Prayer When There is an Eclipse?
Should we offer the eclipse prayer (salaat al-kusoof) based on the announcements of astronomers published in the newspaper? If the eclipse takes place in another country should we pray the eclipse prayer or is it necessary to see the eclipse with the naked eye?
>>> The eclipse prayer is prescribed when one sees an eclipse, not when one hears news of an eclipse from the astronomers. It should also be noted that it is not prescribed for the people who live in a country where the eclipse is not happening to offer the prayer <<<
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The sun and the moon are two of the signs of Allaah and they do not become eclipsed for the death or birth of anyone. But Allaah sends them to make His slaves fear (Him), so if you see that, then pray and make du’aa’ until it is over.” [Bukhari, Book 18 #150]
According to another version he said: “So if you see that, then hasten to remember Allaah and call upon Him and seek His forgiveness.” [Bukhari, Book 18 #156]
So he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) connected the command to pray, make du’aa’, remember Allaah and pray for forgiveness to actual sighting of the eclipse and not to the reports of the astronomers.