The Amir joined thousands across the country to perform the Istisqa rain-seeking prayer on Thursday morning.
After weeks into a rain season with no rain, thousands gathered around mosques in Qatar to participate in the Istisqa prayer – a tradition of the Prophet Muhammad to seek divine intervention during a drought.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who along with the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs ordered the performance of the Islamic ritual, attended the prayer, but raised questions for a move he made after the end of the sermon.
In videos that emerged online, the Amir was seen taking off his robe, turning it inside out and donning it once more.
The move, both praised and questioned by many, is a ‘sunnah’ – or tradition – of the Prophet Muhammad, who had placed importance on flipping one’s cloak or outer garment to conclude the sermon of the rain prayer ritual.
حضرة صاحب السمو الشيخ #تميم_بن_حمد آل ثاني، أمير البلاد المفدى أدى صلاة الاستسقاء مع جموع المصلين في مصلى الوجبة، وقد اقتدى بالرسول الكريم ﷺ بقلب الرداء بعد أداء #صلاة_الاستسقاء @TamimBinHamad pic.twitter.com/poVN1W35np
— مــريــم آل ثــانــي (@ALThani_M) November 5, 2020
In a tweet, Maryam Al Thani said: “His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the beloved Emir of the country, performed the rain prayer with the multitudes of worshipers in the Al-Wajbah prayer hall and followed the example of the Prophet by turning his cloak.”
According to Islam Web, a Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs division, turning one’s cloak is mentioned in a hadith from a companion of the prophet, who confirmed the messenger turned his outer garment inside out when he performed the prayer.
The meaning of the hadith suggests new beginnings, with the move to flip the robe signifying the welcoming of a new transition and a change from one state to another.
Islam places great importance on rainfall which is deemed to be a blessing from God that brings peace, hope and sustenance.