Water in the Qur’an H2O, two-part hydrogen and one part oxygen also known as water, is one of the most essential elements to all life on earth. The Qur’an, the word of God in Islam, maintains that the role of water in its many forms has dual functions to both human and non-human life alike. Allah, God of humanity according to the Qur’an, is believed to be the one who in his hands rests the final decision as to which of the two mercy or wrath is sent upon life on earth through the median water.
Not only does water appear as a sustainer of life, a purifier and as a means of salvation but also in the same surah the same element is a means of restoring order, punishing the disobedient and even a way of causing death. This emphasis on duality of water in the Qur’an is not accidental and science also corroborates that it is in fact as vital as expressed in some verses and as a theme throughout the entire book. After a long day of activity and sweat, it is not hard to imagine how a cold glass of water can be considered a mercy from God.
Although the Qur’an employs mercy in many places and in many different ways, this very brief analysis only seeks to establish a relationship between mercy and water, in some of its many forms, in surat Al Baqara and only later touching up on the wrath dimension which water can also be a median in. For starters in many parts of surat Al Baqara it is evident that water serves the purpose of not only being a main source of nutrition and sustenance for all life on earth throughout their life span but also existing as a major component in all organisms themselves.
It is a source of substances for all life because in verses 2:22 and 2:164 the Qur’an explains how God, out of his mercy, gives life to animals and vegetation through rain fall or even water of the seas which also turn to running streams that supply many regions of the world water that otherwise would not have water due to their vicinity from the oceans or main water supplies. More over it is now common knowledge that science proves that animals including humans and most other organisms are made up of at least 70 percent water making it essentially impossible to have life as it is with out water.
However more clear cut evidence of this statement can be found outside of surat al baqara where God states that all living things are made from water in 21:30. Considering these verses on water functioning as an essential compound in the body and an essential component to nourish the body, it is only logical to conclude that the absences of water is fatal and the presence is a mercy considering many places in the world are far from main bodies of water and their only hope is rain to give life and purification to them and their crops.
This is further demonstrated in 2:164 when God claims that it is he who sends down rain for mankind and therefore proving that in his hands belongs the power to give sustenance which many pray for much like prophet Moses did in verse 2:60 and God out of his mercy delivered to him as he does to most others. To sum it up, God is the one who controls water and with little or none water life would be or even impossible however since God in many verses states that he is the most merciful and he provides to whom he provision to whom he wills.
Although theses are only a few there are many verses that distinguish how God uses water and its many facets to display mercy upon the world. In addition to water being a mercy from God to humanity, water also has a parallel dimension wherein rather then sustaining life, it can do exactly the opposite by taking life away or make it a living hell due to a lack or excess of it.
Which part of the duality is received is dependent upon what test or trail God has in store for the individual however its not as simple as the more the provision is given to the individual, the happier God is with them but rather, God test each individual with either more or less of some thing, which in this case happens to be water. Heavy rain has been used in a couple of places in surat Al Baqara in relationship with God power and the state of the disbeliever or believer however for our purposes in verses 19 and 264 it is evident that God portrays imagery that is meant to scare people into fearing Gods wrath.
By expressing that he, God, can punish using fierce rain and the thunder that comes with it the dual function of rain appears this time as a tool to remind living creatures that God can flood the land or cause heavy rain to destroy all of humanities properties, crops and other prized possessions including their own souls. Similarly in verse 2:50 God mercifully divided the sea and made a way for the children of Israel to salvation while simultaneously using the water to send his wrath upon pharaoh and his army by crushing and drowning them under the sea.
This theme of waters duality not only continues in other verses of surat Al Baqara but also throughout the entire Qur’an. In conclusion the Qur’an is very intelligent in utilizing such a vital resource such as water to remind readers of Gods mercy and wrath toward those who believe and disbelieve. By looking closer at the important role water plays in the body and in sustaining life by being a source of nourishment not only for animals but also for the vegetation they feed on it is clear that the presence of water is an absolute necessity and mercy from God, who controls it, since with out it life can not go on.
In contrast waters duality allows for it to be vital even when it is a means of punishment since God uses it to bring order to the world by testing, punishing or take organisms lives away using it. The duality of water is easy to spot in everyday life; possibly in your very own fruit garden or even in your fish tank, giving or taking water in each situation could mean life or death.