Muslim Australians pray for drought-breaking rain during Eid celebrations

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Muslims across Australia have used Islam's holiest festival Eid al-Adha to pray for rain in support of drought-stricken farmers.

Sixteen mosques across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia have conducted a special 'rain prayer' during the annual 'Feast of Sacrifice' celebration.

In Sydney's south-west, tens of thousands of worshippers crowded outside Lakemba Mosque for morning prayers.

"We felt that due to the meaning of this celebration which is about sacrifice, that we come together as a community and pray to god so that he can bring down rain," Ahmad Malas, a director of the Lebanese Muslim Association, told SBS News.

The faithful in Sydney's south west.
The faithful in Sydney's south west.
SBS News

"Whatever happens to the wider Australia community, it directly affects the wider Muslim community...when it comes to issues like this, we stand in solidarity to support those in need."

Farmers are currently battling harsh conditions across New South Wales and Queensland in what some are calling the worst drought in living memory.

Sheikh Fawaz Kamaz, who took part in the morning prayers, said today was an opportunity to show the Muslim community shares the crisis with fellow Australians.

"We are part of the Australian community, when the drought is happening and farmers are suffering, we have to share the feeling with them. We love this country. We share the good and bad. " he said. 

Following Senator Fraser Anning's controversial speech last week, calling for a ban on Muslim immigration, NSW Labor MP for Lakemba Jihad Dib said the country's Muslim community was standing united with farmers and rural residents.

"For all those voices of hate, what I'd suggest to them is actually come down and spend time with people a little bit different to them and understand our Australia story is made up of 25 million different stories from all parts of the world," he told SBS News.

"Don't just go out spewing your bile, get to know people, get to understand where they’re coming from. And you’ll see is that they are really proud Australians but they’re also not going to forget their heritage and I think that’s what really strengthens us as a nation.”  

The community has also launched a fundraising campaign with all money to be given to a partner charity to disburse to farmers.

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