Tens of thousands of Muslims in Australia have gathered to pray for rain for Australia's drought-afflicted farmers. The prayers were incorporated into the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. Dozens of mosques included prayers for rain in their celebrations for the holy celebration. Eid al-Adha is one of Islam's holiest festivals. It is often referred to as the Festival of Sacrifice and is celebrated by sharing food with family, neighbours, as well as the poor and needy. The biggest gathering was at Sydney's Lakemba Mosque, which was attended by over 30,000 Muslims. An imam of the mosque said: "God will send down rainfall. It is our duty to help Australians, especially the farmers."
Australia is currently undergoing its most devastating drought in living memory. The whole of New South Wales, the country's most populous state, is in drought. A state farmers' spokeswoman, Kathleen Curry, told the ABC news agency how much farmers appreciated the support and thoughts of the Muslim community. She said: "I think it really touched the heart of our farmers during this period." She added: "Every little bit helps." Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently committed $1.3 billion in relief funds for farmers to safeguard their livelihoods. The disturbing thing is that it is currently winter in Australia and the hot summer weather is looming and threatening to worsen the situation.