This prayer is a means of seeking rain from Allah, the Exalted, during times of drought. That is, people are naturally disposed to ask help from the One Who is able to support them: Allah Alone. This prayer was known among the previous nations. It is regarded also as one of the acts of the prophets, peace be upon them all, as Allah, the Exalted, Says (what means):
“And [recall] when Moses prayed for water for his people...” [Qur’an 2: 60]
Similarly, the Seal of Prophets, Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, performed Prayer for Rain (Salaat al-Istisqa) for his people many times, and in many ways. In addition, Muslim scholars unanimously agree on the legality of such an act.
The Prayer for Rain is ordained during times of drought and times when rain fails, which causes harm to people. Then there is no way out except by supplicating their Lord and asking Him for water (rain). People may supplicate Allah in various ways. For instance, people may supplicate Allah in Prayer, whether in congregation or alone. They may also supplicate Him by invoking Him during the sermon of the Jumu’ah (Friday) Prayer, in which the Imam may invoke Allah, and Muslims say, “Aameen (Amen)”.
Furthermore, it may be by invoking Allah, the Exalted, after performing prayers, or by supplicating Him in seclusions with neither prayer nor sermon. All such acts are related about the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
The Prayer for Rain is regarded as a stressed Sunnah (Prophetic tradition) as ‘Abdullah Ibn Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, went out to invoke Allah for rain. He faced the qiblah (the direction of Ka’aba in Makkah), invoking Allah. Then he reversed his cloak and performed two Rak’ahs (units of prayer) and recited the Qur’an aloud in them.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
There are many hadiths in support of this practice.
The Prayer for Rain is similar to that of the Eid Prayer concerning its relevant rulings and the place where it is performed. That is, it is viewed desirable to perform it in the place where the Eid Prayer is performed; outside the mosque. Moreover, its rulings and practices are the same as those of the Eid Prayer, namely the number of Rak’ahs, the loud recitation of the Qur’an, being performed before delivering the sermon, and the additional Takbeers (saying ‘Allahu Akbar’) in the first and second Rak’ahs before the recitation of the Qur’an.
Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated:
“The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, performed two Rak’ahs as he does in the Eid Prayer.”
At-Tirmithi says that this is a hasan (good) and saheeh (authentic) hadith, and Al-Hakim and others view it as a saheeh (authentic) hadith, as well. The one performing the Prayer for Rain is to recite the chapter of Al-A’laa in the first rak’ah, and the chapter Al-Ghashiyah in the second one. People are to perform it in a vast spacious place, away from the place of residence, as the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, did not perform it except in the desert. This is because performing it in such a place is a means of showing much need to Allah, the Exalted. When the Imam wants to proceed to perform the Prayer for Rain, he should start with reminding people of what may soften their hearts by mentioning Allah’s reward and punishment. They should also be commanded to turn to Allah in repentance and return rights to whom they are due. This is because sins are amongst the main reasons that cause rain and blessings to be withheld. On the other side, repentance and asking Allah, the Exalted, for forgiveness are reasons for Allah’s answering of supplication. Allah, the Exalted, Says (what means):
“And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened [i.e. bestowed] upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning” [Qur’an 7: 96]
Furthermore, the Imam should command people to give charity to the poor and needy, as this is regarded as a cause for sending Allah’s mercy. After that, he is to set for them a certain day, at which they are to come out and be prepared for such an honourable occasion, and according to that which best suits it as an act of the Sunnah. At that date, people are to go out to the place of prayer showing humbleness, submissiveness and neediness of Allah, the Exalted, as Ibn ‘Abbas ( may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, went out to perform the Prayer for Rain showing humility, humbleness, and submissiveness, and supplicating (Allah).” [At-Tirmithi said that this is a hasan and saheeh (good and authentic) hadith.]
No Muslim should stay behind (from going out) while able, even boys and women, whose presence does not cause temptation, are to go out to perform it. Then, the Imam is to lead people performing two rak’ahs, as mentioned before. After doing so, he is to deliver one sermon. However, some scholars view that the Imam is to deliver two sermons. Both opinions are permissible, but the soundest opinion is to deliver one sermon, according to the most preponderant legal proof. In most cases, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, delivered the sermon after performing the Prayer for Rain, and Muslims acted according to this. However, it is related that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, delivered the sermon before performing the prayer. This is the view of some scholars, but the first view (delivering the sermon after performing prayer) is more preponderant; and Allah Knows best.
In the sermon of asking for rain, the Imam should ask for Allah’s forgiveness as well as recite the verses that command asking for forgiveness, in abundance, as this is considered a cause for sending rain. Moreover, the Imam should supplicate Allah, the Exalted, with much invocation, asking for rain. When supplicating Allah, the Imam should raise his hands, as the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, used to raise his hands when invoking Allah in the Prayer for Rain, so much that the whiteness of his armpits became visible.
The Imam should also confer blessings upon the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, as this is a cause for (Allah, the Exalted) answering his supplication. He may invoke Allah, the Exalted, with the supplication related about the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam in such situations, as a means of following him. In this regard, Allah, the Exalted, Says (what means):
“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day...” [Qur’an 33: 21]
It is viewed as an act of the Sunnah to face the qiblah at the end of supplication, and to reverse one’s clothes, as related in the Two Saheehs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim, the two authentic books of Hadith) that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, turned his back toward the people and faced the qiblah asking Allah (for rain). Then he reversed his cloak. The wisdom behind this - Allah Knows best - is that it is like a good omen that the present hard condition may turn into prosperity and the sending of rain. People should also follow the Imam and reverse their clothes, as Imam Ahmad related, “... the people followed him (the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi was sallam) and reversed their clothes.” In addition, what is stated as done by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, is to be done by his nation, unless it is proved that he alone is particularised with such a thing.
This would be until Allah, the Exalted, sends down rain; otherwise, Muslims should repeat asking for rain, as long as there is a need for that. It is considered an act of Sunnah that when rain starts to fall, one is to stand and receive some of it and say, “O Allah! Let it be a strong fruitful rain,” and say, “The rain is due to the Favour and Mercy of Allah.” However, when rain falls heavily and there is fear that it might cause harm, one should say as the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, used to say:
“O Allah! (Let the rain be) around us, not on us. O Allah! (Let the rain be) on the plateaus, on the mountains, on the hills, on the hillocks, in the valleys, and on the places where trees grow” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Allah Knows best.
[Extract from: A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence]
The Prophet’s justice and equality
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), asked people to be just and kind. As the supreme judge and arbiter, as the leader of Muslims, as generalissimo of a rising power, as a reformer and apostle, he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, had always to deal with people and their affairs. He had often to deal with mutually inimical and warring tribes when showing justice to one carried the danger of antagonising the other, and yet he never deviated from the path of justice. In administering justice, he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, made no distinction between believers and nonbelievers, friends and foes, high and low. From numerous instances reported in the traditions, a few are given below.
Sakhr, a chief of a tribe, had helped the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, greatly in the siege of Taif, for which he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was naturally obliged to him. Soon after, two charges were brought against Sakhr: one by Mugheerah, may Allah be pleased with him, of illegal confinement of his (Mugheerah’s) aunt and the other by Banu Saalim of forcible occupation of his spring by Sakhr. In both cases, he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, decided against Sakhr and made him undo the wrong. [Abu Daawood]
Abdullaah Ibn Sahl, may Allah be pleased with him, was deputed to collect rent from Jews of Khaybar. His cousin Mahisah, may Allah be pleased with him, accompanied him but, on reaching Khaybar, they had separated. Abdullaah was waylaid and done to death. Mahisah reported this tragedy to the Prophet, but as there were no eye-witnesses to identify the guilty, he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, did not say anything to the Jews and paid the blood-money out of the state revenues. [Al-Bukhari]
A woman of the Makhzoom family with good connections was found guilty of theft. For the prestige of the Quraysh, some prominent people including Usaamah Ibn Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, interceded to save her from punishment. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, refused to condone the crime and expressed displeasure saying:
“Many a community ruined itself in the past as they only punished the poor and ignored the offences of the exalted. By Allah, if Muhammad’s (My) daughter Faatimah would have committed theft, her hand would have been severed.” [Al-Bukhari]
The Jews, in spite of their hostility to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, were so impressed by his impartiality and sense of justice that they used to bring their cases to him, and he decided them according to Jewish law. [Abu Daawood]
Once, while he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was distributing the spoils of war, people flocked around him and one man almost fell upon him. He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, pushed the men with a stick causing a slight abrasion. He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was so sorry about this that he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, told the man that he could have his revenge, but the man said: “O Messenger of Allah, I forgive you.” (Abu Daawood)
In his fatal illness, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, proclaimed in a concourse assembled at his house that if he owed anything to anyone the person concerned could claim it; if he had ever hurt anyone’s person, honour or property, he could have his price while he was yet in this world. A hush fell on the crowd. One man came forward to claim a few dirhams which were paid at once. [Ibn Hishaam]
Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, asked people to shun notions of racial, family or any other form of superiority based on mundane things and said that righteousness alone was the criterion of one’s superiority over another. It has already been shown how he mixed with everyone on equal terms, how he ate with slaves, servants and the poorest on the same sheet (a practice that is still followed in Arabia), how he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, refused all privileges and worked like any ordinary labourer. Two instances may, however, be quoted here:
Once the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, visited Sa’d Ibn ‘Ubaadah, may Allah be pleased with him. While returning, Sa’d sent his son Qays with him. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, asked Qays to mount his camel with him. Qays hesitated out of respect but the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, insisted: “Either mount the camel or go back.” Qays decided to go back. [Abu Daawood]
On another occasion he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was travelling on his camel over hilly terrain with a companion, Uqbah Ibn ‘Aamir, may Allah be pleased with him. After going some distance, he asked ‘Uqbah to ride the camel, but Uqbah thought this would be showing disrespect to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. But the Prophet insisted and he had to comply. The Prophet himself walked on foot as he did not want to put too much load on the animal. [An-Nasaa’ee]
The prisoners of war of Badr included Al-’Abbaas, the uncle of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Some people were prepared to forgo their shares and remit the Prophet’s ransom but he declined saying that he could make no distinctions. [Al-Bukhari]
During a halt on a journey, the companions apportioned work among themselves for preparing food. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, took upon himself the task of collecting firewood. His companions, may Allah be pleased with them, pleaded that they would do it and that he need not take the trouble, but he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, replied: “It is true, but I do not like to attribute any distinction to myself. Allah does not like the man who considers himself superior to his companions.” [Az-Zarqaani]
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
A perfect model of modesty and humbleness
Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was a perfect model of modesty and humbleness. He never spoke loudly or in an unseemly manner. In the market, he always passed by the people quietly with a smile. Whenever he heard anything undesirable in an assembly, he did not say anything out of respect for the people, but the colour of his face showed his feelings and the Companions became cautious. ‘Aa’ishah said that she never saw Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, laughing so that she could see his molar teeth, for he only used to smile.
‘Abdullaah Ibn Maslamah reported Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, as saying: “Modesty is a part of the teachings of the previous prophets and anyone who lacks it is most likely to do whatever he likes.” Zayd reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: “Every religion has a character and the character of Islam is modesty.”
The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, lived a simple and modest life, both in Makkah as a trader before his prophethood, and in Al-Madinah as the head of the State after being appointed Allah’s Messenger. The change in his social status from that of a trader in Makkah to the head of the State in Al-Madinah did not bring any change in his modest living. ‘Umar (radhiallah ‘anhu) reported the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, as saying: “Do not exalt me as the Christians have exalted Jesus, son of Mary. I am just His servant, so call me Allah’s Servant and Messenger.”
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, did not behave towards others as if he was better than they were, nor did he spurn manual work. ‘Abdullaah bin Abi ‘Awfa reported that the Prophet never disdained to go with a slave or a widow to accomplish his or her tasks. Others reported that the Prophet used to tidy up his house, tie the camels, feed the animals, take food with his servants, and help them in kneading dough and bringing provisions from the market. Anas (radhiallah ‘anhu) reported that the Prophet of Allah used to visit the sick, attend funerals, ride on a donkey and accept a slave’s invitation for a meal. Jaabir (radhiallah ‘anhu) stated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, used to slow down his pace for the sake of the weak and also prayed for them.
When ‘Adiyy bin Haatim (radhiallah ‘anhu) came to see the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, he called him inside his house. A maidservant brought a cushion to rest on, but the Prophet placed it between him and ‘Adiyy and sat down on the floor. ‘Adiyy later said that he had then immediately realised that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was not a king. A similar incident was reported by ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘Aas (radhiallah ‘anhu) who said: “Once when the Messenger of Allah came to my house, I gave him a cushion filled with bark, but he sat down on the floor placing the cushion between me and him.”
Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was humble in all things. Anas (radhiallah ‘anhu) said that the Prophet would accept an invitation even if he was presented barley bread and soup whose taste had changed. He also reported the Prophet as saying: “I am Allah’s servant, I eat like a servant and sit like a servant.’’
On one of his journeys, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, asked his companions to roast a goat. One said that he would slaughter the animal; another said that he would skin it, while a third said that he would cook it. The Prophet then said that he would collect wood for fuel. Their response was: “O Messenger of Allah! We will do everything.” The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, then said: “I have no doubt that you will. But I do not like distinctions to be made, nor does Allah like any one of His servants to assert his superiority over his companions.”
His self-deprecation was such that he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, once said: “By Allah, I do not know, even although I am Allah’s messenger, what my fate in the next world will be, nor do I know what yours will be.”
Abu Tharr Al-Ghifaari (radhiallah ‘anhu) narrates that one day he was sitting with another companion of black complexion whom he addressed as: “O black man.” When the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, heard of this, he was greatly displeased and cautioned Abu Tharr never to make scornful remarks to anyone, whoever he might be, and to accord equal treatment to all, adding: “No white man has any superiority over a black man.”
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, once saw a wealthy Muslim gathering up his loose garments so that a certain distance would be kept between himself and a poor Muslim sitting close by. He remarked: “Do you fear that his poverty will cling to you?”
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, lived like any ordinary person, and did not assume any superior rights. He once had to borrow some money from a Jew called Zayd bin Sana’a. The Jew came to demand the immediate return of the loan a few days before the expiry of the stipulated period. Tugging at the mantle around the Prophet’s shoulders, he jibed that the progeny of ‘Abd Al-Muttalib were always defaulters.
‘Umar (radhiallah ‘anhu) not being able to tolerate this misbehaviour on the part of the Jew, started berating him, and was on the point of beating him when the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said to the Jew, smiling: “There are still three days to go before the promise has to be fulfilled.” To ‘Umar he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “We might have had better treatment from you. You could have advised me to be more careful about the return of loans and you could have advised the Jew to be more courteous in demanding repayment.” He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, then requested ‘Umar to get some dates so that the loan could be repaid, and to give the Jew an extra 40 kilograms for the rebuke he had been given.
We can say that humbleness is seen in every sphere of the Prophet’s life. His way of talking, walking, sitting, eating and every aspect of his life reflected humbleness.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
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