How to Pray the Eclipse Prayer Explained by the Research Center for Hadith

Hadith:

Narrated `Aisha: On the day of a solar eclipse, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) stood up (to offer the eclipse prayer). He recited Takbir, recited a long recitation (of Holy Verses), bowed a long bowing, and then he raised his head saying. “Allah hears him who sends his praises to Him.” Then he stayed standing, recited a long recitation again, but shorter than the former, bowed a long bowing, but shorter than the first, performed a long prostration and then performed the second rak`a in the same way as he had done the first. By the time he had finished his prayer with Taslim, the solar eclipse had been over. Then he addressed the people referring to the solar and lunar eclipses saying, “These are two signs amongst the Signs of Allah, and they do not eclipse because of anyone’s death or life. So, if you see them, hasten for the Prayer.”

Recorded by Bukhari, 3203

Rulings of the Prayer
1st Rak’ah:
o In the first unit (rak’ah) of prayer, we recite Sûrah al-Fatihâh, then follow it with the recitation of a Surah from the Qur’ân (preferably a long one).
o Then we bow (Ruku) for a prolonged period of time.
o Then stand up a second time in the same rak’ah of prayer (first rak’ah) to again recite Sûrah al-Fatihâh and another Surah of the Qur’ân (preferably a shorter one than the former) before bowing a second time.
o Then raising and then finishing the first rak’ah as usual.

2nd Rak’ah:
o In the second rak’ah of prayer, we recite Sûrah al-Fatihâh, then follow it with the recitation of a Surah from the Qur’ân.
o Then we bow for a prolonged period of time.
o Then stand up a second time in the same rak’ah of prayer (second rak’ah) to again recite Sûrah al-Fatihâh and another Surah of the Qur’ân before bowing a second time.
o Then we bow for a prolonged period of time. Then finish the prayer how we usually do.

Hadith:
Narrated Abu Bakra: We were with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) when the sun eclipsed. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) stood up dragging his cloak till he entered the Mosque. He led us in a two-rak`at prayer till the sun (eclipse) had cleared. Then the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of someone’s death. So whenever you see these eclipses pray and invoke (Allah) till the eclipse is over.”
Recorded by Bukhari, 1040

o One can be in the prayer until the end of the eclipse.
o It is Sunnah to pray Salaat al-Kusoof in jamaa’ah (congregation), because this is what the Prophet (ﷺ) did, but it is permissible to pray it individually, as with all other naafil prayers. However, praying it in congregation is better.

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