Protection of Water resources under Shariah and International Humanitarian Law: A Comparative Study

Walusimbi Abdul Hafiz


Water has been used as a strategic target during armed conflict. Even when water facilities are not targeted they are among the first causalities of the violence as many armed conflicts continue to claim destruction and contamination of water resources.

In its wider perspective, environment has had greater concern in both IHL and Islam. By virtue of his position as Allah's vicegerent on earth, man was charged with the responsibility of preserving the environment and its constituents, not as the owner but as a trustee. Water being a basic necessity on which life of every living thing rests, man is required to preserve it and desist from any attempt that leads to its destruction or contamination. Water, as the principle element of life was mentioned Qur'an 16: 65 where it stated that “And God sends down rain from the skies, and gives therewith life to the earth after its death”. Its significance was further emphasized in Qur'an 21:30 as the beginning of life of everything.

However, despite the IHL ad Islamic provisions on preservation of water resources, water sources have continued to be a direct or indirect targets during armed conflicts. Conventional means and methods of warfare have destroyed water resources and facilities in such a way that has led to great suffering of human other living creatures.

This article illuminates the IHL and Islamic law positions on protection of water resources during the armed conflict and presents the guarantees laid down by Islamic law to protect water resources from destruction and contamination.

Technical terms: environment, Islamic law, Islamic jurisprudence, armed conflict.

DOI: 10.7176/JLPG/99-09

Publication date:July 31st 2020

Full Text: PDF
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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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