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Congregational prayers » The prayer of signs (ṣalāt al-āyāt)

Ruling 1470. Ṣalāt al-āyāt, for which the method of performance will be explained later, becomes obligatory when the following three phenomena occur:

1.
solar eclipse;
2. lunar eclipse;

and with the occurrence of these two phenomena, ṣalāt al-āyāt becomes obligatory even if the eclipse is partial and even if one is not frightened by it;

3.
earthquake, based on obligatory precaution, even if one is not frightened by it.

Based on recommended precaution, ṣalāt al-āyāt should be performed when thunder and lightning, gales that make the sky look black or red, and other similar natural celestial phenomena occur provided that most people are frightened by them. Similarly, [the prayer should be performed] when natural terrestrial phenomena occur that cause most people to fear, such as sinkholes and rock-slides.

Ruling 1471. If more than one phenomenon that makes it obligatory to perform ṣalāt al-āyāt occurs, one must perform ṣalāt al-āyāt for each one of them. For example, if there is a solar eclipse and an earthquake, one must perform two ṣalāt al-āyāts.

Ruling 1472. If it is obligatory on someone to perform a number of qaḍāʾ ṣalāt al-āyāts, whether they have become obligatory due to the same phenomenon – for example, there were three solar eclipses for which he did not perform ṣalāt al-āyāt – or they have become obligatory due to different phenomena – for example, a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse, and an earthquake – then, when one makes them up, it is not necessary for him to specify the phenomenon for which he is performing the prayer.

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

Ruling 1474. The time for performing ṣalāt al-āyāt for a solar or 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 ṣalāt al-āyāt can be delayed until after the eclipse is over.(1)

Ruling 1475. If a person delays performing ṣalāt al-āyāt until the eclipse begins to reverse, there is no problem if he performs it with the intention of adāʾ. However, once the eclipse is over, the prayer becomes qaḍāʾ.

Ruling 1476. If an eclipse lasts long enough for one rakʿah or less to be performed, one must perform the prayer with the intention of adāʾ. The same applies if the eclipse lasts for a longer time. And if one does not perform the prayer until the time remaining is enough to perform only one rakʿah or less, ṣalāt al-āyāt is still obligatory and [must also be performed with the intention of] adāʾ.

Ruling 1477. When thunder, lightning, and other similar natural phenomena occur, if one wants to [perform ṣalāt al-āyāt] as a precautionary measure, and if these phenomena last a long time, it is not necessary for him to perform the prayer immediately. In other cases, such as an earthquake, one must perform it immediately in a way that people would not consider it as being delayed; and if he does delay it, the recommended precaution is that he should perform it later without making an intention of adāʾ or qaḍāʾ.

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

Ruling 1479. If a group of people say that an eclipse has occurred, in the event that one does not personally attain certainty or confidence [that an eclipse has occurred] and does not perform ṣalāt al-āyāt, and later he realises that they were right, then in case it was a total eclipse, he must perform ṣalāt al-āyāt. However, if it was a partial eclipse, it is not obligatory on him to perform ṣalāt al-āyāt. The same applies if two people about whom one does not know whether they are just or not say that an eclipse has occurred, and later he realises that they were just.

Ruling 1480. If a person attains confidence that an eclipse has occurred based on the statement of persons who know the time of eclipses by means of scientific principles, he must perform ṣalāt al-āyāt. Furthermore, if they say the eclipse will take place at such and such a time and that it will last for such and such a duration and one attains confidence in what they say, he must act according to what they say.

Ruling 1481. If a person realises that the ṣalāt al-āyāt he performed for a solar or lunar eclipse was invalid, he must perform it again; and if the time for it has passed, he must make it up.

Ruling 1482. If ṣalāt al-āyāt becomes obligatory on someone during the time of a daily prayer, in the event that there is enough time for him to perform both of them, it is not a problem whichever one he performs first. However, if the time for performing one of them is short, he must perform that one first; and if the time for both of them is short, he must perform the daily prayer first.

Ruling 1483. If while performing the daily prayer one realises that the time for performing ṣalāt al-āyāt is short, in the event that the time for performing the daily prayer is also short, he must complete it and then perform ṣalāt al-āyāt. If the time for the daily prayer is not short, he must break his prayer and first perform ṣalāt al-āyāt and then perform the daily prayer.

Ruling 1484. If while performing ṣalāt al-āyāt one realises that the time for performing the daily prayer is short, he must abandon ṣalāt al-āyāt and start performing the daily prayer; and after completing the prayer but before doing something that invalidates prayers, he must continue performing the rest of ṣalāt al-āyāt from the point he had abandoned it.

Ruling 1485. If a woman is in the state of ḥayḍ or nifās and an eclipse or earthquake occurs, it is not obligatory on her to perform ṣalāt al-āyāt and nor does she have to make it up.

(1) This means that although a person must start performing ṣalāt al-āyāt during the eclipse, he can continue performing it while the eclipse continues and need not finish it before the eclipse is over.
Congregational prayers » Method of performing ṣalāt al-āyāt → ← Congregational prayers » Things that are disapproved (makrūh) in congregational prayers
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