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Chapter 6: The Prayer of Rain

One of the significant events still being related by those who were present at that time, is the Prayer of Rain which was considered as one of Al-Khonsari's charismata.

Iran Under the Occupation Forces

The occupation forces invaded Iran on 1320 S.R.(1941 A.D.) in the northern and southern parts, synchronously with the complete feebleness of central government, in an attempt to pillage the national wealth. Consequently, a horrible drought wave invaded the country, and aridity covered vast areas. High cost-of-living hysterically rose. Meet of the people have been worn down by poverty. Now, that which made things even worse, is the monopoly of the essentia1 materials by the traders and merchants.

The city of Qom was then besieged by thousands of American, Russian and British soldiers, camping in tents pitched around the city.

Another armed forces centralized their troops in Khak Faraj quarter as high command to command the whole city.

The Aridity

Qom lacks an incessant river which can suffice it to have the needed water of irrigation. Thus, the dry farming depending on the spring rains which assure a fair greenness is the common feature of this city.

But on 1323 S.H. (1944 A.D.) the drought invaded Qom and the spring of that year passed without a drop of rain. The soil looked burning and barren. All that, caused disappointment and despair to march into the people's spirit.

It was indeed a spring which has lost its features as a real spring. The farmers were aspiring to the sky to bring down rain, and to a cloud to pass by.

The soil still enfolds the seeds, crying for water.

Ray of Hope

When the hearts feel great disappointment to ask the earthly means for their sympathy or compassion, they tend upwards, to heaven, the origin of existence and the source of blessing and goodness. The people of Qom have been known for their extreme loving the Ahlul Bait (a.s.) and deep faith and belief in Allah.

The Muhammadan pure family have taught the Qommis that when there is no chance to find a refuge or seek a shelter, man must search for the only refuge and the peerless shelter. That is Allah.

Supplication is the most effective mean of worshipping since it is the moment when the direct connection between the Creator of the earth and heaven and between man.
Thus, all the hearts gathered and intended to pray, but silently. Anyhow, who can transfer this rite into reality who is the caller whom Allah spoke about saying:"I am near to answer the call of the caller".

Ayatullah Araki relates in his diary book concerning that part of time, saying:

The clouds were passing over the city in the sky without dropping even one droplet of rain. The people then tended to ask the three significant persons, namely Al-Khonsari, Sayyid Sadr and Sayyid Hujjat to beg Allah for them through the Prayer of Rain. But they always hear the same answer from Sadr and Hujjat:

“First perform your duties and pay the levy, and Allah will open the doors of the sky on you granting you his blessings, since when you refuse to pay the rights of the people, Allah will refuse to bestow on you too”.

So, when the people became disappointed to have a positive result from Sadr and Hujjat, they tended to Al-Khonsari, and have presented him with a faith accompli, by posters advertising that Al-Khonsari is intending to perform the Rain Prayer..! But Sayyid declared many times that this is not true. "I promised no one to do that, and the said prayer has some particular rites and rules which are not available yet".

Finally, Al-Khonsari found himself obliged to perform the prayer, as if the destiny pushed him to perform this prayer himself, and so another rite of Islam has been resuscitated after the resuscitation of Salatul Jum'a (Friday Prayer).

In God He Trusts

Many have regarded the performing of Prayer of Rain by Sayyid Al-Khonsari as a real risk of his reputation corrupting, because what will happen if the Prayer passed without any positive result? Shall not that event shake his position and defame his reputation?

“I am performing my duty”, Al-Khonsari replies, “I am doing that because I am a Muslim and fear not the idle talk”. Ayatullah Araki was one of those who urged Al-Khonsari not to perform the said Prayer, but he refused to listen to anyone, with no pride or selfishness, but he was doing his job and in God he trusted

A Conspiracy

The determined day has come. A wicked conspiracy is being smelled as the Bahaii were distributing rumours among the people that the British - in collaboration with other colonialist powers - are planning to stabilize their occupation area in the country, attempting to drag the 'Ulama's name through the mire, by forcing them to be involved in armed conflict, and destroying their existence.

Depending on their unique relationship with the occupation forces, they passed some false information on speaking about an imminent popular uprising and the zero hours will be next Friday. In consequence of that, the supreme command in Qom adopted some security measures, declaring a state of emergency.

The general state sounded dangerous, especially when the time of performing the Prayer of Rain was approaching and determined to be held in a plain are near Khak Faraj where the supreme command have settled down to control the city.

Performing the Prayer

Large gathering were arriving Khak Faraj where the Prayers of the two feasts used to be performed, in order to participate in the Rain Prayer, holding the prayer rugs, with bare legs, and godly miens.

Twenty thousand Muslims that consist more than two thirds in proportion to the whole inhabitants of Qom, tended to the promised place.

'Ulama were proceeding the gathering pulling off their turbans and with bare legs too. Infants were isolated from their mothers, as a known tradition, and the whole gathering crossed the bridge near Imam Hasan 'Askari (a.s.)'s masjid.

The thirsty throats with one voice shouted “Allah Akbar”, inspiring that doomsday has indeed come. That scene was enough to resurrect the dead! The infants were crying asking for their mothers, while the mothers were heart-broken…!

Now the gathering reached the barbed wire, and the soldiers were all in position, waiting for the orders to shoot, while the muzzles of the firearms were directed towards the gathering.

By the barbed wire, the multitude bad passed, a murmur of their voices says "Allah Akbar", a strange state that obliged the supreme command to conduct on investigation into the causes of this vast popular movement .Chiefs began to mistrust the Bahaii information about the suspected uprising.

The officers questioned a number of the multitude about the aim of this large march. All the answers were denoting:
We are praying to God begging him to cause the rain to descend. Ourselves and farms are threatened by drought and destruction”.

It seems that the western individuals who used to treat only with rampant materialism regarding such an answer as ridiculous. Nonetheless, all their suspicious were dispersed and orders were issued to arrest the Bahaist who aroused meaningless disturbance which could cause a horrible carnage.

The Ascension of Prayer

Adhan was raised as: The Prayer, the Prayer, the Prayer.1

After the call of Allah Akbar, Al-Khonsari stood with complete piety towards Allah, requesting mercy, forgiveness and blessing.

Let's give permission to the valuable book (Riyadbul Salekeen) to describe the performance of the Prayer of Rain:

"The Prayer of Rain Is consisted of two Rak’at wherein Imam (the leader of the prayer) recites in the first Rak'at surah of The Opening (Al-Hamd) and another optional surah loudly. Then he repeats Takbeer "Allah Akbar" five times, each time followed by Qonoot accompanied with supplication to beg forgiveness, mercy, and heavy rain.

A sixth Takbeer is said, then the performer of the Prayer goes into Roku', then Sojood. When he performs two Sojoods he stands up again to perform the second Rakat and does the same actions he did in the first Rak'at except in the number of Takbeers which should be repeated only four times instead of five.

After Tasleem or Salam (salutation) which is the last part of the Prayer, Imam invertes his cloak then he preaches. After that, he turns towards Qiblah and repeats Takbeer a hundred times, then he turns right and says:" La Ilaha Illa Allah" (there is no deity but Allah) one hundred times, then to left and repeats: “SubhanAllah” (glory be to Allah), then he turns his back towards Qiblah facing the people, and says: “Praise belongs to Allah”, for another one hundred times.

Worth mentioning, all those supplications deeds and deeds must be said loudly, while the people repeat the same words after Imam but without turning to any direction

Another Prayer

There wasn't a cloud in the sky on that day. But Al-Khonsari, who had realized the piety secrets and had for a long time quenched his thirst from the compassion sea of Allah, was sure that the sky would not be miser, and that the mercy of Allah embraces all things provided that his servant be sincere and truthful with his lord and Master. Thus Al-Khonsari decided to perform the Prayer again, with lesser multitude and more sincerity.

Next day, and after ending his lecture, Al-Khonsari declared his decision to his students, and soon they agreed with him. They went to the gardens behind the cemetery, and so the Prayer was performed.

It seems that Al-Khonsari turned his face towards Allah and called him by the same words of his holy grandfather, Imam Zeynul Abedeen(a.s.) which is related in Al-Sahifa Al-Sajjadiyya, as follows:

O God.

Water us with rain,

unfold upon us Thy mercy

through Thy copious rain

from the driven clouds,

so that Thy goodly earth may grow

on all horizons!

Show kindness to Thy servants

through the ripening of the fruit,

revive Thy land

through the blossoming of the f1owers,

and let Thy angles - the noble scribes – be witness

to the beneficial watering from Thee,

lasting in its abundance,

plenty in its flow,

heavy, quick, soon,

through which Thou revivest what has vanished,

bringest forth what is coming,

and providest plentiful feads,

through heaped up, wholesome, productive clouds,

In reverberating layers,

the rain’s downpour

not without cease,

the lightning's flashes

not without fruit!

O God,

Give as water

through rain,

helping, productive, fertilizing,

widespread, plentiful, abundant,

bringing back the risen,

restoring the broken!

O God,

give us water with a watering through which Thou wilt

make the stone hills pour,

fill the cisterns,

flood the rivers,

make the trees grow,

bring down prices in all lands,

invigorate the beasts and the creatures,

perfect us the agreeable things of provision,

make grow for us the teats,

and add for us strength to our strength!

O God,

make not the cloud’s shadow over us a burning wind,

allow not its coldness to be cutting,

let not its pouring down upon us be a stoning,

and make not its waters for us bitter!

O God,

bless Muhammad and his Household

and provide us with the blessings of the heavens and the

earth!

Thou art powerful over everything2

The Mockers

On Sunday evening, the sky was absolutely clear and no trace of clouds appeared at all. The central meteorological office of the supreme command forecasted that the weather would be completely serene and cloud less. Now they began to distribute jokes here end there saying:

Beware or flood, you may be drifted..! Hurry to your home and bring your umbrellas last you get a wetting in the heavy rain..!

Finally, it rained

Mr. Rasooli, in his diaries, relates:

“Later on, in the evening, people as usual gathered to perform the prayer behind Ayatullah Al-Khonsari in Faydhiyyah School. I don’t remember for what occasion the mourning ceremony was sett1ed at that night, when the late, Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Ishraqi stood on the pulpit, to be ready for preaching.. Suddenly it rained heavily, so the ceremony was disrupted.

There was a heavy rain during the night, lasted for four continuous hours. The dry riverbed which goes across the city of Qom, was filled with water, “and the earth quivered, swelled and put forth herbs of every joyous kind”. The whole city sphere became aromatic by the small of life and rain, and then, hope has returned to the believed hearts.

The people, and for a long time, gossiped a lot about that charisma. Poets too, began to compose and write poems regarding Al-Khonsari's charisma and his rank with Allah.”

The International News Agencies

Astonishment prevailed in the Allies camps, and the news spreaded all over the world through various foreign news agencies, like BBC and VOA.

Many were convinced by the divine Power in his world especially the oppressed nations, because of man “corrupting the earth and destroy the tillage and stock, and God loves not corruption”.

Thus, and after this occasion, many generals of the Allies visited Ayatullah Al-Khonsari, and requested Him to ask Allah eagerly to save the world from wickedness and destructive wars.

  • 1. Adhan in the Prayer of Rain is thus said, i.e. repeating the word 'The Prayer" three times.
  • 2. Al-Sahifa Al-Sajjadiyyah, supplication no. 19.