WASHINGTON, July 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called on mosques and other houses of worship across America to offer prayers for rain to help relieve the drought that is impacting more than half of the nation.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) urged American mosques to offer the prayers, called "Salatul Istisqa" (sal-AT-al-istis-KA), during this week's Friday congregational services and for people of other faiths to offer prayers for rain according to their own religious traditions. Islam's Prophet Muhammad offered similar prayers during times of drought.
Friday is expected to be the first day of fasting for the month of Ramadan.
CAIR-FL: Muslims Prepare to Observe Ramadan (Tampa Bay Times)
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)
"We believe in the power of prayer, through which Americans of all faiths can provide a spiritual component to help relieve the nation from this crippling drought," Said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
Awad said CAIR issued its call for multi-faith prayers in response to a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicating that 55 percent of the contiguous United States is under moderate to extreme drought -- the largest area to be affected by drought since 1956.
SEE: Current U.S. Drought Monitor
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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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)