(SACRAMENTO, CA, 7/11/2008) – The Council on Sacramento Valley Islamic Organizations (COSVIO) and the Sacramento chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Sacramento) today called on mosques and other houses of worship across the nation to offer prayers for rain to help put out wildfires currently raging in California. Thousands of Sacramento Valley Muslims participated in today’s special prayers after Friday congregational prayers
SEE: California Fires Destroy Homes (Sacramento Bee)
COSVIO and CAIR urged American mosques to offer special Islamic prayers, called Salatul Istisqa (sal-AT-al-istis-KA), which the Prophet Muhammad traditionally offered during times of drought.
In Salatul Istisqa, the Prophet would offer supplications such as: “O God, give us rain that will replenish us, abundant, fertilizing and profitable, not injurious. Grant it now without delay…Send down rain upon us and make it a source of strength and satisfaction…O God, give us a saving rain, good and productive, general and heavy, now and not later, beneficial and not harmful.”
The Quran, Islam’s revealed text, states: “O my people! Seek forgiveness of your Lord and turn to Him in repentance. He will send you from the sky abundant rain.” (Quran, 11:52)
“Americans of all faiths need to offer spiritual assistance to the courageous firefighters who are battling these deadly fires,” said SALAM Center Religious Leader Imam Azeez.
Imam Azeez led special prayers today at Annur Islamic Center, one of the areas largest Mosques. COSVIO leaders have also asked mosques in wildfire areas to offer shelter to fire victims and that financial aid for victims be sent to the American Red Cross.
COSVIO and CAIR will continue to organize the special prayer of Salatul Istisqa throughout the week and during next Friday’s congregational prayers. All area Imams are requested to dedicate their Friday (July 18th) sermons for the same purpose.
COSVIO is an umbrella organization of over 12 mosques and Islamic centers in the Sacramento Valley. It’s goal is to provide services to Muslim organizations, coordinate activities among its members and enhance the understanding of Islam among people of other faiths.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: COSVIO President Farouk Fakira, Tel: (916) 717-1006 or E-mail: FFakira@aol.com; CAIR-Sacramento Valley Executive Director Basim Elkarra Tel: (916) 441-6269 or E-mail: email@example.com