#239: Sunnah Deeds During the Eclipse


Assalamualaikum ustaz. When the eclipse occurs, what are the sunnah deeds that we should do other than the sunnah eclipse prayer?


Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

We’ll begin with the hadith narrated from Abu Musa RA, where he said:

خَسَفَتِ الشَّمْسُ فِي زَمَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَامَ فَزِعًا يَخْشَى أَنْ تَكُونَ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى أَتَى الْمَسْجِدَ فَقَامَ يُصَلِّي بِأَطْوَلِ قِيَامٍ وَرُكُوعٍ وَسُجُودٍ مَا رَأَيْتُهُ يَفْعَلُهُ فِي صَلاَةٍ قَطُّ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ إِنَّ هَذِهِ الآيَاتِ الَّتِي يُرْسِلُ اللَّهُ لاَ تَكُونُ لِمَوْتِ أَحَدٍ وَلاَ لِحَيَاتِهِ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يُرْسِلُهَا يُخَوِّفُ بِهَا عِبَادَهُ فَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ مِنْهَا شَيْئًا فَافْزَعُوا إِلَى ذِكْرِهِ وَدُعَائِهِ وَاسْتِغْفَارِهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

“There was an eclipse of the sun, and the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) got up in a rush, fearing that it might be the Hour. He went to the masjid, where he stood and prayed, standing, bowing and prostrating for the longest time that I ever saw him do in prayer. Then he said: ‘These signs that Allah (SWT) sends do not occur for the death or birth of anyone, but Allah (SWT) sends them to strike fear into His slaves. If you see any of these things, then hasten to remember Him, call upon Him supplicate and ask for His forgiveness.'” [1]

Imam al-Nawawi when commenting on the above hadith stated that the eclipse is not the sign of Doomsday or the Last day, for all the other signs of the Last day is known through sahih hadiths such as the rising of the sun from the west, emergence of al-Daabbah and also dajjal. However, Rasullullah PBUH fear and concern as he immediately gets up and performs a long prayer in terms of the recitation in the bow, fearing that it is a form of punishment from Allah SWT as what happened when the wind blows and it is clear on the face of Rasullullah PBUH that he disliked it. [2]

In Arabic, the solar eclipse is known as al-Kusuf while the moon eclipse is known as al-Khusuf. It is named as al-Kusuf because the sun is covered partially or fully. [3]

Sunnah eclipse prayer is a sunnah prayer performed due to a reason, which is when an eclipse occurs. Hence the Muslim ummah will go out to perform prayer and supplicate to be safe from any disaster in general and this prayer is a bit different from other prayers.

The sanctioning of the eclipse prayer happened during the second year after hijrah, right after the death of Ibrahim, Rasullullah PBUH’s son. During the times of jahiliyyah, the sun or moon eclipse are related to their superstition of where the death of a person is related to an eclipse. This is what is believed by the jahiliyyah when the son of Rasullullah PBUH, Ibrahim, died because of the eclipse.

The sanctioning originates according to the statement of Allah SWT:

وَمِنۡ ءَايَٰتِهِ ٱلَّيۡلُ وَٱلنَّهَارُ وَٱلشَّمۡسُ وَٱلۡقَمَرُۚ لَا تَسۡجُدُواْ لِلشَّمۡسِ وَلَا لِلۡقَمَرِ وَٱسۡجُدُواْۤ لِلَّهِۤ ٱلَّذِي خَلَقَهُنَّ إِن كُنتُمۡ إِيَّاهُ تَعۡبُدُونَ

“And of His signs are the night and day and the sun and moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or the moon, but prostate to Allah, who created them, if it should be Him that you worship.” [4]

The prohibition against prostrating to the sun and moon as stated in the above verse, while the commandment to prostrate to Allah as the creator is explained through the hadith which narrates the eclipse phenomenon as previously stated.

The ruling of performing this sunnah eclipse prayer is sunnah muakkad (encouraged sunnah) and it is sunnah for men, women and travellers. It is also sunnah to be performed alone or in congregation as stated in the sunnah of the Prophet PBUH. [5]

Coming back to the above question, other than the sunnah eclipse prayer, other deeds that can be performed during an eclipse are:

  • Delivering two sermons after the completion of the sunnah eclipse prayer,
  • Increasing one’s supplication to Allah asking for protection and safety against any disaster or calamity
  • Istighfar
  • Donate or gives to charity
  • Increase remembrance of Allah
  • Takbir and dhikr
  • Avoid any superstition or deviant belief regarding the eclipse incident. Rasullullah PBUH rejected this belief when an eclipse occurred at the time of the death of his son, Ibrahim, saying:

إِنَّ الشَّمْسَ وَالقَمَرَ آيَتَانِ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ، لاَ يَخْسِفَانِ لِمَوْتِ أَحَدٍ وَلاَ لِحَيَاتِهِ، فَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ ذَلِكَ، فَادْعُوا اللَّهَ، وَكَبِّرُوا وَصَلُّوا وَتَصَدَّقُوا

“The sun and the moon are two of God’s signs; they are not eclipsed on account of anyone’s death or on account of anyone’s birth, so when you see that supplicate God, declare His greatness, pray and give alms.” [6]

Wallahu a’lam.


[1] Narrated by Muslim (912)

[2] See Syarh al-Nawawi ‘ala Sahih Muslim, 6/215-216

[3] See al-Mu’jam al-Wasit, pg. 234

[4] Surah Fussilat: 37

[5] See al-Mu’tamad fi al-Fiqh al-Syafi’e, 1/568

[6] Narrated by al-Bukhari (1044)