Tens of thousands of Muslims across Australia simultaneously prayed for rain yesterday to help drought-affected Australian farmers.
Sixteen mosques dedicated their celebrations during the holy celebration of Eid al-Adha – one of Islam’s holiest festivals – which was observed on Tuesday.
The biggest gathering was at Lakemba Mosque in Sydney, which was attended by some 30,000 Muslims.
Many braced the cold winter morning to conduct a special ‘rain prayer’ for the worst-affected areas.
“Let God will send down rainfall,” Sheikh Yahya Safi, an Imam of Lakemba mosque, said to his congregation.
“It is our duty to help Australians, especially the farmers,” he said.
The prayers were conducted throughout the states of New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.
‘It really touched the heart of our farmers’: NSW Farmers
NSW Farmers spokesperson Kathleen Curry told the ABC they really appreciated the support and thoughts from everyone in the community.
“I think it really touched the heart of our farmers during this period,” Ms Curry said. “Every little bit helps.”
Eid al-Adha is one of the two main religious holidays for the Muslim community.
The holiday is referred to as the Festival of Sacrifice, which is celebrated by sharing food with family, neighbours, as well as the poor and needy.
— Danuta Kozaki (@danutakozaki) August 20, 2018
Speaking to Australian Muslim community media outlet OnePath Network today, the grand Mufti of Australia – Ibrahim Abu Muhammad – said he encouraged the Australian Muslim community to work together in partnership with farmers.
“For they are our fellow human being and our brothers. They are our partners in this country.
“What pains them pains us and what harms them harms us,” Mr Ibrahim said.
The ABC understands many mosque and Islamic centres across Australia have also used the holy festivities to raise funds for affected farmers and their families.