By Syeda Sania Basharat
Water is the most abundant natural resource available at the disposal of mankind. Being one of the most fundamental natural resource, water should be considered a top priority. Allah has gifted Pakistan with abundant water resources. Water resources need to be managed in an integrated manner to ensure that everyone can benefit from it, now and in the future. This means that water needs to be used efficiently and fairly and at the same time, we need to protect out water resources. 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, that’s the reason earth is known as blue planet. Of this, 94% is in the form of salt water and 6% is fresh water that can be found in rivers, springs, wetlands, underground aquifers and glaciers. As Muslims we need to reflect on the wonders of Allah (TA) and on the great Mercy Allah (TA) shown us by providing us with sustenance in the form of water for without water, we cannot grow crops nor perform our daily ablutions nor provide our animals with water. The Holy Quran teach its followers principles of social justice and equity which extends into the practice of preserving earth’s natural resources, particularly water conservation. According to Islam, water is community resource and is a right for all mankind. Allah speaks about the importance of water in the Quran.
Life on earth began from water. Allah sent down water from the heaven in form of comets, billions of years ago, as two comets aged 4.5 billion years ago contained similar composition to our oceans. Since then, animals and eventually humans utilized water as a home, for hygiene’s purposes, or to quench thirst. “In the creation of the Heavens and Earth; in the alternation of night and day; in the ships that sail the ocean for the benefits of mankind; in the water which Allah sent down from Heaven and brought with it life to Earth after being dead and gave life in it to every kind of land animal; and in direction of the winds; and in the clouds that are enslaved between the Heavens and the Earth; all these Signs for a people who comprehend” (Quran 2:164)
Allah mentions His innumerable blessings to His servants, whereby He sends down rain in due measure, meaning, according to what is needed, not so much that it damages the lands and buildings, and not so little to be insufficient for crops and fruits, but whatever is needed for. “And we send down water from the sky rain in due measure, and We gave it lodging in the earth, and verily, we are able to take it away”. (Quran 23:18)
“We sent down water from Heavens in proper quantity, and we made Earth its dwelling, and We are able to take it away” (Quran 23:81). Like on those days we take a long shower, soak for a bath, wash out car, run the water while brush, and many other ways we neglect water’s importance. In Islam, as we perform wudu, we too often leave the water running more than we need to. So many daily routines thar require water and yet we fail to see how life can be different without the luxury of clean, safe water. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad, on him be peace, said: “Do not waste, even if you are on running river.”
How many of us actually thinks about prophet’s example of wasting water? Yet, it is the part of our Islamic tradition. Conserving is a vital element we need to add in our daily activities and search for the ways to end needless waste. “And waste not by excess, Allah loves not the wasters” (Quran 7:31). To think of the water that was wasted that could have been used by others. The rivers, streams and dams in our country cannot continue to supply us with water if we continue to be uncaring attitudes about water and to think only of ourselves and not of the people dying of thirst across the world.
As the story of Zamzam also indicates the importance of water. When Hazrat Hajra (AS) and Hazrat Ismail (AS) were in need of water in stifling heat. The water start flowing out of the earth, as their thirst ends Hazrat Hajra said ‘Zam, Zam’, which meant ‘Stop, stop’ as she was worried water would run out. This indicates that she was worried about the water lose. Water is essential for life, without water life is not possible on earth, so we need to take definite steps to save water Conservation of water is the only solution to save water. It has become compulsory that we must value every drop of water and avoid its wastage.