The painting named “The Rain Prayer” was unveiled at the shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad on Saturday as part of the Imam’s birthday celebration.
The 2.4X3-meter oil painting depicts Imam Reza (AS) on a rock with people around him praying for rain.
The story of the rain prayer occurred months after Mamun, the Abbasid caliph, appointed Imam Reza (AS) as the successor to his throne.
The Khorasan region was affected by severe drought, which was linked to the choice by the Imam’s opponents who said, “You see? Since Ali ibn Musa al-Reza has been selected as the crown prince, no more rain has been sent down to us from the sky.”
Mamun was informed about the adverse comments, and asked Imam Reza (AS) to hold a prayer for rain, so the Imam along with a group of people left the city to hold a rain prayer in the desert. Following their return to their homes, rain began to pour down.
“Working for Imam Reza (AS) differs from working for other Imams; it differs in its ambiance,” Ruholamin said in a video while working on the tableau.
“The subject may be imperceptible by some people; worldly reason cannot yield a proper perception of the issue; it is based on the belief that the immaculate Imam is still alive and present,” he added.
The story of the rain prayer has been portrayed by several other artists, including Ameneh Badrossama and Saeid Abbasi.
Ruholamin’s “The Rain Prayer” has been produced based on a contract with the Imam Reza (AS) International Foundation for Culture and Arts.
According to the agreement, Ruholamin has been commissioned to do four paintings about Imam Reza (AS), two of which have previously been unveiled.
One of the works, “Condition of Tawheed”, was created based on the Hadith of Silsilah al-Dhahab (The Hadith of the Golden Chain).
The 2 X 3.6-meter oil painting was introduced publicly on May 12, 2021.
The artwork depicts the story of the Hadith of the Golden Chain narrated by Imam Reza (AS) upon his arrival at the northeastern Iranian town of Neyshabur.
The hadith refers to the continuity of spiritual authority that is passed down from the Prophet Muhammad (S) to Imam Ali (AS), the first Imam of the Shia, and through each of the successive Imams to Imam Reza (AS).
Another painting portrays the arrival of Hazrat Masumeh (SA), the sister of Imam Reza (AS), to the Iranian city of Qom on the date of Rabi’ al-Awwal 23, 201 on the Islamic calendar (October 23, 816 CE). The artwork was unveiled on October 25, 2021 during a celebration marking the anniversary of the event.