as this world lasted. Then I saw the Fire - and I have never seen anything more hideous than what I saw today - and I saw that most of its people were women.' They said, 'Why, Messenger of Allah?' He said, 'Because of their ingratitude.' It was asked, 'Are they ungrateful to Allah?' He said, 'They are ungrateful to their husbands, and they are ungrateful for good behaviour (towards them). Even if you were to behave well to one of them for a whole lifetime and she were to see you do something (that she did not like) she would say that she had never seen anything good from you.'"

X: Women praying with the men in the eclipse

1005. It is related from Asma' bint Abi Bakr that she said, "I went to 'A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, when there was a solar eclipse. The people were standing in prayer and she was also standing in prayer. I said, 'What are the people doing?' She pointed towards the sky and said, 'Glory be to Allah!' I said, 'A sign?' She indicated that it was so. I also stood to pray until I was overcome and fainted. I began to pour water over my head. When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, finished the prayer, he praised Allah and lauded Him and then said, 'Anything which I did not see before I saw just now while standing here, including the Garden and the Fire. It was revealed to me that you will be tested in the graves with a like trial - or nearly like - [I do not know exactly which Asma' said] to that of the False Messiah. Each of you will be approached and asked, "What do you know of this man? The believer - or the one who is certain - [I do not know which exactly Asma' said] will say, "He is Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah who brought us the clear signs and guidance. So we responded to him, believed and followed him." He will be told, "Sleep, O virtuous one!" We know that you believed in him.' As for the hypocrite or the doubter - [I do not know which Asma' said] he will say, "I do not know. I heard people saying something and so I said it too."'"

XI: Liking to set people free during a solar eclipse

1006. It is related that Asma' said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, commanded the freeing of slaves during solar eclipses."

XII: Holding the eclipse prayer in the mosque

1007. It is related from 'A'isha, that a Jewish woman came to beg from her and said, "May Allah give you refuge from the punishment of the grave!" So 'A'isha asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "Are people punished in their graves?" and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took refuge in Allah from that. Then one morning the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out on a journey and there was an eclipse of the sun, and he returned in the late morning and passed through behind his rooms. Then he stood and prayed, and the people stood behind him. He stood for a long time, and then went into ruku' for a long time. Then he rose and stood for a long time, though less than the first time, and then went into ruku' for a long time, though less than the first time. Then he rose and went down into prostration. Then he stood for a long time, though less than the time before, and then went into ruku' for a long time, though less than the time before. Then he rose and went into prostration. When he had finished, he said what Allah willed him to say, and then he told them to seek protection from the punishment of the grave."

XIII: "The sun does not eclipse for the life or death of anyone."

Abu Bakr, al-Mughira, Abu Musa, Ibn 'Abbas and Ibn 'Umar related it.

1008. It is related that Abu Mas'ud was heard to say that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of anyone's death. Rather they are two of the signs of Allah. When you see them, stand and pray."

1009. It is related that 'A'isha said, "There was a solar eclipse in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood and led the people in prayer and did a long recitation. Then he did a long ruku'. Then he raised his head and did a long recitation which was shorter than his first one. Then he did a long ruku' which was shorter than his first ruku'. Then he raised his head and then did two sajdas. Then he stood up again and did the same in the second rak'at. Then he stood up and said, 'The sun and the moon do not eclipse for the life or death of anyone, but they are two of the signs of Allah which he shows His slaves. When you see such a thing, go to the prayer.'"

XIV: Dhikr in the eclipse

Ibn 'Abbas related it.

1010. It is related that Abu Musa said, "There was an eclipse of the sun and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood up in alarm, fearing that the Last Hour had come. He went to the mosque and prayed with the longest standing, ruku' and sajda I ever saw him do. He said, "These are signs which Allah sends, not because of the life or death of anyone but rather to make His slaves feel fear so if you see something like that, hurry to remember Him, make supplication and ask His forgiveness.'"

XV: Supplication in the eclipse

Abu Musa and 'A'isha reported that from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

1011. It is related that al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba said, "There was a solar eclipse in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on the day that Ibrahim died and the people said, 'The sun is eclipsed because of the death of Ibrahim.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of anyone's life or death. When you see them, pray and make supplication to Allah.'"

XVI: The Imam saying amma ba'd (Following on from that) in the khutba of the Eclipse Prayer

1012. It is related that Asma' said, "When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, finished, the sun had cleared. He gave a khutba and praised Allah as He deserves. Then he said, amma ba'd (Following on from that).'"

XVII: The prayer during a lunar eclipse

1013. It is related that Abu Bakra said, "The sun was eclipsed in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he prayed two rak'ats."

1014. It is related that Abu Bakra said, "The sun was eclipsed in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he went out dragging his cloak until he reached the mosque. The people gathered to him and he led them in praying two rak'ats. He said, 'The sun and moon are two of Allah's signs. They do not eclipse for the death of anyone. When that happens, pray and make supplication until it clears.' That was when a son of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, called Ibrahim had died. People were saying that it happened because of that."

XVIII: The first rak'at is longer in the eclipse

1015. It is related that 'A'isha said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, led us in the eclipse doing four ruku's in two rak'ats. The first was longer."

XIX: Reciting aloud in the eclipse

1016. It is related from 'A'isha, "In the eclipse prayer, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recited aloud. When he finished his recitation, he said the takbir and did ruku'. When he came up from ruku', he said, 'Allah hears the one who praises him. Our Lord, and praise is Yours." Then he again recited. The eclipse prayer has four ruk'us and four sajdas in two rak'ats.

It is related from 'A'isha, "The sun was eclipsed in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he sent out someone to announce that the prayer was to be held in a group. He went forward and prayed four ruk'us and four sajdas in two rak'ats."

'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Namir heard the same from Ibn Shihab.

Az-Zuhri said, "I said, 'What did your brother, 'Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr, do then? He only prayed two rak'ats like Subh when he prayed in Madina.' He said, 'Indeed! He was mistaken as to the sunna."

Sufyan ibn Husayn and Sulayman ibn Kathir corroborated from az-Zuhri that it is done aloud.