Solar Eclipse

Islam’s say on it

Science’s point of view

Dos and Don’ts:

It will be solstice day, June 21, and we will witness “Solar Eclipse.” Many claims will you have heard about why it happens, what does it mean and how it affects our planet Earth. Since thousands of years humans have bred many superstitions about eclipse whether it’s “Moon Eclipse” or “Solar Eclipse”.  For example, the Greeks believed that solar eclipse is a foretelling of the gods to punish the king. The ancient Chinese believed that the solar or lunar eclipse were heavenly signs that foretell about the future of the Emperor.  Today we will be looking at what’s the Solar Eclipse and does it bear any meaning for humans and other species that reside this planet Earth, whether negative or positive.  

According to Al Jazeera, this “ring of fire” will be first seen in Congo and it will reach “maximum eclipse” in the Uthrakund region of India near Sino-Indian border forming a perfect solar halo around the Moon.

What is an Eclipse and why does it happen?

The word “eclipse”, well, it comes from the middle English via Latin from Greek, noun ‘ekleipsis’, from verb ‘ekleipen’ which means ‘fail to appear.’

Eclipse is an astronomical event when one object comes in the shadow of another in the sky. The eclipse will happen when three objects line in the same gravitational event. The term is often used for solar eclipse.  This is the event when the Moon shadow crosses the surface of the earth or when the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow. Solar eclipse doesn’t last longer than 7 minutes and 58 seconds. This is because of the Earth and Moon’s speed.

“Annular eclipses occur when the Moon – passing between Earth and the Sun – is not quite close enough to our planet to completely obscure sunlight, leaving a thin ring of the solar disc visible.” Al-Jazeera

They occur once in a year or two and can be seen from a very narrow path across the planet.

A second solar eclipse event will happen on Dec. 14 over South America.

What does Islam say about Solar (or Lunar) eclipse?

On same day that the child of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) Ibrahim died, solar eclipse happened.  So some Muslims at that time assumed that the sun was darkened because of the tragedy of the death of the Prophet’s son Ibrahim. When the eclipse started the Prophet started prayer and finished the prayer when the sun was bright, and he addressed the people. He praised Allah and lauded Him and said:

“The sun and the moon are two signs of Allah; they are not eclipsed on account of anyone’s death or on account of anyone’s birth. So when you see them, glorify and supplicate Allah, observe the Prayer, give alms. Ummah of Muhammad, none is more indignant than Allah When His servant or maid commits fornication. O people of Muhammad, by Allah, if you knew what I know, you would weep much and laugh little. O Allah, witness, I informed them.”

Muslims are advised to offer Salat al-kusoof (solar eclipse Prayer) which is sunnah mu’kaddah (confirmed sunnah). It is better to offer it congregationally in the mosque and starts from the beginning of the eclipse till it clears away.  There is no adhan for the Prayer, but it should be announced, as “as-salatu jami`ah.” (The prayer has a specific way of offering. So it should be studied before offering.)

From the view of science:

These eclipses are not just moments of awe and gaze for astronomers. There are important events to study the Earth and Moon. For a go, just know that it was the eclipse which helped understand people that the Earth is round. 

A total solar eclipse can change weathers, light on the Earth. Scientists travel around the world to collect data.  The coronal mass ejections (which are charged particles that hurl out from the Sun into space) can disrupt radio signals, damage satellites and other electrical infrastructures. They can negatively impact our planet’s magnetosphere.

Care yourself and your family:

Source: Business Insider

White house’s medical team forgot to tell USA president not to watch the solar eclipse directly. He watched the eclipse and now his doctors fear that the incident has affected his sight….. sorry I was joking. But it really happened when on August 21, 2017 President Trump looked at the solar eclipse directly.

“The retina may translate light into an electrical impulse that the brain understands, but one thing it can’t translate to your brain is pain. So even if you’re excited about the eclipse and think one brief glimpse at the sun before it completely hides behind the moon is worth it — it’s not. There’s no internal trigger that is going to let you know that you’ve looked at the sun for too long. Any amount of looking at it is too long.

Even the smallest amount of exposure can cause blurry vision or temporary blindness. The problem is, you won’t know whether it’s temporary.” Writes Ashley Strickland of CNN.

Following are some does and don’ts during a solar eclipse that one should follow.

Dos:

You don’t need to look at the Sun during this time but if you still have to then according to NASA, one should wear “eclipse glasses” if he/she wishes to look at the Sun during an eclipse and remove the glasses when he/she has completely moved his/her gaze from the Sun. Even the darkest pair of sunglasses wouldn’t stop all the harmful radiations from the Sun. The good news is for the near or far sighted for they don’t have to remove their glasses as the rays would go over them.

Don’ts:

Driving isn’t recommended. If one has to drive, drive with headlights on. The driver should watch out for other affected drivers and keep safe distance bearing in mind that he has to drive slowly than normal days.

In case you want to watch the eclipse with your family including children, be sure to supervise.

One Reply to “Solar Eclipse”

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