[Al-Quran 50:6-8] Have they not looked at the heaven above them - how We structured it and adorned it and how it has no rifts? And the earth - We spread it out and cast therein firmly set mountains and made grow therein [something] of every beautiful kind, Giving insight and a reminder for every servant who turns [to Allah].

Monday, August 4, 2014

Water Disappearing Underground

The parable of the two gardens is mentioned in Chapter 18, verses 32-44. A prosperous person’s attitude of ingratitude, greed and false assumption that his prosperity will never decline is described. A surprising question posed towards the end of the parable is what if some morning the water for his gardens disappears and he is unable to find it!  

أَوْ يُصْبِحَ مَاؤُهَا غَوْرًا فَلَن تَسْتَطِيعَ لَهُ طَلَبًا 
[Pickthall 18:41] Or some morning the water thereof will be lost in the earth so that thou canst not make search for it.  

Interestingly, Surah Al-Mulk (Sovereignity, chapter 67) which begins with the words: 'Tabaraka allathee' meaning 'He who causes to grow meaningfully' i.e. from the present to a better future, also poses the same question at the very end: 
قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَصْبَحَ مَاؤُكُمْ غَوْرًا فَمَن يَأْتِيكُم بِمَاءٍ مَّعِينٍ
[Pickthall 67:30] Say: Have ye thought: If (all) your water were to disappear into the earth, who then could bring you gushing water?

Disappearing Rivers
Fresh water is undeniably a vital source of life and livelihoods. As the world worries about depletion of fresh-water sources (http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater ), one must pause and contemplate on this verse of the Quran. 

In the recent past, urbanisation, industrialisation, non-sustainable farming methods and climate-change have all contributed towards reduced or disappearing sources of fresh water. 

Lakes around the world are disappearing: http://www.rtcc.org/2012/02/29/why-are-the-worlds-lakes-disappearing/   

China estimated that it had about 50,000 rivers. A recent census revealed an alarming decline by over half the estimated number: http://www.theatlantic.com/china/archive/2013/04/28-000-rivers-disappeared-in-china-what-happened/275365/ 

Climate crisis in Tibet and China: http://www.ecobuddhism.org/bcp/all_content/3rd_pole/cctc 

Photographer Carlos Barria talks about capturing a vanishing river: http://news.yahoo.com/video/witness-chinas-disappearing-rivers-111714963.html 

Disappearing Arctic ice: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140402212601.htm 

Last updated on September 4, 2014


  1. I read somewhere that the water level in some parts of the world is rising. That too is not a good sign. As we bring changes in the way we live our lives with increasing energy needs, we have to adapt accordingly to ensure that we handle this important resource with care and planning. Prolonged droughts have happened in the time of hazrat yousuf and hazrat Omer. We know now what is going to happen in pakistan and around the world so better to plan now to avoid the crisis.

    1. Agree!
      These might also be of interest:
      Pairs of Glaciers [http://signsandscience.blogspot.com/2016/08/pairs-of-glaciers.html ]
      When the Seas Boil [http://signsandscience.blogspot.com/2014/10/when-seas-boil.html ]