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Drought & it's Remedy
Drought & it's Remedy
Allah Ta'ala states in the Quraan:
“And whatsoever of affliction which befalls on you is owing to that which your hands earned; and He pardons much.” (Surah Shura - 30)
“Corruptness has appeared on land and sea, because of that which man's  hands have earned, so that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that haply they may return."(Surah Room - 41)(Ma'aariful Qur'aan vol 6-p738, vol 7 p696)

Comitting sin willfully
It has been reported in Musnad -e- Ahmad that Rasulullah SAW said:
`Man is deprived of sustenance and provision on account of committing sin and disobedience willfully.'

Cheating & deceiving others
Rasulullah SAW has said: `Whenever a people generally start cheating and deceiving others in business and commerce concerning commodities which are sold by weight or measure, then inevitably Allah subjects them to punishment by droughts and scarcity of goods.               (Ma'aariful Qur'aan vol 4 p66')

It has been reported by Hazrat Abdullah bin Omar RA in Ibne Maajah as follows: `When people generally indulge in deceitful acts such as giving less than is due on them in things which are sold by either weight or measure, then such people are undoubtedly punished by Allah with widespread droughts, serious calamaties and the oppression of rulers over them.'

Zakaat not paid
`Whenever people stop paying the zakaat of their wealth, which they are obliged to do in terms of the Qur'anic injunctions, they are, as a result of such abominable behaviour, deprived of rain from the skies. However, the small amount of rain showered from the skies on to the earth in such threatening times of irreligiousness, is sent by Allah for the benefit of His animal creatures in the world. If animals had not lived on the earth, mankind would have certainly been deprived of even this small measure of rain from the skies.'

Zina(Adultery) becomes rife
Imaam Ahmad Rahmatullahi Alayhi has narrated a report from Hazrat A'mr bin `Aas RA in which he says that I heard Rasulullah SAW who used to say: `Whenever zina (adultery) overtakes people, thus becoming a general practice in them, then on account of such an accursed practice having become rife in them, they find themselves plagued by droughts as a punishment for their actions.'

Other causes of droughts and plagues are:
1.     Rampant immodesty and shamelessness.
2.     Adultery.
3.     Acts of underweight and deceitful measure,
4.     To cease to pay zakaat.
5.     Dealings in interest (giving and taking).
6.     General sinning.
7.     Careless and disrespectful acts such as leaving food unnecessarily uncovered in wind and rain.

Hazrat Ali RA has said: `When a calamity befalls anyone, it is inevitably due to sin and transgression and whenever a calamity is removed from someone it is inevitably due to repentance (Tawba) on the part of such people.
All such calamities and hardships which the Qu'raan has declared to afflict people on account of sin and transgression are those that befall the entire area of a city, a town or a settlement with such devastating effect that, generally no person can protect or save himself from the effects and disaster of such a calamity.

An extremely correct, effective, and helpful remedy for droughts has been suggested by none other than the most merciful man of the Muslim nation, the wise and far sighted Rasulullah SAW. Attention is hereby directed to it, for this suggestion alone is really the remedy for all calamities, particularly these experienced by us presently.
Rasulullah SAW has suggested that Istighfaar is the best remedy for droughts in particular and for scarcity of food and calamities generally.
In the Qur'aan, Allah Ta'ala exhorts Muslims to keep seeking forgiveness from Him and to repent to Him for their sins. Allah Ta'ala says in the Qu'raan:
“0 my people, Ask forgiveness of your Sustainer, then repent torwards Him; He will send the heavens upon you pouring, And He will add you strength upon strength, and turn not away guilty ones.”        (Surah Hood - 52)

“Ask forgiveness of your Sugtainer, verily He is  ever most forgiving; He will send the heavens upon you copiously; and He will add unto you riches and children; and He will appoint unto you gardens and He will appoint unto you" rivers.  (Surah Nooh 10-11-12)

Seek Allah's forgiveness from all past sins in your life, and firmly resolve not to return to them in your future life. Make a firm promise to Allah that you shall never return to such sin again. When you have fully performed such Istighfaar and tawbah you will witness with your own eyes the enormous benefits of such a practice on your part. This that you shall witness is apart form the eternal success you will have secured for yourself in the hereafter. Firstly by performing Istigfaar and towbah the drought conditions and its destructive effects prevailing over you will be removed from you. Timely rains will fall from the skies above, and prosperous provision and sustenance from Allah will flow and you will be fully blessed with children and offspring.

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbas RA reports from Rasulullah SAW who said:
`Whoever, makes Istighfaar increasingly, Allah will grant him relief from every worry and grief, and will make easy for him each difficulty that he encounters and Allah will grant him provision from where he never expected to get it.'
Rasulullah SAW said: `I swear by Him in whose hands is my life, when after you have committed as many sins as would fill the space between the skies and the earth, and you seek forgiveness for these sins from Allah, Allah will most certainly forgive all these sins you have committed.

Calamity and disaster is removed by performing duas, just as the life span of a person is increased by virtuous and pious acts.
Hazrat Salmaan Faarsi RA reports from Rasulullah SAW the following; `Predestined affairs that cause harm to a person are removed by the performance of dua which is specifically made for that purpose, whereas acts of piety and obedience to Allah causes an increase in one's life span. (Tirmizi Jazaa-ul-Amaal p241) Istighfaar and Towbah was always the constant daily practice of all Ambiyaa AS. Each Nabi (Prophet) commanded his followers to perform Istighfaar to Allah.
Rasulullah SAW was himself commanded by Allah to perform Istighfaar inspite of being pure and free from sin and fault. He, (Rasulullah SAW) was, nevertheless, commanded to do that, so that he could be raised to the highest possible rank by Allah which he, as a result of Istighfaar fully accomplished.
The performance of Istighfaar is also the constant day to day practice of all Allah's malla'ikah. All Muslims are commanded to perform this for people of their own level and for their predecessors.

When sin and transgression has been committed, and consequently one wishes to repent for that, then he should raise his hands before Allah and read the following dua:

Translation: "0 Allah `I repent to you for this particular sin of mine and I resolve that I shall never return to committing this sin again."

By adopting this practice of repentance, his sins shall be forgiven provided that he does not return to it again. (Fazaaile Istighfaar p 27)
The words of Istighfaar are as follows:
(a)`I seek forgiveness from that Allah who is alone worthy of worhsip. He is forever and He is eternal. I turn to Him alone in repentance.'
(b)Translation: `I seek Allah's forgiveness.' `I seek Allah `s forgiveness'
(c)Translation: `0 Allah I seek from You Your forgiveness' (Fazaaile Istighfaar p 24)

There is nothing more honourable to Allah than the act of dua. Dua is the essence of worship. Dua is the weapon of a Muslim. Dua is the pillar of religion. It is the light of the earth and the skies. Allah Ta'ala says:
Translation: `And your Sustainer hath said: Call unto me and I shall answer your prayer.'   (Surah Al Mu'min - 60)
Translation: `I answer the call of the caller when he calleth unto me.' (Surah Al Baqarah - 186)
Read Durood Sharief before and after dua. At the time of performing dua do not allow your attention to stray, rather concentrate fully and have undivided attention on Allah Ta'ala and have full confidence and feel sure of the acceptance of your dua.

'O Allah my Sustainer show mercy'
`O Allah my Sustainer quench our thirst, quench our thirst for us.'
`O Allah quench our thirst for us.'
`O Allah 0 Allah shower rain on us, 0 Allah shower rain on us.'
`O Allah shower rain on us.'

Translation: `0 Allah shower on us rain, that which fulfils our needs, that which is pleasant; that which will make green the pastures and that which will make the soil fertile; that which will bring benefit to us and not harm; that which will fall soon on us and not unexpectedly late.'

Translation:    'O Allah quench the thirst of your human creatures and that of your animal creatures and spread widely your mercy of rain over every place, and bring back to life all places which have been afflicted with drought, thus causing them to become green and lush once more and bless our mother earth by sending to it its spring of blossoms andflowers together with its accompanying peace and tranquility.'  (Tarjumaanus-Sunnah vol 4 P335 - reported by `Aala ibn Hadhrami)

Translation:   `0 Clement One, 0 Knower of all things, 0 High One, O Great One, quench our thirst.'

This salaat could be performed at Ishraaq time or any time during the day, barring the makrooh times of salaat. This salaat should be performed for three consecutive days. It is necessary that the people go out with the Imaam by walking to a place away from the built-up area of the town for Salaatul Istisqaa.

There is no Azaan or Iqaamat in this salaat.
It begins with the Imaam performing two rak'aat jahri salaat as is normally done, without any additional takbeers.
There is no dua after this salaat
After the salaat the Imaam stands and turns his jubbah or chadar inside - out and then performs the khutbah facing the Qiblah, while the Muqtadis (followers) remain seated in their places of salaat.
The khutbah begins with the Imaam raising his hands in dua. The Imaam must reverse the position of his palms towards the Qiblah.
There is one khutbah according to Imaam Abu-Yousuf RA. which is mainly a dua.
When the dua begins in the khutbah the Muqtadees will raise their hands in dua, with their palms facing the Qiblah.
The end of the khutbah implies the end of this dua and the completion of the `Salaatul Istisqaa'.

For the purpose of `Salaatul Istisqaa' it is recommended in Shareeah to observe fast for three consecutive days of `Salaatul Istisqaa'.
It is further recommended that sadaqah and charity be given prior to going out for `Salaatul Istisqaa' each day

It is also recommended that all those rights that one is owing to others, such as having commited backbiting, slandering, debt, severed relationship with relatives, or any other rights of others which have been infringed, they shall have them forgiven by those to whom they are owed.

At such time it is also highly recommended that one should seek forgiveness and pardon from all brothers against whom any injustice was done, and those who had failed to give their zakaah should do so immediately.
It is finally recommended that one goes out for `Salaatul Istisqaa' in old clothes, or patched clothes and with complete humility in appearance and personal conduct, so as to implore the mercy of Allah Ta'ala.

(WATERVAL ISLAMIC INSTITUTE,Johannesburg,South Africa)