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Solar Eclipse - Monday, April 8th, 2024


There will be a solar eclipse which will be visible over much of North America on Monday April 8th, 2024 wherein Salat al-Ayaat is obligatory (wajib).


The moon will slide in front of the sun Monday, blotting it out of the sky and creating the last total solar eclipse visible from North America until 2044.


This eclipse will be partial in the Seattle area and Washington state. Salat al-Ayaat is still obligatory (wajib).


In Greater Seattle, the eclipse will start at 10:29 a.m., peak (with 20% of the sun covered) at 11:29 a.m. and end at 12:21 p.m., according to Goss.




Take necessary precautions:

Even though the sky won’t change from day to dusk for us, it’s important to only view the event through proper solar filters, as with all solar eclipses.


Don’t use sunglasses. Instead, wear proper glasses with solar filters, which should come with a printed certification that includes the ISO number 12312-2:2015.


Gazing sunward without eye protection can permanently damage your eyes. People often think the sun is only just brighter than the full moon. In reality, “the sun is 400,000 times brighter than the moon. So, you must have the appropriate filters to look at this.”


Just a few seconds of direct sun gazing can cause eye damage, possibly permanent.


Religious obligation:

During a solar or lunar eclipse, it is obligatory (wajib) to perform a special prayer called Salat al-Ayyat. The prayer becomes wajib even if the moon or the sun are partially eclipsed, and even if they do not engender any fear.


When should I perform Salat al-Ayaat?

The time of Salat al-Ayaat sets in as the eclipse starts, and remains till the eclipse is over.


The specific instructions on how to perform the prayer are given below.


Note, that Salat al-Ayaat is not required upon a woman who is in her menses (haydh) or postpartum bleeding (nifas), nor would she be required to make-up the prayer (qadha).


How to perform the prayer of “al-Ayaat”, a two unit (Rakah) prayer with five Ruku in each unit:

1. Make the intention (Niyyah) of offering the prayers as “Salat al-Ayaat”. 2. One should say Takbir: “Allahu Akbar” 3. Recite Surat al-Fatiha and any other Surah* 4. Then perform Ruku. 5. After Ruku, then stand and recite Surat al-Fatiha and any other Surah and then perform another Ruku. 6. One should repeat this action (steps 3 & 4) five times, and when one stands after the fifth Ruku, one should then proceed to perform the two Sajdah (as in the normal Fajr prayer). Then stand up to perform the second Rakah in the same manner as was done in the first Rakah (with the five Ruku). 7. After performing the second set of Sajdah, one should recite Tashahhud and end the prayer with Salam to complete it.


*Please note that a person is allowed to say Takbir and recite Surat al-Fatiha and then divide the verses of another Surah into five parts, and recite one verse or more or less, and thereafter perform the Ruku. One should then stand up and recite another part of the Surah (without reciting Surat al-Fatiha) and then perform another Ruku. This should be repeated and the Surah must be finished before performing the fifth Ruku. For more details see the Islamic Law Book by clicking here.



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