Assalaamo Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,
Today in Southern Africa we are witnessing a lunar eclipse. Right now as we speak the Moon has been totally covered by the shadow of the earth, and is no longer visible unless you know where the should be at this time.
This total lunar eclipse has occurred after 11years here in Africa.
The eclipse started at 20.23 Central African time, this is one of the longest eclipses, it reached total eclipse at 21.23 C.A.T and will end just after midnight.
This is a relatively rare central lunar eclipse where the center point of Earth's shadow passes across the Moon. The last time a lunar eclipse was closer to the center of the earth's shadow was on July 16, 2000. The next central total lunar eclipse will be on July 27, 2018.
The things todo on this night is to offer two rakaat Salaatul Khusuf,
Make abundant Istagfaar
and Take out Sadaqah.
What is a Lunar Eclipse and how does it occur?
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.Excerpted from: www.usc.edu