By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Jun 08, 2019
In his poetic masterpiece, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, English poet and theologian Samuel Taylor Coleridge, described the agony of a sailor who is surrounded by water but cannot drink it. Deeply distressed by the irony, he exclaims, “Water, water everywhere,/ Nor any drop to drink!”
This expression of Coleridge is an illustration of human limitations. Though water is vital for man’s survival, he cannot create water to sustain himself; yet he mindlessly wastes this essential natural resource. There are vast reservoirs of fresh water in the polar ice-caps but they are melting at an alarming rate and is draining off into the oceans. While increasing sea levels, this situation is also causing significant shortage of potable water. Experts predict that the shortage of water will become so acute that a Third World War might break out over this issue. Scientists across the world have repeatedly emphasised that global warming accelerated by human action is the greatest danger of our times.
The creation of water is a marvel: two distinct gases with special properties come together to take the liquid form of water. If nature had not been endowed with this potential, the creation of water would not have been possible.
Water is indispensable but global shortages are increasing at such an alarming rate, that it is making the wastage of water a grave cause of concern. While governments try to find ways of resolving the water issues of their nations, it is also pertinent that, as responsible citizens, each one of us should become involved in the initiative to conserve water.
According to United Nations reports, water scarcity already affects every continent in the world. If each individual were to awaken to the responsibility of mindfully using water resources, he could contribute greatly to addressing the issue of water shortage. Charity begins at home, so each one of us should resolve to rise to the occasion and do our bit by finding out how we can do something to reduce our own water footprint and help manage the need for water.
Water is not just a source of physical existence: it is an equally important source from which to derive spiritual nourishment. It teaches us to be a giver and fulfil our responsibility towards others. The flow of water in a mountain stream, for instance, is repeatedly obstructed by stones in its path. But the spring does not attempt to remove the stones to continue on its journey. Instead, it moves ahead by flowing around and alongside the stones, as if telling us not to collide with obstacles, but to continue on our way regardless. Everything in this world continuously conveys the message that we should give, without taking anything in return, and discharge our duty in a selfless manner.
According to the Quran, water is a bountiful creation of the Creator. The Quran says, ‘We have made every living thing out of water.’(21:30). We have to conserve water as an act of worship; we have to regard it as a sacred duty imposed on each one of us to continue to preserve life for future generations. We should adopt this culture, and live as givers, rather than as takers.
Source: The Speaking Tree