President Sheikh Khalifa calls for UAE-wide prayers for rain

Prayers known as Salaat Al Istisqaa to be performed across the Emirates on Friday

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - December 6, 2008: Men leave the wet grounds of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi after a unique prayer for rain at approximately 8:00am this morning. The President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan called for a country wide prayer for rain.
( Ryan Carter / The National )  *** Local Caption ***  RC005-RainPrayer.JPGRC005-RainPrayer.JPG

President Sheikh Khalifa has called for all Muslims in the country to take part in prayers for rain this week.

He directed that the prayers, known as Salaat Al Istisqaa, be performed in all mosques and musallahs across the country on Friday, December 18.

Sheikh Khalifa called on worshippers to pray to Allah to bless the land with rain and mercy, in accordance with the Prophet Mohammed’s sunnah, 10 minutes before Friday prayers.

Worshippers were told to supplicate to God to send rain, mercy and abundance upon the country and its people.

Salaat Al Istisqaa is typically called for across the UAE once every few years and is not an uncommon practice across Gulf countries.

In January, King Salman of Saudi Arabia called for a rain-seeking prayer to be performed to encourage a wetter winter over the Kingdom.

According to the sunnah of the Prophet, whenever there is a delay in rain, the leader of a state must issue an order for the prayer to be performed.

The official prayer is attended by the president, or one of his officials if he is absent.

Previously, rulers, members of the Supreme Council and Crown Princes of several emirates have taken part in the prayers.


Saudi worshippers pray for rain at the Grand Mosque in Makkah