Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,
The topic of the Eclipse is a very interesting one. The eclipse in Arabic is called KHUSUF.
WHAT IS AN ECLIPSE ?:(scientific explanation)
Passage of an astronomical body through the shadow of another.
The term is usually employed for solar and lunar eclipses, which may be either partial or total, but also, for example, for eclipses by Jupiter of its satellites. An eclipse of a star by a body in the Solar System is called an occultation.
A SOLAR ECLIPSE occurs when the Moon passes in front of the Sun as seen from Earth, and can happen only at new Moon. During a total eclipse the Sun's corona can be seen.
A total solar eclipse can last up to 7.5 minutes. When the Moon is at its farthest from Earth it does not completely cover the face of the Sun, leaving a ring of sunlight visible. This
is an annular eclipse (from the Latin word annulus `ring´). Between two and five solar eclipses occur each year.
A LUNAR ECLIPSE occurs when the Moon passes into the shadow of the Earth, becoming dim until emerging from the shadow. Lunar eclipses may be partial or total, and they can
happen only at full Moon. Total lunar eclipses last for up to 100 minutes; the maximum number each year is three.
According to the majority of learned jurists, prayer(salaat) on the occasion of an eclipse is Sunnat.According to Abu Hanifa(R.A.) ,there are two rakaats of salaat for SOLAR ECLIPSE in congregation(jamaat) without any sermon(khutba),and two rakaats for LUNAR ECLIPSE without congregation.
According to Imaam Shafiee(R.A.),the salaat shall be said in congregation with a khutba(sermon).
Method of making this Salaah:
Salat al-kusoof (solar eclipse Prayer) is sunnah mu’akkadah (confirmed sunnah) for both male and female believers. It is better to offer it congregationally in the mosque. Its time is from the beginning of the eclipse till it clears away. There is no adhan for the Prayer, but it should be announced, as stated earlier, with “as-salatu jami`ah.”
According to the hadith, narrated by `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), salat al-kusoof is two rak`ahs; however, the worshiper bows twice in each rak`ah instead of once.
In the first rak`ah, after al-Fatihah, one recites a long or short surah. One then says “allahu akbar” and bows down in a long bowing. As one rises up, one says: “sami` Allahu liman hamidah, rabbana lakal-hamd.”
One then says “Allahu akbar” and bows down a second time but not so long. As one rises up one says, “sami` Allahu liman hamidah, rabbana lakal-hamd.”
As one resumes standing straight, one says “allahu akbar” and then falls down in prostration. One begins the second rak`ah by saying “allahu akbar” The second rak`ah should be observed like the first one. After the Prayer, the imam may give a guiding sermon.
Salat al-khusoof (lunar eclipse Prayer) is the same as salatal-kusoof (solar eclipse Prayer). The recital of al-Fatihah may be performed aloud or silently.Excerpted from: www.usc.edu
SalatAl-Kusoof(The Eclipse Prayer)
Ruling: Most of the people of knowledge regard it as a confirmed sunnah (mu’akkadah). Imam Abu Hanifah said it was obligatory (wajib), while imam Malik regarded it as equal to salat al-jumu`ah (Friday Prayer) in importance.
Form: The eclipse Prayer consists of two rak`ahs. Various forms of the rak`ahs have been narrated, but the most authentic hadiths indicate that each rak`ahhas two standings (qiyam), two instances of recitation from the Qur’an (qira’ah), two bowings (ruku`), and two prostrations (sujud). This is the view of the majority of the people of knowledge, including Imams Malik, Shafi`i, and Ahmad. The number of ruku` in each rak`ah has also been narrated as three, four, or more; the Hanafi scholars prefer only one ruku`, just as for the daily Prayers. However, the most authentic hadiths support the majority view, given above.
Congregation: The sunnah is for the Prayer to be held in congregation in the mosque, although individuals who cannot reach the congregation may pray alone. Women may pray at home or attend the congregation.
Khutbah (sermon): The imam gives this after the congregational Prayer, based on the admonition of the Messenger of Allah, part of which is quoted at the beginning of this article. The sermon is recommended according to Imam ash-Shafi`i and the majority of the other imams of Hadith, while the Hanafi scholars say that the sermon is not part of the Eclipse Prayer. They regard the Prophet’s admonition as a general reminder and not a formal sermon. If delivered, the sermon should contain praise of Allah, the two testimonies of faith, and reminders about Paradise and the Fire.
Timing: The time for the Eclipse Prayer lasts throughout the eclipse. The Prayer must be started during the eclipse, although it can end after the eclipse is over. The sermon is delivered after the Prayer, whether or not the eclipse is still in progress. After the eclipse, the requirement and time for the Prayer no longer exists and therefore it is invalid to pray salatal-kusoof outside the time of the eclipse. Imams Abu Hanifah and Ahmad have stipulated that the Eclipse Prayer cannot be held during times when Prayer is normally reprehensible, i.e., when the sun is rising or setting over the horizon, or when it reaches its zenith. Other imams say that the recommendation of the Eclipse Prayer takes precedence over these discouraged times.
Length: The Eclipse Prayer should be longer than normal daily, weekly, or annual Prayers. The Eclipse Prayer performed by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was extremely long: it started soon after the beginning of the eclipse and ended after the eclipse was over. His Prayer included four instances of recitation from the Qur’an, with the first and longest of them being reckoned as “about as lengthy as surat al-Baqarah.” Further, the qiyam, ruku` and sujud were described as longer than any others seen performed by him. However, the imam should as always bear in mind the capabilities of his congregation, and the Prayer should not be prolonged excessively for the old and weak amongst them. There is no requirement to prolong the Prayer throughout the eclipse, nor to pray extra rak`ahs. The two-rak`ahs Prayer is made as long as is reasonable, and the remainder of the eclipse is spent in supplication, general mention and remembrance of Allah (including recitation of the Qur’an), and giving charity.
Detailed Description of the Prayer
1. There is no Adhan or Iqamah for the Prayer, although the Prayer can be announced by calling, “As-Salatu Jami`ah” (“The congregation is gathering for Prayer”).
2. The imam begins the Prayer with takbir, as usual, followed by recitation of Surat Al-Fatihah and one or more further surahs. The recitation can be loud (majority view) or silent.
3. The imam does ruku` with takbir, as usual.
4. The imam rises from ruku` saying "Sami` Allahu liman hamidah," followed by the usual dhikr.
5. Remaining in the standing posture, the imam again recites Surat Al-Fatihah and one or more other surahs.
6. The imam goes into ruku` with takbir.
7. The imam rises from ruku` saying “Sami` Allahu liman hamidah,” followed by the usual dhikr.
8. The imam performs the two prostrations as usual, except that the prostrations should be lengthy, as should be the sitting between them.
9. The imam rises for the second rak`ah, which is performed in the same manner as the first.
10. Hence there are a total of four of each of the following: standing straight (with recitation), bowing down, and prostrating. The sunnah is for each standing straight, bowing down, and prostration to be shorter than the previous one.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.witness-pioneer.org
Hadith on eclipse:
Al-Mughirah ibn Shu`bah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the the sun eclipsed during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) on the day when Ibrahim, the Prophet’s son, died. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said the following:
"Verily the sun and the moon are 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 (in a state of eclipse), supplicate Allah and observe the Prayer till it is over." (Reported by Muslim)
Please note everyone that it is the duty of the Muslim to shun all forms of superstitions from his life and to avoid linking the existence of this natural phenomena to certain physical calamities or disabilities that may happen to him.
The Muslim reaction to lunar and solar eclipses can be summarized as follows:
1. Solar and lunar eclipses are reminders of the Day of Judgment, when the sun, moon, and stars will all lose their light. [When the sight is dazed, and the moon is buried in darkness, and the sun and moon are joined together: Man will say on that day, ‘Where is the refuge?’] (Al-Qiyamah 75: 7-10)
2. Being a reminder of the Last Day, the eclipse is a time for Prayer, charitable acts, and generally remembering Allah and seeking His forgiveness.
3. To believe that heavenly bodies (sun, moon, planets, stars) have power over events and people’s fates and fortunes is to reject Allah by ascribing partners to Him. [And among His Signs are the night and the day, the sun and the moon. Prostrate neither to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate to Allah who created them, if it is truly Him you worship.] (Fussilat 41: 37) Thus, one cannot worship God by worshiping creation—whether the devotions are offered to nature, heavenly bodies, idols, or human beings. The worship of something or someone created in whatever form, Muslims consider to be an underlying error of many groups active in the UK, from pagans, Druids and New Age cultures (for whom the eclipse is a sacred event) to the numerous Christian denominations. The popular but false, empty faith in astrology, so widespread in the popular press, is also condemned in Islam. Islam teaches people to constantly turn to the Source of all events: Allah.