Sat, 08 Oct 1994

Not everyone wants rain

JAKARTA (JP): The East Java chapter of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has left it to the local Moslem leaders to decide whether or not to perform prayers for rain because some districts desperately need it, but others could do without it.

MUI East Java chairman Misbach was quoted by the Antara news agency as saying that while many parts of East Java have developed a water crisis because of the long absence of rain, tobacco farmers in the province see this as a blessing.

Misbach recalled that his counterpart in West Kalimantan recently ordered all local Moslem leaders in that province to perform prayers for rain, and sure enough, rain has began to fall there.

MUI East Java has decided to leave it to local Moslem leaders to decide whether or not they ought to perform istisqo, the prayer for rain held in an open field, depending on the conditions of their locality.

Surabaya, capital of East Java, certainly needs rain because the city has developed a water crisis. But farmers in tobacco growing areas like Madura, Jember and Bojonegoro, do not want rain to ruin their crops. (emb)