The Rain Prayer

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

Chapter 21. The Rain Prayer

I: The Rain Prayer and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, going out for the Rain Prayer

960. It is related that the uncle of 'Abbad ibn Tamim said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out to ask for rain and turned his cloak inside out."

II: The supplication of the Prophet, "Give them years of drought like the drought years of Yusuf!"

961. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the when the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, raised his head from the last rak'at, he would say, "O Allah, rescue 'Ayyash ibn Abi Rabi'a! O Allah, rescue Salama ibn Hisham! O Allah, rescue al-Walid ibn al-Walid! O Allah, rescue all oppressed believers! O Allah, be hard on Mudar! O Allah, give them years of drought like the drought years of Yusuf!" And the Prophet. may Allah bless him and grant him peace, added, "May Allah forgive (ghafara) Ghifar and keep (salama) Aslam safe."

Ibn Abi'z-Zinad said about his father, "All of this was in the Subh prayer."

962. It is related that Masruq said, "We were with 'Abdullah and he said, 'When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,saw people turning their backs on Islam, he said, "O Allah, seven years like the years of Yusuf!" They suffered a drought which destroyed everything so that they were eating skins, carrion and rotting carcases. If any of them looked up into the sky they would see smoke because of their hunger. Abu Sufyan went to him and said, "Muhammad! You command people to obey Allah and maintain ties of kinship. Your people are dying, so pray to Allah for them." Then Allah Almighty said, "So be on the watch for a day when heaven brings forth a distinctive smoke which enshrouds mankind ...to... you revert ! On the day We launch the Great Assault." (44:10-16)' The 'assault' refers to the battle of Badr. And the 'smoke', the assault, al-lizam [i.e. killing] and the verse about the Greeks have all taken place."

III: People asking the Imam to ask for rain when there is a drought

963. It is related that the father of 'Abdullah ibn Dinar said, "I heard Ibn 'Umar reciting the poem of Abu Talib:

Faultless, he is asked, by his noble face, to pray for rain,
A support for the orphans, a defence for the widows."

It is related that Salim said that his father (Ibn 'Umar) said, "Sometimes I remembered the words of the poet while looking at the face of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,when he was praying for rain. He did not get down until the rain was flowing in every gutter:

Faultless, he is asked, by his noble face, to pray for rain,
A support for the orphans, a defence for the widows.

Those were the words of Abu Talib."

964. It is related from Anas, "If there was a drought, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab would ask al-'Abbas ibn 'Abdu'l-Muttalib to do the rain prayer. He would say, 'O Allah, we seek intercession with You by Your Prophet and we ask You for rain. We seek intercession with You by the uncle of our Prophet, so give us rain!'" He added, "And they were given rain."

IV: Turning the cloak inside out during the Rain Prayer

965. It is related from 'Abdullah ibn Zayd that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed for rain and turned his cloak inside out. (Muwatta, Book 13, 1)

967. It is related from 'Abdullah ibn Zayd, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out to the place of prayer and prayed for rain. He faced the qibla and turned his cloak inside out and prayed two rak'ats."

Ibn 'Uyayna used to say, "He was the one of the adhan," but it is weak because this 'Abdullah ibn Zayd is 'Abdullah ibn Zayd ibn 'Asim al-Mazini from the Mazin of the Ansar."

V: Doing the Rain Prayer in the Communal Mosque

968. It is related from Sharik ibn 'Abdullah ibn Abi Namir that he heard Anas ibn Malik mention that on the day of Jumu'a a man entered the door opposite the minbar while the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was standing giving the khutba. He stood in front of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, "Messenger of Allah, our livestock are dying and the roads are blocked, so make supplication to Allah to give us rain." He said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, raised his hands and said, 'O Allah, give us rain! O Allah, give us rain! O Allah, give us rain.'" (Muwatta, Book 13, 3)

Anas said, "By Allah, we could not see a cloud or even a speck of cloud or anything else in the sky and there was no house or building between us and Sila'." He went on, "Then a cloud looking like a shield rose up behind him and when it reached the middle of the sky it spread out and then it rained." He said, "By Allah, we did not see the sun for a week. Then a man entered by the same door the next Jumu'a while the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was giving the khutba, stood in front of him and said, 'Messenger of Allah, our property is being destroyed and the roads are blocked, so make supplication to Allah to stop it.'" He said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, raised his hands and then said, 'O Allah, around us and not on us! O Allah, on the hill-tops and mountains, hills, valleys and the places where trees grow.'" He said, "It stopped and we left walking in the sunshine."

Sharik said, "I asked Anas, 'Was it the same man?' He replied, 'I do not know.'"

VI: Asking for rain in the Jumu'a khutba facing other than qibla

968. It is related from Anas ibn Malik that on the day of Jumu'a a man entered the door facing Dar al-Qada' while the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was standing giving the khutba. He stood in front of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, "Messenger of Allah, our property is being destroyed and the roads are blocked, so make supplication to Allah to give us rain." The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, raised his hands and said, 'O Allah, rescue us! O Allah, rescue us! O Allah, rescue us.'"

Anas said, "By Allah, we could not see a cloud or even a speck of cloud or anything else in the sky and there was no house or bulding between us and Sal'." He said, "Then a cloud looking like a shield rose up behind him and when it reached the middle of the sky, it spread out and then it rained." He went on, "By Allah, we did not see the sun for six days. Then a man entered by the same door on Jumu'a while the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was giving the khutba. He stood in front of him and said, 'Messenger of Allah, property is being destroyed and the roads are blocked, so make supplication to Allah to stop it.'" He said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, raised his hands and then said, 'O Allah, around us and not on us! O Allah, on the hill-tops, hills, in the valleys and the places where trees grow.'" He said, "It ceased and we left walking in the sunshine."

Sharik said, "I asked Anas, 'Was it the same man?' He replied, 'I do not know.'"

[Dar al-Qada': the House of Judgement, the house of Marwan ibn al-Hakam, which at the time belonged to 'Umar ibn al-Khattab. It was said to be the amir's house in Madina.

Sal': a mountain]

VII: Asking for rain on the minbar

969. It is related that Anas said, "While the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was giving the khutba on the day of Jumu'a, a man came and said, 'Messenger of Allah, there is a lack of rain, so pray to Allah to give us rain.' He made supplication and it rained so much that we could hardly reach our homes. It continued raining until the next Jumu'a." He continued, "That man or someone else got up and said, 'Messenger of Allah, ask Allah to avert it from us.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'O Allah, around us and not on us.'" He said, "I saw the clouds breaking up to the right and the left and it continued to rain, but it did not rain over Madina."

VIII: Thinking it enough to ask for rain during the Jumu'a prayer

970. It is related that Anas said, "A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Our livestock are dying and the roads are blocked.' He made supplication and it rained from one Jumu'a to the next. Then he came and said, 'Our houses are destroyed and the roads are blocked and livestock is perishing, so ask Allah to stop it. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood up and said, 'O Allah, on the hilltops, hills, valleys and the places where trees grow.' The clouds peeled away from Madina like clothes that had been taken off."

IX: Supplication when the roads are cut off because of too much rain

971. It is related that Anas ibn Malik said, "A man came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Messenger of Allah, our livestock is dying and the roads are blocked, so pray to Allah.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made supplication and it rained from one Jumu'a to another. A man came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Messenger of Allah, our houses are being destroyed, the roads are blocked and livestock is dying.' So the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'O Allah, on the tops of the mountains, the hill tops, in the valleys and the places where trees grow.' The clouds peeled away from Madina like clothes that had been taken off."

X: Saying that the Prophet did not turn his cloak inside out when asking for rain on the day of Jumu'a

972. It is related from Anas ibn Malik that a man complained to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about the destruction of property and the hunger of children and he made supplication to Allah for rain. He did not mention that he turned his cloak inside out nor that he faced qibla.

XI: When people plead with the Imam to ask for rain for them, he should not refuse them

973. It is related that Anas ibn Malik said, "A man came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Messenger of Allah, our livestock is dying and the roads are blocked, so pray to Allah.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made supplication and it rained from one Jumu'a to another. A man came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Messenger of Allah, our houses are being destroyed, the roads are blocked and livestock is dying.' So the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'O Allah, on the tops of the mountains, the hill tops, in the valleys and the places where trees grow.' The clouds peeled away from Madina like clothes that had been taken off."

XII: When the idolaters ask the Muslims to intercede for them in a time of drought

974. It is related that Masruq said, "I went to Ibn Mas'ud and he said, 'Quraysh were slow to beome Muslim and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, invoked Allah against them and they suffered a drought during which some of them died and they were forced to eat carrion and bones. Abu Sufyan came to him and said, 'O Muhammad, you came to command that ties of kinship be maintained. Your people are dying, so make supplication to Allah.' He recited, 'So be on the watch for a day when heaven brings forth a distinctive smoke.' Then after that they reverted to disbelief. And that brought about the words of Allah Almighty, 'On the day We launch the Great Assault.' Referring to the Battle of Badr."

Asbat added from Mansur, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made supplication and they received rain which continued for for seven days. The people complained about there being too much rain and he said, 'O Allah, around us and not on us,' and the clouds streamed away from over his head, and the people around them had rain.'"

XIII: To make the supplication, "Around us and not on us," when there is too much rain

975. It is related that Anas said, "Once while the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was giving the khutba on the day of Jumu'a, people got up and shouted, saying, 'Messenger of Allah! There is no rain and the trees have turned red from the drought and the animals are dying, so pray to Allah to give us rain.' He said twice, 'O Allah, give us rain!' By Allah, we could not see even a speck of cloud in the sky but then a cloud formed and it rained. He came down from the minbar and did the prayer. When he had finished, it was raining and continued to do so until the following Jumu'a. When the Prophet. may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood up to give the khutba they shouted out to him, 'Our houses are collapsing and the roads are blocked, so pray to Allah to hold it back from us.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, smiled and said, 'O Allah, around us and not on us.' It cleared away from Madina and began to rain all round it but not a drop fell on Madina. I looked at Madina and it was as if it was in a crown."

XIV: Supplication while standing in the Rain Prayer

976. It is related from Abu Ishaq, "'Abdullah ibn Yazid al-Ansari went out with al-Bara' ibn 'Azib and Zayd ibn Arqam and did the Rain Prayer. He stood up in front of them, without there being any minbar, and asked for forgiveness and then prayed two rak'ats in which he recited aloud. There was neither adhan nor iqama." Abu Ishaq said, "'Abdullah ibn Yazid had seen the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace."

977. It is related from 'Abbad ibn Tamim from his uncle, who was one of the Companions of the Prophet that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out with the people to pray for rain for them. He stood and made supplication to Allah while standing and then faced the qibla and turned his cloak inside out and it rained.

XV: Reciting aloud in the Rain Prayer

978. It is related from 'Abbad ibn Tamim that his uncle said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out to pray for rain and faced the qibla. He made supplication and turned his cloak inside out. Then he prayed two rak'ats in which he recited aloud."

XVI: How the Prophet turned his back on the people

979. It is related from 'Abbad ibn Tamim that his uncle said, "I saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on the day when he went out to pray for rain." He said, "He turned his back on the people and faced the qibla to make supplication. Then he turned his cloak inside out and then led us, praying two rak'ats in which he recited aloud."

XVII: The Rain Prayer is two rak'ats

980. It is related from 'Abbad ibn Tamim that his uncle said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did the Rain Prayer, praying two rak'ats and reversing his cloak."

XVIII: The Rain Prayer at the communal prayer-ground

981. It is related from 'Abbad ibn Tamim that his uncle said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out to the communal prayer-ground to do the Rain Prayer and faced qibla. He prayed two rak'ats and reversed his cloak."

It is related that Abu Bakr said, "He put the right over the left."

XIX: Facing qibla in the Rain Prayer

982. It is related from 'Abdullah ibn Zayd al-Ansari, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out to the prayer-ground to to the prayer. When he made supplication, or intended to make supplication, he faced qibla and turned his cloak inside out."

Abu 'Abdullah said, "This Ibn Zayd is Mazini and the first is Kufi. He is Ibn Yazid."

XX: People raising their hands together with the Imam in the Rain Prayer

983. It is related that Anas ibn Malik said, "A bedouin man from the desert came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on the day of Jumu'a and said, 'Messenger of Allah, cattle are dying, children are dying and people are dying.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, raised his hands to make supplication and the people raised their hands with him." He went on, "We had not left the mosque before it started raining. It continued to rain until the next Jumu'a. Then the man came to the Prophet of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Messenger of Allah, travellers are held up and the roads are blocked.'"

XXI: The Imam raising his hands in the Rain Prayer

984. It is related that Anas ibn Malik said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not raise his hands in any of his supplications except when asking for rain. He raised his hands to such an extent that the whites of his armpits were visible."

XXII: What to say when it rains.

Ibn 'Abbas said that the expression ka sayyibin (like an abundant fall) (2:19) refers to rain. Another said, conjugating the verb, "sâba, asâba, yasûbu."

985. It is related from 'A'isha that when the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saw the rain, he said, "O Allah! May it be an abundant fall which brings benefit!"

'Ubaydullah corroborated it. al-Awza'i and 'Uqayl related it from Nafi'.

XXIII: Someone standing in the rain until it trickles down his beard

986. It is related that Anas ibn Malik said, "The people suffered a drought in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. While the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was giving the khutba on the minbar on the day of Jumu'a, a Bedouin stood up and said, 'Messenger of Allah, our property is being destroyed and our children are hungry, so pray to Allah for us to give us rain." He said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, raised his hands when there was not a speck in the sky." He went on, "Then clouds piled up like mountains and before he had got down from his minbar I saw the rain trickling down his beard. It rained on us that day and the next and the following and the ones after until the next Jumu'a when that Bedouin or another man stood up and said, "Allah, buildings are being destroyed and animals are drowning so pray to Allah for us.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, raised his hands and said, 'O Allah, around us and not on us.'" He added, "Whenever he pointed with his hand at part of the sky, it opened up so that Madina was in a kind of clearing. The river-bed of Qanat was flowing for a month." He said, "No one came from any area without mention the abundance of rain."

XXIV: When the wind blows

987. It is related that Anas was heard to say, "The fact of a strong wind blowing could be noted in the expression on the face of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace."

XXV: The words of the Prophet, "I was helped to victory by the east wind."

988. It is related from Ibn 'Abbas that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I was helped to victory by the east wind and 'Ad was destroyed by the west wind."

XXVI: What is said about earthquakes and other signs

989. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'The Hour will not come until knowledge is taken away and earthquakes are frequent and time passes quickly and violent conflict appears and harj becomes commonplace, meaning slaughter, and your wealth increases to the point of overflowing.'"

990. It is related from Ibn 'Umar that the Prophet said, "O Allah, bless us in our Syria and our Yemen." He said, "They said, 'And in our Najd.' He said, "O Allah, bless us in our Syria and our Yemen.'" He said, "They said, 'And in our Najd.'" He said that he said, "There will be earthquakes and violent conflict and the horn of Shaytan will rise from there."

XXVII: The words of Allah Almighty, "Do you associate your provision with your denial?" (56:82)

Ibn 'Abbas said that it refers to your being thankful.

991. It is related that Zayd ibn Khalid al-Juhani said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, led us in the Subh prayer at al-Hudaybiya and it had rained during the night. When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, finished, he faced the people and said, 'Do you know what your Lord has said?' They said, 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, 'Some of My slaves have got up this morning believing in Me, and others have got up disbelieving in Me. As for those who say, "We had rain by the bounty and mercy of Allah," they are the ones who believe in Me and disbelieve in the stars. But those who say, "We had rain by the rising of such-and-such a star," have disbelieved in Me and believed in the stars.'"

XXVIII: No one knows when the rain will come except Allah

Abu Hurayra said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There are five things which only Allah knows."

992. It is related that Ibn 'Umar said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The keys to the Unseen are five things which only Allah knows. No one knows what will happen tomorrow, no one knows what is inside the wombs, no self knows what it will gain tomorrow, no self knows what land it will die in and no one knows when the rain will come."