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The Prescribed Prayer: Chapter Two (cont.)


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SALAATUL KUSUUF (THE SOLAR ECLIPSE PRAYER)

The Kussuf, or solar eclipse, is the partial or total cutting off of the sun's light when the moon comes between it and the earth. People used to associate this unusual phenomenon with some superstitious reason. It so happens that the sun eclipsed on the day the Prophet's son, Ibraaheem, died in Medina, so some people attributed that to his death. Hence, the Prophet took the opportunity to correct the people's mistaken notion about the solar eclipse.

The Prophet ordered someone to announce As Salaatu Jaami'ah, that prayer is to be convened in public. When people gathered he led them in prayer after which he stated:

"The solar or lunar eclipse is only a sign of Allahu ta'aala. They do not take place for the death or life of anybody. Whenever you see them, hasten to the prayer." (Muslim)

The Solar Eclipse Prayer is an emphatic Sunnah for both male and female believers. It is better to offer it congregationally in the masjid. Its time is from the beginning of the eclipse till it clears away. There is no Adhaan for the prayer, but it should be announced, as stated earlier, with Assalaatu Jaami'ah.

According to the Hadeeth, narrated by 'Aaishah (r.'a.), the Solar Eclipse Prayer is two raka'aats; however, there are two rukuu'uus (bowing down) in each raka'ah instead of one.

In the first raka'ah, one recites after Al-Faatihah, a long or short suurah. One then says Allahu Akbar and bows down in a long rukuu'u. As one raises up, one says:
Sami'allahu liman hamidah
Rabbana lakal hamd

One then says Allahu Akbar and bows down for a second, not so long, Rukuu'u. As one raises up one says:
Sami'allaahu liman hamidah
Rabbanaa lakal hamd.

As one resumes Qiyaam, one says Allahu Akbar and falls down in prostration. One begins the second raka'ah by saying Allaahu Akbar. The second raka'ah should be observed like the first one.

After the prayer, the Imaam may give a guiding Khutbah.

The Lunar Eclipse Prayer is the same as the Solar Eclipse Prayer. The recital of Al Faatihah may be performed aloud or silently.

SALAATUL ISTISQAA (THE RAIN PRAYER)

Salaatul Istisqaa is offered for rain to fall whenever there is a drought or dryness and there is need for water for people, animals and plants.

The Salaah is two raka'aats without Adhan or Iqaamah. It may be said at any time except during the forbidden time.

The recitation is aloud. It is Sunnah that the Imam recites after Al- Faatihah, Suurah Al-'Alaa in the first raka'ah; and Suurah Al-Ghaashiyyah in the second raka'ah. The Imaam makes Khutbah before or after Salaah.

After the prayer the people turn their mantles inside Out, then supplicate Allah facing the Qiblah, the following du'aa may be said:
Allaahummah aqhithnaa O Allah, send down rain upon us.
Allaahummah aqhithnaa O Allah, send down rain upon us.
Allaahummah aqhithnaa O Allah, send down rain upon us.

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