Saudis perform special rain-seeking prayers

Imams blame drought on sinners

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Istisqaa (rain-seeking) prayers were performed throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia early Saturday, with leading imams urging Muslims to abide by Islamic teachings to avoid disasters.

Addressing the faithful in Mecca, imam of the Grand Mosque (Haram) Abdul Rahman al-Sideis urged the Muslims to be God-fearing people, adding that disasters which inflict the people are due to their sins, according to the official SPA news agency.

Al-Sideis further underscored the importance of cooperation and solidarity among Saudis, saying sincere efforts should be exerted for solving the problems of the poor and making them happy.

Imam of the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah Sheikh Salih al-Bideir also urged Muslims to remain God-fearing people.

“If the Muslims are keen on the rainfall, then they should repent and cease committing sins,” he said.

In the capital, Riyadh, prayers were led by the Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdelaziz al-Sheikh, who heads the highest religious authority in the kingdom.

He also exhorted the faithful to "avoid the forbidden and the illicit," before calling on God to "shower the country with beneficial rains, for the good of the land and of men."

Saudi Arabia is one of the most arid countries in the world and must routinely resort to desalination plants to provide enough drinking water.

Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) called on Muslims to perform Istisqaa prayers in cases of drought or delay in rainfall.