Total Lunar Eclipse: Mon. 21st January

Dear Muminin,

Salamun alaykum,


A total lunar eclipse will occur on Monday 21st January,2019. The Total phase of this lunar eclipse will be visible from North and South America, and western parts of Europe and Africa. The European arc essentially goes up through Portugal and Spain, through a small part of France, encompasses all of the United Kingdom, and then continues on into the Scandinavian countries. Central and eastern Africa, Europe, and Asia will see a partial eclipse of the Moon.

What is it:

Total lunar eclipses occur when the Earth passes directly between the full moon and the sun. The Earth's shadow covers the moon casting a deep shadow through which the moon then travels through. During total lunar eclipses, the shadow of the earth will eclipse the moon turning it a deep red colour. From the Earth, the moon will appear to darken and turn a blood red colour; hence the "blood-moon" nickname before eventually returning to normal. The colour change happens because the Earth's atmosphere acts as both a lens and a scattering medium, for the sun's light.

What time:

Eclipse begins in the early hours of Monday 21st January,2019. The timings of the major phases of this eclipse are as follows:

Penumbral Eclipse: 02:36:29

Partial Eclipse Begins: 03:33:54

Total Eclipse begins: 04:41:17

Greatest /Maximum Eclipse: 05:12:14

Total Eclipse Ends: 05:43:15

Partial Eclipse Ends: 06:50:39

Penumbral Eclipse Ends: Monday 21/1/2019: 07:48:02

Note Moon rise on Sunday, 20th January, 2019: 15:49. All times shown in local UK (GMT) time.


In the UK the Moon is above the horizon during this eclipse, so with good weather conditions in Portsmouth, the entire eclipse would be visible.

For more details and animation on how the Eclipse will look at your locality visit the link:

Your obligation:

It is Wajib to pray Salat al-Ayat during the eclipse, preferably between 3:33 am to 5:12 am on Monday 21st January, 2019.

Related rules:

The rules and method of Salat al-Ayaat is given in Ayatullah Seestani's Risala: Islamic Laws, Ruling Nos: 1473 to 1494. (3rd Edition published by WFED.).

1473. When a phenomenon occurs for which salat al-ayat is obligatory, only the people of the area in which the phenomenon occurred must perform salat al-ayat. It is not obligatory on people in other areas.

1474. The time for performing salat al-ayat for a solar or a lunar eclipse commences from the moment the eclipse begins, and it continues until the sun or the moon goes back to its normal state (although it is better not to delay the prayer until the eclipse starts to reverse). However, completing salat al-ayat can be delayed until after the eclipse is over.

1478.If a person does not know about occurrence of an eclipse and after the eclipse is over he realizes that there was a total eclipse, he must make up the salat al-ayat. However, if he realizes that it was a partial eclipse, then making it up is not obligatory on him.

1486. Salat al-ayat consists of two Rak'ahs, and in each rak'ah there are five Rukus. The method of performing the prayer is as follows: After one has made the intention [of performing the prayer] he says takbir, recites one Surat al-Hamd and one other complete surah, goes into ruku, and then raises his head from ruku; then he again recites one Surat al-Hamd and one other complete surah, goes into ruku again, and so on until he has done this a total of five times. After getting up from the fifth Ruku, he performs two Sajdahs, stands up, and proceeds to perform the second Rak'ah in the same way as the first; he then says tashahhud and the salam of the prayers.

1487. A shorter method of performimg Salat al-Ayat is as follows:

After one has made the intention [of offering the prayer] he says takbir and recites Surat al-Hamd; then, he can divide the verses of the other Surah into five parts, and recite one verse or more or even less, provided that-based on obligatory precaution- it is a complete sentence. He must start from the beginning of the surah and must not suffice with reciting bismillah [on its own and count that as one verse]. Then, he goes into Ruku, raises his head, and without reciting Surat al-Hamd he recites the second part of the other surah. He then goes into ruku again, and so on until he completes the other sura before he goes into the fifth Ruku. For example, if the other surah is Surat al-Falaq, he first says: Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim Qul a'udhu bi rabbil falaq, and goes into Ruku [for the first time];he then stands up and says: Min sharri ma khalaq, and goes into Ruku again [for the second time];he then stands up and says: Wa min sharri ghaasiqin idha waqab, and goes into Ruku again [for the third time]; he then stands up and says : Wa min sharrin naffathaati fil uqad, and goes into Ruku again [for the fourth time]; he then stands up and says: Wa min sharri haasidin idha hasad, and goes into Ruku for the fifth time. He then stands up, performs two Sajdahs and then proceeds to perform the second Rak'ah, in the same way as the first. And after the second sajdah [of the second rak'ah] he says tashahhud and the salam of the prayer. Furthermore, it is permitted for one to divide a Surah into less than five parts, but whenever he completes the surah, it is necessary that he recites Surat al-Hamd before performing the next Ruku.

1488. There is no problem if a a person recites Surat al-Hamd and the other sura five times in one rak'ah of Salat al-Ayat, and in the other rak'ah he recites one Surat al-Hamd and divides the other Surah into five parts.

1489. Those things which are obligatory and recommended in the daily prayers are also obligatory and recommended in Salat al-Ayat. However, if Salat al-Ayat is performed in congregation, one can say 'As-salaah' three times instead of Adhan and Iqamah with the intention of raja; this does not apply if the prayer is not performed in congregation. The legality for performing Salat al-Ayat in congregation for phenomena other than solar or lunar eclipses is not established [i.e. it must not be performed in congregation for other than these phenomena].

1490. It is recommended that one says takbir before and after Ruku, but saying takbir after the fifth and tenth Ruku is not recommended; rather it is recommended that one says Sami'allahu liman hamidah.

1491. It is recommended that one performs qunut before the second, fourth, sixth, eighth and tenth Ruku; and if one performs qunut after only the tenth Ruku, it is sufficient.

Iltimasi dua.


With salams andduas,

Fazle Abbas Datoo
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Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat