Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
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:
With regard to how the eclipse prayer is performed, you are advised to follow the Imam of the masjid. He is trained to handle these kinds of situations and ignoring his scholarship sets a bad precedent.
Answering your question, Imam Suhaib Webb, imam of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, states:
Imam Al-Qarafi addressed this wonderfully when he wrote:
“Scholars agree that the eclipse prayer is a sanctioned act, but differed on how it is observed.”
A well-known difference is how the Imam recites in the prayer: silently or out loud. That is due to conflicting statements of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them), some saying they heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) recite during the eclipse prayer, while others said they did not hear him.
When scholars face these kinds of situations, they take an opinion they feel is the strongest, but exercise grace and diplomacy with those who differ with them.
Scholars do agree that fighting and splitting the community over these types of issues is forbidden because the unity of the community is obligatory.
My advice is to follow the Imam of the mosque. He is trained to handle these kinds of situations and ignoring his scholarship sets a bad precedent.
An axiom states:
“When a community differs over disputed opinions on how an act is performed, their madhab is the madhab of their Imam.”
Allah forbids that you forgo the obligation of unity and working together for an act that is disputed and not an obligation! What good will it do to pray the eclipse pray if your hearts are eclipsed by ego and division?
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.