Hamza Yusuf Leads Bay Area Prayer Service for Rain
BY AUDREY WONG
Bay Area Muslims prayed for rain to relieve the drought affecting California on Saturday, at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds.
The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations organized the event. The prayer was led by American Scholar and co-founder of Zaytuna College, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.
Governor Jerry Brown announced a drought emergency in January as the state went into its third year of dry weather. Federal officials also declared counties in 11 western and central states as natural disaster areas because of the drought.
“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 devastation of 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.”
Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad offered prayers during times of drought, according to a CAIR press release. On Saturday a similar prayer called “Salatul Istisqa,” was given after Saturday’s early afternoon prayers.
Organizers encourage people from different faiths to offer prayers according to their religious beliefs.
Other religious groups were also asking a higher power for precipitation. In January, the California Conference of Catholic Bishops asked everyone to pray for rain, according to NBC Bay Area. Native American groups from Monterey to San Diego have performed rain dances, according to theSan Francisco Chronicle. A study group at a Merced, Calif. Baptist Church beseeched God to change the weather. Muslims in Folsom, Calif. also had a special prayer service after levels in the local reservoir dipped.
Original post: Hamza Yusuf Leads Bay Area Prayer Service for Rain