And Have You Seen the Water that You Drink?

The title of my article is taken from Surah # 56. The Arabic name for this Surah is Al-Waquiah meaning “The Event.” Allah has followed this question by another one: “Is it you who brought it down from the clouds, or is it We who bring it down?”

To bring rain down from the clouds, water has to go up first. Then a series of questions are generated. Who changes the ocean and sea water into water vapor? Who makes the vapor rise?   Who causes the temperature to drop with elevation? Who causes the vapor to condense? Who causes the wind to blow toward the tiny droplets of water? Who supplies and distributes dust and salt particle to serve as seeds for cloud formation? Who sends the wind to carry the clouds horizontally and/or vertically? Who guides the wind globally to carry the water-laden clouds to specific places? Who makes the water flow in rivers and lakes supplying fresh water to the inhabitants of this planet? Next time you drink a glass of water, you may think about the questions that begin with the word, “Who?”

To really appreciate the complexities of rain as described above, you need to stretch your fertile imagination to the maximum. Assume that you are on a planet far from the earth and assume that you can see all rainfall processes in action, what would be your observations? I am sure that you will come to the conclusion that there must be a Subject who has power, knowledge, wisdom, ability, compassion and mercy with no boundaries. This is Allah, the creator of all, not just rainfall.

A reader may say, “I can make clouds and rainfall in the lab exactly the same way your Allah is doing it. Let me show you how. This is a basin of water and this is the salt addition. Now we have a lab size ocean. Now I will turn the lab heater on. Let us wait a little until the water begins to change its form into water-vapor. Now, as you can see, the vapor rises going upward. Now, we have to do the trick and cool the vapor. Here I am carrying a cold small basin of ice cubes. Now, I am moving this cold surface to contact the warm vapor.   To make clouds, you need something warm and something cold. See what happens, clouds are forming and small droplets of fresh water begin to appear. See, and as I told you, I also made rain in the lab; the only difference is the size of the operation.” The proud reader forgot that he began his experiment with simple things that do not belong to him: water and salt.

Let us think deeper about the question we started with. To bring rain down, water has to go up. And when it goes up, it comes down again. The cycle continues; it is known in science: the water cycle.

The amount of water on earth does not change but it is always in motion. Perhaps the wisdom of having salty oceans and seas becomes now apparent. You need to put salt on things to preserve them. The question we started with is not the only question out there. Every object around you has a set of questions. And likewise every question generates more questions. All answers will eventually lead to Allah, the One and only.

Allah’s creation is also ayat (signs). The following ayah (sign) explicitly describes different objects of creation as ayat for a people who use reason. “Indeed, in the creation of heavens and the earth, and the alteration of the night and the day, and the {great} ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what Allah has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every {kind of} moving creature, and {his} directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven and earth are signs (ayat) for a people who use reason.” (Qur’an   2:164)

Thinking about objects (cosmic ayat) should lead us to think about the Subject, Allah the creator and sustainer of the universe. Cosmic ayat surround us; all we need to do is to try to see the obvious. The glorious Qur’an encourages us to think, reflect, remember and use our minds. The thinking vocabulary spreads through the entire Qur’an: “don’t (they) see?” (alam-ya-ra) 64 times; “to see”” (yan-zo-roon) 25 times; “to use their minds” (ya’ak-eloon) 22 times; “to know” (yaf-ka-hoon) 13 times; “to really see” (yub-se-roon) 13 times; “to think” (ya-ta-fakka-roon) 11 times; “those who have minds – ulol-ul-albab” (9 times); “to question (ya-ta-sa-aloon) 8 times;   I would like to remind you that the first order from Allah was: iqra meaning read, recite.and rehearse. “Iqra” is the key to civilizations.

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave messenger. I close this brief article with a dua: I ask you Allah to make us among those who follow the best of what they hear. Ameen.

About the Author
Dr. Mohammed Saleh

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Dr. Mohammed Saleh spent most of his life in the field of education: teaching, administration and consulting. He taught at the elementary, secondary and university levels. At Umm – Al Qura University (Makkah), Dr. Saleh held the position of Assistant Professor at the College of Education and Associate Professor at the college of Social Sciences. Dr. Saleh had the pleasure of running three k – 12 Islamic Schools in North America: Panama City Florida, Richmond (British Columbia) and Ann Arbor (Michigan.) As an educational Consultant, Dr. Saleh used his life – long experience in education to develop a model of Quran – curriculum integration process (abbreviated Q – cip.) His vision was to share his knowledge and experience with Islamic schools in North America to help teachers integrate the Glorious Quran in all subjects. May Allah swt, in His infinite Mercy, grant him the highest level of Paradise, inshaAllah.

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