Photo by Noorul Hasan / Khaleej Times
Photo by Noorul Hasan / Khaleej Times

Rain prayers in UAE: Residents pray for prosperity and a better year ahead

Abu Dhabi - It wasn't the first time rain prayers were offered in the country.

By Ashwani Kumar and Saman Haziq

Published: Fri 18 Dec 2020, 5:57 PM

Last updated: Fri 18 Dec 2020, 6:05 PM

Salat Al Istisqa, the special prayer for rain, was offered across the UAE on Friday. There was no azaan, the call to prayer, but people gathered early at mosques in supplication, praying to Allah to bless the country with rain.

The special prayer was set after the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Tuesday called on all residents to pray for “rain, mercy and abundance for the country and its people”.

Video: Ajman Ruler offers a prayer for rain

How the UAE mosques hosted Salat Al Istisqa

It wasn’t the first time that rain prayers were held in the country. Salat Al Istisqa was performed in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2017 — usually between November and December, based on Khaleej Times' research.

Abdullah Farooqui, a former imam for more than three decades in Abu Dhabi, explained that it is not an annual prayer but offered only when there is a requirement for it. Salat Al Istisqa, he said, is part of the customs and traditions of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

“The prayers were performed to avoid a situation like drought. There were two rakat prayers and then a khutbah (sermon). The prayers were said seeking forgiveness from Allah for the sins committed by mankind. People pray for mercy and not to punish us with natural disasters. Prayers were for timely rain to result in good harvest of crops,” said Farooqui, who was an imam for 33 years and a resident for 43.

‘Well-being, prosperity’

Residents across the country devoted themselves to the prayers on Friday. Hussain Sulaiman from Dubai hoped that Allah would bless everyone with strength to weather this “pandemic storm”.

“The special prayer comes close to the New Year. I have great hopes for 2021. I have prayed for the well-being and prosperity of this country and the world. I hope we turn the corner. Rain is an important climate element. I hope the prayers are answered.”

Abu Dhabi resident Rasheed R felt more confident after taking part in the prayer. “The atmosphere at the mosque infused fresh energy into the body. We are all entering into the new year with great expectations. I prayed for a fresh start to the lives of those impacted by the pandemic situation.”

Faithful knew how important the prayer was

Mohammed Al Hasan Khan, imam of a mosque in Deira who led the rain prayer 10 minutes before the Juma, said there was a notable increase in the number of people attending the congregational prayers.

“People were excited to offer this prayer. And since these prayers do not take place often, the people grasped the importance of this prayer being offered at this time,” Khan said.

The volunteers coordinated with the caretakers of the Masjid to ensure everything went well. The faithful responsibly played their part and followed all precautionary measures.

Sharing a lighthearted experience, he said: “Although there were people who arrived late and were completely unaware of what was happening, they prayed Istisqaa prayer and started to leave thinking that Juma prayer was over.”

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