Praying for Rain (Ahadith 752 - 753)


Volume 2, Book 13, Number 752:
Narrated Anas:
While the Prophet was delivering the Khutba on a Friday, a man stood up and said, "O, Allah's Apostle! The livestock and the sheep are dying, so pray to Allah for rain." So he (the Prophet) raised both his hands and invoked Allah (for it).

Imagine what would happen if someone interrupted a khutbah today. *shivers at the thought*
In all fairness, Prophet (SAW) did not rebuke/scold him because he was a Bedouin - an illiterate person who was ignorant of the fact that one must not interrupt the khutbah. So instead, Prophet (SAW) just did as he said - he made du`a for rain.
A lesson for the Imaams right there. ^

Volume 2, Book 13, Number 753:
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Once in the lifetime of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) the people were afflicted with drought (famine). While the Prophet was delivering the Khutba on a Friday, a Bedouin stood up and said, "O, Allah's Apostle! Our possessions are being destroyed and the children are hungry; Please invoke Allah (for rain)". So the Prophet raised his hands. At that time there was not a trace of cloud in the sky. By Him in Whose Hands my soul is as soon as he lowered his hands, clouds gathered like mountains, and before he got down from the pulpit, I saw the rain falling on the beard of the Prophet. It rained that day, the next day, the third day, the fourth day till the next Friday. The same Bedouin or another man stood up and said, "O Allah's Apostle! The houses have collapsed, our possessions and livestock have been drowned; Please invoke Allah (to protect us)". So the Prophet raised both his hands and said, "O Allah! Round about us and not on us". So, in whatever direction he pointed with his hands, the clouds dispersed and cleared away, and Medina's (sky) became clear as a hole in between the clouds. The valley of Qanat remained flooded, for one month, none came from outside but talked about the abundant rain.

Two words: 'LOL' and SubhanAllah! This was the barakah and sincerity in du`a of the Prophet (SAW). <3

Alright, so praying for rain is called 'istisqaa' (seeking rain from Allah). As for the proper method of this prayer, wait for Book 17 of Sahih al-Bukhari. It'll be covered in detail inshaAllah. (Right now, we're on Book 13, so not too far away..)

Here's a brief version:
During the 6th year of the Prophet's migration to Madinah, people complained to him about lack of rain, so he gave orders for a pulpit to be prepared.
He then appointed a day for the people to gather. He came out when the sun had just appeared and sat down on the pulpit. He extolled Allah's greatness and praised Him. Then he said: ‘You have complained of drought in your areas and of delay in receiving rain at the beginning of its season, but you have been ordered by Allah to supplicate Him and He has promised that He would answer your prayers.'
After this, he turned his back to the people and started praying to Allah, keeping his hands raised, saying, "Oh Allah, let us be covered with thick clouds that have abundant and beneficial rain, frequently making a light rain upon us and sprinkling upon us with lightning. Oh Allah, You are full of majesty, bounty and honour."
Finally, he faced the people, descended from the pulpit, and prayed twice in rak'at (prostration).
This prayer is taken recourse to when seeking rain from Allah during times of drought. It may be performed in one of the following manners:
  1. the imam prays, with the followers, two rak’at
  2. maybe performed during any time except those times in which it is not desirable to pray
  3. in the first rak’ah, the imam recites al-A’la after al-Fatihah
  4. in the second rak’ah, he reads al-Ghashiyah after al-Fatihah
  5. and he delivers a khutbah before or after the salah
  6. as soon as he finishes the khutbah, the people present should turn their outer garments around, each placing its left side on his right side and its right side on his left, face the qiblah (Ka’ba), supplicate Allah and raise their hands while doing so.
About turning the rida' (cloak/upper garment) inside out, this here should be helpful.