It’s a rainy day here as I write this … grey skies, windows misted with droplets. We live in New England USA and sunshine is in plenty during these summer months but on the occasional rainy day I feel nostalgic for the grey skies and drizzly days that the British climate is so famous for. We always complained about the rain then, my sisters and I, but my dad is the one person I know who I have NEVER heard complain about the weather what so ever it may be. “Every weather has it’s own charm” he will say.
Rain rain go away come again another day!
The universal rain rhyme taught to children. But why should my children learn this narrative? Why should they associate rain with a dour mood and see it as an obstacle to ‘play’ and in turn imagination?
We taught our first born from an early age to love rain, not be afraid of it, to not run for cover at the feel of the first drops, to stop and smell the rain to hold out a hand and accept the blessing from above. It is a Sunnah (something the Prophet Muhammad used to actually do himself) to ~ ‘unveil’ a part of your garment so you can feel the rain directly on your skin – “the prophet Muhammad used to love feeling rain on his skin too!” I will tell my son. These small details are what matter, these are the foundations of love and connection. Someone once told me ‘if you teach your first child all you know, you will only have to put in half the effort with your second’. She meant of course, that the second child would learn from the first. And indeed the two year old has learnt ‘our version’ of this rhyme from her brother and upon seeing the signs of rain will look to the skies and beckon excitedly ‘wrain wrain come again! wrain wrain I yoo yoo’ (her way of saying ‘I love you’)
How do we change the narrative? The Quran, which gives life to hearts that are open to receive, much like rain that gives life to the parched soil, mentions Rain many many times.
As a ‘sign for those who Listen‘
“And Allah has sent down rain from the sky and given life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness. indeed in that is a sign for a people who listen” Quran 16 : 65
Isn’t it amazing that the word ‘listen’ is used – rain is such a sensory thing we can see, touch, taste and hear and even smell. Here we know it’s not just about the physical act of listening but also the spiritual act of listening to the Signs of creation with our hearts.
As a mercy for those after they despair.
“And it is He who sends down the rain after they have despaired and spreads His mercy” Quran 42:28
Is there more compelling a similitude for mercy, than Rain? Rumi seemingly alludes to both these descriptions ~
“But listen to me – For one moment quit being sad,
Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you”
We talk to the kids about how Allah entrusts certain tasks to special angels. In awe we imagine an angel descending with every drop of rain placing it exactly where Allah wills. There is a saying of the prophet (a hadith) that describes the time of rain to be a special time to make a prayer – to send a request up to the heavens.
“lets make dua!” I say to the kids as the wipers on the car are going ‘swish swish swish’!
“It’s a special time. Remember?! What would you like to ask for?”
The 5 year old will inevitably say something along the lines of whatever he is into at the moment and the two year old will wish for a ‘happy burday-to-yoo cake’ (she loves to blow candles on a cake no matter the occasion) so a phone call will be made in secret to baba who will magically arrive home after work with a mini cake and together with her brother she will delight in me lighting the candles and her blowing them out over and over again, enjoying her little wish.
May You all dear readers be granted Mercy in your situation in life whatever that may be. And on this blessed last friday of Ramadan – send up a little prayer for the human family especially those affected by loss and tragedy.
Peace be with you.
EDITED to add : I came back to update this post as my sister in England messaged me to tell me it is raining there where she lives, and I received a message from a dear friend in NYC informing me that it was raining over there too and to remember her in my prayers on this blessed last Friday and 27th night of Ramadan! When I wrote this post I had no idea it would rain on the night I would post it, on this truly wondrous night it is actually raining here too! Pouring in fact, that gorgeous generous kind of rain that just falls and falls unabashedly and passionately.
Did it rain where you are?
sunnah supplication at the time of Rain (a prayer the prophet used to say whenever it rained)
Allahuma sayyiban nafia’ اللَّهُمَّ صَيِّبَاً نَافِعَاً
(oh Allah make it beneficial rain)