Muslims in Sydney have come together to pray for rain as NSW experiences its worst drought on record.
The prayers come as a response to the current drought which has left farmers across NSW in dire conditions desperate for rainfall.
The prayers were organised by Auburn Islamic Community Centre and were led by the Mufti of Australia, Dr. Ibrahim Abu Mohamad. The ‘rain prayer’, otherwise known as ‘Salat Al-Istisqa’ in Arabic, is a famous tradition of the Prophet Muhammad that has been practiced for centuries. It has traditionally been prayed at times of minimal rainfall and drought as a means of beseeching Allah to send down rain.
Rain is viewed as a mercy from Allah, not only to humanity, but to all life forms including plants and animals. The rain prayer is a means of congregating the Muslim community to seek Allah’s forgiveness and plead for His mercy. The act of supplicating to Allah for rain and the subsequent arrival of rainfall is well documented in many authentic narrations of the Prophet Muhammad.
Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that a man entered the mosque on Friday while the Prophet was addressing the people. The man said: “O Messenger of Allah, our wealth has been destroyed and we have no transport to the market place. Supplicate for us for rain.” The Prophet raised his hands and said: “O Allah, give us rain. O Allah, give us rain. O Allah, give us rain.”Anas said: “By Allah, at that time there were no clouds in the sky and there was no house or building between us and the mountain. From behind the mountain came a cloud looking like a shield. By the time it reached the middle of the sky, it burst and started to rain. By Allah, we did not see the sun for one week.
Then, on the next Friday, a man entered the mosque from that (same) door while the Prophet was making the address. The man faced the Prophet and said: ‘Our livestock is dead and the paths are unpassable. Ask Allah to make it stop.’ The Prophet raised his hands and said: ‘O Allah, around us and not upon us. O Allah, make it upon the hills, small mountains, bottom of the valleys, and plantations.’ The rain stopped and we walked out in the sunshine.”
(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
The prayer is also followed by a short sermon after in which the Imam invokes Allah through a long supplication in an act of humility and servitude to God. It is through this act of seeking God’s forgiveness that rain is said to then descend as a mercy from Allah. This is based on the verse in the Quran in which Prophet Noah beseeches his people to seek Allah’s forgiveness so that He may send upon them rain and various blessings.
Muslims gather at Wyatt Park, Lidcombe to pray for rain in response to the NSW drought.
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