“Drought Grips South Africa,” “SA’s Worst Drought since the 1960s,” “Crops and Cattle Die as Drought Worsens” – these are some of the alarming headlines across the country in the past month. In an effort to deal with and attempt to control the devastation and disaster caused by drought, many scientists are conducting studies to determine the cause of the crisis. While many of them have concluded that “el-nino,” global warming and other such phenomenon are to blame, every Muslim understands that the amount of rain being “just right”, or the scarcity of rain resulting in poverty and famine, or the over abundance of rain resulting in floods, are all in the control of Allah Ta‘ala and subject to His system and command.
The System of Allah Ta‘ala
Allah Ta‘ala has created this world as a place of “cause and effect.” If a person is hungry, consuming food will satiate his hunger. If he is thirsty, drinking will quench his thirst. This cause and effect relationship is not confined to the physical world but also applies to our actions and the conditions that result thereof. Thus, by way of example, if a person joins family ties, he will enjoy blessings in his sustenance and life — as promised in the hadeeth. This cause and effect principle, however, is a double edged sword. If our good actions draw the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala, our evil actions similarly trigger the wrath of Allah Ta‘ala.
Drought in Good Actions
It is the system of Allah Ta‘ala that “drought” in our good actions causes drought in the land. There is a “drought” in the musjid at the time of fajr salaah, there is “drought” in our recitation of the Quraan Majeed, “drought” in our akhlaaq (good character), an extremely severe drought in hayaa (modesty and shame), and, in general, widespread “drought” in other departments of our deen as well.
The Quraan al-Kareem teaches us that all conditions of adversity are, in reality, a result of the sins we ourselves have committed. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has specifically mentioned that drought and the lack of rain are caused by dishonest business dealings and not paying one’s zakaat, and that previously unheard of calamities are triggered by people openly perpetrating acts of immorality and shamelessness (Sunan ibni Maajah #4019). If we do experience a little rainfall, it is on account of the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala upon the innocent animals, who otherwise also suffer from the scarcity of water due to our actions.
Openly sinning and advertising our sins is a very effective and rapid way to draw Allah Ta’ala’s punishment. Plastering posters onto giant billboards and distributing flyers are not the only ways of advertising. Nowadays, among the most common ways that evil is advertised, is by indulging in the sin, photographing the event and then posting the photos online for all and sundry to view. This behavior is an indication of the fact that, instead of being ashamed of our sins, we are actually proud and boastful over them and literally invite the world to “marvel” at how we have “excelled” in disobeying and displeasing Allah Ta‘ala – may Allah Ta‘ala protect us.
There is only one way in which we can undo the damage caused thus far – by reconnecting with that Being in whose sole control lie the affairs of the entire universe, Allah Ta‘ala. In order to address the drought in the dunya, we will have to first address the drought we have caused in our deen. If each and every person changes his ways and comes onto deen, the entire community and ultimately, the entire Muslim world will change for the better. Thus we will once more attract the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala. Being at the peak of drought and the beginning of social instability, are we yet so “brave” as to continue sinning, as we currently do, and invite yet more difficulties?
Therefore, we have to turn sincerely to Allah Ta‘ala and encourage others to do the same. The following are some of the most important aspects to focus on:
- Daily sincerely repent for one’s sins and engage in excessive istighfaar
- Perform the five daily salaah regularly. It is waajib for males to perform the salaah with jamaa‘ah in the musjid unless the musjid is very far away.
- Shun all wastage and sin—especially open sin. Among these are the open sins committed in weddings, on social media, etc.
- Adopt hayaa (shame and modesty) in speech and conduct. Muslim sisters especially should adopt hayaa in their dressing. Loose garments which completely cover the body must be adopted.
- Give as much sadaqah as possible as sadaqah protects from calamities.
- Make excessive du‘aa for oneself and the entire Ummah.
It is only by leaving sin that we can stem the flow of difficulties and disasters and open the floodgates of Allah Ta‘ala’s mercy.
To use more than what is necessary is termed israaf. Regarding israaf, Allah Ta‘ala declares, “Verily Allah Ta‘ala does not love the wasters.” (Surah A‘araaf, v31) Among the very great gifts of Allah Ta‘ala is water. To waste water is to literally “flush” the gift of Allah Ta‘ala down the drain. On one occasion, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) asked a person who was performing wudhu, “Why are you wasting water?” The person enquired, “Is there israaf even in wudhu?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “Yes indeed, (do not waste) even if you are at the bank of a river” (Sunan ibni Maajah #425).
Wudhu is a great ‘ibaadah (act of worship). Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said that when a person performs wudhu in the proper manner, all the (minor) sins that were committed are washed off by means of the wudhu. However, among the acts that spoil this great ‘ibaadah and deprive one of the full benefits, is the wasting of water.
It has been very conservatively estimated that, at average, most people use more than six litres of water per wudhu. This is in stark contrast to the amount of water that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) used for his wudhu. ‘Aaisha (radhiyallahu ‘anha) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) used one mudd of water for wudhu and one saa’ for ghusal (Sunan Abi Dawood #92). One mudd amounts to approximately 1.03 litres and one saa’ is approximately 4.1 litres. In other words, we generally use more water for wudhu than Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) used for ghusal. Once Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrated the saying of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) that one mudd of water suffices for wudhu and one saa’ for ghusal. A person sitting there remarked, “It does not suffice for me.” Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) silenced him by saying: “It sufficed for him