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Question

Al-Salâm `Alaykum! I have a doubt about some information I read in the Qur’ân. The verse says: "The Sun and the Moon are two of the signs of Allah: they do not darken for the death or birth of any person, but Allah strikes fear into His servants by means of them. So when you see them darken, remember and mention Allah, declare His Greatness, offer prayer, give in charity, and supplicate to Him and seek His forgiveness."

It is believed among many Muslims that the solar eclipse is a sign that means Allah is angry, but I think that this belief is incorrect. The solar eclipse can be anticipated scientifically. Does that mean humans can anticipate the time that Allah will be angry? Of course not. So I think that we as Muslims should increase our prayers and give charities on these occasions, not because Allah is angry with the worshippers, but simply because Muhammad (peace be upon him) commanded us to do so.

Answered by

Sheikh Ahmad al-Rashîd
First of all, you misquote the source of the following text :
"The Sun and the Moon are two of the Signs of Allah: they do not darken for the death or birth of any person, but Allah strikes fear into His servants by means of them. So when you see them darken, remember and mention Allah, declare His Greatness, offer prayer, give in charity, and supplicate to Him and seek His forgiveness."
This is not a verse of the Qur’ân. It is a hadîth that can be found in Sahîh al-Bukhârî and other hadîth sources.

This hadîth mentions nothing about Allah’s anger. The scholars mention only that Allah instills fear in His servants with these eclipses. This is clear from the practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when the solar eclipse took place. Fear could be seen on his face. In some narrations of the hadîth, it is related that he stood up alarmed, fearing that the Hour had arrived. This is why he commanded charity, the freeing of slaves, the paying of Zakâh, prayer, the remembrance of Allah, and other acts of obedience on this occasion.

The fact that these events can be predicted should not decrease the fear and awe of those who believe in Allah. Allah is the one who put them in place and it is He who invested in these signs their predictable nature. Allah has the power to make those predictions fail if He so wishes. Allah is capable of all things.

It should be clear to us that when one of these eclipses take place, we should indeed feel fear of Allah and then hurry to prayer, remembrance, charity, and other righteous deeds.

Success is only with Allah.