How are lunar eclipse (khusuf) and solar eclipse (kusuf) prayers performed?

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KUSUF AND KHUSUF PRAYERS

"Kusuf" derived from the root (K.S.F) and "khusuf" derived from the root (KH.S.F) are two verbs that express solar and lunar eclipses. Kusuf is generally used for the solar eclipse and khusuf is used for the lunar eclipse. In terms of astronomy, kusuf occurs when all or some of the sunlight cannot reach a certain part of the world during the day because the shadow of the moon enters between the sun and the earth. Khusuf occurs when all or some of the moonlight cannot reach the earth at night because the shadow of the world enters between the sun and the moon. Those two terms are sometimes used interchangeably and they are called “two kusufs” or “two khusufs”.

According to the majority of Islamic fiqh scholars, kusuf and khusuf prayers are sunnah muakkadah. However, Hanafis and Malikis regard khusuf prayer mandub. The following is stated in the Quran: "Among His Signs are the Night and the Day, and the Sun and the Moon. Do not prostrate to the sun and the moon, but prostrate to Allah, Who created them…" (Fussilat, 41/37) The verse indicates performing prayers during lunar and solar eclipses for Allah, who created them.  

When Ibrahim, the Prophet’s son, died, the Prophet (pbuh) became very sad. When a solar eclipse occurred on the same day, some people claimed that sun shared the sorrow of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh). Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "Verily the sun and the moon are the two signs among the signs of Allah. They do not eclipse on account of the death of anyone or on account of the birth of anyone. So when you see them, supplicate Allah, and observe prayer till it is over." (Bukhari, Kusuf, 1,3,8,13,15,17; Muslim, Kusuf, 10; Ahmad b. Hanbal, IV, 249, 253; ash-Shawkani, Naylul-Awtar, III, 326).

Kusuf prayer is valid for believing men and women who are to perform five daily prayers, whether they are travelers or residents. For, the practice of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) related to kusuf and khusuf prayers was like that. This prayer is performed without adhan and iqamah. A caller shouts "As-salatu jami’ah = Prayer is gatherer." (ash-Shawkani, ibid, III, 325). It is permissible to perform it in congregation or individually, reading silently or aloud, with or without a sermon. However, it is more virtuous to perform it in the mosque and in congregation. 

It is mandub to perform a prayer of two-rak’ahs during the times of disasters like earthquake, storm, thunderbolt, heavy rain, hail and epidemics individually. Analogy to kusuf prayer is in question for those prayers. (Zaylai, Nasbur-Raya, II, 234, 235)

According to Hanafis, kusuf prayer is two rak’ahs like eid, jumua and nafilah prayers. It is performed without an adhan, iqamah and sermon; there is one ruku’ and two sajdahs in each rak’ah. The evidence is the following hadith reported by Abu Dawud: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) prayed two rak'ahs and stood for a long time in them. He then departed and the sun became bright. He then said: There are the signs by means of which Allah, the Exalted, produces dread in His servants. When you see anything of this nature, then pray as you are praying a fresh obligatory prayer." (Bukhari, Kusuf, 6, 14; Muslim, Kusuf, 21, 24; Abu Dawud, Istithqa, 3, 4)

According to the majority of Islamic fiqh scholars, kusuf prayer is two rak’ahs; there are two qira’ahs, two qiyams, two ruku’s and two sajdahs in each rak’ah. The qira’ah that is sunnah is as follows: In the first qiyam (standing), the chapter of al-Baqara or a chapter like it is read after al-Fatiha; in the second qiyam, a shorter part from the Quran is read after al-Fatiha; in the third qiyam, a shorter part from the Quran than the one in the second rak’ah is read after al-Fatiha; in the fourth qiyam, a shorter part from the Quran than the one in the third rak’ah is read after al-Fatiha. After the qira’ah in the first qiyam, ruku’ is made; after standing up from ruku’, the second qira’ah is made; them another ruku’ is made followed by two sajdahs. In the first ruku’, “Subhanallah (Glory be to Allah, who is free of any defects)” is repeated as many times as is enough to read about one hundred verses, in the second ruku’ eighty verses, in the third ruku’, seventy verses and in the fourth ruku’, fifty verses.  (Zuhayli, al-Fiqhul-Islami wa Adillatuh, 1405/1985, II, 399). The hadith that the majority bases their view on for two ruku’s is the following hadith: Abdullah b. Amr said, “When there was a solar eclipse when the Prophet (pbuh) was alive, somebody called out, "As-salatu jami’ah." The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) performed two ruku’s and two sajdahs in one rak’ah; then, he stood up and performed two ruku’s and two sajdahs in one rak’ah again. Then, the sun became bright. Hz. Aisha said, ‘I have never performed a ruku’ longer than the one in this prayer and a sajdah longer than the one in this prayer." (ash-Shawkani, ibid, III, 325)

According to Abu Hanifa, the qira’ah (reading the Quran) is silent in kusuf prayer. Ibn Abbas stated the following: "I performed a kusuf prayer with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). I have not heard even a letter from his qira’ah." (Zaylai, Nasbur-Raya, II, 232). Khusuf prayer is performed individually and silently. According to Imam Muhammad and Abu Yusuf, the imam reads aloud in kusuf prayer. For, Hz. Aisha said the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) read aloud in such a prayer. (ash-Shawkani, ibid, III, 331; Zaylai, ibid, II, 232; see Ibnul Humam, Fathul-Qadir, 432-436; al-Qasani, Badayius-Sanayi: I, 281-282, Maydani, al-Lubab, I, 121)

According to Hanafis and Hanbalis, khutba (serman) is not recited after the kusuf prayer. For, the Prophet (pbuh) ordered us the prayer, not the sermon. The reason why he delivered a sermon after that prayer was to inform the decree about it. The speech he made after a kusuf prayer is as follows: "The sun and the moon are two signs among the signs of Allah. They do not eclipse either on the death of anyone or on his birth. So when you see them, hasten to prayer and give sadaqah. I saw in my place everything which you have been promised. I even saw myself desiring to pluck a bunch of grapes from Paradise and it was at the time when you saw me moving forward. And I saw Hell and some of its parts crushing the others, when you saw me moving back." (Muslim, Kusuf, 3901; Malik, Muwatta', I, 186; Bayhaqi, III, 323, 324; Shawkani, ibid, III, 325). Another narration of the hadith is as follows:

“I saw hell. I had never seen a scene more frightening than it before. I saw that the majority of Hell consisted of women.” A Companion asked for the reason for it. He said, “They are ungrateful to their husbands and ungrateful for good treatment. If you are kind to one of them for a lifetime then she sees one undesirable thing in you, she will say, ‘I have never had anything good from you.’” (Bukhari, from Ibn Abbas, II, 28; Malik, Muwatta', I, 186; Ibn Huzayma, 1379; Bayhaqi, III, 321)

İA

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