Eclipse & Drought Prayers – صَلَاةِ اَلْكُسُوفِ
وَتُسَنُّ صَلَاةُ كُسُوفٍ رَكْعَتَيْنِ, كُلُّ رَكْعَةٍ بِقِيَامَيْنِ وَرُكُوعَيْنِ,
وَتَطْوِيلُ سُورَةٍ وَتَسْبِيحٍ, وَكَوْنُ أَوَّلِ كُلٍّ أَطْوَلَ
وَاسْتِسْقَاءٍ إِذَا أَجْدَبَتِ اَلْأَرْضُ وَقُحِطَ اَلْمَطَر
وَصِفَتُهَا وَأَحْكَامُهَا كَعِيدٍ, وَهِيَ وَاَلَّتِي قَبْلَهَا جَمَاعَةً أَفْضَلُ
It is recommended to pray the Eclipse as two prayer cycles. Each prayer cycle has two standings and bowing, with prolonged recitation and invocations during the bowing and prostration – with the first prayer cycle being longer.
It is recommended to pray the Drought prayer when lands, even elsewhere become barren, and when there is drought. Its description and rulings are like Eid. Praying it and the one before it i.e., the Eclipse prayer in congregation is superior to praying it alone.
Salat al-Khusuf and is a Sunnah prayed in 2 rakat. This is a name used interchangeably for both lunar and solar eclipse even though some scholars have tried to differentiate between the two. But it doesnn’t make much of a difference.
Every rakah has 2 extended standings and 2 extended bowings. This salah is very distinct in its method. The second bowing in the first rakah is recommended and not a pillar. If a person misses the bowing of the first rakah then the person has missed that rakah.
It is recommended to prolong the recitation and the dhikr while bowing. There is no limit to how many times the dhikr is said. It is also recommended that the first of each is longer than the second of it. Meaning the first bowing of the first rakah is longer than the second bowing and so on.
Other books mention that there is no sermon for Salatul Khusuf but the Hanabila mention that some sort of short reminder is good. The time for this prayer is from when the eclipse begins to when the eclipse ends. As per the Hanabila, it should not be prayed if the eclipse occurs during the prohibited time like after Asr. One should instead sit and engage in dhikr and remember Allah.
It is also a Sunnah to perform the drought prayer when lands are dry and barren and Muslims are in need of water. There is no specific time for this prayer but what needs to be kept in mind that it is not prayed during the prohibited timings. The description, rulings and methods of the prayer is just like the Eid prayer. The objective of the Mukhtasar books is to give you an introduction, and not to be used for giving fatwa with all the evidences and extended rulings. There are differences in the Istisqa and Eid prayers which are detailed in the larger books. The differences include: Salatul Istisqa doesn’t have a specific time, it has a single sermon and the number 40 is a requirement for Eid but not for Istisqa etc.
Salatul Istisqa and Khusuf are better to be prayed in congregation. Praying it alone is also valid.
وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اَلْإِمَامُ اَلْخُرُوجَ لَهَا وَعَظَ اَلنَّاسَ, وَأَمَرَهُمْ بِالتَّوْبَةِ,
وَالْخُرُوجِ مِنْ اَلْمَظَالِمِ, وَتَرْكِ اَلتَّشَاحُن ِ وَالصِّيَامِ وَالصَّدَقَةِ,
وَيَعِدُهُمْ يَوْمًا يَخْرُجُونَ فِيهِ, وَيَخْرُجُ مُتَوَاضِعًا مُتَخَشِّعًا مُتَذَلِّلًا مُتَضَرِّعًا مُتَنَظِّفًا لَا مُطَيَّبًا,
وَمَعَهُ أَهْلُ اَلدِّينِ وَالصَّلَاحِ وَالشُّيُوخُ, وَمُمَيَّزُ اَلصِّبْيَانِ,
فَيُصَلِّي ثُمَّ يَخْطُبُ وَاحِدَةً يَفْتَتِحُهَا بِالتَّكْبِيرِ كَخُطْبَةِ عِيدٍ, وَيُكْثِرُ فِيهَا اَلِاسْتِغْفَارَ, وَقِرَاءَةِ اَلْآيَاتِ اَلَّتِي فِيهَا اَلْأَمْرُ بِهِ, وَيَرْفَعُ يَدَيْهِ وَظُهُورُهُمَا نَحْوَ اَلسَّمَاءِ فَيَدْعُو بِدُعَاءِ اَلنَّبِيِّ
وَمِنْهُ : “اَللَّهُمَّ اِسْقِنَا غَيْثًا مُغِيثًا” إِلَى آخِرِه
وَإِنْ كَثُرَ اَلْمَطَرُ حَتَّى خِيفَ سُنَّ قَوْلُ: اَللَّهُمَّ حَوَالَيْنَا وَلَا عَلَيْنَا, اَللَّهُمَّ عَلَى اَلظِّرَابِ وَالْآكَام ِ وَبُطُونِ اَلْأَوْدِيَةِ وَمَنَابِتِ اَلشَّجَرِ رَبَّنَا لَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ
اَلْبَقَرَةِ: 286 اَلْآيَةَ.
When the Imam intends to go out for the prayer, he exhorts the masses and commands them repent, to return anything taken unjustly, to forsake enmity, to fast, and to give charity. He appoints a day for them to go out. They go out humbly wearing their work clothes, with humility and meekness, and tranquility. They go out clean, (having washed, clipped their nails, and removed offensive smells) but without applying perfume.
The Imam goes out with the religious, righteous, elderly, and youth who have reached the age of discernment.
The Imam prays and then gives a single sermon. He begins it with saying, “Allahu Akbar” as with the Eid sermon. During the sermon, he frequently asks for forgiveness and recites ayat of the Quran that include commands to seek forgiveness. He raises his hands with the back of the hand towards the sky (palm downwards) and supplicates using the supplication of the Prophet that includes:
“Oh Allah! Send us rain; wholesome, healthy, torrential, wide-spread, pouring, in sheets, drenching, continuous rain.”
“Oh Allah! Give us rain and make us not of those who despair.”
“Oh Allah! Make it a water of mercy and do not make it a shower of torture, or wrath, trial, destruction or drowning.”
“Oh Allah! Servants and cities are in distress, hunger and want, from which we can ask none but You for relief.”
“Oh Allah! Make the crops grow and the milk of the livestock flow, and send down the blessing of the sky upon us and bring forth for us the blessings of the Earth. Raise from us the affliction that none but You can lift.”
“Oh Allah! We seek forgiveness from You since you are Oft-Forgiving, so let loose the sky upon us in torrents.”
“Oh Allah! Around us and not upon us. Oh Allah! Upon the hills and bluffs, upon the thickets and valley floors.”
If the Imam wants to go out for the prayer then he should warn the people and ask them to repent. They should settle their due, debts and any rights that they owe. The people should let go of any disputes and enmity that exists between them for we are in need of Allah’s Mercy. We cannot ask Allah for His Mercy when we have taken the rights of others or have enmity and hatred in our relationships. These things are an obligation as it is a command from the Shariah itself.
The Imam pushes people to give charity and this is highly recommended. The Imam agrees and appoints a day and time where the people gather to go out and pray. The Imam goes out to pray with humility, khushu in the heart and eyes, showing a sense of need with being dressed with humble clothing. This doesn’t mean that the clothes are dirty, torn or patched. This does not necessitate humbleness. The people should show their need with the dhikr and with that which they call upon Allah. They should go out while being clean and letting go of yourself is not a sign of humbleness. The person should not perfume themselves as what is trying to be showcased is humility and submission just like in Hajj. The Imam should go out to pray with the righteous, the elderly and the children who are above the age of 7. The scholars say that the children should be there as they are not accountable and do not have sins. This would increase the chances of the dua being accepted.
The Imam gives one sermon and starts it with a takbeer just like in Eid. The Imam should increase in seeking forgiveness and reciting the ayat which talk about seeking the forgiveness of Allah. The whole outing is one of forgiveness, seeking forgiveness and mercy. The Imam should raise his hands to the heavens but the palms are facing downwards and the back of the hands are raised upwards. This is reported from Sahih Muslim.
The Imam should make dua with the dua made by the Prophet. The dua Allah teaches us in the Quran and that which the Prophet teaches us are the best of dua. They are more encompassing and more accurate than any other dua that we can make. It is mustahab to face the qiblah instead of facing the people when making the dua. In Eid or other prayers, the Imam doesn’t raise the hands when making dua, but the hands are raised in Salatul Istisqa. The Hanabila say that instead of reciting: رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ one should recite رَبَّنَا لَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ as there is nothing preceding this dua unlike when it occurs in the Surah.