Water: A Precious Gift
Cont’d from page 1
[32:27] Do they not realize that we drive the water to barren lands, and produce with it crops to feed their livestock, as well as themselves? Do they not see?
The system that God set up when He created the earth is truly awesome. Very simply put, moisture evaporates from the surface, joins to form clouds, and falls as rain. The atmosphere holds it all in—the guarded ceiling (21:32). But all kinds of factors have to come into play for enough rain to fall to actually make things grow. We get “virga” all the time in Tucson—the air is so dry that the rain evaporates before reaching the earth. And some places get so much rain all at once that it floods everything. But it’s all in God’s control.
[51:1-4] The blowing winds. Bearing rain. Bringing provisions. Distributing them as commanded.
[7:57] He is the One who sends the wind with good omen, as a mercy from His hands. Once they gather heavy clouds, we drive them to dead lands, and send down water therefrom, to produce with it all kinds of fruits. We thus resurrect the dead, that you may take heed.
God cautions us to be respectful of His gift of water. We turn on a tap and water flows, so we take it for granted. When that doesn’t happen for some reason, we are suddenly aware and appreciative. We need to be more aware all the time. He can remove this gift.
[23:18] We send down from the sky water, in exact measure, then we store it in the ground. Certainly, we can let it escape.
Living in the desert, we know that our water table is sinking lower and lower, just as God says in 67:30. Say, “What if your water sinks away, who will provide you with pure water?”
We need to learn from the lesson of the two men and their gardens (18:32-45). One was proud and arrogant; one was appreciative and humble. Both knew that the beauty and quality of their gardens depended on forces of nature, but only one recognized that it was God who provided those forces. Taking his wealth and status for granted, the arrogant one suffered irreparable losses when God removed the blessing of water, leaving his property barren.
God also gives us examples of what Hell will be like with either putrid water (14:16) or no water.
[7:50] The dwellers of Hell will call on the dwellers of Paradise: “Let some of your water, or some of GOD’s provisions to you flow towards us.” They will say, “GOD has forbidden them for the disbelievers.”
Getting back to the city of Cherrapunji, the wettest place on earth, we see what can happen when we tamper with God’s perfect system for this earth. The trees put down roots which help to hold the soil in place. The population of the area jumped from 7000 to over 100,000 in the last part of the 20th Century. They cleared away the forests without thought to how this would affect the region, and now they are paying a price. All that water falls annually, but they still have to walk miles down into the valley to bathe and to haul water back up to drink.
God uses water as an example in the Quran relating to the charitable. If we believe in God, follow His commands, worship Him alone, and give cheerfully to charity, we can be like a land lush and green, enjoying God’s provision of rain, even if it’s only in small amounts. If we disbelieve and are unappreciative as we go through life, no amount of rainfall will be sufficient. It will be like Cherrapunji where it simply pours off the side of the hill and washes away the soil, leaving a dry and barren landscape, making it hard to believe this is the wettest place on earth.
[2:264] O you who believe, do not nullify your charities by inflicting reproach and insult, like one who spends his money to show off, while disbelieving in GOD and the Last Day. His example is like a rock covered with a thin layer of soil; as soon as heavy rain falls, it washes off the soil, leaving it a useless rock. They gain nothing from their efforts. GOD does not guide disbelieving people.
[2:265] The example of those who give their money seeking GOD’s pleasure, out of sincere conviction, is that of a garden on high fertile soil; when heavy rain falls, it gives twice as much crop. If heavy rain is not available, a drizzle will suffice. GOD is Seer of everything you do.
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Some verses on appreciating God’s blessings
[16:112] GOD cites the example of a community that used to be secure and prosperous, with provisions coming to it from everywhere. But then, it turned unappreciative of GOD's blessings. Consequently, GOD caused them to taste the hardships of starvation and insecurity. Such is the requital for what they did.
[27:73] Your Lord is full of grace towards the people, but most of them are unappreciative.
[28:58] Many a community we annihilated for turning unappreciative of their lives. Consequently, here are their homes, nothing but uninhabited ruins after them, except a few. We were the inheritors.
[31:12] We have endowed Luqmaan with wisdom: “You shall be appreciative of GOD.” Whoever is appreciative is appreciative for his own good. As for those who turn unappreciative, GOD is in no need, Praiseworthy.