BIRMINGHAM – More than 100 Alabama Muslims gathered outside the Hoover Crescent Islamic Center to pray for rain, as the Birmingham Water Works Board announced their customers are under a Stage Four “Extreme Drought Emergency” as of last Friday.
“As American Muslims, we are concerned about our state is going through,” Imam Dr. Sameh Asal told WBRC on Monday, November 7. Muslims’ prayer for rain, or Salat-ul-Istisqa, is a well-known practice from the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The prayer is a ritual of Islam to respond to a drought by asking God for rain to revive the earth. It is usually done outdoors, Dr Asal said. “We show our love for our country and our people and we expose ourselves to the mercy of God asking Him send rain to all of us,” he added.
Birmingham customers reduced their water from 115 million gallons per day to 105 million gallons per day since the implementation of the Stage Three Drought Warning on Oct. 19.
Under Stage Four, customers who use more than 8,977 gallons of water will be billed a surcharge. The imam added that another prayer will be held later next Sunday, which will invite people of other faiths to participate.
“We’re all in the same boat and all facing the same challenge of drought and as American Muslims, we doing our own part in praying to God asking for relief because we share the concern like everybody else,” he said.