LAHORE / KARACHI: A partial solar eclipse was observed in Pakistan and other parts of the world on Tuesday.
According to the Meteorological department, the partial solar eclipse was seen in Europe, North Africa, Central Asia and Pakistan.
The solar eclipse began at 11:40 am and continued for four hours and 20 minutes.
Updated from print edition (below)
Solar Eclipse: City to witness a two-hour eclipse
The city of Lahore will witness a solar eclipse on Tuesday (today) at around 11:45am. The eclipse will last for about two hours.
Lahore Regional Meteorological Centre director Mahr Sahibzada Khan said there were chances of a cloudy sky today which would make it difficult to watch the eclipse.
He said solar radiation during eclipse could be harmful and people should not watch it with the naked eye. He said there would be two more eclipse in 2011.
Religious scholars observed that the eclipses had a spiritual value for Muslims. Raghib Naeemi of Jamia Naeemia said praying during the eclipses was optional (nafal).
He observed that most city mosques usually do not organise a congregation.
Naeemi said the Prophet (p.b.u.h) had led a prayer during the eclipse and called the eclipse a sign from God. He said the prophet had led the prayer to warn the people not to associate superstitions with eclipses.
Khalid Zaheer, another religious scholar, said the eclipse was a sign of God and that the practice of special prayers during eclipses had faded out.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes in between the sun and the earth, casting its shadow on the sun.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2011.