Sholat Istisqo

Jakarta. Vice President Jusuf Kalla attended istisqa prayer (a prayer offered to seek rain from Allah) today at the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta together with some ministers of the Working Cabinet, heads of state institutions, government officials, and the public. This prayer was the second istisqa prayer held at the courtyard of the mosque with H. Hasanuddin Sinaga as an imam (leading the prayer) and K.H. Ma’ruf Amin, head of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), as the preacher delivered after the prayer.

The Vice President told the media that the prayer shows that Indonesian people, after making every effort in tackling peatland fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan, lean on God to take care the rest.

“We have done our best to stop the fires, both from land and from the air. We need to follow these efforts with prayer to get this problem solved,” he said. When answering a journalist’s question on the progress of artificial rain done by the government, Mr Kalla said that what the government did is cloud seeding to induce precipitation. “Artificial rainmaking is merely a process of turning clouds into rain, and not making rain by itself. Should the clouds appear, insha Allah (if God wills), rain will fall,” he said.

On handling people impacted from the haze of the forest and peatland fires, Vice President said government has made recovery programs, not only as an immediate response but also for a long term. “The haze could trigger diseases. The children imposed to the haze will most probably suffer from (lung) disease in the future,” said Mr Kalla.

“The most important things to do now is to stop the haze and to restore peatlands nationally,” he added. On peatland restoration, Vice President said he had discussed with the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister and the Environment and Forestry to make use of the coming international conference on peatland to seek technological supports from other countries to stop the fire.

On his remark before the prayer, the Religious Affairs Minister said his ministry has distributed form letters to all regions and schools to perform istisqa prayer.

In the meantime, K.H. Ma’ruf Amin on his preach invited people to repent to Allah for all the bad deeds, particularly those triggering natural disaster.