Friday, 30 July 2010

Civil Engineering & Religion : Water in Religion

بِسمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحَيْم

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works such as bridges, roads, canals, dams and buildings.

Although physicians, attorneys, economists, and many other professionals often are primary players in developing and managing water resources, engineers play a significant role in water resources management. So the management of water resources are really important including securing water for people and for food production: protecting vital ecosystems: and dealing with variability and uncertainty of water in space and time.But there are other side which is people doesnt know : The usage of water in religion.


Water has a central place in the practices and beliefs of many religions for two main reasons:

  • Firstly, water cleanses. Water washes away impurities and pollutants, it can make an object look as good as new and wipe away any signs of previous defilement.Water not only purifies objects for ritual use, but can make a person clean, externally or spiritually, ready to come into the presence of his/her focus of worship.

  • Secondly, water is a primary building block of life. Without water there is no life, yet water has the power to destroy as well as to create. We are at the mercy of water just as we are at the mercy of our God or gods. The significance of water manifests itself differently in different religions and beliefs but it is these two qualities of water that underlie its place in our cultures and faiths.



In Islam water is important for cleansing and purifying. Muslims must be ritually pure before approaching God in prayer. Some mosques have a courtyard with a pool of clear water in the centre, but in most mosques the ablutions are found outside the walls. Fountains symbolising purity are also sometimes found in mosques. In Islam ritual purity (called tahara) is required before carrying out religious duties especially salat (worship).

There are three kinds of ablutions. Firstly, ghusl, the major ablution, is the washing of the whole body in pure water, after declaring the intention to do so. Muslims are obliged to perform ghusl after sex which incurs a state of major ritual impurity. Ghusl is also recommended before the Friday prayer, the two main feasts, and before touching the Koran. Ghusl must be done for the dead before they are buried.

The second ablution is wudu, the minor ablution, which is performed to remove minor ritual impurity from everyday life. This must be done before each of the five daily prayers and involves using purewater to wash the face with pure water, rub the head with water, wash the hands and arms up to the elbows and the feet up to the ankles. This comes from the Koran 5: 7/8 "O you who believe, when you prepare for prayer, wash your faces and your hand to the elbows; rub your head and your feet to the ankles" and is elaborated on in great detail in the Sunna. Every mosque has running water forwudu.

The third type of ablution is performed when no water is available. (May refer Koran An- Nisa' 4:43). Clean earth can thus be used as a subtiture for water in exceptional circumtances. Indeed, the Prophet acknowledged the pure nature of earth when he said " The earth has been created for me as a mosque and as a means of purification".



Almost all Christian churches or sects have an initiation ritual involving the use of water. Baptism has its origins in the symbolism of the Israelites being led by Moses out of slavery in Egypt through the Red Sea and from the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan. After Jesus' resurrection he commanded his disciples to baptise in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20).

Baptism is regarded differently in different denominations within Christendom. Baptism is a symbol of liberation from the oppression of sin that separates us from God. Except for within the Catholic Church, it is believed that baptism does not in itself cleanse one from sin, but is rather a public The Baptism of Christdeclaration of a person's belief and faith in Christ and it is a sign of welcome into the Church.

The Catholic Church, however, believes that a real change occurs at baptism - it is more than just symbolism - it is at baptism that Catholics believe that the stain of original sin is actually removed from the individual.

The use of water is important for its own symbolic value in three ways: it cleanses and washes away dirt, fills everything it enters as God fills those who are immersed in Him and we need water to survive physically as we need God to survive spiritually. In the early church baptism was usually performed with the person standing in water and with water being poured over the upper part of the body. This was called 'immersion' but today the term refers to the method of dipping the whole body under water which is used, for example, by the Baptist and Orthodox churches. In most Western churches today the rite is performed by pouring water over the head three times (affusion) and sometimes sprinkling water over the head (aspersion).

Another important significance of water for Christianity is the "living water" that Jesus described himself as. John 4: 1-42 is the story of Jesus and a Samaritan woman to whom he offers living water so that she will never thirst again, in other words eternal life through him.

Holy water is water which is blessed for use in certain rites, especially that which is blessed at the Easter Vigil for baptism of catechumens. The use of water other than for baptism goes back to the 4th century in the East and the 5th century in the West. The custom of sprinkling people with water at mass began in the 9th century. At this time 'stoups', basins for holy water from which people could sprinkle themselves on entering a church, were in common use. Holy water is also used at blessings, dedications, exorcisms and burials.

Ablutions in Christianity are mainly baptism and the washing of fingers and communion vessels after the communion. This takes place in two parts. Firstly the chalice is rinsed with the wine, and then the chalice and priests' fingers with wine and water. This ablution is important because after the bread and wine has been consecrated, Christ is believed to be present.



This mind is the Buddha. I don't talk about precepts, devotions or ascetic practices such as immersing yourself in water and fire, treading a wheel of knives, eating one meal a day, or never lying down. These are fanatical, provisional teachings. Once you recognise your moving, miraculously aware nature, yours is the mind of all buddhas."

For Buddhists symbolism and ritual is pointless because they seek spiritual enlightenment that comes from seeing the reality of unreality. Bodhidharma, thought to be the first teacher of Zen Buddhism said this in the 5th Century CE:

Water does however feature in Buddhist funerals where water is poured into a bowl placed before the monks and the dead body. As it fills and pours over the edge, the monks recite "As the rains fill the rivers and overflow into the ocean, so likewise may what is given here reach the departed."



Water in Hinduism has a special place because it is believed to have spiritually cleansing powers. To Hindus all water is sacred, especially rivers, and there are seven sacred rivers, namely the Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Sarasvati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri. Although Hinduism encompasses so many different beliefs among those that most Hindus do share is the importance of striving to attain purity and avoiding pollution. This relates to both physical cleanliness and spiritual well-being.

Pilgrimage is very important to Hindus. Holy places are usually located on the banks of rivers, coasts, seashores and mountains. Sites of convergence, between land and river or two, or even better three, rivers, carry special significance and are specially sacred. Sacred rivers are thought to be a great equalizer. In the Ganges the pure are made even more pure and the impure have their pollution removed if only temporarily. In the sacred water distinctions of caste are supposed to count for nothing, as all sins fall away. Kumbhamela is a pilgrimage of Hindu devotees and is held every three years at four different places in turn - Hardwar, Nasik, Prayaga and Ujjain. These places are believed to be where drops of amrta - the nectar of immortality - fell to earth during a heavenly conflict.

The Ganges river is the most important of the sacred rivers. Its waters are used in puja (worship) and if possible a sip is given to the dying. It is believed that those who bathe in the Ganges and those who leave some part of themselves (hair, bone etc) on the left bank will attain Svarga (the paradise of Indra). The river is said to flow from the toe of Vishnu to be spread into the world through the hair of Shiva.

Funeral grounds are always located near a river. Sometimes at the funeral a small hole is drilled in an earthen pot, which is then filled with water. As the son of the deceased walks around the burning funeral pyre with the pot, dripping water forms a limiting line to prevent the soul from escaping back into the earth as a ghost. When the heat of the pyre cracks the skull of the corpse, the mourners bathe in the river and return home. On the third day after the cremation the ashes are collected and, on or after the tenth day they are cast into a holy river.

For Hindus, morning cleansing with water is a basic obligation. Tarpana is the point at which the worshipper makes a cup with his hands and pours the water back into the river reciting mantras. After sipping some water, he may then apply the distinguishing mark of his sampradaya (tradition), and say the morning prayer, samdhya. Sodhana is Hindu purification and is necessary for different reasons and at different levels. Physical purification is a part of daily ritual which may, in the case of sadhus (Hindu holy people who renounce the world seeking Brahman), be very elaborate. Sodhana is also necessary if caste rules have been broken, for example if someone drinks from the same vessel as a member of a lower caste, and before puja. Every temple has a pond near it and devotees are supposed to take a bath before entering the temple.

The story of the Great Flood of Manu appears in Hindu scriptures. This is the story of how all creation is submerged in a great deluge but Manu is rescued by a fish that he once saved from being eaten by a larger fish. The fish told him to build a large boat and to take into it seeds and animals. The fish then towed the boat to safety by anchoring it on the highest of the Himalayas. He stayed on the mountain (known as Manu's Descent) while the flood swept away all living creatures. Manu alone survived.



Shinto is Japan's indigenous religion and is based on the veneration of the kami - the innumerable deities believed to inhabit mountains, trees, rocks, springs and other natural phenomenon. Worship ofkamis, whether public or private, always begins with the all important act of purification with water. Inside the many sacred shrines troughs for ritual washing are placed. Waterfalls are held sacred and standing under them is believed to purify. Waterfalls are also used in suigyo (water austerities).

✿ Book Review: My wORst Best Friend ✿

بِسمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحَيْم


Everyone , its long time am not update this blog...
miss u a lot dear my lovely blog
The bell is ringing :) story time hahaha~
I just wanna to share a book : MY WORST BEST FRIEND
by Dyan Sheldon

Hurm... worst best friend?? actually it all about friendship :)
A warm, smart and very funny look at the friendship between two very different girls.

Here is the SUMMARY :

Gracie and Savannah are best friends – despite being totally different. Savannah is beautiful, outrageous and irresistible to the opposite sex. Gracie is shy, smart and would rather be learning about lizards than meeting boys. Together they make a great if surprising team and it seems like nothing could come between them – but Gracie begins to question Savannah's reliance on lies and manipulation to get her own way and wonders whether her friend is quite as confident as she seems. When Gracie meets a boy she really likes, and Savannah comes between them, Gracie realizes that maybe it's time she started thinking for herself. The two friends may never be as close as they were but they've learned a great deal from each other. This is a witty and very funny story about friendship, keeping your own identity and moving on.


My Worst Best Friend is an accurate depiction of high school friendships, and how they can easily fall to the wayside when a boy is involved. It's brilliantly written, and is a quick, easy read that I really enjoyed.

I never warmed to Savannah, even though I wanted to. I really didn't like her, or the way she treated Gracie -- it's just not the done thing. It's fine to get wrapped up in a new boyfriend, but leaving your best friend behind isn't something to be proud of. I couldn't help thinking that Gracie was more of a convenience friend for Savannah, and at times Gracie's dedication frustrated me. I wanted her to stand up for herself a lot sooner, and realise that Savannah wasn't all she was cracked up to be.

was too nice for her own good (like me hahaha~ perasan betul), and always helped Savannah when she suddenly called, even if it meant breaking plans of her own. I've been in this situation myself, as I'm sure many people have, and faced with it again, I'd do things differently. Some friendships are worth saving, but others aren't worth the stress. Realising that is an unpleasant revelation, but in the end it's usually the right decision.

High school is a hard place, and without your best friend by your side, it can be somewhat of a nightmare. Luckily, Gracie starts to branch out and meet new people, including a boy, Cooper, who is perfect for her. Their relationship progresses slowly but surely and, in the end, he's the much needed person she can count on.

My strong dislike of Savannah did lessen my enjoyment of this book, as clingy, demanding people tend to annoy me. However, that's just me, and If you're a fan of realism and social commentary, My Worst Best Friend is a great book to get lost in. The characters are well rounded and real, and Sheldon doesn't bypass anything for the sake of giving them a happy ending. It all about friendship..
Enjoy the reading