US Muslims Vie for a Greener Ramadan

WASHINGTON, DC – As world marked earth day on April 22, the largest Muslim group in North America launched a new campaign urging Muslims, mosques and Islamic center to implement practices and policies that are environmentally friendly, vowing to mark a greener Ramadan this year.

“We, as Muslims, must seek to implement practices and policies that are environmentally friendly,” the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) said in a statement sent to AboutIslam.net.

“Let us live up to our role as stewards of the earth by joining the “Greening Our Ramadan” campaign again this year.”

In the campaign, coming as part of ISNA Green Initiative, the group urged mosque leaders to pledge and adopt some practices during Ramadan.

The practices include:

  • Conserve food during iftars and avoid being wasteful by giving excess food to people in need. Conserve water, especially during wudu. Follow the tradition of the Prophet (PBUH)
  • Use relatively quick degradable paper products for iftars and not at all use Styrofoam cups and plates
  • Recycle material, especially plastic water bottles
  • Replace all light bulbs with energy saver bulbs and thus conserve electricity
  • Give a khutbah on the Islamic imperative to conserve and protect the environment
US Muslims Vie for a Greener Ramadan - About Islam

The group also included several verses from the Holy Qur’an and saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which urge people to protect their environment.

  • Allah (SWT) commands us: “Eat and drink but waste not by extravagance. Certainly Allah loves not the musrifin (wasters)” (Translation 7:31).
  • “Every year consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tons) as the entire food production in sub-Saharan Africa” (UN).
  • “40% of America’s food supply ends up in a dumpster” (Washington Post).
  • Plastics take up 25-30% of our landfills.
  • In the US, 1500 plastic water bottles are used every second (One Green Planet).
  • Styrofoam contains styrene which is classified as a potential cause of cancer by the EPA. Also it takes a long time to degrade Styrofoam. Imagine if a Companion at the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used a Styrofoam cup it would not have decomposed yet.It is a well-known fact that now it takes 1 year and six months to produce non-renewable sources that we consume in 1 year. As the caretakers of this planet, as ordained by Allah (SWT), it becomes our obligation to make every effort to conserve and protect our resources. Therefore, ISNA is requesting to adopt the following practices during and Ramadan:
  • Conserve food at iftars and avoid being wasteful by giving excess food to people in need. Conserve water, especially during wudu. Follow the tradition of Prophet (PBUH)
  • Use quick degradable/paper products for iftars and not Styrofoam cups and plate
  • Recycle material, especially plastic water bottles
  • Replace all light bulbs with energy saver bulbs and thus conserve electricity
  • Give a khutbah on the Islamic imperative to conserve and protect our environment. Remember: “Command the good and forbid the wrong” (Translation 31:17).

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.

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