In the surge of seasonal love related posts, the following article by Arwa Abuarwa, from one of my favorite green sites, the Green Prophet, was just 'love'ly. The Green Prophet “loves to promote all things green in love and marriage“. They have published a top tips for a green Muslim wedding. Arwa shared 'how the authorities in Muslim Indonesia have taken green love one step further with new couples being required to plant a tree before they are granted their marriage permit”.
Imagine if every country in the world took eco-progressive steps like these, which are easy to implement, and revive a sunnah. The couple could make the trees symbols of their love, taking care of them as they nurture their new relationship. Sharing their love with the earth.
The Prophet said “If a Muslim plants a tree, or sows a field and men and beasts and birds eat from it, all of it is charity from him”. [Muslim]
Muslim couples in Indonesia are now required to plant two trees before receiving their marriage permit
“The policy has a noble purpose, and it is necessary to support the government's tree-planting program,” Iwan Zulhami, an official at the religious affairs office, told the BBC. The policy is only being applied to the Sumatran capital in Medan and in a number of districts on Sulawesi Island. Couples will get two seedlings when they register and the trees must then planted in the couple's home before the marriage permit is granted.
One official estimated that Medan will get at least 2,000 new trees as a result of the plan which starts in March. The initiative was announced by the religious affairs office, which is where Muslim couples intending to marry must register.
Indonesia is the largest forest nation in South-eastern Asia with an estimated 120 million hectres of rainforest. Illegal and legal logging, forest fires as well as the pressures of a growing population have all had a negative impact on their forests. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Indonesia lost an estimated 18.7 million hectares of forest every year between 2000 and 2005.
In the last couple of years, the Muslim community in Indonesia has been playing an important role in promoting environmental conservation in the region. Indonesia's Muslim scholars formed an organization called Dignifying Environment Institution in 2011 with the aim of protecting the country's forests from harmful practices causing deforestation. Certain madrasahs in Indonesia have also been lauded for their work promoting environmental awareness through Islamic teachings.
Here are some links for charities where you can plant trees in areas that need them.
- Fruit Tree Planting Foundation- which plants fruit trees in low income areas in the USA and globally.
- Plant trees in African communities for £10
- Save the rainforest: to save one acre £50, but you can donate less than than too.
- Plant an olive tree in Palestine (scroll down to the last one): £10 (not for US- apparently Interpal is banned)
- Tree for a Future- plant a tree for a dime (10 cents)