All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
Salatul Kusoof is the prayer of the solar or lunar eclipse. The scholars agree that the prayer of the eclipses is a recommended Sunnah, which is to be performed by both men and women. It is best to pray it in congregation although the congregation is not a condition for it. The people are called to it by announcing as-salatu jami'ah “prayer in congregation.”
The majority of the scholars hold that it consists of two Rak'ahs and that in every Rak'ah, one is to perform two Rukoo’ (bowing down) instead of the customary one Rukoo’.
'Aa’ishah narrated: “There was a solar eclipse during the time of the Prophet and the Prophet went to the mosque, and he stood and said the Takbeer, and he put the people in rows behind him, and he made a lengthy recital during the prayer. Next, he made the Takbeer and made a long Rukoo’, but it was not as long as the recital. Following that, he raised his head, saying: 'Allah hears him who praises Him. And to You, our Lord, belongs all praise.' Afterward, he stood and made another long recital but it was shorter than the first one. Again, he said the Takbeer and made Rukoo’ that was shorter than the first one. Then, again he said: 'Allah hears him who praises Him. And to You, our Lord, belongs all praise.' After this, he prostrated. He did the same in the second Rak'ah and finished four Rukoo’, and four prostrations. The sun appeared again before he finished. Finally, he stood and addressed the people and praised Allah as He deserves it and said: “The sun and the moon are two signs from among Allah's signs and there is no eclipse due to someone's death or life. If you see them occurring, hurry to pray.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Al-Bukhari and Muslim also reported that Ibn 'Abbaas said: “There was a solar eclipse during the life time of the Prophet and he prayed with a long standing, similar to what it takes to recite Chapter al-Baqarah [Quran 2]. Then, he made a long Rukoo’. After which, he stood and made another long recital but shorter than the first one. Again he went into Rukoo’, but for a shorter time than in the first one. Following this, he prostrated [twice]. Next, he made another long standing (qiyam) which was also not as long as the first. After that, he made another lengthy Rukoo’, but it was not as long as the first one. Again, he made another long qiyam [and recital] but it was not as long as the first one. After which, he made another lengthy Rukoo’, but it was not as long as the previous one. Following this, he prostrated [and so on]. When he had finished, the sun had appeared. He concluded his prayer and said: “The sun and the moon are two signs from among the signs of Allah, and there is no eclipse due to the death or life of anyone. If you see it, make remembrance of Allah.”
Grading these narrations, Ibn Abdul-Barr said: “These two Ahadeeth are the most authentic reports on this topic.”
Ibn al-Qayyim observes: “The authentic, clear, and preponderant Sunnah concerning the eclipse prayer is that the Rukoo’ is to be repeated [twice] in every Rak'ah. This is based on the Hadeeth from 'Aa’ishah, Ibn 'Abbas, Jaabir, Ubayy ibn Ka'b, 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'Aas, and Abu Moosa al-Ash'ari. They all reported that the Prophet repeated the Rukoo’ in one Rak'ah. Those who mention the repeating of the Rukoo’ are more in number, weightier, and closer to the Prophet than those who do not mention it.”
This is the opinion of Imam Maalik, ash-Shaafi'i, and Ahmad. Abu Haneefah is of the opinion that the eclipse prayer consists of two Rak'ah, similar to ‘Eed prayer and jumu'ah, based on the Hadeeth of An-Nu'maan ibn Basheer who said: “The Messenger of Allah prayed the eclipse prayer with us like one of your prayers. He went into Rukoo’ and performed the prostration, praying two Rak'ahs by two Rak'ahs, and supplicated to Allah until the sun reappeared clearly again.”
In the Hadeeth by Qabsah al-Hillali, the Prophet said: “If you see that [i.e., an eclipse], pray as you pray the obligatory prayer.” This is related by Ahmad and an-Nasaa'i. The recitation of al-Faatihah is obligatory in each Rak'ah, and one may recite whatever one wishes to, after Al-Fatihah. It is permissible to recite audibly or silently, but al-Bukhaari says: “Audible recitation is more proper.” The time for the eclipse prayer is from the beginning of the eclipse until the eclipse finishes. The prayer of the lunar eclipse is similar to that of the solar eclipse.
Al-Hassan al-Basri reported: “There was a solar eclipse and Ibn 'Abbaas, the governor of Basra, went out and prayed two Rak'ahs with two Rukoo’ in each Rak'ah. Then, he mounted his mount and said: “I prayed as I have seen the Prophet () praying.” This was reported by ash-Shaafi'i in his Musnad. It is preferred to make the Takbeer, supplications, to give charity, and ask Allah for forgiveness during the eclipse.
Al-Bukhaari and Muslim reported from 'Aa’ishah that the Messenger of Allah said: “The sun and the moon are two signs from among Allah's Signs and there is no eclipse due to the life or death of anyone. If you see that [an eclipse] supplicate Allah, extol His Greatness, give charity and pray.”
They also reported from Abu Moosa that there was a solar eclipse and the Prophet said: “If you see something of this nature, rush to the remembrance of Allah, supplicating Him and asking His forgiveness.”
Allah knows best.