Valuing Water as You Value Life

Valuing Water as You Value Life

By: Shabana Abeda

Valuing Water as You Value Life


Humans have discovered planets, galaxies, multiverse and various celestial bodies but have failed to predict the existence of life. Why is this the case? The answer is simple: the lack of water. Yes, the main source of life existence is water.

‘By means of water, we give life to everything.’ (Quran 21:30)

Despite this resource covering three-fourths of the Earth’s surface, only 6% of it is beneficial to people and furthermore, only 2.5% is drinkable.

‘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)

It is very clear our sources of water are limited; therefore, as individuals and a global community our responsibility lies to preserve and conserve nature's most essential compound H2O.

Six Ways to Conserve Water In Your Daily Life

  1. Learn: The reality is that water is a limited resource in other parts of the world

The average American uses 80-100 gallons of water per day mostly for bathing, toilet flushes, dish-washing, and laundry. (USGS). According to Scientific American, America’s water footprint measures in at 1.053 billion cubic meters per year (that’s 278,173,171,133.1 gallons). Yes, China and India use more water generally, but we are close to their overall usage with a much smaller population than either of these countries. As individual Americans, we use more water per person than anyone else on the planet.

Every day, the average American family uses about 552 gallons of water.

Compare this to the average African family, which uses about 5 gallons of water a day.

The Prophet (SAW) used to take a bath with one Sa’a (one Sa’a equals five mudds equals 2.4 liter) of water and used to take ablution with one Mudd (2/3 liter) of water.

(Bukhari:1986: Vol.1:135 no.201)

  1. Educate: This goes for especially the younger generation, who are going to face extreme climate change and water issues.

The world population is projected to reach nine billion by 2050. Not only will these people need water to drink and bathe with also a massive amount of water must be used to grow additional food. The most rapid growth will be in developing nations; whose water supplies are already under stress. By 2030, the number of people living under severe water stress is expected to rise to 3.9 billion, nearly half of the world population.

  1. Preserve: Avoid wasting water.  Think before you leave your faucet open especially while brushing and showering. For Muslims, we need to be mindful especially when we are making ablution.  

The top five water wasters are the toilet, washing machine, shower, faucet, and leaks. The latest water conserving techniques can save water about 70% and allows you to maintain a water table.

When the Prophet (SAW) saw Sa’d performing wudu he said: “What is this? You are wasting water.” Sa’d replied: Can there be wastefulness while performing ablution? The Prophet (SAW) replied: “Yes even if you perform it in a flowing river.”

 (Ibn Maja : 1990 : Vol. 1: 147: no.425).

In addition to encouraging water conservation, Imam Al-Ghazzali said that if one were to have a bath one should not keep pouring water continuously, but should restrict oneself to the amount needed.

  1. Reuse: "Grey water” is the water draining from your house’s sinks, bathtubs, and laundry machine, which can be used to water plants. Use rain barrels or a catchment system to capture valuable rainwater from your roof.

And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His Mercy (rain); And We send down pure water from the sky. (Quran 25: 48)

We can reuse, reserve every drop of this blessing only if we understand crises in the world.
Protecting water from contamination is a duty for every community and individual.   Don't pour hazardous waste down the drain, on the ground, or into storm sewers. This could contaminate the soil, groundwater, or nearby surface water.

Be careful in disposing hazardous or toxic substances that can contaminate ground or surface waters, such as: Motor oil, Pesticides, Leftover paints or paint cans, Household cleaners, medicines

  1. Share: Every living species on the earth must have a right to water. The supply and preservation of fresh water was always regarded as of fundamental importance since the time of the Prophet (SAW).

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "There are three types of people whom Allah will neither talk to, nor look at, on the Day of Resurrection. (They are): 1. A man who takes an oath falsely that he has been offered for his goods so much more than what he is given, 2. a man who takes a false oath after the 'Asr prayer in order to grab a Muslim's property, and 3. a man who with-holds his superfluous water. Allah will say to him, "Today I will with-hold My Grace from you as you with-held the superfluity of what you had not created."

A very simple act of sharing water is to have bird bath or bowl of water in your backyard during hot summers days

  1. Give: After preserving water, we are instructed to donate water for the use of the people.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "digging wells and chopping ponds are some good activities which will also help you after your eternal silence". Once when Sa'ad asked about an activity that he may do for the betterment of his mother's life in the hereafter, The Prophet told him to dig a well.

The gift of water might not affect us but the areas in need know what impact it will make to their communities. Clean water leads to happy and healthy people, a wholesome education, good agriculture, improved economy and sustainable livelihoods.

There are so many avenues to give water through the globe. Initiate yourself to be part of this global mission of VALUING water. Just DONATE @ HHRD > Programs > Water For Life . WFL and WASH projects of Helping Hand for Relief and Development helps 368,074 beneficiaries through WFL and 28548 beneficiaries through WASH program from 14 countries.

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