Monday, February 11, 2008

Saudi preachers blame sinners for lack of rain

From AFP:
RIYADH- Saudi preachers on Saturday conducted prayers for rain in their desert kingdom and blamed the empty skies on sinfulness, the official Spa news agency reported.

“Misfortune does not befall (a country) unless sins have been committed there,” said the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Abderrahman bin Abdel Aziz al-Sudeiss.

The sheikh, a critic of what he calls the “goodly number of people who chase after forbidden pleasures,” singled out as particularly responsible for the lack of rain “corruption, bribery and the search for ill-gotten gain.”

In the capital, Riyadh, prayers were conducted by the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdelaziz al-Sheikh, who heads the highest religious authority in the kingdom.

He also exhorted the faithful to “avoid the forbidden and the illicit,” before calling on God to “shower the country with beneficial rains, for the good of the land and of men.”

In a ritual practised since the time of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), the prayers for rain consist of a procession in which the faithful seek the generosity of heaven.

Saudi Arabia is one of the most arid countries in the world and must routinely resort to desalination plants to provide enough drinking water.

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