By: Zia Mahmood Minhas
Importance of Water
Water covers 71% of Earth’s surface. The oceans contain 96.5% of earth’s water which is saline. The rest is in form of rivers, lakes, streams, icy mountains, in the atmosphere and underground water. The total mass of water found in Earth is called the hydrosphere. Earth’s approximate water volume is 1,338,000,000 KM3.
Water is essential for sustenance of life. It is major component of all body cells of living organisms. The body cells can’t function in its absence which leads to death of the organism. Water is important on Earth’s surface in many ways. It has its role in chemical and physical weathering of rocks. Water is responsible for transportation of sediments and its deposition in the plains. It is a universal solvent and all chemical reactions necessary for life need water. The food chain which feeds the living organisms needs water for its continuation. Availability of water has been main consideration of human settlements and all old cities have been located near rivers.
Qur’an Describes Significance of Water
There were inaccuracies in theories regarding water cycle. Up to seventh century it was believed that seawater is thrust into land. Another view held by earlier scientists including Aristotle described that water vapor from the soil condense in cool mountains and formed underground lakes. It was established in sixteenth century that the underground water came from rainwater infiltrating into the soil.
The importance of water and its cycle has been referred to in detail in Qur’anic verses to motivate the non believers to accept and believe in one Allah.
وَاللَّـهُ خَلَقَ كُلَّ دَابَّةٍ مِّن مَّاءٍ ۖ فَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِي عَلَىٰ بَطْنِهِ وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِي
(عَلَىٰ رِجْلَيْنِ وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِي عَلَىٰ أَرْبَعٍ ۚ يَخْلُقُ اللَّـهُ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿٤٥
Allah has created every moving (living) creature from water. Some crawl on their bellies, some on two legs and some on four. Allah creates what he wills. Verily Allah is able to do all things.
(Soorah An-Nur 24:45)
(وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً بِقَدَرٍ فَأَسْكَنَّاهُ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۖ وَإِنَّا عَلَىٰ ذَهَابٍ بِهِ لَقَادِرُونَ ﴿١٨
We made water descend from the sky in measure and settled it on earth. But we are in truth capable of blotting it out.
(Soorah Al-Mu’minun 23:18)
الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ
(مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَّكُمْ ۖ فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّـهِ أَندَادًا وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٢٢
It is He who made the earth a bed for you, the sky a canopy; Who causes water to descend from the sky with which He brings forth the fruits as sustenance for you. Do not therefore set up and equals to Allah when you know better.
(Soorah Al-Baqarah 2:22)
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي
الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِن مَّاءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا
(وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ ﴿١٦٤
In the creations of the heaven and earth, In the cycle of night and day, In ships that plough the sea, to mankind’s benefit, In what Allah causes to descend from the sky of water, Giving life to earth, hitherto dead, And peopling with all manner of crawling creatures, in varying the winds and clouds, which run their course between sky and earth- In these are signs for the people who are wise.
(Soorah Al-Baqarah 2:164)
الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ مَهْدًا وَسَلَكَ لَكُمْ فِيهَا سُبُلًا وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا
It is He Who made the earth level for you and marked out in it highways for you, and made water descend from the sky, through which We caused to come forth pairs of diverse plants. Eat and pasture your animals-In this are signs for those possessed of reasons
(Soorah Ta Ha 20:53-54)
(وَاللَّـهُ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَسْمَعُونَ ﴿٦٥
And Allah sends down water from the sky by which He revives the earth after it has died. In this is a sign for the people who listen.
(Soorah An –Nahal 16:65)
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّـهَ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَسَلَكَهُ يَنَابِيعَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ثُمَّ يُخْرِجُ بِهِ زَرْعًا مُّخْتَلِفًا أَلْوَانُهُ
(ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَجْعَلُهُ حُطَامًا ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَذِكْرَىٰ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ ﴿٢١
Have you not observed how Allah causes water to descend from the sky, caused it to penetrate in the earth and making it flow as springs on the ground, then through it causes crops of diverse colors to sprout forth?
(Soorah Az- Zumar: 39:21)
Following points are deduced from the above mentioned verses
-All forms of life were created from water i.e. water is essential for sustenance of life on earth.
-Water has been descended from the sky on Earth and settled on Earth in different forms and locations. All the water requirements of Earth have been met till the Day of Judgment and the there will no change in the total quantity of water till that time.
-Allah will make all water vanish from Earth at the appointed time which will result in termination of life from this planet. This may result due to change of orbit of the earth or its gravity and consequent rising temperature due to increased radiation from Sun.
-Water is essential for food chain which includes raising of crops, cattle and keeping the soil fertile for crop production. Transportation of produce or livestock is through water ways.
-The source of subsoil water is from penetration of surface water underground.