Rainfall: Mercy from the Almighty


rain is mercy

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.

-Mariam Anwer

Originally posted in Arab News on the 8th of April 2016

AN rain

The Forgotten Sunnah – Standing in the Rain


rain

An unusual sound penetrated my train of thought as I sat studying at my desk. I looked up pensively from my book and a few moments passed before I realised that what I was hearing was the sound of pouring rain. A sound so common back in my hometown, Cape Town, was now so foreign to me in the desert city of Madinah.

I rushed out onto the balcony to admire the rainfall. As I stood, witnessing Allah’s answer to the prayers of the community, a strange sight caught my eye down below. A man, instead of running for cover, walked calmly to and into his building. He reappeared shortly carrying a chair. Still in a state of composure, he placed the chair out in the pouring rain and just sat down! He appeared to be enjoying the sensation of the raindrops falling on his skin. I was intrigued.

Back home, many people become grumpy at the first sign of rain or run frantically from it when it catches them unawares. I just kept staring. I then made an intention to find out more about what I had witnessed and soon discovered that spending time in the rain was a practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and His Companions (may Allah honour them), based on these findings:

It is Sunnah (A practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to stand in the rain and to expose a portion of your body to it.

Its narrated by Imaam Muslim in his authentic compilation from the hadith of Anas, He said: It rained upon us as we were with the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) unveiled his garment (from a part of his body) until the rain fell on him. We said: Messenger of Allah, why did you do this? He said: Because it (the rainfall) has just come from the Exalted Lord.

And Haakim in his book Al-Mustadrak narrates this hadith with the following words: “When the rain came down from the heavens He (The Prophet May peace be upon him) used to remove his garment from his back until the rain fell on it (his back).”

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 its falling down on us.

And the meaning of the phrase: “Because it (the rainfall) has just come from the Exalted Lord.” is mentioned in the explanation of Sahih Muslim of Imaam Nawawiy by saying: That the rainfall is a mercy which Allah has just created, therefore use it as a blessing.

Imaam Ashafi’ee mentions in his book Al-Umm: It is narrated by Ibn Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him): That the rain fell from the heavens so 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? He (Ibn Abbas) then said: Do you not read the book of Allah:

“And we have sent down from the heavens water that is blessed” [Surah 50, Verse 9]

Therefore I would like the blessing to fall (incur) on it.

Scholars of jurisprudence have mention the following regarding standing in the rain:

1. The Sunnah of exposing oneself to the rain can be obtained by unveiling any portion of one’s body no matter how small the portion may be like one’s head or arms.

2. One should not expose one’s Awrah.

3. It is recommended by some scholars to take Wudu (ablution) and Ghusl (wash) from the rainfall. And they based their deduction on the following Hadith: It is narrated from the Prophet (may peace be upon him) that when stream used to flow he (Prophet) would say: “Leave with us to that which Allah has made pure so that we may purify ourselves from it and praise Allah most exalted.”

Imaam Al bayhaqee states that this is a narration from Umar (may Allah honour him) and not from the Prophet (may peace be upon him).

Imaam Nawawiy also mentions in Al-Majmoo’ that: “Its recommended that when the gorge flows (with rain water) to perform wudu (ablution) and ghusl (washing) from it. And if he or she is not able to do both then at least to perform wudu (ablution) from it.

And Allah knows best.

–Written by Khalid Abduroaf