“Here’s a a really good tip for your pimpled faced”, I began the joke with younger cousin brother. He listened, falling prey to it. “There’ a super blue moon with a total lunar eclipse. It is said that it’s very effective on the skin. You should stand when it’s out and your pimples will be healed.” There was no way for it to be true but I liked joking with him. Everyone stared, I winked and they all joined in.
He took the skin-beauty-wonders-of-a-celestial event occurring after 150 years quite for real, until few moments later, I confessed as I always do, I had been only joking.
This is what we do, I noticed, whenever any lunar, solar or celestial events occur. We take it so lightly. The extent of seriousness is only limited to which gear we should use to shoot a serious looking lunar spectacle. The eclipses in particular are singled out for omens and the hocus pocus conversations mainly started by astrologers. Hocus pocus, right.
But soon the conversation about how much Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) used to get nervous on the lunar/solar eclipses, broke out. I think it was me who mentioned that he used to get afraid of it and offered prayers upon an eclipse. My aunt, may Allah bless her for her knowledge, then named the prayer that is the subject of this conversation. Salat ul kusoof.
When the sun was eclipsed at the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), he went out rushing nervously to the mosque, dragging his cloak behind him, and led the people in prayer. He told them that the eclipse was one of the signs of Allah, with which Allah makes His slaves afraid, and that it may be the cause of punishment coming upon the people. He commanded them to do that which could prevent the punishment, so he commanded them to pray when an eclipse happens, and to make du’aa’, seek His forgiveness, give charity, free slaves and do other righteous deeds so that the punishment would go away and not befall the people. So the eclipse is a reminder to people, making them afraid so that they will turn back to Allah and pay attention to Him.
I have been aware of it but never prayed it, and never learnt it’s real name. Still not taking its effect, I was all set to capture the Lunar Trifecta. Trifecta because it’s a supermoon + bluemoon+ bloodmoon (a type of lunar eclipse). All in one night right after an earthquake in the morning.
But Allah had different plan for Lahoris. The event could not be sighted and many of us found ourselves in different areas of Lahore, and m sure all across Pakistan, praying the salat ul kusoof which we really need. If you have missed it, please, do not worry. Although this specific trifecta occurs every 150 years, you won’t be present when it happens again. But there are going to be plenty of lunar and solar eclipses in your life. Insha Allah. During that time, the most smart thing would be for us to keep our cameras aside for awhile and pray, as Allah deserves to be prayed to.
Salat ul Kusoof, I have realised, is not to be taken lightly. Here are the reasons why.
It is reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaari that Abu Moosa said: “These signs that Allaah sends are not for the death or life of anyone, but Allaah makes His slaves afraid through them, so if you see anything of that [eclipses], then hasten to remember Allaah and call on Him and seek His forgiveness.”
Allaah causes eclipses to happen to these two mighty signs, the sun and the moon, to teach His slaves and show them that these things are created and are subject to imperfections and changes just like any other created entities. Thus He shows them His perfect ability and that He alone is deserving of worship, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Prostrate yourselves not to the sun” nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allaah Who created them, if you (really) worship Him” (Fussilat 41:37)
We have been blessed with intellect and the best of equipment to reach the heavens in this century. But have you ever wondered, why, despite all the technological advancements, our society is only hitting rock bottom in law and order and ethics? The recent events around the globe, and in Pakistan in particular, don’t they remind you of the nations gone by that were destroyed because of the tyranny and ill practices of the people? My mind can’t stop thinking about the Kasur rape/murder cases and unjust ways through which rulers, rule in Pakistan.
As wonderful as these events appear, they could really be a sign of a pending punishment from Allah or a warning. Pray plentiful for Muslims and humans all around the globe, and let’s pray for Pakistan in particular because if the moon hasn’t collided with the earth yet, it’s again a sign: we still have time. Praise be to Allah for this, the Creator of the heavens and the Earth and Time itself..
May Allah accept us, our prayers, and forgive us our sins. May Allah bless us with blessed and righteous, most knowledgeable leaders, rulers and superiors. May Allah save us from trials, afflictions and illnesses. And grant us strong faith. May Allah grant us kingdoms of knowledge about Deen and Dunya both, and make us benefit from it. May Allah remove depressions from our houses, our hearts and replace it with happiness and delight. Ameen.
For those who need science to understand the severity of the event:
- A total lunar eclipse is when the full moon passes through Earth’s shadow. (This bit is scary). As it enters the depths of Earth’s shadow you can expect the moon to turn a deep red due to the Earth’s atmosphere interacting with the sun’s light. This type of eclipse is also known as a blood moon.
- Ironically a blue moon isn’t even blue. The term instead refers to when there is a second full moon in a calendar month.
- Lastly, the supermoon part comes into play as the moon will be closest to Earth as it orbits around us. While it will loom large in the sky it will in fact still be 360,198km away.
For those looking forward to understand the method for Salat ul Kusoof. Click here.
And those interested in Watching NASA TV LIVE STREAM OF THE TRIPLE LUNAR ECLIPSE
P.S. I do not own the image.