(SAN FRANCISCO, CA, 1/29/14) — The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) announced today that members of the Muslim community will offer a prayer for rain on Saturday to help relieve the ongoing drought impacting California residents and agriculture.
WHAT: Bay Area Muslims to Pray for Rain
WHEN: Saturday, February 1. Early afternoon prayer begins at 1:30 p.m.; special prayer for rain to follow.
WHERE: Pleasanton Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Avenue, Pleasanton, Calif.
“When God withholds the rain it is a trial for everyone. Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, men, women, children, beasts, birds, even the fish, as we see in the devastation the drought has wrought upon our salmon populations,” said Imam Zaid Shakir, co-founder of Zaytuna College and one of the event's organizers. “We invite our co-religionists along with members of other faith communities to join us as we fervently pray for relief from the drought that has befallen our wonderful state.”
The prayers, called “Salatul Istisqa” (sal-AT-al-istis-KA), will be offered after Saturday's early afternoon congregational prayer (Duhr). Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) offered similar prayers during times of drought. People of other faiths are being encouraged to offer prayers for rain according to their own religious traditions and are invited to the attend the event.
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)
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. 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.
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CONTACT: CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo, 626.252.0885, email@example.com; Irfan Rydhan, 408.509.7965, firstname.lastname@example.org.