Saturday, March 21, 2015

The eclipse and Muhammad

We had a great view of the eclipse.
It got me to thinking about how ancient peoples viewed such things.
How do Sunni Muslims explain, for example, Muhammad being terrified and thinking it might be Judgement Day and telling his followers that Allah sent eclipses to frighten them and that they should therefore pray and ask His forgiveness? 
Do they believe this? If so, does it not seem a strange thing for an omniscient deity to carry on doing in a world where we would laugh at such ideas because we know the physics behind such events and can now predict them to the nearest second. Or do they disbelieve the Prophet? Or do they think that this Hadith is unreliable? But this being a Bukhari Hadith, it is surely utterly reliable and one that, as Sunnis, they must believe is genuine. I can't see how this particular circle can be squared.
Narrated Abu Musa: The sun eclipsed and the Prophet got up, being afraid that it might be the Hour (i.e. Day of Judgment). He went to the Mosque and offered the prayer with the longest Qiyam, bowing and prostration that I had ever seen him doing. Then he said, "These signs which Allah sends do not occur because of the life or death of somebody, but Allah makes His worshipers afraid by them. So when you see anything thereof, proceed to remember Allah, invoke Him and ask for His forgiveness."[Sahih Bukhari Volume 2, Book 18, Number 167]


  1. You forget that the Prophet (pbuh) explained to His followers that the eclipse was a natural phenomenon and didn't mark the death or birth of someone. This shows how knowledgeable he was.

  2. You presumably read this in one of the many Bukhari hadith which deal with this issue. This does nothing, by the way, to disprove my point that Muhammad was terrified and thought eclipses were sent by God to frighten people. Perhaps you read it in Volume 2, Book 18 number 161 which then goes on to delightfully describe how the Muhammad recounts that hell is full of women:
    The Prophet replied, "I saw Paradise and stretched my hands towards a bunch (of its fruits) and had I taken it, you would have eaten from it as long as the world remains. I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Why is it so?" The Prophet replied, "Because of their ungratefulness." It was asked whether they are ungrateful to Allah. The Prophet said, "They are ungrateful to their companions of life (husbands)

  3. There is nothing spectacular if the so called prophet say that the eclipse doesn't mark the death or birth of someone. In ones lifetime there are many eclipse that occur hence any dum nut can profess the eclipse is somehow a miraculous event. Therefore your so call prophet spot the flawed of this thinking making sure other so call prophet wannabe claiming somehow the eclipse is connected to them. If he were to say the eclipse were result of the death of his son Ibrahim, he may have to compete with other prophet wannabes.