TORONTO – Muslims in Greater Toronto Area are preparing to welcome the holy month of Ramadan with an eye on worshipping and the other on protecting their environment, piloting a project called the #Waste Free Ramadan.
“We really want to be environmentally conscious, especially in the coming month of Ramadan,” Taha Ghayyur, one of campaign organizers, told Mississauga News.
“If we are fasting to develop God-consciousness, we are also ensuring that we are not damaging the world and that’s the whole idea of seeking mercy.”
In this campaign, Muslims from Peel, Halton and Toronto says no to disposable bottles from sunset to sunrise.
The pilot program was launched by TorontoMuslims, a project of DawaNet, a Mississauga-based nonprofit organization committed to community service, outreach and development, to encourage all community members not to send plastic bottles to landfills.
He said the campaign began with an initial goal of distributing 5,000 bottles through few major mosques in Peel, Halton and Toronto regions, especially in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga, but due to overwhelming response they have double the target to 10,000.
“The earth is green and beautiful and Allah has appointed you stewards over it,” reads a campaign message quoting a hadith (saying of the Prophet).
Bottles are available at local mosques such as ISNA Canada, Al Falah Masjid, Sayeda Khadija Centre, ICNA Mosque, Anatolia Islamic Centre and Cooper Masjid at a cost of $2.50 each, including taxes. People can also obtain one free of cost by making an online donation.
Moreoever, some selected mosques will distribute the bottles free of cost.
The colourful bottles are designed for people to also write their own names on it and encourage others to do the same.
The #WasteFreeRamadan campaign hopes to engage all Canadian in discussions about climate change, global warming, environmental degradation and conservation.
Ramadan is the holiest month in Islamic calendar.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.
Muslims in North America are expected to start fasting on Saturday, May 27.