Proper management of water in Islam

Dr Md Kamruzzaman

19 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Water is a chemical substance which is found in liquid, solid and gaseous conditions. People get water from sea, river and pond. Rain is also another source of water. But, water pollution has become a matter of concern in this world. Islam has imposed strict restrictions on wastage of water, water pollution and abuse of water. Allah says in the Qur’an, “We created all the livestock from water, still they will not believe?” (Surah Ambia: 30). It is a great blessing from Allah. Without water existence of life cannot be imagined. Water has a significant role in creation of life. And the source of organism is also water. The most valuable mineral resources in the world are the resources of the Muslim world. But due to lack of proper management, they cannot enjoy the benefits.

In absence of safe water or drinking water, thousands of people suffer. Islam has given humankind necessary directives to use water in a proper manner.

Chemically, water is termed as H2O. Water is a great blessing from Allah. All animals live depending on water. Water is not only meant for drinking, but also for many other purposes. It was created before creation of the universe. As Allah says: “And He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, and His Throne was over the waters that He might test which of you is best in deeds.” (Surah Hud: 7)

Imran ibn Husain (may Allah be pleased with him) said in the Hadith: “There was only Allah; there was no one before him. And his throne was on the water. He wrote down everything by chance and created the heavens and the earth.” (Bukhari, Hadith no: 3191).  According to the Big Bang Theory, water was created after  creation of the universe.

However, a study in Canada has revealed that the earth was born before the creation of the sun. And with the creation of the earth, water has also been born. Location of water covers 70.9% of the earth’s surface. And water is an essential element in sustaining life of almost all living beings on earth. 96.5% of the world’s water is found in the oceans, 1.7% in the ground, 1.7% in the form of icebergs and snow, a small fraction in other large bodies of water and 0.001% in the atmosphere as clouds, water vapour and precipitation, snow, etc. Only 2.5% of the world’s water is pure water. Remaining 98.8% is groundwater and ice. Less than 0.3% of pure water is found in rivers, lakes and atmospheres, and less than that is found in bodies and products of various organisms.

Water in earth is constantly rotating through water cycle with evaporation, condensation, evaporation etc. And due to this evaporation, rain an snow, etc. occur on the earth. And only 0.01% of this water is suitable for human consumption.

Arrival of water on earth

Allah the Almighty says: “Have I not sent down water from the sky with which We produce crops and gardens?” Surah Naba: 14-16) “Do you not see that Allah moves the clouds, then gathers them together and then accumulates them? Then you see water gushing out of it. He rained down rocks from the heaps of the sky, and with it He struck whomever He willed and turned it over whomever He willed. The lightning of the clouds seems to want to destroy the sight.” (Surah Nur: 43) “I send down the rain, then send down rain from the sky, and We give it to you to drink, and you have no provision for it.” (Surah alhijr: 22) “Or He it is Who guides you in the darkness of the land and the sea and sends the winds as glad tidings before His mercy.”(Surah an naml: 63)

Importance and necessity of water

Water is an essential element of the basic needs of all living things on earth. All living things and inanimate things on earth are created by God from water. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Allah has created all living beings from water. Some of them walk on their backs, some walk on two legs and some walk on four legs. Allah creates whatever He wills. Surely Allah has power over all things.” (Surah Nur: 45)

“He has made the earth a resting place for you, and made in it your path. He sends down water from the sky, and We cause to grow therewith plants of various kinds.” (Surah Taha: 53) “He it is Who has created man from water, then He has made blood and marital relations between mankind. Your Lord is Almighty.”(Sura Furqan: 54) The above verses prove that Allah created all His creatures from water. Again all creation is dependent on water. This is also proved by science. The soil has to be moistened for crop production which is not possible without water. Again wetting this soil through irrigation and producing crops is a very expensive task.

Moreover, it is not possible to produce food by providing water all year round only with the help of irrigation system. Because then the water will go down to the ground. As a result, water will no longer be available. Then it is understood that mankind has to depend on the water given by Allah. This role of water is not only applicable to crop production. Water contains 70 percent of the total weight of the human body. People use a minimum of 50 liters of water for various purposes, including drinking, bathing, washing and cooking for their daily needs. A person needs 5,400 liters of water daily to produce a balanced diet for good health. A vegetarian needs 2,600 liters of water daily to produce food. It takes 2,900 gallons of water to make a man’s jeans. Every day, flushing toilets around the world costs more than 14 billion liters of water.

 Water is a very valuable natural resource. Settlements, towns, ports, and factories are built around safe water sources. Pure water business is very profitable in today’s world. Oil and gold have been overtaken by competition in the stock market. In Washington, USA, the United Nations organised a conference recently on ways to improve the situation in the developing world. Many big entrepreneurs presented various proposals in this conference. The chairman of Water Aid Sweden went to deliver a speech and put his hand on a glass of water placed in front of him, “This is a luxury, a dream for more than 800 million people in the world.” About 800 million people in the world today dream of getting it. Over the next 25 years, the world’s nations will have to spend far more on clean water than their seaports, rail and road connections.

Pure water has taken such a terrible form in the world that in the future there will be no more oil and gas, but war over water. Already 20 countries are involved in water disputes.  The oceans created by Allah are not all the same. The water of one is sweet and savory, the water of the other is salty and bitter. (Surah Fatir: 12) Nowadays, in most of the developed and underdeveloped countries, water is available in kitchens and bathrooms in urban areas only by turning off the faucet. But, people in many poor African countries have to walk an average of half an hour every day for a little water. Water collected with so much effort is unfit for drinking. Today, 800 million people in the world do not have potable water. People in the freshwater region leave excrement and flush it to clean it. This normal thing is like a dream luxury for 250 crore people in the world. As far as the toilet is concerned, there is not enough toilet work after defecation. And the flash can’t even be thought of there. There are 200 crore people who drink water mixed with excrement. Every year 8 lakh people die by drinking contaminated water. Every day 3000 children suffer from various water-borne diseases. This discussion makes a wise man think of drinking a glass of water. After drinking a glass of water, they bowed their heads to the great Lord.


The writer is a Professor at Islamic University, Kushtia. Email: [email protected]