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Water-Wise

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Did you know:

- Globally, the average water consumption is 173 liters per person daily?

- In South Africa, the average water consumption is 235 liters per person daily?

- A 5 minute shower uses approximately 80 liters of water?

- A running tap can use up to 8 liters a minute?

South Africa is among the world’s ‘water-scarce’ countries. In the midst of the ‘water worries’, all South Africans are generally encouraged to be ‘water-wise’ (save water).

However, as Muslims, we do not wait to be struck by a water crisis before we learn to appreciate and save water. Rather, our Deen teaches us to always appreciate and save water – even if there is an abundance of water – as it is an invaluable blessing from Allah Ta‘ala that should never be taken for granted, lest He withhold it from us.

On one occasion, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) passed by Sa’d (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) while he was performing wudhu. Observing him perform wudhu, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) asked, “What is this wastefulness?” Sa’d (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) asked, “Is there wastefulness in wudhu?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “Yes, even if you are at a flowing river.” (Sunan Ibni Maajah #425)

Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), who was blessed to be the special attendant of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), mentioned that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would perform wudhu using just one mudd of water (under 800ml), and ghusal using approximately one saa’ of water (under 5 liters). (Saheeh Muslim #737)

We should thus take stock of the water consumption within our own homes and after identifying the areas in which we are wasteful, work out ways to curb the waste. Furthermore, we have to instill good water-usage habits into our children as well, as we will all have to answer, on the Day of Qiyaamah, for the water that we used. If we cannot manage having a bucket-bath, which is closest to the sunnah and far more effective in restricting the amount of water that we use, we should at least make a conscious effort to conserve water by limiting our shower time as well as limiting the flow of water. Similarly, while brushing our teeth, we should not leave the water running. The same applies to closing the tap at the time of making masah of the head during wudhu.

By taking steps in this direction, we will avoid falling into the sin of wastefulness and will be expressing appreciation to Allah Ta‘ala for His invaluable bounty of water. If we do this, there is hope that Allah Ta‘ala will bless us, in His infinite mercy, with more water and will not withhold this vital resource from us.