Water

Today, I’m grateful for water.

In Surah an-Nisa, Allah azza wa jall tells us

أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنَّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ كَانَتَا رَتْقًا فَفَتَقْنَاهُمَا ۖ وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ ۖ أَفَلَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?

Every morning, on my way out the door, I flip the page on Magnum Archive’s A Year in Photography. Today’s picture, from Raghu Rai, shows a young man leaping into a pool at Agrasen ki Baoli in Delhi. Looking at that picture, I saw the water and the ancient structure, thought about the Ganges and the Nile, and thought how wonderful it must be to be part of a culture that respected water, that saw it as sacred and worth protecting.*

And I sought forgiveness and prayed for guidance and mercy, and gave thanks to God for the gift of water.

Two hadith also worth mentioning, as reminders to myself first: one sahih and one classed da’if (with some weakness in the chain of narrators) and presented despite that, with my apologies.

Jabir reported that

 رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم نَهَى عَنْ بَيْعِ الْمَاءِ

the Messenger of Allah forbade selling water.

and

Abdullah bin ‘Amr is reported to have said

The Messenger of Allah passed by Sa’d when he was performing ablution, and he said: ‘What is this extravagance?’ He said: ‘Can there be any extravagance in ablution?’ He said: ‘Yes, even if you are on the bank of a flowing river.'”

 

Even if that second one is weak, it seems in agreement with something Allah subhanahu wa t’ala said in Surah An Nisa

الَّذِينَ يَتَرَبَّصُونَ بِكُمْ فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمْ فَتْحٌ مِّنَ اللّهِ قَالُواْ أَلَمْ نَكُن مَّعَكُمْ وَإِن كَانَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ نَصِيبٌ قَالُواْ أَلَمْ نَسْتَحْوِذْ عَلَيْكُمْ وَنَمْنَعْكُم مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَاللّهُ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلَن يَجْعَلَ اللّهُ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلاً

And it is He Who produces gardens trellised and untrellised, and date-palms, and crops of different shape and taste and olives, and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in taste). Eat of their fruit when they ripen, but pay the due thereof on the day of its harvest, and waste not by extravagance. Verily, He likes not Al-Musrifun (those who waste by extravagance)

May Allah guide me and those responsible for water in Irving, Texas, the South, and the United States to take better care of the precious resource, to strive to keep it clean, use it wisely, not be extravagant, and to not turn it into just another form of capital to be agglomerated and hoarded and kept from the people, animals, and plants that need it, ameen.


*I’m well aware that both the Nile and the Ganges, while sacred to various cultures and peoples, are both horribly polluted, partly by cultural and religious traditions, and partly by general human activity, waste, agricultural runoff, and the like. We humans are not very good vicegerents, nor are we very good at remembering God.

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