South Africa: Muslims Urged to Use As Little Water As Possible for Ablutions Before Prayer

Cape Town's Islamic community has been urged to save water by using as little as possible when performing mandatory ablutions before prayer.

The Muslim Judicial Council has encouraged Muslims to use a minimum amount of water for wudhu - a compulsory ablution performed before the five mandatory prayers - to assist in decreasing the city's water use.

"There are various circumstances that break the wudhu and therefore wudhu doesn't have to be performed for every prayer. In the most extreme circumstances, where water cannot be found anywhere within a certain radius, dry ablution can be made using a purified sand or dust," MJC spokesperson Mishka Daries said.

"Muslims have a responsibility toward the environment and the call for not wasting water comes from the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

"The Prophet Muhammad used about 775ml of water when performing wudhu. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is also reported to have said that one must never waste water, even on the banks of a flowing river."

Notices had always been posted at mosques, encouraging people not to waste water, even prior to the current water crisis, Daries explained.

On Sunday, more than 3 000 people gathered at Spine Road High School in Mitchells Plain for Salaatul Istisqaa (a prayer for rain).

Another is planned for February 4 at the sports field opposite the mosque in Gatesville.

According to data released on Monday, dam levels for Cape Town are at 26.3% as at January 29, down from 26.6% at January 26.

When levels drop to 13.5%, the City of Cape Town will begin to shut down its reticulation system in residential areas.

According to its Day Zero contingency plans, residents will have to queue for water at about 180 communal water collection sites across the metropole.


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