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Ramadan And A Plan For Our Earth

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This year a good portion of the holiest month of the Islamic calendar is during Earth month. While a lot is happening worldwide and these global events impact every individual, one needs to use Ramadan to find peace with themselves, God, and their environment. Regardless of what happens, we can not forget the continuing struggle we have on connecting to God on a deeper level and the battle of preserving the environment that is falling apart before our eyes. Earth month is a secular way to remind the people of the environment and its needs. In Islam, these are acts of worship, and we use Ramadan to enhance these acts of worship. 

Food Wastage

A significant problem in the west and ironically exacerbated during Ramadan is food wastage. Our eyes become bigger than our stomachs. The sunnah is very different; it asks us for less, not more. 

حَدَّثَنَا سُوَيْدُ بْنُ نَصْرٍ، أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ الْمُبَارَكِ، أَخْبَرَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ عَيَّاشٍ، حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو سَلَمَةَ الْحِمْصِيُّ، وَحَبِيبُ بْنُ صَالِحٍ، عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ جَابِرٍ الطَّائِيِّ، عَنْ مِقْدَامِ بْنِ مَعْدِيكَرِبَ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ مَا مَلأَ آدَمِيٌّ وِعَاءً شَرًّا مِنْ بَطْنٍ بِحَسْبِ ابْنِ آدَمَ أُكُلاَتٌ يُقِمْنَ صُلْبَهُ فَإِنْ كَانَ لاَ مَحَالَةَ فَثُلُثٌ لِطَعَامِهِ وَثُلُثٌ لِشَرَابِهِ وَثُلُثٌ لِنَفَسِهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Miqdam bin Ma’dikarib said:

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“I heard the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) saying: ‘The human does not fill any container that is worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat what will support his back. If this is not possible, then a third for food, a third for drink, and third for his breath.”

We eat till we can’t move; this impacts our Taraweeh prayers and standing before Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Ramadan is the opposite of this, and it is a time to be humble, not extravagant. Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Surah Aaraaf verse 31:

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُوا زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ

O children of Adam! Attend to your embellishments at every time of prayer, eat and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant.

We don’t want to create more than what we could consume; then the leftover is at risk to be thrown out. Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

  • It is not permissible to throw them in the dumpster concerning bread, meat, and other kinds of food. Instead, they should be given to those who need them, or they should be put in a visible place where they will not be mistreated, in the hope that someone who needs them for his animals will take them, or some animals or birds will eat them.
  • Be more vigilant in what you are cooking and how much of it.
  • Always have a plan to deal with the leftovers.

Plastic Pollution

Another problem on a global scale and one we see during Ramadan that is increased is the plastic pollution crisis. Our planet is saturated with plastics, and we governments and corporations are brainstorming ways to curb the harmful increase of plastic pollutants. Since gatherings have been restricted due to the Covid virus’s spread, we have seen fewer iftars with damaging plastic use levels. With the vaccine spreading, it is a matter of time when Masajids and centres start hosting iftars again. Not gathering as much these past two years allows us to develop a plastic alternative plan thoughtfully. Decomposable tableware is becoming a growing trend, and a habit as simple as carrying your utensils can make a difference. 

 حَدَّثَنَا زُهَيْرُ بْنُ حَرْبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا جَرِيرٌ، عَنْ سُهَيْلٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ دِينَارٍ، عَنْ أَبِي صَالِحٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ الإِيمَانُ بِضْعٌ وَسَبْعُونَ أَوْ بِضْعٌ وَسِتُّونَ شُعْبَةً فَأَفْضَلُهَا قَوْلُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَدْنَاهَا إِمَاطَةُ الأَذَى عَنِ الطَّرِيقِ وَالْحَيَاءُ شُعْبَةٌ مِنَ الإِيمَانِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace and blessings be upon him) said:

Faith has over seventy branches or over sixty branches, the most excellent of which is the declaration that there is no god but Allah, and the humblest of which is the removal of what is harmful from the path: and modesty is the branch of faith.

Simply removing the plastics from our environment prevents harmful harm from other peoples and living organisms path. 

Finally, promoting environmental awareness is an act that can benefit all of us during Ramadan and reminds us of our religious duty as custodians of this planet. the Earth is a creation of Allah. Like any creation, it has its rights. It then becomes an obligation for us as Muslims to ensure that these rights are not violated. This makes us successors of this world and the protectors (خليفة) of its rights. خليفة: a beautiful word with many meanings: Deputy, Guardian, Friend of Earth – but it all comes down to the purpose of Stewardship.

وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَكُمْ خَلَائِفَ الْأَرْضِ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَكُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ سَرِيعُ الْعِقَابِ وَإِنَّهُ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“And it is He (God) who has made you successors (khala’ifa) upon the Earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees [of rank] that He may try you through what He has given you. Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Surah Al-An’am:165]

حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ، عَنْ أَبِي سُهَيْلٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ إِذَا جَاءَ رَمَضَانُ فُتِحَتْ أَبْوَابُ الْجَنَّةِ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Messenger said,

“When Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened.” 

Ramadan is the most beautiful month, a month of worship, good deeds, family, and community. The gates of Paradise are opened; take advantage of it.

May Allah allow us to improve ourselves for His sake, to see Ramadan, and leave it Ramadan with His pleasure upon us.

Help Us End Ramadan with 1000 Supporters!

Alhamdulillah, we're at 900 supporters. Help us get to 1000 supporters before Ramadan ends. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Dardir has completed two masters in education. He is currently enrolled as a student in Mishkah pursuing a bachelors in Islamic Studies. He is working at the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) as an educational advisor. He is the founder and Chief Coordinator of the non-profit organization The Building Blocks of New Jersey whose mission is: “To aid self development, promote activism, and bolster community building”, and AJR International focusing on Muslim villages in India and Nigeria. He also consults and is a trustee at “Outreach on the Barrio” based in Houston, and Green Muslims based in Washington DC. In 2019 he published his first children’s book titled “My First Illustrated Hadith Book”.

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