In Malaysia, after Pakatan Rakyat party successfully conquering Selangor state from Barisan Nasional party since 2008, they have launched a lot of initiative welfares for Selangor residents. On 13 March 2008, Selangor State Government has announced the implementation of ‘Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor’ (MES) agenda to improve living standard of Selangor residents. There are 14 agendas included in MES and one of them is free water provision for the first 20 cubic meters water domestic consumers who using individual meters in Selangor starting from June 2008. Selangor State Government offers first 20 cubic meters water which equivalent to 20,000 liters or 5.680 gallons per month for free. This benefit is for all Selangor people regardless of their economy status, race or political affiliation.
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Other than that, the main objective of this welfare is to reduce the burden life especially for low-income groups as a result cost of living and the inflation rates are continue to increase. At the same time, it is of the holistic and integrated components to restructuring water management in order to provide more efficient and effective service. Through this program, Selangor State Government bear the average cost of rebate RM 11.00 per month for each user. Then, the record payment by the Selangor State Government is stated in bill received by each user from SYABAS (Selangor Water Supply Company).
Besides that, 20 cubic meters of free water supply is only eligible for domestic consumers who use individual meters. For domestic users who use bulk meters in condominiums and apartments, they need to change to individual meters to enjoy this free water. Change of bulk meters to individual meters is subject to the conditions set by SYABAS. As the result, currently more than one million people who use individual meters enjoy it especially low cost apartment dwellers. Until July 2012, over RM 6 million was spent on free water to residents of low-cost apartments through Safwa Scheme (Free Water Rebate Scheme). According to Housing and Property Selangor Board (LPHS) report, 92% or 58, 049 units already received. While the remaining 8% or 6, 666 units failed to implement the rebate claim due to labor shortages in Joint Management Body (JMB).
This positive action shows the government’s responsibility toward public welfare. In Islam, this is a good example because the leader should take care of their people. However, some consider this program involves high costs and will affect the allocation of funds provided by the Government of Malaysia to Selangor state. In Islam, the leader should manage the public properties to avoid waste for not so important activities. Therefore, a comprehensive study and analysis are needed to ensure that the program is consistent with Islamic law.
2. WATER ACCESIBILITY ANALYSIS
2.1 THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER IN ISLAM
Historically, all ancient civilizations in the world began in area that has water resources such as river or seashore. For instance, Mesopotamia civilization began at Euphrates and Tigris River, China civilization began at Huang He River and India civilization began at Indus River. This fact shows that they are really rely on water in their daily life. Water from the river is used to irrigate agricultural areas, cooking, bathing and others. Based on Al-Mu’jam Al-Mufahras book, water or ‘al-ma” in Arabic was mentioned 63 times in the Al-Quran.
According to Naser I. Faruqui, water is very importance in Islam. It is a blessing from Allah that gives and sustains life, and purifies humankind and the earth. It is based on Allah words in verse 65 of Surah Al-Nahl: “And Allah sends down water from above, and therewith gives life to the earth after its death. Surely there is a sign in this for a people who listen”. Besides that, Allah said all beings is made from water. According to the research, the earth is covered with 3/4 water and the human body contained of 3/4 water. In verse 30 of Surah Al-Anbiya: “Do not those who disbelieve see that the heavens and the earth were closed up, so We rent them. And We made from water everything living. Will they not then believe?”.
Due to water is very important resource for every people regardless rich or poor, Islam declared that everyone has the right to a fair share of water consumption. This claim is emphasized by the hadith reported by Abu Dawud that Rasulullah said “Muslims have common share in three things: grass (pasture), water and fire (fuel)”. In addition, the Prophet forbids Muslims hoarding the excess water and he is obliged to allow others to use it. The Prophet stated: “Among the three people Allah will ignore on the Day of Resurrection are a man who possessed superfluous water on a way and he withheld it from the travellers.” This hadith was narrated by Al-Bukhari.
Tigris-Euphrates River in Egypt and Huang He River in China use for irrigation
2.2 TYPES OF WATER IN ISLAM
In Islam, water is essential for the Muslims to purify themselves such as perform ablution (wudhu’) before the prayer and perform obligatory bath (ghusl) after having sexual intercourse. One of the conditions, these actions is necessary to use pure water to make it valid. Thus, the absence of clean water will make it difficult for Muslims to manage their daily life and to worship to Allah SWT. In reality, there are different types of water in this world and not all water is suitable for human. Basically, the water covers around 70% of the earth and it is very exposed to other elements that can change its original condition. Thus, this requires human wisdom to determine whether the water can be used or not. In Fiqh Taharah or Islamic Hygienically Jurisprudence, Islam has divided water into three main parts which pure water and can purify other things (tahur), pure water but can’t purify other things (tahir), and water containing dirt which not pure and can’t purify other things (mutanajjis).
First major category is pure water and can purify other things (tahur). This water can be divided deeper into ‘mutlaq’ water and ‘musyammas’ water. For ‘mutlaq’ water, it remains with the original nature of its occurrence have been made by Allah. It is water that has not been mixed with dirt, water reservoir that is more than two tanks no longer used and not mixed with other substances. In addition, the water is still ‘mutlaq’ water even thought it has changed due to abandoned for long period in soil, moss and stagnant areas. In addition, if the water continuously flowing but contain sulfur it still categorized as ‘mutlaq’ water. This is due to water is in liquid condition and difficult to differentiate it. For two tanks measurement, the length and the width is 60 centimeter or 22.5 inches respectively with depth 62.5centimeter or 25 inches. If the two tanks measurement is converted into the weight measurement, it equals to 174 liters or 190 kilogram or 11 kerosene cans.
Besides that, there are eight types of water including in the ‘mutlaq’ water which are river water, well water, rain water, dew water, sea water, snow water, spring water and tap water. The Prophet Muhammad also ordered to use ‘mutlaq’ water to clean the dirt. This evidence is based on Abu Hurairah narration: “a Bedouin stood up and peed in the mosque, so his friends prevent it. Upon this Rasulullah said, leave him and pour a container of water over the urine. Indeed, you are asked to facilitate not troublesome”. Then, according to Sheikh Abu Abdullah Husayn Nasir bin Muhammad Taib in his As-Subyan Hidayatul book :”Not valid the purification unless water come from common ‘qaid’ such as sugar cane, sugar, soap and such, and water from the sky such as rain and dew or water coming out of the earth such as sea water, river water and well water”.
On the other hand, ‘musyammas’ water is quite different compare to ‘mutlaq’ water. In Al-Badrain Matla book written by Sheikh Abdul Al-Fatani Faqir Muhammad Bin Ismail Daud Al-Fatani stated: “‘Musyammas’ water is also pure water and can purify other things but abominable (makruh) to use it on the body. It afraid contributes to hairpiece disease when people used it. The position is permanent in a container and heated by sunlight in hot climate states”. This matter very seriously considered by Rasulullah as in a story narrated by Baihaqi: “From Saiditina Aishah indeed she is heating the water under sunlight, and Rasuluhlah SAW had said to her: do not do that O Aishah because the water can cause hairpiece disease.” Literally, ‘makruh’ means dislike, blamed and displeasing. It refers to leave anything not demanded by Allah but not prohibited to do it. Acts which are ‘makruh’ are definitely discouraged but the evidence to prove they are forbidden is less strong. Thus, the commission of ‘makruh’ acts is not blamed but its omission is preferable.
Second major category is pure water but can’t purify other things (tahir). This water can be divided more into ‘musta’mal’ water and ‘muqayyad’ water. For ‘musta’mal’ water, the water is able to drink but not applicable for cleansing. According to Ibn Akhil in his book entitled Al-Mutaalim Zadul: “‘Musta’mal’ water is less than two tank that has been used for impurities such as has been used in ablution and bath or water that has been used in remove the dirt. After that, it is not valid to purify other things”. Besides that, water from trees, fruits and roots also considered as ‘musta’mal’ water. Then, all water can change by two ways which are changing by ‘taqdiri’ and changing by ‘hissi’. Changing by ‘taqdiri’ means the water only change on ‘taqdir’ (stipulation) and the changes can’t be seen. So, ‘musta’mal’ water is under changing by ‘taqdiri’ However, changing by ‘hissi’ means the changes that can be seen. ‘Mutlaq’ water is under changing by ‘hissi’. In addition, Syeikh Faqih Dr. Wahbah Al-Zuhaili argued that the amount of water also affect water quality. For example is ‘musta’mal’ water become ‘mutlaq’ water if the quantity more than 2 tank or 270 liter.
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Dew water, river water and snow water are some sources that can be used for ‘mutlaq’ water
Next, water is mixed by two ways. First way is through ‘mujawir’. This means the water changes because there is something that can be separated from the water. For example, a person put a stick in a pail to stir the water in the pail. Then, the stick can be pulled out from the pail. Then the water is still regarded as pure water. Second way is through ‘mukhalit’. This means the water changes because there is something that unable separated from the water. For instance, a person put the fruit flavor in a pail of water. It is impossible to separate fruit flavor and water to their original condition. Then the water no longer exists as pure water as has changes to ‘musta’mal’ water.
In contrast, ‘muqayyad’ water is water that is mixed with something pure that changing one of the characteristics. For instance are coffee water, sugarcane juice and soap. In Islamic view, parameters for water quality are based on the chemical and physical characteristics of smell, taste, color and temperature. Then, ‘qayyad’ on water is divided into ‘qayyad lazim’ and ‘qayyad musfaq’. For ‘qayyad lazim’, it means substances attached together until it absolutely different from pure water such as coffee and honey. Although pure, it still can’t be used for purification because already mixed with variations of water. However, for ‘qayyad musfaq’, it means substances detached among each other and not affect pure water such as rain water and well water. Thus, the water is still cited as pure water.
Third major category is water containing dirt which not pure and can’t purify other things (mutanajjis). There are three main conditions regarding to ‘mutanajjis’ water which unable for purification. First condition is water containing less than two tanks even though the water does not change color, smell and taste. Second condition is water containing more than two tanks but has changes color, odor and taste due to the dirt. Third condition is water is mixing with clean substances but has the color, smell and taste. In terms of language, dirt is defined as dirty things such as blood, urine and feces. In terms of syara’, dirt is defined as all the impurities that prevent validity for pray.
There are three types of dirt according to their hierarchy and all the dirt must be purified using ‘mutlaq’ or pure water. The lightest dirt is ‘mukhaffafah’. It is the urine of baby boy who only eat breast milk and less than two years old. The cleansing methods are by wash and wipe the urine before sprinkle the pure water on the place. The moderate dirt is ‘mutawasittah’. It is including blood, pus, vomit, saliva, alcohol and others. The cleansing methods are washing until lost any nature color, smell and taste before cleanse by pure water. The heaviest dirt is ‘mughallazah’. It is the dirt relate to dog and pig. The cleansing methods are by wash once by soil water. Then, continue washing by using pure water for six times until loss any nature color, smell and taste. If still not gone, repeat the washing method.
2.3 THE WATER MANAGEMENT IN MUSLIM COUNTRIES
In December 1998, the Workshop on Water Resources Management in the Islamic World was held in Amman, Jordan. One of the discussions is implementation approaches for water demand management (WDM) within the context of Islam. The approaches are water conservation and wastewater reuse.
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In water conservation approach, they argued supply of water is fixed. Thus, water management is needed to ensure the amount water supply is enough with the amount of water used. This opinion can be approved in verse 18 of Surah Al-Mukminun: “And We send down water from the sky according to certain measure, and We cause it to soak in the soil; and We certainly are able to drain it off (with ease)”. Human can use water in moderate way and not consume beyond the limit. If extravagant exist, Allah has right to take back His blessings. The Prophet also taught human to consume efficiently. According to Al-Bukhari: “The Prophet Mohammad used to perform ablution with one mudd of water [equal to 2/3 litres] and used to take a bath with one sa’ up to five mudds [equal to 2-3 1/2 litres].”
Currently, this water conservation approach shows positive impact when the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a health education program through mosques. The program included training imams on proper health practices, water conservation, water saving, proper sanitation and hygiene in the prevention of diseases. In addition, the imams then gave sermons about water conservation during the congregational Friday prayer.
For wastewater reuse approach, they argued water should not be wasted. Thus, water should be used for beneficial purposes and use it in effective and efficient way. In verse 31 of Surah Al-A’raf: “O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters”. From this verse, Allah hate people who are wasteful in eat and drink. Normally, individual drinking water every day in their life because thirsty. However, if some people deliberately waste the water, others people might not able to drink sufficient of water.
Reusing wastewater is an essential component of a demand management strategy because it conserves freshwater for the highest-value uses. In 1978, the Council of Leading Islamic Scholars (CLIS) in Saudi Arabia concluded in a special fatwa in 1978 that treated wastewater can be used even for ablution and drinking as soon as absence of health risk. This fatwa was concluded based on detailed study by scientists and engineers toward waste water condition and its short-term and long-term effects toward human health.
Saudi Arabia Wastewater Treatment Plant at Riyadh and Al Hail
Both water conservation approach and wastewater reuse approach was introduced before are classified as non-economic approach. However, in a book entitled ‘Water Management in Islam’, one economic approach which called family planning was added. Basically, family planning not directly reducing the average water consumption. However, it helps for further reductions in overall availability of water per capita. By family planning, the government can predict future reduction of water consumption as size of members per family smaller. When future result is known, it facilitates the government to provide systematic long-term planning in order to overcome future problems.
However, the problem is family planning or contraception is new in Islam. During Prophet Muhammad era, most Muslims have big family members because it didn’t have birth control regulations. Therefore, based on this situation, a few Islamic scholars believe that birth control is not allowable in Islam. Still, some others scholar said it is no strong evidence in Islam to support a ban on family planning. Moreover, they contend although the religion encourages having children, it is not obligatory. Finally, the contemporary jurists agreed that family planning is allowable in Islam with a few conditions must be followed. First, it is only permissible for married couple man and woman. Second, it should have the mutual consent of the couple and thirdly, the chosen method must truly controllable.
As conclusion, three approaches stated before will provide some alternatives for Islamic countries to choose the possible method for their water management. The holistic assessment should be implemented according to advantages and disadvantages of each approach. For water conservation, the advantage it is not very large cost but the disadvantage may no full commitment from society. For wastewater reuse, the advantage it is able for countries which doesn’t have abundant water sources but the disadvantage it covers very high cost for building plants and continuous treatment process. For family planning, the advantage it is the government able to predict future water usage but the disadvantage it will reduces number of Muslims population in that country.