Why Build a Well for the Ummah? – The Sacred Act of Giving Water in Islam
Water is one of the most profound elements in Islam as it is considered the source of all life. In fact, did you know that the word “water” appears 63 times in the holy book of the Qur’an? However, what is so essential to our survival and well-being seems to be unattainable to a staggering 2.2 billion people on the globe.
This doesn’t seem quite right since this vital element is a blessing from Allah (swt). In a famous Hadith, our Prophet (pbuh) was asked: “Which charity is best?” He replied, “[Providing] water”.’ [Abu Dawud] – so giving water is the best possible gift we can give someone and the highest form of Sadaqah in Islam.
Water as Sadaqah Jariyah
We all know that Sadaqah Jariyah is a blessed form of charity that comes with infinite benefits for us both in this life and in the Hereafter. It is the gift that keeps on giving. The small spark from which a flame may burst. And, if giving one glass of water is still the best Sadaqah, can we imagine how many blessings we can earn by building a constant source of water for the ummah?
When you donate a water well or a water pump, you give the community a future. Since the ummah relies on water not only for drinking, but also for washing, cooking, hydrating their animals and watering their crops, your gift ensures a sustainable future for everyone in the community and for the community as a whole.
However, giving impoverished communities access to water is the best kind of Sadaqah Jariyah also because it enables the poor to fulfil their obligation to Allah (swt) and perform Wudhu.
Facilitating Wudhu (Ablution)
Let’s not forget how water plays an essential role not only in the process of physical cleansing, but also in that of spiritual purification through the performance of wudhu (ablution). So, your water Sadaqah facilitates one of the most important functions of water in Islam – that of a purifying element.
“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Whoever perfects his ablution as Allah Almighty has commanded him, the prescribed prayers will be an expiation for what occurs between them.’” (Sahih Muslim)
We learn from this hadith that perfecting our Wudhu (ablution) gives us the opportunity to be forgiven by Allah Almighty, which only reinforces the importance of doing Wudhu rightly. Your Sadaqah can give the same blessed opportunity to thousands of poor people in Pakistan.
Giving in Times of Scarcity
It is highly recommended for Muslims to give water in times of shortage. The Prophet (PBUH) was reported to have told his wife Ai’shah (RA): “The day you give water to people out of charity, and especially if it is the time when people are in dire need of water, or during the dry season when people are greatly suffering from scarcity of water, you will have the reward of one who sets a slave-girl free.” [Anonymous]
And, this is the most opportune moment! Our Pakistani ummah has been struggling with water scarcity and contaminated sources for decades; water contamination is the cause of almost 40% of all the deaths in Pakistan. This and the new global pandemic targeting the poorest people in Pakistan make sanitation and clean water paramount to people’s survival nowadays.
Would you like an opportunity for redemption? – Give Water
Among the multitude of benefits pertaining to giving water as Sadaqah Jariyah, one of them is redeeming ourselves from sin.
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, ‘A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that’. [Bukhari]
This beautiful Hadith highlights how, when you give water to any living creature, be it human or animal, you get a chance to expiate your sins.
Building Sustainable Futures
When you give clean water to a community, you help build sustainability—children can go to school instead of spending time on collecting water and adults can focus on work— which, in time, leads to a future outside poverty for the ummah.
Many communities rely on water for agriculture and growing animals, so your gift of water means these communities can provide food for their families and create an environment where micro-economies thrive without having to wait for external help.
Read the story of Abdul Qari from Rangpur, in Pakistan, to see how the installation of one water hand pump has completely changed and enriched the lives of this deprived community in Rangpur.
Giving Water to the Ummah
But giving water to our ummah has an even deeper meaning – our Prophet (pbuh) reveals it by saying: “The Muslim Ummah is like one body. If the eye is in pain, then the whole body is in pain and if the head is in pain then the whole body is in pain.” [Rasullullah]
So, how can we separate ourselves from the struggles of our brothers and sisters when Allah (swt) has made us in togetherness? Having access to water is a fundamental human right and satisfying this right is the best kind of Sadaqah.
Thanks to your generous donations, the UCI team have already given hope to ummah by installing 256 water wells and 2,864 hand water pumps across Pakistan, which have, inevitably, led to improved sanitation and better physical and mental well-being for all beneficiaries involved. Let’s continue the work together!
More Sadaqah and Zakat Ideas
We agree that giving water is the best form of charity, but it is not the only one.
At Ummah Charity International, we aim to provide equality to all Muslims in our international ummah and uplift the lives of the poor and needy in Pakistan both through immediate relief programmes and long-term sustainability projects.
So, why not check some of our other Zakat-eligible and Sadaqah projects here?