As South Africa grapples with a water crisis, its time for Muslims to change their attitude to how they use water. So says
Dr Sheikh Muhammed Ridwaan Gallant, from the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) Environmental Desk, in light of a national shortage of water, which has caused drought in some parts of the country.
On Monday, South Africans were warned they should brace themselves for a coming heat wave this week where temperatures are expected to reach about 40 degrees Celsius. This heat wave might encourage some to indulge in filling up their swimming pools or running through the sprinklers.
With government and humanitarian organisations working towards providing some areas with immediate relief, people should take extra precautions to save water during this coming dry season.
Dr Gallant says that people should always try to conserve water, not only during a drought.
According to Dr Gallant, there are three quick solutions to curbing your water wastage:
Fix leaks and dripping taps
-A vast amount of water is wasted by a leaking tap, so by fixing the problem litres of water can be saved per day/week.
-Bath water and water collected after taking ablution can be collected and later used to water the garden or wash the car.
-When bathing children draw a shallow bath instead of filling the tub and install water saving devices.
Furthermore, Dr Gallant adds that any water leakages should be reported so that the leak can be stopped and one should grow indigenous plants in the garden that uses minimal water.
“Water comes from the Almighty and we should use prayer in order to ask for rain as God alone knows when it will rain,” Dr Gallant explained.
A pilot project has been launched at a mosque in the Mitchell’s Plain area where wudu water is being collected into tanks to be used for the watering of plants in the area. This however is still in its implementation period and if the project is successful then it will spread to other mosques in the Western Cape.
“The Western Cape also has good quality underground water, so you can dig a well in order to extract water from the ground,” Dr Gallant continued.
This can be done in farm areas and open lands where underground water can be used for farming purposes instead of taking water directly from a dam.
More ways to conserve water in the household is by not using the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted.
Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads. Automatic dishwashers and clothes washers should be fully loaded for optimum water conservation.
Most makers of dishwashing soap recommend not pre-rinsing dishes which is a big water savings. When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing. If you have a double-basin, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have a single-basin sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a panful of hot water.
Dr Gallant says that in addition to encouraging water conservation, the Prophet SAW himself set the example.
For instance the Prophet SAW used to take a bat with one Sa’a (2.6 Litres of water) and used to take ablution with one Mudd (2/3 litres of water) (Bukhari: 1986: Vol. 1: 135 no. 201). VOC (Umarah Hartley)