Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
Whilst sitting at my desk taking some reflection time, I came across a hadith on a pen that I received at the Al Kauthar Fiqh of Food and Clothing course from the company MADE in Europe.
The Prophet (saw) said: “The earth is green and beautiful and Allah has appointed you his stewards over it.”
When it comes to the sunnah, we all know the importance of praying, giving charity and treating each other with the correct adab (character) but do we ever reflect on what the prophet (saw) said about the environment. Bring the stewards over the Earth is a big responsibility that we should all take seriously. Yes, one day this world will come to an end when Allah swt wills it, but that doesn’t mean that we should shirk our responsibilities in light of that fact.
First and foremost, wasting food is an issue for all Muslims coming up to Ramadhan. We may not think about it at the time but while we throw perfectly edible food in the bin because we “don’t feel like eating the same thing twice” or we “want something fresh” our brothers and sisters in humanity and in the deen are suffering from hunger. In the UK in particular, the number of food banks have shot up exponentially with the introduction of new benefits sanctions and the cost of living rising beyond what most families can afford.
It is He Who has brought into being gardens, the cultivated and the wild, and date-palms, and fields with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and variegated. Eat of their fruit in season, but give (the poor) their due on harvest day. And do not waste, for God does not love the wasteful. [Quran 6:141]
Extravagence is frowned upon highly in islam and we should remember that in our every day lives. Living from within your means whether that refers to clothing or buying food is all part of being a believer. Allah swt is Ar-Rizzaq, the Sustainer and provides everything in this duniya with it’s right sustenance.
Another important lesson we can take from this quote is that we should eat what is in season. Often, fruits and veegtables that are in season will be cheaper than those that are not and have often travelled less to get to your greengrocers or supermarket shelves. Where you can you should always try to eat local to cut down on food air miles.
There is also a huge benefit to the environment and great reward in planting trees whenever you can.
“If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.” (Bukhari)
An apple tree can live for up to 100 years and various date palms can also live to the same ripe age. Can you imagine how many living things would eat from that tree in 100 years subhanAllah!
We also find from the sunnah evidence about the wasteage of water, especially when making wudu. The Prophet (saw) said that even if you are making wudu at a flowing river there is wasteage. How often do we make wudu and leave the tap running or leave water all over the floor subhanAllah. The Prophet (saw) used only a small amount of water, around 600ml to make wudu and 2000ml to make ghusl. If this amount of water was sufficient for the Messenger fo Allah swt, who are we to argue with that?
Water is one of the most precious elements in islam and giving someone a drink of water is oneof the best forms of charity. We all know the hadith about the woman who gave a dog a drink of water from her shoe. From that act of kindess alone Allah swt granted her jannah.
Kindness towards animals doesn’t just stop at providing them with water, we should think about how animals are treated before we eat them. Just because something is halal (permissible), it doesnt mean it’s tayyib (good) as I’ve discussed in a previous post.
Consuming a lot of meat is not only harmful for your body but also for the environment. The diets of the Prophet (saw) and the Sahabah were not filled with meat and extravagent foods. They had the simplest of diets and were still some of the strongest men to walk the face of this Earth, Allahu Akbar!
Making a change now to the way we treat the environment and how we move forward as an Ummah to preserve the Earth can make a difference for our children and the generations to come inshaAllah. The Prophet (saw) was the ultimate green activist and we should try to follow his sunnah in any way possible inshaAllah. It’s never too late to make a change.
Wasalaam – Peace Be With You