Why does the UAE need rain and what is the prayer for rain?
What is the prayer for rain?
You may have read about the rain prayer being called for or you may have wondered why the Friday prayer started early today.
The early prayer would actually have been the extra one for rain (salatal istisqa’), before the usual Friday prayer. It was performed at mosques around the country today.
For those of you who are familiar with the rituals of the prayer, it is the same as the Eid prayer, or the same as a normal prayer of two rak’ats (or cycles) but with seven extra takbirs (raising the hands to the ears and saying Allahu akbar) in the first and five in the second.
This is followed by the imam (leader of prayer) making supplications praising God, asking for forgiveness and for rain. The congregation follows by saying Amin after each prayer.
You may wonder why the prayer for rain is announced early in the week but not performed until Friday. One reason is more people will be attending but also some people will prepare for the prayer by fasting three days and making extra supplication.
So now the question – why does the UAE need rain?
As you know, we had virtually no rain last winter and until now, we haven’t had a great deal this winter. Many people are happy with that because they don’t like rain or because of flooding it can cause to their homes and neighbourhood.
The photos below were taken in early 2020 in Masfoot and Al Hayl. They’ve been empty since summer that year.
Why does the UAE need rain?
On the other hand, the farms badly need rain. The ground water level is dropping drastically. In some areas , farms have water pipes from main supplies. Many don’t. Below we see abandoned farms in Dhaid and Fujairah. Drilling can be just too expensive for farm owners to pay for.
So without getting much deeper, local agriculture depends on it and it’s needed for the availability of local meat, chicken and dairy too. Needing to import all of these instead has an impact on the environment globally too.
To give you a concrete example, our farm in Sharjah Central Region currently works on seven wells. The minimum depth to drill a well these days there is 1400 feet.
It’s not that long ago, still in human memory, that drills were hand dug to a much much lower depth. The drilling of such a well plus pump, pipes and so forth costs a minimum of around 45,000 dirhams.
That’s only one aspect. Wildlife also depends on it so it is also part of protecting biodiversity and the environment.
There are other aspects such as reducing high costs of water desalination, and the impact both rain and greenery can have on the increasing temperatures.
Please feel free to leave any other information on why we need rain in the comments. I do understand it has a negative effect for some though in terms of damage to housing, etc.
To see more on Masfoot, visit here
To see more on Sharjah Central Region, visit here
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