“A copious, beneficial rain”

Sheikh Nâyif al-Hamad
`Â’ishah relates that when Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) saw rain, he would say: “O Allah! (Make it) a copious, beneficial rain.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1032)]

All living things, without exception, require water. Allah says: “And we made from water every living thing.” [Sûrah al-Anbiyâ’: 30]

Rain is one of the most important sources of fresh water for land-living organisms. We can see great wisdom in the fact that rain comes down from the sky.

Ibn al-Qayyim observes [Miftâh Dâr al-Sa`âdah (1/323)]:
Consider the great wisdom in the rains falling upon the Earth from on high, thereby quenching the thirst of all the land – reaching all the hills and plains, all the mountains and valleys, all the highlands and lowlands. Had Allah only brought water to the land from a terrestrial source, then water would never reach the highlands unless it gathered in great quantities and rose up from the lowlands, laying waste to great stretches of land. Therefore, Allah’s wisdom dictated that he would bring water to the Earth from above, bringing forth clouds to give drink to the land, sending the winds to carry the water vapor from the seas to fecundate seed the clouds…”
The state of the Prophet (peace be upon him) would change when he saw the storm clouds approached. ``Â’ishah relates: “When he saw the storm clouds build up on the horizon, he would leave off what he was doing, even if he had been in prayer, and say: “O Allah! I seek refuge with You from the evil that it contains.” If Allah took it away, he would praise Allah, and if it rained, he would say: “O Allah! (Make it) a copious, beneficial rain.” [Musnad Ahmad (6/190), al-Adab al-Mufrid (686), Sunan Abî Dâwûd (5099), Sunan Ibn Mâjah (3889), and Sunan al-Nasâ’î al-Kubrâ (1829)]

Nations that were punished by rain

Among those who were punished by rain were the people of Noah (peace be upon him). Allah says: “Then he called on his Lord: ‘I am one overcome: do then help (me)!’ So We opened the gates of heaven, with water pouring forth and We caused the earth to gush forth with springs, so the waters met (and rose) to the extent decreed. And We bore him on an (Ark) made of broad planks and caulked with palm-fibre, sailing before Our eyes, a reward for him who was denied.” [Surah al-Qamar: 10-14]

The people of `Âd were likewise punished.

`Â’ishah relates that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) noticed the wind pick up or saw a cloud, a change could be seen to come over his face. So she said: “O Messenger of Allah, when the people see the clouds, they feel happy, hoping that they bring rain. Yet, I notice that when you see them, an expression of dislike can be seen on your face.”

He said: “O Â’ishah. I am not secure that it does not come with punishment. A people were punished by wind. When the people saw the punishment coming, they said: ‘This cloud will give us rain!’ [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (4829)]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was making reference to the following verses of the Qur’ân: “So when they saw it as a cloud appearing in the sky advancing towards their valleys, they said: ‘This cloud will give us rain!’ Nay! it is what you sought to hasten on, a blast of wind in which is a painful punishment, destroying all things by the command of its Lord. And morning found them so that naught could be seen save their dwellings. Thus do We reward the guilty folk.” [Sûrah al-Ahqâf: 24-25]

Then there were people of Lot (peace be upon him) about whom Allah says: “We rained down on them a rain, and evil was the rain on those who had been warned.” [Sûrah al-Shu`arâ’: 173]

Allah visited upon them a shower of stones of hardened clay, because of their rejection of His Messenger. [Tafsîr al-Qurtubî (13/133) and Tafsir Ibn Kathîr (6/21)]

Then there were the people of Sheba, about whom Allah says: “But they turned away, so We sent upon them a torrent of which the rush could not be withstood.” [Sûrah Saba’: 16]

Calamity still befalls humanity by way of water. The tsunami that recently occurred in the Indian Ocean is a grave reminder of the devastating effects that water can have. In a span of a few brief minutes, hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives. We ask Allah to protect us.

Some Sunnah acts associated with rain

The Sunnah recommends to us a number of devotional acts that we should engage in when the rains come. Among them are the following:

1. It is Sunnah to allow the rain to fall down upon us. Anas relates:

We were with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) when rain fell upon us. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) opened up his garment a bit so that the rain could touch his skin. We asked: “O Messenger of Allah, why do you do this?”

He replied: “Because it has just recently come from its Lord.” [Sahîh Muslim (898)]

2. We should mention the remembrances that are prescribed for rain. These include the following:
  • `Â’ishah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would say: “O Allah! (Make it) a copious, beneficial rain.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1032)]
  • b. `Â’ishah also relates that he would also say: “Mercy” when it rained. [Sahîh Muslim (899)]
  • c. Khâlid b. Zayd relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would say: “We are given rain by Allah’s mercy, Allah’s providence, and Allah’s grace.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (4147)]
3. We should offer general supplication when the rains fall. This is one of the times when supplications are accepted, as related by al-Hâkim.

4. When the rains fall down so heavily that harmful consequences are feared, it is Sunnah to supplicate saying: “O Allah! Around us and not upon us. O Allah! Upon the mounts and the hills, down the valleys, and to the roots of the trees.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1014) and Sahîh Muslim (897)]

5. When we hear the sound of thunder, we should say: “O Allah, do not destroy us with Your wrath and do not cause us to perish with your punishment. Spare us before that.” [Musnad Ahmad (2/100), Sunan al-Tirmidhî (350), and al-Adab al-Mufrid (721) and declared authentic by al-Hâkim]

When Ibn al-Zubayr heard thunder, he used to stop speaking and then say: “Glory be to the One who the thunder extols in praise, and the angels extol in awe.” [al-Muwatta’ (1801) and al-Adab al-Mufrid (723)]
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