I struggled to make space for the four of us as I spread our prayer mats and took out the dates that I had got on the way to the masjid from my hotel room. It was another calm and tranquil Ramadan evening in the courtyard of Al Masjid Al Haraam in Makkah. Other than the usual shouts and yells of the volunteers distributing snacks for iftar, I could hear people around me beseeching the Almighty in the precious moments just before Maghrib (sunset) Prayer. Taking cue, as I started whispering my du’as (supplications), I felt sudden drops of water on my raised hands. Looking up I noticed unusual dark clouds covering the horizon beyond the beautiful minarets of the masjid before hearing cries of happiness around me as it started drizzling and then suddenly pouring. Being an ardent lover of rain, I was elated but what surprised me most was that very few of the people ran for cover and hardly any left their places of prayer. Most of them just stood up raising their hands high, saying Allahu Akbar (God is Great) in unison and then making their own different du’as while the rain came down in buckets. And when the Adhan (call for prayer) resonated across the whole place, I witnessed a precious scene, where the servants of Almighty broke their fasts with whispers of thanks and du’as while rejoicing over His gift – the gift of rain. I did not notice any irritated face that evening nor a word of complaint when everyone had to pray and prostrate in puddles of rain water. I remember the strange tranquility in the air as the rain poured over us and the imam while leading the Prayer, recited beautiful verses about the blessing of rain.
Allah says: “It is Allah who sends the winds, and they stir the clouds and spread them in the sky however He wills, and He makes them fragments so you see the rain emerge from within them. And when He causes it to fall upon whom He wills of His servants, immediately they rejoice.” (Qur’an 30:48)
As believers, we need to reflect on this great blessing that Allah sends to us. Rain is a great miracle of Allah – a miracle that is often taken for granted and sometimes often detested. Perhaps such people should take a look at the places deprived of rain, where drought has taken the people and other living things into its deadly embrace.
Rain is one of the most important factors for the permanence of life on earth and it plays an essential role for the continuation of activity in a region. It is mentioned in various verses of the Qur’an, where Allah gives substantial information about the formation of rain, its proportion and effects. Rain, as it pours down on us every once in a while, here in Saudi Arabia and ever so often in some other parts of the world, shows us proof of the existence of Allah and reminds us of His Mercy and compassion towards the creation. Allah says: “And it is He who sends down the rain after they [people] had despaired, and spreads His mercy. And He is the Protector, the Praiseworthy.” (Qur’an 42:28)
Very few might know the fact that spending time in the rain was a practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and His Companions. Anas narrated: ‘We were with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) when rain fell upon us. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) opened up his garment a bit so that the rain could touch his skin. We asked: “O Messenger of Allah, why do you do this?” He (peace be upon him) replied: “Because it has just recently come from its Lord.”’ (Muslim, 898)
The scholars have taken proof from this hadith that it is Sunnah (recommended) to expose your body and clothing to the falling rain. Out of happiness that Allah is sending down his blessing and moreover rejoicing that it is pouring down on us. And the meaning of the phrase (in the hadith): “Because it (the rainfall) has just recently come from its Lord.” is mentioned in the explanation of Sahih Muslim of Imam Nawawi by saying: ‘That the rainfall is a mercy which Allah has just created, therefore use it as a blessing.’
It is narrated by Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that once when the rain fell from the heavens, he told his servant to bring out his mattress and saddle so that the rain may fall on it. Abu Jawzaa’ then asked Ibn Abbas: Why are you doing that, May Allah have mercy on you? Ibn Abbas then said: “Do you not read the book of Allah: “And we have sent down from the heavens water that is blessed” (Qur’an 50:9)…Therefore I would like the blessing to fall (incur) on them.” (From Imaam As Shafii’s book, Al-Umm)
It is narrated by A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that, when it used to rain, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to pray for beneficial rain and say: “O Allah, bring beneficial rain clouds.” (Bukhari)
He (peace be upon him) also used to say: “We are given rain by Allah’s mercy, Allah’s providence, and Allah’s grace.” (Bukhari)
The time of the rain is a time of mercy from Allah so; one should take advantage of this time when Allah is having mercy on His slaves and make lots of du’aa. There are many times and places where du’aa is answered and one of them is when rain falls, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Two will not be rejected, Du’aa when the Adhan is being called and at the time of the rain.” (Abu Dawood)
As believers, the closer and more intimate our relationship is with nature, the stronger and certainly healthier an impact such an affiliation can have on our faith and our relationship with the Creator. Allah invites us to look around us and above us, to observe when He sends us His mercy in the form of rain, to reflect and give thanks to Him. So let’s appreciate this great gift of rainfall and use this blessing to turn to Him with sincerity and be of His beloved ones.
Originally posted in Arab News on the 8th of April 2016
Musa’s (alayhissalam) story in Surah Al Kahf (ayahs 60-82) teaches us that the outer appearance of things usually fools us whereas only Allah knows what situation is best for any individual. A problem is not always a problem. Our knowledge about things is limited while Allah is All Wise and All Knowing. Only He knows better how that specific problem is going to be beneficial for a person. Similarly, we might complain about a certain system or worldly problem but then it’s always according to Allah’s Plan and His wisdom. He created this world and the creatures in it…how can we doubt about His decisions for us? Let’s never fail to remember that our Lord is the Most Merciful and He will never ever be unjust in His Decisions for us, whether it is in this world or in the Hereafter. Allah says:
وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا
And your Lord does injustice to no one. [Al Kahf 18:49]
Soon when the veils of the unseen will be lifted then we will know and be sure that what happened was right for us…and we couldn’t have chosen a better destiny for ourselves. Sometimes it so happens that we fail to get the things we really want but many years down the road we realise that what happened was best for us…not getting that specific blessing then was the best for us! So our duty is to strive and do our best and if things don’t go the way we want them to go then we have to accept the Decisions of Allah for us and not be angry or depressed as He is the Only One who creates us, provides for us, gives and takes from us!
-My reflections after studying Surah Al Kahf