It was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim on the authority of Abu Musa Al Ash`ary (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: "The sun eclipsed and the Prophet (peace be upon him) got up, being afraid that it might be the Hour (i.e. Day of Judgment). He went to the Masjid and offered Salah with the longest Qiyam, bowing and prostration that I had ever seen him doing. Then he said: "These signs which Allah sends do not occur because of the life or death of somebody, but Allah frightens with them His Servants. So, when you see anything thereof, proceed to remember Allah, invoke Him and ask for His forgiveness." [Sahih Al Bukhari No. (1059) and Sahih Muslim No. (912)].

Once the sun eclipsed at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) during the tenth year after migration when his son Ibrahim (may Allah be pleased with him) died. People of the Pre-Islamic Period used to believe that the solar and lunar eclipse happen for the life or the death of a great person, thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) had to explain to them the ill-thinking of that idea and said as reported in the Hadith of `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her): "The sun and the moon are two signs amongst the signs of Allah; they do not eclipse on the death or life of anyone." The Prophet (peace be upon him) resorted to the Masjid when he saw the solar eclipse and commanded someone to call upon the people to gather for Salah. So, people gathered men and women and the Prophet led them in Salah. He pronounced Takbir then recited Al Fatihah and a long Surah loud then bowed down for a long time then stood up and said: Sami`a Allahu Liman Hamidah [i.e., Allah responds to those who praise Him]. He stood up for a long time then prostrated for a long time then sat down for a long time then prostrated for a long time also. In the second Rak`ah, he did likewise but he lightened recitation, bowing down, and prostration then he pronounced Tashahhud and ended his Salah; and soon, the eclipse ended. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) delivered a great and eloquent sermon in which he explained that the sun and the moon do not eclipse for the life or the death of anyone and exhorted them to flee to Salah, mentioning Allah, invocation, and seeking forgiveness until Allah removes that eclipse.

Of the things which he said in the sermon: "O followers of Muhammad! By Allah! There is none who has more Ghayra (self-respect) than Allah as He has forbidden that His Servants, male or female commit adultery (illegal sexual intercourse). O followers of Muhammad! By Allah! If you knew that which I know you would laugh little and weep much." He also said: "I have seen at this place of mine what I have never seen, even Paradise and Hell. No doubt, it has been inspired to me that you will be put to trial in the graves like or nearly like the trial of (Masih) Ad-Dajjal. (The angels) will come to everyone of you and will ask what do you know about this man (i.e. Muhammad (peace be upon him)). The believer or a firm believer (I do not know which word Asma' said) will reply: 'He is Muhammad, Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) who came to us with clear evidences and guidance, so we accepted his teachings, believed and followed him.' The angels will then say to him: 'Sleep peacefully as we knew surely that you were a firm believer.' The hypocrite or doubtful person (I do not know which word Asma' said) will say: 'I do not know. I heard the people saying something, so I said it (the same).'" The Companions said to him: "O Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him)! We saw you trying to take something while standing at your place and then we saw you retreating. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: I was shown Paradise and wanted to have a bunch of fruit from it. Had I taken it, you would have eaten from it as long as the world remains. I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women. The people asked: O Allah's Messenger! Why is it so? The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: Because of their ungratefulness. He was asked whether they are ungrateful to Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: They are ungrateful to their mates (husbands) and ungrateful to good deeds. If you are benevolent to one of them throughout the life then she sees anything (undesirable) from you, she will say: 'I have never had any good from you.'" [It was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim separated in different positions, see: Sahih Al Bukhari No. 1044 and others, and Sahih Muslim (2/622 - 627)].

The scare and fear of the Prophet (peace be upon him) from the solar eclipse, his Salah, and viewing Paradise and Hell before him during Salah in addition to the events that shall take place in the future whether in the world or in the Hereafter, the sedition of this nation in graves, that great eloquent speech, and his command to his nation to resort to Salah, mentioning Allah, invocations, and seeking for forgiveness indicate the importance of eclipse and the importance of resorting to Salah, Adhkar, and forgiveness.

Nowadays, people neglect the matter of eclipse and do not care much for it because of their weak faith, ignorance of the Sunnah, and depending on scientific explanation of the phenomenon while overlooking the Shari`ah reasons and the great wisdom for which the solar eclipse happens.

May Allah guide us to glorify His Signs and fear Him, and may Allah make us benefit from His Signs, for He is All-Generous.

 

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