UAE: Water coolers as charitable acts in Islam
As temperatures soar in the UAE, working outdoors without access to water becomes increasingly dangerous, particularly for laborers toiling under the scorching sun.
Protecting Workers from Extreme Heat
To address this concern, water coolers can be found outside many homes in residential areas across the country. In Islam, this act of installing water coolers for passersby is known as "Sabil" and is considered an ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah) or a humanitarian service. It is highly recommended in Islam, as Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) emphasized the importance of providing water to others, stating that it is among the best forms of charity.
Establishing Safety Standards
While the act of installing water coolers is noble, it is essential to establish standards and guidelines for their inspection, maintenance, installation, and operation. Ensuring the safety of water coolers is vital for public health and safety, as well as to prevent electrical accidents. Neglecting the proper care and maintenance of water coolers can lead to incidents causing injuries. To prevent such accidents, municipalities across the UAE have implemented laws, regulations, and inspection campaigns for public water coolers.
Promoting Safety Awareness
The Municipality of Al Dhafra region recently conducted an awareness campaign titled "Registering Public Water Coolers 'Sabil' in the Approved Systems." The campaign aimed to raise awareness about safety measures and precautions associated with public water coolers and protect the health and safety of the local community. During the campaign, inspections were carried out on 570 water coolers, and over 300 individuals were educated about the necessary procedures. Emphasis was placed on submitting applications for installing water coolers through the "Tamm" electronic platform to obtain the required permit. Certified operators were also highlighted to ensure effective supervision and public health standards.
Educating on Cleanliness and Sanitization
As part of the campaign, workers, individuals, and owners were educated about the risks associated with poor cleanliness and sanitization of water coolers. They were informed about the importance of adhering to approved health conditions to ensure safety and prevent hazards. By following these guidelines and regulations, the noble act of providing water to those in need can continue to serve its purpose while safeguarding the well-being of the community.
Preserving Tradition with Safety in Mind
The tradition of installing water coolers for passersby is deeply rooted in the UAE's culture, promoting generosity and kindness. However, it is crucial to strike a balance between preserving this noble act and prioritizing safety. By adhering to established guidelines, regulations, and safety measures, the UAE can sustain the tradition while ensuring the well-being of those who benefit from the provision of water. It is through these collective efforts that the act of giving water continues to exemplify compassion and contribute to the welfare of society.