15 Shawwal; Returning of the Sun (Radd al-Shams)

SHAFAQNA- Radd al-Shams (Arabic: ردّ الشمس) (returning of the Sun) is a miracle of the Prophet (s) and one of the indicators of Imam ‘Ali (a)’s significant status. In this event, while the sun was setting, the Prophet (s) supplicated to Allah so that the sun returned back and Imam ‘Ali (a) had enough time to pray his ‘Asr prayer. Some other sources mention another case of Sun’s returning during the caliphate of Imam ‘Ali (a).

Returning of the Sun during the time of The Prophet (s)

In one account, al-Shaykh al-Mufid narrates from Asma’ bt. ‘Umays, Umm Salama the wife of the Prophet (s), Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari, Abu Sa’id al-Khudri and some other companions of the Prophet (s) that: one day, the holy Prophet (s) sent Imam ‘Ali (a) for a job and when he returned, it was the time for ‘Asr prayer. The Prophet (s) was not aware that Imam ‘Ali (a) had not prayed his ‘Asr prayer, so he rested while his head was on Imam ‘Ali’s leg. At the same timerevelation was sent down to the Prophet (s) and it continued until near the sunset. When the Prophet (s) finished receiving the revelation, He asked Imam ‘Ali (a) whether or not he had prayed his ‘Asr prayer. “Since your blessed head was on my leg and you were resting, I couldn’t wake you up.” Imam ‘Ali (a) responded. The Prophet (s) asked God to return the sun so that Imam ‘Ali (a) can pray his ‘Asr prayer. In that moment, the sun came back to the extent that it was the proper time for ‘Asr prayer and Imam ‘Ali (a) performed his ‘Asr prayer.[1]

Al-Mas’udi has narrated this account as well.[2] This event is also mentioned in Shi’a traditional sources.[3] In the place of this event, a mosque was built that is known as the Mosque of Radd al-Shams.

Returning of the Sun during the caliphate of Imam Ali (a)

According to some of Shi’a sources, a similar event has happened during the rule of Imam ‘Ali (a). In this account, on their way to Babel, Imam (a) and his army reached Euphrates, Imam (a) and some of the army crossed the river and prayed their ‘Asr prayer on the other side, while a group of army who were trying to get their horses across the river, couldn’t pray ‘Asr prayer in its time. The Imam (a) asked God to return the sun, the sun returned and they could pray their ‘Asr prayer.[4]

Some of Sunni scholars like al-Tahawi, Qadi ‘Ayyad and Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani[5] have accepted the authenticity of this event during the caliphate of Imam ‘Ali (a), while some other Sunni scholars like Ibn Taymiyya in his book: Minhaj al-sunna [6] and Ibn al-Jawzi in his book: al-Mawdu’at, rejected the content of this narration and deemed it as fabricated.


  1. Jump up Mufid, al-Irshad, vol.1 p.346
  2. Jump up Mas’udi, Ithbat al-wasiyya, p.153
  3. Jump up Kulayni, al-Kafi, vol.4 p.562; Saduq, Man la yahzuruh al-faqih, vol.1 p.203
  4. Jump up Mufid, al-Irshad, vol.1 p.347
  5. Jump up ‘Asqalani, Fath al-bari, vol.6 p.221-222
  6. Jump up Ibn Taymiyya, Minjaj al-sunna, vol.4 p.186


  • The material for this article is mainly taken from رد الشمس in Farsi Wikishia.
  • ‘Asqalani, Ibn Hajar al-. Fath al-bari fi sharh sahih al-Bukhari. Dar al-Ma’rifa
  • Ibn Taymiyya, Ahmad b. ‘Abd al-Hamid. Minhaj al-sunna. Jami’a l-Imam Muhammad b. Sa’ud al-Islamiyya, 1406/1986
  • Kulayni, Muhammad b. Ya’qub al-. Al-Kafi. Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyya, 1407
  • Mas’udi, Abu l-Hasan al-. Ithbat al-wasiyya li l-imam ‘Ali b. Abi Talib. Qom: Ansariyan, 1423
  • Saduq. Man la yahzuruh al-faqih. Qom: Nashr Islami, 1413
  • Shaykh al-Mufid al-. Al-Irshad fi ma’rifa hujaj Allah ‘ala l-‘ibad. Qom: Kungiriyi Shaykh Mufid, 1413
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