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Are we planning to make our children thirsty?

For performing prayer, I went into a Mosque. I had to perform ablution in order to perform the prayer. In the place of ablution, large number of people were performing ablution in order to purify themselves to meet their Lord. It was an amazing fact that such a large number of people were so God-conscious that they were preparing themselves carefully and considering minute requirements of ablution in order to avoid rejection of their prayers. Ironically, one aspect of their preparation was leading them towards the direction opposite to their objective of seeking pleasure of their God. As a rite of ablution, while wiping their heads, they kept the taps on and water ceaselessly flew down the drain. When a person stood up after completing his ablution, he did not bother to turn the tap off merely due to ignorance.

My mind took me back to the Pre-Islamic Arabia that consisted of a great desert lacking water resources except rain that occurred once or twice in several years. Due to scarcity of water, Arab tribes had no other option except to fight against each other to control more and more water ponds. When Prophet Muhammad صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم organized them under the banner of Islam, he emphasized making small dams and wherever possible, established irrigation systems to incite people to cultivate. He, although living fourteen centuries back, suggested minimum use of water in ablution, washing and bathing. He, himself used only about a half liter of water in ablution and approximately 2.5 liters in taking a bath. (Bukhari, the Book of Ablution, Hadith 198)

Different researches in science suggest that water resources on the planet are squeezing. We are extravagantly depleting the resources of our planet and water is among top five resources whose unwitting consumption will eventually lead to scarcity of water for our younger generations. Water beneath the earth surface is contaminated due to increasing water pollution. Toxic materials from industrial and domestic use are continuously added to rivers, canals and oceans without any consideration for our future generations.

It is highly probable that water resources will become bone of contention among our future generations and they may wage wars against each other like the pre-Islamic Arabian tribes whose ceaseless wars spanning over decades were to control water resources. Religious people, who claim to follow the footsteps of the Prophet, ironically ignore his teachings about water management.

Many people realize the problem of depleting water resources but assume that planning and management of water resources is the responsibility of their governments and it is none of their concern. This is not true. As consumers of water, we can take countless steps to save water for our children, who may be killing each other to gain control over water resources. Some examples of the steps we can take as follows:

a. Use minimum quantity of water while performing ablution. Many people, while wiping their hands over their heads, turn the tap on. Turn the tap off whenever you are not taking water from it.

b. Instead of washing your homes and vehicles every day, use efficient means of cleaning homes and vehicles.

c. People in Mosque administration should install taps that automatically turn off when a person is not using the water.

d. Awareness should be created among communities about use of water and its consequences should be elaborated.

e. Consumers should build pressure on industries to avoid pollution in water and air. Boycotting products of industries involved in contaminating air and water could be an effective technique.

f. Minimize putting solid waste into water.

If we ignore this message, we must realize that we are planning to make our children thirsty. They will have to live without clean air and water. Would we like the situation that all younger generations are victims of our extravagant consumption and contamination of water?

(Author: Muhammad Mubashir Nazir)

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Think about it!

A. Think about five instances in your routine life when you overspend water. How can you improve this situation?

B. Plan a campaign in your friends and family to minimize use and contamination of water and air.

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