اللَّهُمَّ إنَّا نسْألُكَ قُلُوباً أوَّاهَةً مُخْبِتَةً مُنِيبَةً فِي سَبيِلكَ. اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أسْألُكَ إيَماناً يُبَاشِرُ قَلْبِي، ويَقِيناً صَادِقاً حَتَّى أعْلَمَ أنَّهُ لا يُصيبُني إلا مَا كَتَبْتَ لي وَرِضاً مِنَ المَعيشَةِ بِمَا قَسَمْتَ لي
Ma’a (Water) is the resource of life, the best drink there is, and one of the pillars of existence. Rather it is the most important pillar of life, as Allah Has Created every living thing from water.
There is a difference of opinion if water is a source of nutrition for the body, or if it only helps wash down and dissolve the food. Water is a wet, cold substance that removes heat, preserves the body’s moisture, restores the moisture that the body has lost, makes the food softer and helps carry it through the blood vessels.
There are ten standards with which we test water’s freshness. First, its color should be crystal clear. Second, water should not have any odor at all. Third, water should be sweet and fresh just as the water of the Nile and Euphrates. Fourth, water should be light. Fifth, water sources should be pure and not stagnant. Sixth, water is fresher when its source is deeper or farther. Seventh, water should be exposed to the wind and the sun, not hidden under the earth. Eighth, water sources should not be stagnant and should be fast running. Ninth, water should be plentiful which helps purify whatever impurities it might carry. Tenth, water source should be running north to south or west to east.
When all these characteristics are sought together, they will all be found in four rivers, the Nile, the Euphrates, Say’haan (or Sayhoun) and Jay’haan (or Jayhoun). In the Sahihain, it is narrated that Abu Hurayrah Radi Allaho Anh related from Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam that he said:
وفى “الصحيحين” من حديث أبى هُريرة رضى الله عنه قال: قال رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “سَيْحَانُ، وجَيْحَانُ، والنِّيلُ، والفُرَاتُ، كُلٌ من أنهارِ الجنَّة”.
“Sayhaan, Jayhaan, the Nile and Euphrates are all among the rivers of Paradise”.
As for the water being light, there are three methods to verify it. First, water should easily absorb the cold and heat. Hippocrates said, “The water that becomes hot or cold easily is the lightest water”. Second method is to check the water by its weight. Third, when one wets two pieces of cotton, which are exactly the same weight, with water from two different sources, and then both pieces are dried and weighed. The one that has the lightest weight indicates the water it absorbed was the lightest. The environment that the water passes through has a profound effect on water. For instance, water sources that are located to the north are generally cooler and their water is generally thicker due to the northern wind. In addition, water that passes through mineral-rich rocks is affected by this fact.
Fresh water is beneficial for both the ill and the healthy. Cool or chilled water is the most beneficial and has the best taste. Yet, one should not drink water soon after he wakes up, after sex, taking a bath or eating fruit. There is no harm if one drinks water while eating, but not excessively. Furthermore, having a few sips of water in this case is better and does not harm the stomach but strengthens it, excites the sexual drive and quenches the thirst.
Warm water on the other hand, swells the stomach and causes the opposite effects that we mentioned regarding cold water. Old warm water is better than fresh warm water.
Cold water is better than warm water inside the body, as it cleanses the blood and clears the head. Cold water removes rot and is mild / favorable for the teeth, the mood and hot weather. Yet, cold water is not good for those suffering from colds or swellings, since such cases need heat to decompose. Very cold water harms the teeth and drinking it on a regular basis could cause bronchitis and chest pains.
Very hot and very cold waters are very harmful to the nerves, most of the limbs and body organs. One of them decomposes (hot water), while the other concentrates moistures. Warm water relieves hot mixtures, decomposes, matures and extracts excrement and brings wetness and hotness, but does not help the digestion. Then, it floats up close to the upper side of the stomach. Warm water in addition does not quench the thirst quickly, weakens the body and causes many harmful illnesses. Yet, warm water is good for old people and those suffering from epilepsy, cold headaches and Ophthalmia (inflammation of the eye).
There are no Hadith about sun heated water, nor did any of the renowned doctors of old discourage drinking it. Yet, very hot water dissolves the fat around the kidneys.
Water contained in Ice and Hail
ثبت فى “الصحيحين”: عن النبىِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه كان يدعو فى الاستفتاح وغيره: “اللَّهُمَّ اغْسِلنى من خطاياى بماءِ الثَّلْجِ والبَرَدِ“
In the Sahihain, it is narrated that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam used to say the following supplication after starting the prayer: “O Allah! Wash my sins with water (rain), snow and hail”.
Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam asked Allah to wash the sins with snow, as the heart needs the coolness and has strength. We stated before the subject of curing the ills of the heart and treating them with their opposites and neutralizers.
Snow is accumulated due to the moisture in the air. Hail water is sweeter than snow water; while the quality of melted ice water depends on its source. We should mention that the quality of the snow is affected by the area and the mountains that it falls on.
One should avoid drinking icy water after taking a bath, having sex, sports activity, eating hot foods, when coughing and having chest pains, weak liver and cool tempers.
The above Hadith tells that diseases are treated by inverse (opposite natured) medicines, & because SINS possess heat & fire, their cures are the inverse / reciprocative substances which are ice, hail & cold water. We can’t say that hot water removes dirt more efficiently (as can be seen in case of clothes washing), but cold water strengthens the human body more than the hot water.
SINS affect a human in two ways, DIRT & WEAKNESS, so it is necessary that the treatment of sins should be with a substance which cleanses the heart & vitalizes it simultaneously, that is why water, ice & hail were mentioned in the Hadith (Dua’a) above, as an indication to cure dirt & weakness by cleaning & vitalization.
ICE is no doubt cold by nature, & whoever says that it is hot, he is mistaken. He might had a doubt that the animals / insects are born in hot environment, although insects are also found inside the cold-natured fruits & even they are sometimes seen in the vinegar which is also a cold substance.
After drinking cold / iced water, there is another urge of thirst, the reason is that coldness irritates the heat (unless all of it is extinguished). Ice is harmful for the stomach & nervous system. If someone has toothache, ice is beneficial (to be kept under the teeth).
Ghayth (Rain Water)
Ghayth is mentioned in Quran at many instances. The word Ghayth is soft on the ear and delightful for the body and soul. The ears like to hear the word Ghayth, while the hearts enjoy its falling.
Rainwater is the best type of water there is and the softest, most beneficial and most blessed. This is especially the case when the rainfall is accompanied by lightning and thunder and is then collected in mountainous areas.
Rainwater is lighter than the other types of water because it is fresh and did not remain on the ground for a long time, in which case it would acquire some of the earth’s dryness and hard substances. This is why rainwater gets spoiled quickly because it is pure and light. There are two opinions regarding which is softer and lighter; rainwater that falls in the spring or winter.
Those who prefer winter rainwater say that in winter, the sun’s heat is less and it thus evaporates the softest parts of the seawater. In addition, air then would be clean and void of dust, and consequently, would not be polluted. Hence, rainwater will not dissolve any pollutants while falling, and this is why rainwater is the softest and the lightest.
Those who prefer spring rainwater say that the hot sun then evaporates heavy substances in the air and makes the air itself lighter and cleaner. In this ease, rainwater will be the lightest and the softest, at a time when the plants, the trees and the air become ready to receive rainfall.
Imam Shafe’ey narrated that Anas Bin Malik Radi Allaho Anh said, “Once, we were with Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam when the rain fell. Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam removed his outer garment (until the rain fell on him) saying:
إنَّهُ حَدِيثُ عَهْدٍ بِرَبِّه
“It has just come from its Lord.”
Water from wells and Ground water
Well water is not favorable, while underground water is heavy. This is because the first one (well water) rarely escapes rot, while underground water is not exposed to fresh air. Hence, one should not drink such types of water until exposing the water to air for at least a night. The worst type of well or underground water is that which runs through lead-rich stones and unused wells, especially if its soil is not good.
ZamZam water is the best, freshest, most beneficial, most beloved and most precious water there is. Furthermore, ZamZam water was dug up by Jibreel and the source that Prophet Ismail Alaih-ass-Salaam drank from.
وثبت فى “الصحيح”: عن النبىِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم، أنه قال لأبى ذَرٍّ وقد أقام بين الكعبة وأستارِهَا أربعينَ ما بين يومٍ وليلةٍ، ليس له طعامٌ غيرُه؛ فقال النبىُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: “إنها طَعَامُ طُعْمٍ”. وزاد غيرُ مسلم بإسناده: “وشفاءُ سُقْمٍ”. وفى “سنن ابن ماجه”: من حديث جابر بن عبد الله، عن النبىِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال: “ماءُ زَمْزَمَ لِما شُرِبَ له”
In the Sahihain, it is narrated that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said to Abu Zarr Radi Allaho Anh, who remained at the Ka’bah for forty days without food (or drink) living on ZamZam water: “It is a nutritious food”. Muslim added that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said: “And a cure from ailment”.
Furthermore, Ibn-e-Majah narrated that Jabir bin Abdullah Radi Allaho Anh related from Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam that he said:
“ZamZam water is for whatever was intended behind drinking it”.
اللَّهُمَّ إنَّ ابن أبى الموالى حدَّثنا عن محمد بن المُنْكَدِر، عن جابر رضى الله عنه، عن نبيِّك صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال: “ماءُ زمزمَ لما شُرِبَ له”، وإنِّى أشربُه لظمإ يوم القيامة.. وابن أبى الموالى ثقة، فالحديث إذاً حسن
We were told that Abdullah bin Mubarak once said, “O Allah! Ibn-al-Mawali told us that Muhammad bin Al-Munkadir related from Jabir Radi Allaho Anh that your Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said: “The water of ZamZam is for the purpose it is drunk for, and I drink it to relieve my thirst on the Day of Resurrection (Qiyamah)”. This Hadith is of the Hasan (Sound) type.
Many other people have tried drinking from ZamZam water for the purpose of being cured from various illnesses, and by the will of Allah, they were indeed cured from several illnesses. We saw some people who lived on ZamZam water for a long time, fifteen days or a little longer without complaining from hunger. Such people would perform Tawaaf with other people at a normal pace. Someone even told that ZamZam water was his only food and drink for forty days and that he still had enough strength to have sex with his wife, fast and perform Tawaaf many times.
Nile is one of the rivers of Paradise that flows from deep inside Ethiopia. It is collected from the rainfall and floods that supply it with water. Then, Allah Directs this river to flow towards dry areas, causing the vegetation on which people and animals live to grow and flourish.
The land towards which the river Nile flows is dry and does not keep rainwater that falls on it, which is insufficient to grow vegetation in anyway. On the other hand, when such a land receives more than the normal rainfall, the houses and life will be destroyed. Allah Has Caused the rain to fall on far lands and then Directed this rain to flow in a huge river in sufficient amounts that would benefit the people and animals. When the river provides enough water for farming and to grow vegetation, the water level then decreases so that the people are able to tend and harvest the vegetation. The water of Nile has the ten characteristics that we mentioned before, and this is why it is among the lightest, sweetest and freshest waters.
ثبت عن النبىِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال فى البحر: “هو الطَّهورُ ماؤُهُ الحِلُّ مَيْتَتُه”
Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said about the sea: “Its water is pure and its dead are allowed (to eat)”.
Allah Has Made the sea salty for the benefit of people and animals of the earth. Seawater is plentiful and has sufficient amounts of animals [and fish] that die but do not get buried in it. If the seawater was fresh and sweet, the animals that would die in it would make it rotten, adversely affecting the quality of the air on the earth. Allah’s Wisdom has Decided that seawater is salty, that even if the entire dead corpses produced on the earth were thrown in it, seawater would still be fresh until Allah Brings this world to its inevitable end. This is one of the reasons why seawater is salty, along with its soil and sand also being salty.
Taking a bath in seawater helps relieve many illnesses and infections that appear on the skin. Drinking seawater is harmful, it causes diarrhea, weakens the body and causes rashes, mange and thirst.
Those who have to drink seawater do so for certain medicinal purposes. In this case, seawater should be boiled in a pot that is covered by wool, which will absorb the water vapor. Then, the collected water should be squeezed out of the wool and consumed when there is sufficient amount of it. Meanwhile, the salt and the minerals will remain in the pot.
In addition, one could dig a hole near the seashore to collect the water through several parallel tunnels that would make the water fresh at the end (when it passes through them repeatedly).
If one has to drink seawater, he should first mix it with apricot pips, burning coal, Armenian argil (type of soil which is red in color), oak wood or fine wheat flour. This way, most of the minerals and mud will be collected in the bottom of the pot or the cup.