Guiding Waters: A message that flows through the Quran (post 2.1)
Our current water crisis in South Africa is not a simple affair. Rather, it is the combined result of drought, high temperatures, poor service delivery, failing infrastructure, lack of nature conservation, insufficient legal implementation and poor public behaviour. Despite our recent rains (shukr-alḥamdulillāh), we are still being asked to save water. We often hear of scientific concepts like El Niño, climate change and long-term seasonal cycles. The media often blames the politics and incapacity of our national government and our local municipalities. During these stormy times, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves – what does water mean to us? Whether it is a flood, a drought, or even when there is no water crisis, what does water mean to us as Muslims?
In general, our response as the Muslim community to the water crisis has been reactive. Only when our selfish uses and abuses of water are affected, do we start speaking about water issues. Only when our very basic needs of cleaning, bathing and drinking water are threatened, do we start implementing saving strategies. Only when we are forced to be aware of the threats to our agricultural industry, do we start praying for water. If we dive just a bit deeper, we will realise that we have forgotten what water means to us. We have forgotten to pray for water and act for water as part of our daily lives − as individuals and as communities, both in the present and for the future.
Our lack of pro-activity when it comes to water and other environmental issues stems from our disconnection with the creations of Allah SWT. We have lost this spiritual connection with our Creator through His creations. We have forgotten our responsibilities as khaleefa (stewards) of this Earth (Quran, 6:165).
The #GuidingWaters journey begins with the guiding booking to all mankind, the Quran. The meaning of water to humans and the rest of creation as explained in the Quran is profound. Allah SWT repeatedly reminds us to think deeply of this aayat (proof, evidence, miracle) of water.
The meaning of water extends beyond a few verses that are applicable to only certain events in our life. Rather, the Quran encapsulates what water means to us physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Our connection to water starts from the very beginning of creation and extends through the ages to the Day of Qiyamaah (Resurrection) and the hereafter. Water is often an featured as a subject in the lives of the Prophets AS. We are reminded to consider the rain, springs, rivers and seas within an ecological framework of understanding. We understand our relationship with water through the Quranic verses that describes water as a major constituent of our bodies, as critical for our survival, and necessary for our daily prayers.
The directions and lessons that we draw from the Quran on water are intensely powerful. We speak of the miracle of the Quran and how it influences our lives, but it seems like we are referring to a mirage and as soon as we approach our claims, they hold no water (Quran, 24:39).
How is it that this deep contemplation of water is missing from our lives? Let us begin to guide our #GuidingWaters journey with the guidance from the Quran, in the same way that rivers are meant to guide us on this Earth.
And He has cast into the earth firmly set mountains, lest it shift with you, and [made] rivers and paths, that you may be guided (Quran, 16:15).
May Allah SWT guide us all like how the rivers guide us on earth, Aameen. Please do keep an eye out for our following posts!