In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Kind=
Radio Islam Green Muslims Series: Scientific Wonders of the Quran: WATER — PART 1
The words of Allah SWT were revealed over 1400 years ago to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as guidance to humankind. These words/verses of guidance, exactly as they were revealed, have been captured in the Holy Quran, which is available for all to ponder upon. Allah SWT refers to water numerous times in the Quran: as being the basis of life, essential for humans and animals to drink, and for plants to grow, and He, SWT, uses the example of water to describe how He will bring us back to life on the Day of Judgement.
Water is the basis of life.
Allah SWT says: “And we have made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?” (Al-Anbiya, 21:30)
This verse confirms that water is the source of all life. While different plants and animals have varying compositions of water, no life can exist without water. One of the many miracles of water is that when it changes from its liquid state to a solid state, it becomes lighter (less dense) compared to all other liquids that become heavier (denser). Allah SWT perfectly created this unique characteristic — this is why ice floats on the ocean and in frozen lakes — as a protection for the life forms in the water (Ahmad 2010). Subhaan’Allah!
Allah SWT says in the Holy Quran: “He it is Who sends down water (rain) from the sky; from it, you drink and from it (grows) the vegetation on which you send your cattle to pasture. With it, He causes to grow for you the crops, the olives, the date palms, the grapes, and every kind of fruit. Verily, in this is indeed an evident proof and a manifest sign for people who give thought” (Al-Nahl, 16: 10 -11)
Allahu Akbar! Allah SWT created humans, and He provided everything we need to survive here on Earth — water, food, and means of shelter. Both water and food are renewable resources, Sub’haanAllah! This means that Allah SWT has provided the conditions on the Earth that naturally replenish fresh water and food sources.
The miracle of the water cycle
The water cycle is another miracle of the creation of Allah SWT. Water is found worldwide, in rivers, lakes, oceans, and the atmosphere. As per Allah’s instruction and perfect plan, water moves continuously through a complex cycle and undergoes different processes in different forms. Water enters the atmosphere as water vapour due to evaporation from water sources and transpiration from trees and vegetation from its liquid state. In the atmosphere, it condenses to form clouds, and in turn, falls back to the Earth in the form of rain and snow, and filtrates into the ground or runs off the earth to rivers or water bodies where the cycle starts all over again (Figure 1).
The water cycle is critical to sustaining all life on Earth. The water cycle purifies water, maintains aquatic ecosystems and distributes water around the earth (where it not for this, water would accumulate in the lowest places on earth only, leaving other areas dry and barren).
All SWT says: “By (the winds) that scatter dust. And (the clouds) that bear the heavy weight of water; And those that float with ease and gentleness; And those (angels) who distribute (provisions, rain, and other blessings) by (Allah’s) command.” (Adh-Dhaariyat 51:1-4).
We have no control over this miraculous cycle. It is only through the decree of Allah, Al-Qadir, The All-Powerful, that water behaves in this manner.
Allah SWT says: “Then tell Me about the water that you drink. Is it you who causes it from the rain clouds to come down, or are We the Causer of it to come down? If We willed, We verily, could make it salty (and undrinkable); why then do you not give thanks (to Allah)? (Al-Waqi’ah, 56: 68-70)
When pondering on the Creation and these verses from the Glorious Quran, it is evident that the miracle of water could never happen by chance! As Muslimeen, we know that everything is perfectly planned by Allah, Al Khalik, The Creator.
Allah is Al-Haleem — The Most Forbearing. He is The One Who keeps bestowing blessings, both visible and hidden, on His creation, even though we disobey Him.
Allah is Al-Qayyoom, The Sustainer of Life. Allah is the ever self-existing One, upon whom the existence of all life depends.
All Praise and Thanks are indeed due to Allah alone!
Some key facts about water:
- Water is crucial for food production — without water, crops, and livestock cannot survive (72% of all water withdrawals are used by agriculture).
- Water not only produces crops and livestock for us to eat, but we also need water to prepare food (cleaning and sanitation) and to cook (boiling, steaming, etc.). Allahu Akbar! It is, however, important that the water we use for consumption and food production is of good quality and not contaminated, as this may cause ill health.
- Alhamdulillah! Water is a renewable resource. However, population growth is superseded by the demand for water. Water scarcity is on the rise and still affects more than 40 per cent of the global population — more than 1,7 million people currently live in river basins where water use exceeds recharge.
- Only about 71% of the global population used a safely managed drinking water source (5.3 billion people) (2017). Safely managed sources include those that are available when needed, located on-premises, and free from contamination.
- 8 billion people (90% of the global population) used at least a basic service / improved drinking-water source, available within a round trip of 30 minutes for collection. Most water collected away from home was done by females in the household (8 out of 10 households with water off-premises).
- There are still people who lack even the basic drinking-water service (785 million people globally).
- Water is essential for human health. Globally, 40% of the world’s population lacked basic handwashing facilities with soap and water at home (United Nations, 2021).
- The health of over 3 billion people are at risk due to the lack of water-quality data on the health of their rivers, lakes, and groundwater.
- Water-use efficiency has increased by 4% globally since 2015 (United Nations 2021). Alhamdulillah.
May Allah SWT grant us the ability to appreciate and respect the water and use it wisely in every situation, ameen.
And Allah SWT knows best.
Author: Dr Rashieda Davids
Ahmad, Yusuf Al-Hajj, 2010. Scientific Miracles in the Oceans and Animals. Darussalam. ISBN:978-603-500-041-3
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Issue Brief SDG 6: https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/25761/SDG6_Brief.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
United Nations, 2017. Water and Gender. https://unwater.unwater2.rw1.co.za/water-facts/gender/
United Nations Water, 2021. Summary progress 2021. SDG Indicators. https://www.unwater.org/app/uploads/2021/03/Infographics_Progress-on-water-and-sanitation.png