In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Lunar and solar eclipses are definite signs of the power and mighty of God. Cosmetic events and natural phenomena have scientific reasons that people may know by means of scientific research and study. Still they are reminders of the great Power of Allah Almighty who is in control of all theses celestial bodies. Muslims do not connecting eclipses to the life, birth, death of anybody. Furthermore, Muslims don’t link solar or lunar eclipses to the second coming of Jesus (peace be on him)
Answering your question, Dr. Wael Shehab, PhD in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University and currently the Imam of the Downtown Toronto Masjid in Canada, states:
Solar and lunar eclipses are signs of the power and mighty of Allah Almighty. They, like other cosmetic events, are not connected to the birth, death, life, or return of anybody. In such times, a Muslim resort to Allah and pray to Him Almighty for the well-being all creatures.
During the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), a solar eclipse happened. People hurried to link this to a worldly event, namely, the death of the Prophet’s son, Ibrahim. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) refused their understanding of that event and explained the truth of this matter to them.
In his Sahih, Imam Muslim reported:
`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:
There was a solar eclipse in the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). He stood up to pray and prolonged his standing very much.
He then bowed and prolonged very much his bowing. He then raised his head and prolonged his standing much, but it was less than the (duration) of the first standing.
He then bowed and prolonged bowing much, but it was less than the duration of his first bowing. He then prostrated and then stood up and prolonged the standing, but it was less than the first standing.
He then bowed and prolonged his bowing, but it was less than the first bowing. He then lifted his head and then stood up and prolonged his standing, but it was less than the first standing. He then bowed and prolonged bowing and it was less than the first bowing.
He then prostrated himself; then he turned about, and the sun had become bright, and he addressed the people. He praised Allah and lauded Him and said,
“The sun and the moon are two signs of Allah; they are not eclipsed on account of anyone’s death or on account of anyone’s birth. So when you see them, glorify and supplicate Allah, observe the Prayer, give alms…”
Moreover, Muslims are recommended to pray particular prayers for the solar and lunar eclipses. These prayers have a special way explored in the Islamic jurisprudence books. The eclipse is a time for prayer, charitable acts, and generally remembering Allah and seeking His forgiveness.
Prophet Jesus’ Return
As for Prophet `Isa (Jesus), Muslims believe that he is a Prophet of Allah as belief in his prophethood is an essential condition of sound Islamic faith. Jesus, like all Prophets, called for belief in the One God, good morals, and submission to the will of Allah.
Muslims, moreover, believe that Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him) was one of the great Prophets of God.
The second coming of Jesus is proved by authentic hadiths. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying,
By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler…
Then, Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: ‘Read if you wish,
“There is not one of the People of the Scripture but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.” (An-Nisaa’ 4:159)
Imam Muslim has reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“How (happy) will you be when the Son of Mary will come down among you and your Imam will be from amongst you.”
So, Muslims believe that Jesus will descend (yanzil) and his return will be “a sign of the approaching Day of Judgment”. However, Muslims don’t link solar or lunar eclipses to the second coming of Jesus (peace be on him).
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.