Islam does not encourage wastage

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Allah Ta’ala (God) has created everything that is on earth for man’s use. “He it is Who created for you all that’s on earth.” (2: 29). Water, petroleum, gold, foodstuffs. In short, all raw materials have been purposely created to be of service to man. However, God has prescribed moderation in their use. He has condemned miserliness as well as wastage. The owner and heir of everything that has been created on earth is no other than Allah Ta’ala Himself. He has entrusted to us its vicegerency for a very limited period. Those who have not correctly used the potential granted to them will have to answer before the court of justice of the Hereafter.

Allah Ta’ala has stated: “And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift) so that you become blameworthy and destitute.” (17: 29). Hence, in the manner of making use of each blessing, there has to be an exigency of moderation. Wastage is definitely condemned by the shariah. In this case, the Qur’an likens waste to an evil action: “But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the devils.” (17: 26-27).

Any type of wastage is prohibited, especially that of water. Water is so precious that the prophet (saw) considered the digging of wells for the public as a very good act. Once, the prophet (saw) told Saad (ra): “Why so much waste?” Saad exclaimed: “Is there waste in wudhu also?” The prophet (saw) replied: “Yes, even when you perform wudhu at a river bank.” (Ibn Majah). Having said that, even when water is in plentiful supply, one has no right to waste it even during wudhu.

The prophet (saw) used to perform wudhu with about one litre of water and take his bath with some five litres of water. The ulamas all agree that these practices do not represent an established norm for the use of water during wudhu or ghusal. However, one must absolutely abstain from wasting water. For example, do not allow the water to flow while performing masah. It is better to open the tap moderately and use only as much water as is necessary.

What is important is not to leave the important parts of the body dry during wudhu or ghusal without wasting water. In case of doubt, one can perform the sunnah act of rubbing lightly one’s skin after the three washings and thus ensure that the body is wet. It is noteworthy that a correctly performed wudhu enables us to perform our salah with greater devotion and concentration.

The prophet (saw) has stated: “Whoever performs his ablution at home, then goes to any of Allah’s houses (mosques) to perform any one of the compulsory prayers of Allah, one of his steps removes a sin committed by him and the other elevates his rank by one degree.” (Muslim)

Let us pray for rain by means of the masnoon du’a: Allahoummas qina ghaithan mougheethan mari-an mari’an naafi’an ghaira dwaarin ‘ajilan ghaira ‘aajil. (Abu Dawood)

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