Bhopal, June 27 (ANI): Muslims in Bhopal offered Namaaz-e-Istasqa (Namaaz to ask for rain) as most of northern India reeled under drought-like situation due to delayed monsoon.
Thousands of Muslims gathered at city's Eidgah (an open-air mosque) and offered special prayers seeking early rains.
"Our sins have risen...everyone is indulged in wrong and satanic activities, somebody is involved in gambling, another indulges in prostitution...none is giving 'Zakat' (a small percentage of savings as alms or charity that Muslims give)...everyone is running after the materialistic world...in this special prayer we have asked the Almighty to forgive us for our sins and bless us with rain," said Qazi Ameerullah, a Muslim cleric.
The delay in the arrival of monsoon is becoming a cause of concern for the masses especially farmers, as nearly two-thirds of agriculture depends on the rains and two-thirds of the population is dependent on agriculture.
The monsoon is crucial for summer-sown crops such as rice, soybean, sugarcane and cotton. With only 40 percent of farmland irrigated, most of countries small farmers rely on the monsoon to water their crops.
The Meteorological Department has said that the total rainfall from the crucial June-September monsoon would be 93 percent of the long-term average, coming in below normal for the first time in four years. (ANI)