A to Z of Eclipses in Islam

 solar eclipse

{jb_quote}[41:37] Among His signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Do not prostrate yourselves to the sun, or to the moon. And prostrate yourselves to Allah who has created them, if it is Him whom you worship.{/jb_quote}


This Thursday (10th of June 2021) will see a in Europe and other parts. The eclipse starts at 10:08 and ends at 12:22 with the best time to view it around 11:13.

We (as) Muslims are meant to view any phenomenon no matter how grand and spectacular from the eyes of Qur’aan and Sunnah. Media is constantly emphasizing the spectacular views to be displayed this week but we want to emphasize the CREATOR of the spectacle and the key lessons HE wants us to take from eclipses.

Focus on the Creator & not the created!

The sun and the moon are fantastic, magnificent creations which dazzle us from the time we first lift our gaze to the heavens. We are in awe of their majesty and gaze at them all our lives in astonishment and amazement. But the questions we should be asking are who created them and how magnificent HE must be?

هُوَ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ ٱلشَّمۡسَ ضِيَآءً۬ وَٱلۡقَمَرَ نُورً۬ا وَقَدَّرَهُ ۥ مَنَازِلَ لِتَعۡلَمُواْ عَدَدَ ٱلسِّنِينَ وَٱلۡحِسَابَ‌ۚ مَا خَلَقَ ٱللَّهُ ذَٲلِكَ إِلَّا بِٱلۡحَقِّ‌ۚ يُفَصِّلُ ٱلۡأَيَـٰتِ لِقَوۡمٍ۬ يَعۡلَمُونَ

{jb_bluebox}[10:5] He is the One who has made the sun a glow, and the moon a light, and determined for it stages, so that you may learn the number of the years, and the calculation (of time). Allah has not created all this but for a rightful purpose. He elaborates the signs for a people who understand.{/jb_bluebox}

The magnificence, majesty, grandeur actually belongs to the CREATOR! If His creation dazzles us and leaves us amazed all our lives than isn’t he truly who should be admired and worshipped?

وَمِنۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِ ٱلَّيۡلُ وَٱلنَّهَارُ وَٱلشَّمۡسُ وَٱلۡقَمَرُ‌ۚ لَا تَسۡجُدُواْ لِلشَّمۡسِ وَلَا لِلۡقَمَرِ وَٱسۡجُدُواْ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَهُنَّ إِن ڪُنتُمۡ إِيَّاهُ تَعۡبُدُونَ

{jb_bluebox}[41:37] Among His signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Do not prostrate yourselves to the sun, or to the moon. And prostrate yourselves to Allah who has created them, if it is Him whom you worship.{/jb_bluebox}

Mystique, mystery or easily explained?

Sun and moon have been rising and setting in a set (routine pattern) probably longer than us (humans) have been around. Our sense of time depends on their clockwork (like) and predictable motion. It is when their predictability is shattered, mystique and mystery arises! Ancient cultures have viewed eclipses as mystical and foretelling certain events. They were worshipped out of fear and sometimes held in high esteem.

Islam came to shatter myths and break the cycle of ignorant superstitions.  When the sun eclipsed during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam), an event which coincided with the death of his (only) son Sayyidina Ibraheem (AS) the connection of eclipses to bad omens was quickly dispelled!

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا هَاشِمُ بْنُ الْقَاسِمِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا شَيْبَانُ أَبُو مُعَاوِيَةَ، عَنْ زِيَادِ بْنِ عِلاَقَةَ، عَنِ الْمُغِيرَةِ بْنِ شُعْبَةَ، قَالَ كَسَفَتِ الشَّمْسُ عَلَى عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَوْمَ مَاتَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ، فَقَالَ النَّاسُ كَسَفَتِ الشَّمْسُ لِمَوْتِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ إِنَّ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ لاَ يَنْكَسِفَانِ لِمَوْتِ أَحَدٍ وَلاَ لِحَيَاتِهِ، فَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ فَصَلُّوا وَادْعُوا اللَّهَ ‏"‏‏.‏


{jb_bluebox}Sayyidina Al-Mughira bin Shu`ba narrated that the sun eclipsed in the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) on the day when (his son) Ibrahim died. So the people said that the sun had eclipsed because of the death of Ibrahim. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said, "The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of the death or life (i.e. birth) of someone. When you see the eclipse pray and invoke Allah. [Bukhari]{/jb_bluebox}

What are Muslims supposed to do during Solar Eclipse?

Praying in congregation, making dua, Saying Takbeer, giving Charity and remembering Allah (SWT) until the eclipse is over:

حَدَّثَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ عَوْنٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا خَالِدٌ، عَنْ يُونُسَ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ، عَنْ أَبِي بَكْرَةَ، قَالَ كُنَّا عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَانْكَسَفَتِ الشَّمْسُ، فَقَامَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَجُرُّ رِدَاءَهُ حَتَّى دَخَلَ الْمَسْجِدَ، فَدَخَلْنَا فَصَلَّى بِنَا رَكْعَتَيْنِ، حَتَّى انْجَلَتِ الشَّمْسُ فَقَالَ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ إِنَّ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ لاَ يَنْكَسِفَانِ لِمَوْتِ أَحَدٍ، فَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمُوهُمَا فَصَلُّوا، وَادْعُوا، حَتَّى يُكْشَفَ مَا بِكُمْ ‏"‏‏.‏

{jb_bluebox}Sayyidina Abu Bakra (RA) narrated that we were with Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) when the sun eclipsed. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) stood up dragging his cloak till he entered the Mosque. He led us in a two-rak`at prayer till the sun (eclipse) had cleared. Then the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said, "The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of someone's death. So whenever you see these eclipses pray and invoke (Allah) till the eclipse is over." [Bukhari]{/jb_bluebox}

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ، عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ خَسَفَتِ الشَّمْسُ فِي عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَصَلَّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِالنَّاسِ، فَقَامَ فَأَطَالَ الْقِيَامَ، ثُمَّ رَكَعَ فَأَطَالَ الرُّكُوعَ، ثُمَّ قَامَ فَأَطَالَ الْقِيَامَ وَهْوَ دُونَ الْقِيَامِ الأَوَّلِ، ثُمَّ رَكَعَ فَأَطَالَ الرُّكُوعَ، وَهْوَ دُونَ الرُّكُوعِ الأَوَّلِ، ثُمَّ سَجَدَ فَأَطَالَ السُّجُودَ، ثُمَّ فَعَلَ فِي الرَّكْعَةِ الثَّانِيَةِ مِثْلَ مَا فَعَلَ فِي الأُولَى، ثُمَّ انْصَرَفَ وَقَدِ انْجَلَتِ الشَّمْسُ، فَخَطَبَ النَّاسَ، فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ، وَأَثْنَى عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏"‏ إِنَّ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ آيَتَانِ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ، لاَ يَنْخَسِفَانِ لِمَوْتِ أَحَدٍ وَلاَ لِحَيَاتِهِ، فَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ ذَلِكَ فَادْعُوا اللَّهَ وَكَبِّرُوا، وَصَلُّوا وَتَصَدَّقُوا ‏"‏‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏"‏ يَا أُمَّةَ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَاللَّهِ مَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ أَغْيَرُ مِنَ اللَّهِ أَنْ يَزْنِيَ عَبْدُهُ أَوْ تَزْنِيَ أَمَتُهُ، يَا أُمَّةَ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَاللَّهِ لَوْ تَعْلَمُونَ مَا أَعْلَمُ لَضَحِكْتُمْ قَلِيلاً وَلَبَكَيْتُمْ كَثِيرًا ‏"‏‏.‏

{jb_bluebox}Sayyida`Aisha (RA) narrated that In the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) the sun eclipsed, so he led the people in prayer, and stood up and performed a long Qiyam, then bowed for a long while. He stood up again and performed a long Qiyam but this time the period of standing was shorter than the first. He bowed again for a long time but shorter than the first one, then he prostrated and prolonged the prostration. He did the same in the second rak`a as he did in the first and then finished the prayer; by then the sun (eclipse) had cleared. He delivered the Khutba (sermon) and after praising and glorifying Allah he said, "The sun and the moon are two signs against the signs of Allah; they do not eclipse on the death or life of anyone. So when you see the eclipse, remember Allah and say Takbir, pray and give Sadaqa." Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) then said, "O followers of Muhammad! By Allah! There is none who has more ghaira (selfrespect) than Allah as He has forbidden that His slaves, 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. [Bukhari]{/jb_bluebox}

Making the prayer longer and then reminding people of Allah (SWT):

The nature of the prayer is exactly like any other congregational Salah with the same number of Ruku (bowing) and Sujood (prostrations) according to Imam Abu Haneefa (RA)

النعمان بن بشير، قال: صلى بنا رسول اللّه صلى الله عليه وسلم في الكسوف، نحو صلاتكم، يركع، ويسجد ركعتين ركعتين، ويسأل اللّه، حتى تجلت الشمس . وفي حديث قبيصة الهلالي، أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: "إذا رأيتم ذلك فصلوها كأحدث صلاة صليتموها من المكتوبة". رواه أحمد، والنسائي.

{jb_bluebox}Sayyidina An-Nu`man ibn Bashir (RA) says: “Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) prayed Salat Al-khusuf with us like one of your prayers. He went into bowing and performed prostration, praying two rak`ahs by two rak`ahs, and supplicated to Allah until the sun reappeared clearly again.” In the hadith from Qabsah al-Hillali, Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said: “If you see that [i.e., an eclipse], pray as you pray the obligatory prayer.” [Ahmad and An-Nasa’i] {/jb_bluebox}

There is no Khutba similar to Friday prayers but this was a talk to emphasise that the Solar eclipse had nothing to do with the passing away of the son of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam).

Announcement, recitation and nature of Prayer:

There is no Adhan for this prayer, rather a general call is made to call people towards the Mosque.

حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ صَالِحٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا مُعَاوِيَةُ بْنُ سَلاَّمِ بْنِ أَبِي سَلاَّمٍ الْحَبَشِيُّ الدِّمَشْقِيُّ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ أَبِي كَثِيرٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي أَبُو سَلَمَةَ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ عَوْفٍ الزُّهْرِيُّ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ لَمَّا كَسَفَتِ الشَّمْسُ عَلَى عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم نُودِيَ إِنَّ الصَّلاَةَ جَامِعَةٌ‏.‏

{jb_bluebox}Sayyidina Narrated `Abdullah bin `Amr (RA) narrated that When the sun eclipsed in the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) an announcement was made that a prayer was to be offered in congregation.[Bukhari]{/jb_bluebox}

The recitation by the Imam can be done loudly according to the students of Imam Abu Haneefa (RA):

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مِهْرَانَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا الْوَلِيدُ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا ابْنُ نَمِرٍ، سَمِعَ ابْنَ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ جَهَرَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي صَلاَةِ الْخُسُوفِ بِقِرَاءَتِهِ، فَإِذَا فَرَغَ مِنْ قِرَاءَتِهِ كَبَّرَ فَرَكَعَ، وَإِذَا رَفَعَ مِنَ الرَّكْعَةِ قَالَ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَهُ، رَبَّنَا وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ‏.‏ ثُمَّ يُعَاوِدُ الْقِرَاءَةَ فِي صَلاَةِ الْكُسُوفِ، أَرْبَعَ رَكَعَاتٍ فِي رَكْعَتَيْنِ وَأَرْبَعَ سَجَدَاتٍ‏.‏ وَقَالَ الأَوْزَاعِيُّ وَغَيْرُهُ سَمِعْتُ الزُّهْرِيَّ، عَنْ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ أَنَّ الشَّمْسَ، خَسَفَتْ عَلَى عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَبَعَثَ مُنَادِيًا بِالصَّلاَةُ جَامِعَةٌ، فَتَقَدَّمَ فَصَلَّى أَرْبَعَ رَكَعَاتٍ فِي رَكْعَتَيْنِ وَأَرْبَعَ سَجَدَاتٍ‏.‏ وَأَخْبَرَنِي عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ نَمِرٍ سَمِعَ ابْنَ شِهَابٍ مِثْلَهُ‏.‏ قَالَ الزُّهْرِيُّ فَقُلْتُ مَا صَنَعَ أَخُوكَ ذَلِكَ، عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ الزُّبَيْرِ مَا صَلَّى إِلاَّ رَكْعَتَيْنِ مِثْلَ الصُّبْحِ إِذْ صَلَّى بِالْمَدِينَةِ‏.‏ قَالَ أَجَلْ، إِنَّهُ أَخْطَأَ السُّنَّةَ‏.‏ تَابَعَهُ سُفْيَانُ بْنُ حُسَيْنٍ وَسُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ كَثِيرٍ عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ فِي الْجَهْرِ‏.‏

{jb_bluebox}Sayyida `Aisha (RA) narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) recited (the Qur'an) aloud during the eclipse prayer and when he had finished the eclipse prayer he said the Takbir and bowed. When he stood straight from bowing he would say "Sami 'allahu liman hamidah Rabbana wa laka l-hamd." And he would again start reciting. In the eclipse prayer there are four bowing and four prostrations in two rak`at. Al-Auza'i and others said that they had heard Az-Zuhri from 'Urwa from `Aisha saying, "In the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) the sun eclipsed, and he made a person to announce: 'Prayer in congregation.' He led the prayer and performed four bowing and four prostrations in two rak`at." Narrated Al-Walid that `Abdur-Rahman bin Namir had informed him that he had heard the same. Ibn Shihab heard the same. Az-Zuhri said, "I asked ('Urwa), 'What did your brother `Abdullah bin Az-Zubair do? He prayed two rak`at (of the eclipse prayer) like the morning prayer, when he offered the (eclipse) prayer in Medina.' 'Urwa replied that he had missed (i.e. did not pray according to) the Prophet's tradition." Sulaiman bin Kathir and Sufyan bin Husain narrated from Az-Zuhri that the prayer for the eclipse used to be offered with loud recitation. [Bukhari]{/jb_bluebox}

قوله ولا جهر) وقال أبو يوسف يجهر وعن محمد روايتان جوهر-شامى)

 This prayer may be performed in two rakaats or four rakaats, with one salaam or two salaams.

الكسوف (ركعتين) بيان لأقلها، وإن شاء أربعا أو أكثر كل ركعتين بتسليمة أو كل أربع -شامى

What are Muslims supposed to do during Lunar Eclipse?

There is no authentic evidence to suggest that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) prayed Salah for lunar eclipse in congregation it is Sunnah to perform the lunar eclipse Ṣalāh individually. The Sunnah and preferred method according to the broad consensus of ḥanafī scholars is to perform this Ṣalāh individually. Some ḥanafī jurists are of the view that although congregational Ṣalāh is not Sunnah, it is permissible.

Summarised Mas'ail (issues) of Salaat al-Kusoof (Eclipse Prayer)

Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed Lajpuri (HA)

These Mas’ail are a summarised translation of the excellent (Urdu) booklet on the topic of Solar eclipse by Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed Lajpuri (HA). The evidence and details of these Mas’ail (issues) are recorded in the booklet and also in the full English translation presented on Wifaqul Ulama site. The translation is done by Shaykh (Maulana) Muhammad Shoyaib Nurgat (HA) and may Allah (SWT) give the best of the rewards to the author and the translator (Ameen).

Some minor changes have been made to the translation to make it more lucid and easier to read.


{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc} The Salah of solar eclipse is Sunnat Muakkadah (a stressed upon Sunnah).

{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} To perform this Salah with congregation is (Afdhal) better.

{jb_bluedisc}3{/jb_bluedisc} In small villages and rural areas where Eidain Salah and Jumuah Salah are not performed, this Salah should be performed individually.

{jb_bluedisc}4{/jb_bluedisc} In accordance to the guidance in Hadeeth for normal Salah, women should perform this Salah at home individually.

{jb_bluedisc}5{/jb_bluedisc} This Salah is performed like ‘normal Salah’ with one Ruku and two Sujood per Raka’at.

{jb_bluedisc}6{/jb_bluedisc} There is no Adhan or Iqaamat for this Salah.

{jb_bluedisc}7{/jb_bluedisc} To gather the people for the eclipse Salah one may call out ‘الصَّلاَةَ جَامِعَةٌ’: ‘prayer is to be offered in congregation.’

{jb_bluedisc}8{/jb_bluedisc} According to the most correct opinion there is no sermon after the solar eclipse Salah.

{jb_bluedisc}9{/jb_bluedisc} In the Salah of solar eclipse the recitation can be loud or silent. Imam Abu Hanifa RA is of the opinion that the recitation should be silent. Imam Abu Yusuf RA is of the opinion that the recitation should be loud. There are two differing opinions of Imam Muhammad RA; one is of loud recitation and the other is of silent. Since this Salah is long, loud recitation will be correct as silent recitation may result in the followers losing concentration and becoming restless.

{jb_bluedisc}10{/jb_bluedisc} It is better if the recitation in the eclipse Salah is lengthy.

{jb_bluedisc}11{/jb_bluedisc} The Ruku and Sujood in the eclipse Salah should also be lengthened.

{jb_bluedisc}12{/jb_bluedisc} After the completion of Salah remain engaged in Dua until the sun becomes clear.

{jb_bluedisc}13{/jb_bluedisc} It is permissible to either lengthen the Salah shortening the dua, or to lengthen the dua and shorten the Salah.

{jb_bluedisc}14{/jb_bluedisc} Lengthening one and shortening the other so that the whole time of eclipse is covered by Salah and Dua is Masnoon.

{jb_bluedisc}15{/jb_bluedisc} The least number of Raka’at for the eclipse Salah is two. To perform four Raka’at is better. To perform more than four is also permissible.

{jb_bluedisc}16{/jb_bluedisc} It is better to perform the eclipse Salah in the Jamia Masjid (main Masjid of the locality) or at the place designated for Eid Salah is better, although it may be performed elsewhere.

{jb_bluedisc}17{/jb_bluedisc} It would be permissible for people to gather and make Dua instead of performing Salah, although the performance of Salah is much better.

{jb_bluedisc}18{/jb_bluedisc} The Imam must not climb on the mimbar for the purpose of Dua.

{jb_bluedisc}19{/jb_bluedisc} The Imam may engage in dua facing the Qibla or stand up facing the congregation. The congregation will continue to say ‘Aameen’ to the dua of the Imam.

{jb_bluedisc}20{/jb_bluedisc} The Imam may take the support of his staff (a’saa).

{jb_bluedisc}21{/jb_bluedisc} The time for the solar eclipse Salah is when the eclipse occurs.

{jb_bluedisc}22{/jb_bluedisc} If one did not perform the eclipse Salah and the eclipse concluded, then there is no need to perform the Salah.

{jb_bluedisc}23{/jb_bluedisc} If a partial eclipse is still present then it is permissible to engage in Salah.

{jb_bluedisc}24{/jb_bluedisc} If the clouds conceal the eclipse whilst it is in progress, continue with the Salah as in reality the eclipse is still in ongoing.

{jb_bluedisc}25{/jb_bluedisc} If the eclipse occurs when it is Makrooh time for Salah then do not read Salah, rather engage in Dua.

{jb_bluedisc}26{/jb_bluedisc} If at the time of eclipse the sun sets, then conclude the Dua and perform the Maghrib Salah. In the same way if a time for any other Fardh Salah begins then end the Dua and perform the Fardh Salah.

{jb_bluedisc}27{/jb_bluedisc} If a Janaazah was to occur in this time then Janaazah Salah should be performed first.


Will Mahdi (AS) emerge after Ramadhan with two eclipses?

Q:) Is it a authenticate hadith that Imam mahdi will come during the month of ramadan and also there will 2 eclipse?

A Narration does appear in some books of hadith that a dual eclipse shall occur during the Ramadaan of the year in which Imam Mahdi is scheduled to make his appearance. For the benefit of readers, I reproduce the text and commentary of this particular narration:

{jb_brownbox}Imam Ali bin Umar Dar-e-Qutni states in his collection of ahadith: ?My Ustaad Abu Saeed Istakhri narrates from his Ustaad Muhammad bin Abdullah, who narrates from his Ustaad Ubaid bin Ya?eesh, and he narrates from Yunus bin Bukair, and he from Amar bin Shamir, and he from Jaabir who narrates that Muhammad bin Ali said: 'Verily, for our Mahdi there are two signs which have never as yet concurred since the creation of the heavens and earth; first is the eclipse of the moon on the first night of Ramadan, and second is the eclipse of the sun during the middle of that same Ramadan. This (concurrence of a solar and lunar eclipse) has never happened since Allah created the heavens and earth.' (Dare Qutni vol.2 p.65){/jb_brownbox}


Sanad or Isnaad are Arabic terms which mean the chain of transmission through which a hadith or narration is transmitted. In order to verify whether a hadith or narration is authentic and reliable, the narrators whose names appear in the sanad are scrutinised. This procedure, known in Islamic terminology as Jarah wa Ta'deel, was used extensively by the Imams and Muhadditheen of old. They have set out a code of conduct according to which they examined and critically analysed the narrators of any hadith. If even one Raawi (narrator) is discovered to be unreliable or untrustworthy, the entire narration becomes seriously suspect. Such a hadith or narration can never be accepted as a basis for any Islamic belief or practice. They adopted this procedure in order to prevent fabrications and false narratives from creeping into the pristine pure teachings of Islam. It has quite rightly been said: If these chains of transmission were non-existent then everyone and anyone would say what they like.? Upon studying the chain of transmission quoted above we firstly notice that this sanad does not reach right up to Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam. It stops on Muhammad bin Ali, the great-grandson of Ameerul Mumineen Hazrat Ali radhiyallahu anhu. Such a narration, where there is no direct link with Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam, is termed Munqati?, and most Ulema do not regard such a transmission as tenable proof for any Deeni practice or belief. Secondly, two names appear in this chain, viz. Amar bin Shamir and Jaabir. Let us now study statements of the Muhadditheen regarding the authenticity and integrity of these two:

The author, Imam Dare Qutni himself, after quoting this narration, singles out these two figures in the chain of transmission and states: ?Both are unreliable narrators. Their narrations are not admissible as proof to substantiate any claim.? (Dare Qutni vol.2 p.65)

Allama Zhahabi, a great authority on hadith has the following entry in his famous critique, Meezaanul I'tidaal:

{jb_brownbox}Amar bin Shamir: A Shia from Kufa. Yahya (bin Mu'een) says: (He is) a non-entity.? Jauzjaani says: A misguided impostor. Ibni Hibbaan says: This man is a Shia who insults the Sahaba, and fabricates narrations in the name of authentic Ulema. Imam Bukhari says: His narrations are rejected. Yahya says: His narrations should not be recorded. Suleimani says: This Amar used to fabricate narrations for the Shias. Imam Nasaai says: His narrations have been discarded. (Meezaanul I'tidaal vol. P.268){/jb_brownbox}

Allama Ibni Hajar quotes the following in his work, Lisaanul Meezaan:

{jb_brownbox}Ibni Abi Haatim says: I asked my father(Abu Haatim) about him (Amar bin Shamir), and he replied: His ahadeeth are totally rejected, a weak narrator, a person one should never get involved with. The Muhadditheen have forsaken him. Abu Abdullah Haakim (a high ranking authority on hadith) states: He has many fabrications narrated from Jabir Ju?afi, and no-one else besides him (Amar bin Shamir) narrate these blatant fabrications from Jabir. (Lisaanul Meezaan vol. P. 367){/jb_brownbox}

From the above it is evident that this narration is very weak and flimsy, and cannot serve as the basis for any firm belief or practice. You will notice many signs attributed to Imam Mehdi's appearance in the books of hadith, which are derived from extremely weak, unsound, and doubtful narrations. Some of these appear to come from Shia sources, of which the above is a typical example. Note the words, Verily, for our Mahdi..... The Shiahs have their own concept of a Imam Mehdi, which differs vastly to what the Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama-ah believe and teach.

Apart from the above, let us consider some other aspects to this narration. Assuming that the narration is sound and good, the content matter is difficult to reconcile with scientific evidence (which we are presently using to figure out these signs). It states that the lunar eclipse will occur on the first night of Ramadaan. Now it is common knowledge that lunar eclipses only occur when there is full moon, and that can be on the 13th , 14th , or 15th nights of the Islamic month. According to the information obtained from the Observatory, the lunar eclipse will occur on 9 November, and that should be somewhere in the middle of Ramadaan. Logically too, one cannot imagine an eclipse of the new moon (which too many may happen every month when they go out to sight the moon!).

Secondly, this particular concurrence of eclipse, I believe, will not be visible from the same belt of earth. The lunar eclipse on November 9, 2003 will be visible from America, Africa, and Europe, while the solar eclipse on 23 November will be seen from Antarctica (of all places). For this sign to be accepted, both eclipses must be seen from the same belt of earth, and in particular, from Arabia, for this is the context of this sign of Imam Mehdi. It seems that this is not the case with this particular eclipse. When I enquired from the same Observatory several years ago about the same phenomenon, they replied that a dual eclipse is not uncommon and happens often. (That is, at different parts of the world) They provided some charts which depict different areas where both solar and lunar eclipses will occur over the next two decades (i.e. up to 2015), advising me to study these charts. Apparently they were too busy to enlist places and dates where a dual eclipse was to occur. Nonetheless, this observation of the Observatory (if you'll excuse the pun) that such a happening is not uncommon means that you will frequently find a situation when in one area of the world there is a solar eclipse and, concurrently, at another place there is a lunar eclipse. This, of course, can and does happen frequently. They further stated that a dual eclipse from the same belt of the earth is less frequent. Well, if you can recall, in June 1992, here in South Africa we had a similar experience of a lunar and solar eclipse in the month of June, for which we even offered Salaatul-Kusoof in the Musjid. Both were visible in South Africa.

Thirdly, the signs attributed to Imam Mehdi are all unique in their occurrence. This dual eclipse, too, must be unique. Yet, it appears that such a dual eclipse in one month in the same area of the world has already happened. The words in the narration clearly state that "this has never happened since Allah created the world". So if we are to accept the narration as it is, with an eclipse of new moon and all, how do we reconcile this statement when we have already experienced a dual eclipse in one month? Yes, one might say that such an event has never happened before IN RAMADAAN, or that an eclipse of the new moon has never yet occurred, and it may be a "first". The first is possible, the second (of it being a "first") improbable, but the first is dependent upon acceptance of the second - first accept that eclipse of the new moon is possible, then say it will happen for the first time in Ramadaan.

Furthermore, a lunar eclipse is called such because the entire moon is cast into shadow, and that's what makes it so dramatic. But the crescent at the start of an Islamic month is already barely noticeable, what's so grand about it not being noticed at all? (Ask the people of PE who go moon-sighting every month!)

Lets move on to another aspect. Sorry for the quick shift in line of thought, for perhaps you may need time to sift through my maze of confusion above. Leaving alone the authenticity of such an event, what is important is not to create hysteria among people for no reason. Also, not to present something of Islam which may turn out to be false. The prediction we now discuss was brought up several years earlier by a certain Moulana. I believe some people, after listening to his talk of the dual eclipse in 2003 or 2004, actually intended selling up and going to settle in Makka to await the coming of Imam Mehdi. Now this is not healthy for anyone. Besides, the hadith shareef is very clearly THAT IMAM MEHDI WILL APPEAR WHEN PEOPLE LEAST EXPECT, AND THE FIRST GROUP OF ULEMA AND BUZRUGS WHO TAKE BAY'AT AT HIS HANDS WILL DO SO UNEXPECTEDLY. Now if this is the case with the pious people who will be honoured to take first bay'at at his hands, do we think we can do better by either searching out for him, or awaiting his advent? This is something that will take its natural course. None of the signs are such that people can actually predict them with accuracy. Yes, once it really happens, then one can attribute it to the Imam. Once Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Ali were passing by a certain area of Iraq, on the banks of the Tigris or Euphrates River. The former remarked: "I've heard Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) speak of the treasures that this area will throw up. Perhaps I should make an attempt to unearth these treasures (thus fulfilling the prophecy)." Ali (Radhiyallahi anhu) said: "O Ameerul-Mumineen, forget it and just keep walking ahead. These treasures are not your department. Instead a youth among the Quraish, who will be called Mehdi, will see to this." This incident proves that such signs must take their fixed course and cannot be pre-empted.

I believe that we should concentrate on the signs that are chronicled in authentic and sound ahadith, so that we are sure of our teaching and belief, and we do not run the risk of inadvertently endorsing a Shiaconcept. Despite extensive research we could not find any other hadith book recording this event as given above, besides the work of Imam Daare-qutni, from which we have obviously quoted. Sometimes the author will cite a narrative purely to reject and criticise it, which I think is what the author of Daarie-Qutni has done. Also, all subsequent books that do mention this event quote it from the same Daar-e-Qutni.

Insha-Allah, an updated version of our book, The Story of Imam Mahdi will soon be handed in for publication. We shall be referring therein to this incident.


Siraj Desai


Solar eclipse facts:

Mr Ecplise explains, "An eclipse of the Sun (or solar eclipse) can only occur at New Moon when the Moon passes between Earth and Sun. If the Moon's shadow happens to fall upon Earth's surface at that time, we see some portion of the Sun's disk covered or 'eclipsed' by the Moon. Since New Moon occurs every 29 1/2 days, you might think that we should have a solar eclipse about once a month. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen because the Moon's orbit around Earth is tilted 5 degrees to Earth's orbit around the Sun. As a result, the Moon's shadow usually misses Earth as it passes above or below our planet at New Moon. At least twice a year, the geometry lines up just right so that some part of the Moon's shadow falls on Earth's surface and an eclipse of the Sun is seen from that region."

Solar eclipse diagram:


Solar eclipse dates & calendar:

Solar Eclipses: 2011 - 2020
Calendar Date TD of Greatest Eclipse Eclipse Type Saros Series Eclipse Magnitude Central Duration Geographic Region of Eclipse Visibility
2011 Jan 04 08:51:42 Partial 151 0.858 - Europe, Africa, c Asia
2011 Jun 01 21:17:18 Partial 118 0.601 - e Asia, n N. America, Iceland
2011 Jul 01 08:39:30 Partial 156 0.097 - s Indian Ocean
2011 Nov 25 06:21:24 Partial 123 0.905 - s Africa, Antarctica, Tasmania, N.Z.
2012 May 20 23:53:53 Annular 128 0.944 05m46s Asia, Pacific, N. America
[Annular: China, Japan, Pacific, w U.S.]
2012 Nov 13 22:12:55 Total 133 1.050 04m02s Australia, N.Z., s Pacific, s S. America
[Total: n Australia, s Pacific]
2013 May 10 00:26:20 Annular 138 0.954 06m03s Australia, N.Z., c Pacific
[Annular: n Australia, Solomon Is., c Pacific]
2013 Nov 03 12:47:36 Hybrid 143 1.016 01m40s e Americas, s Europe, Africa
[Hybrid: Atlantic, c Africa]
2014 Apr 29 06:04:32 Annular 148 0.987 - s Indian, Australia, Antarctica
[Annular: Antarctica]
2014 Oct 23 21:45:39 Partial 153 0.811 - n Pacific, N. America
2015 Mar 20 09:46:47 Total 120 1.045 02m47s Iceland, Europe, n Africa, n Asia
[Total: n Atlantic, Faeroe Is, Svalbard]
2015 Sep 13 06:55:19 Partial 125 0.788 - s Africa, s Indian, Antarctica
2016 Mar 09 01:58:19 Total 130 1.045 04m09s e Asia, Australia, Pacific
[Total: Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, Pacific]
2016 Sep 01 09:08:02 Annular 135 0.974 03m06s Africa, Indian Ocean
[Annular: Atlantic, c Africa, Madagascar, Indian]
2017 Feb 26 14:54:32 Annular 140 0.992 00m44s s S. America, Atlantic, Africa, Antarctica
[Annular: Pacific, Chile, Argentina, Atlantic, Africa]
2017 Aug 21 18:26:40 Total 145 1.031 02m40s N. America, n S. America
[Total: n Pacific, U.S., s Atlantic]
2018 Feb 15 20:52:33 Partial 150 0.599 - Antarctica, s S. America
2018 Jul 13 03:02:16 Partial 117 0.336 - s Australia
2018 Aug 11 09:47:28 Partial 155 0.737 - n Europe, ne Asia
2019 Jan 06 01:42:38 Partial 122 0.715 - ne Asia, n Pacific
2019 Jul 02 19:24:07 Total 127 1.046 04m33s s Pacific, S. America
[Total: s Pacific, Chile, Argentina]
2019 Dec 26 05:18:53 Annular 132 0.970 03m39s Asia, Australia
[Annular: Saudi Arabia, India, Sumatra, Borneo]
2020 Jun 21 06:41:15 Annular 137 0.994 00m38s Africa, se Europe, Asia
[Annular: c Africa, s Asia, China, Pacific]
2020 Dec 14 16:14:39 Total 142 1.025 02m10s Pacific, s S. America, Antarctica
[Total: s Pacific, Chile, Argentina, s Atlantic]
2021 Jun 21 10:43:07 Annular 147 0.943 03m51s Europe, Much of Asia, North/West Africa, Much of North America, Atlantic, Arctic


Lunar eclipse facts:

Mr Ecplise explains, "An eclipse of the Moon (or lunar eclipse) can only occur at Full Moon, and only if the Moon passes through some portion of Earth's shadow. That shadow is actually composed of two cone-shaped components, one nested inside the other. The outer or penumbral shadow is a zone where the Earth blocks part but not all of the Sun's rays from reaching the Moon. In contrast, the inner or umbral shadow is a region where the Earth blocks all direct sunlight from reaching the Moon."

Lunar eclipse diagram:


Lunar eclipse dates & calendar:

Lunar Eclipses: 2011 - 2020
Calendar Date TD of Greatest Eclipse Eclipse Type Saros Series Umbral Magnitude Eclipse Duration Geographic Region of Eclipse Visibility  
2011 Jun 15 20:13:43 Total 130 1.700 03h39m
S.America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Aus.  
2011 Dec 10 14:32:56 Total 135 1.106 03h32m
Europe, e Africa, Asia, Aus., Pacific, N.A.  
2012 Jun 04 11:04:20 Partial 140 0.370 02h07m Asia, Aus., Pacific, Americas  
2012 Nov 28 14:34:07 Penumbral 145 -0.187 - Europe, e Africa, Asia, Aus., Pacific, N.A.  
2013 Apr 25 20:08:38 Partial 112 0.015 00h27m Europe, Africa, Asia, Aus.  
2013 May 25 04:11:06 Penumbral 150 -0.934 - Americas, Africa  
2013 Oct 18 23:51:25 Penumbral 117 -0.272 - Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia  
2014 Apr 15 07:46:48 Total 122 1.291 03h35m
Aus., Pacific, Americas  
2014 Oct 08 10:55:44 Total 127 1.166 03h20m
Asia, Aus., Pacific, Americas  
2015 Apr 04 12:01:24 Total 132 1.001 03h29m
Asia, Aus., Pacific, Americas  
2015 Sep 28 02:48:17 Total 137 1.276 03h20m
e Pacific, Americas, Europe, Africa, w Asia  
2016 Mar 23 11:48:21 Penumbral 142 -0.312 - Asia, Aus., Pacific, w Americas  
2016 Sep 16 18:55:27 Penumbral 147 -0.064 - Europe, Africa, Asia, Aus., w Pacific  
2017 Feb 11 00:45:03 Penumbral 114 -0.035 - Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia  
2017 Aug 07 18:21:38 Partial 119 0.246 01h55m Europe, Africa, Asia, Aus.  
2018 Jan 31 13:31:00 Total 124 1.315 03h23m
Asia, Aus., Pacific, w N.America  
2018 Jul 27 20:22:54 Total 129 1.609 03h55m
S.America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Aus.  
2019 Jan 21 05:13:27 Total 134 1.195 03h17m
c Pacific, Americas, Europe, Africa  
2019 Jul 16 21:31:55 Partial 139 0.653 02h58m S.America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Aus.  
2020 Jan 10 19:11:11 Penumbral 144 -0.116 - Europe, Africa, Asia, Aus.  
2020 Jun 05 19:26:14 Penumbral 111 -0.405 - Europe, Africa, Asia, Aus.  
2020 Jul 05 04:31:12 Penumbral 149 -0.644 - Americas, sw Europe, Africa  
2020 Nov 30 09:44:01 Penumbral 116 -0.262 - Asia, Aus., Pacific, Americas