ECLIPSE The Arabic khusuf خسوف
is used to denote either an eclipse of the sun or of the moon (vide Mishkat, book iv c ii.); but it is more specially applied to an eclipse of the moon; and kusuf كسوفfor an eclipse of the sun (,i>vide Richardson’s Dictionary). Special prayers, consisting of two rak’ahs are enjoined in the Traditons (Mishkat, book iv c li) at the time of an eclipse of either the sun or moon.
‘Abdu ‘llah ibn ‘Abbas says: “There was an eclipse of the sun in the time of the Prophet, and he recited prayers and the people recited after him; and he stood up for a long time, as long as anyone would be repeating the Chapter of the Cow (ie Surah ii). Then he performed a long ruku’ after which he raised up his head and stood a long time, which was under the first standing; after which he did the second ruku’, which was the same as the first in point of time; then he raised hi head up from the second ruku’; and performed two prostrations, as is customary. Then he stood up a long time, in the second rak’ah, and this was shorter than the first standing, in the first rak’ah; after which he did a long ruku’ in the second rak’ah, and this was under the first ruku’, in the first rak’ah. After this, he raised up his head, and stood a long time; and this was shorter that the first, in the second rak’ah. Then he did a long ruku’; and this was not so great as the first, in the second rak’ah. Then he rose up, and performed two prostrations; and after repeating the creed, and giving the salam, he concluded his prayers. And the sun was bright. And the Prophet said, ‘Verily, the sun and moon are two signs, amongst those which prove the existence of God, and are not eclipsed on account of the life or death of any person; and when ye see this, remember God. The Companions said, ‘O Prophet! We saw you shout to take something in the place where you stood in prayer, after which we saw you draw back a little.’ And the Prophet said, “I saw Paradise, and gathered a bunch of grapes from it; and if I had taken it and given it to you, verily you would have eaten of it as long as the world lasts. I also saw hell, and never saw such a horrid sight till this day; and I saw that they were mostly women there.’ And the Companions said, ‘O Prophet, why are most of the people of hell women?’ He said, ‘On account of their infidelity; not on account of their disobedience to God, but that they are ungrateful to their husbands, and hide the good things done them; and if you do good to one of them perpetually, after that, if they see the least fault in you, they will say, I never saw you perform a good work.’” (Mishkat, book iv c ii.)
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam