Monday, March 27, 2023

Quranic Concept Of Eco-Protection: Eco-Friendly Iftar Celebration

By Grace Mubashir, New Age Islam 27 March 2023 Quran Has Pointed Toward Believers’ Moral And Spiritual Responsibility Towards Nature And The Protection Of Diversity. The Holy Qur’an Offers A Completely Integrated View Of The Universe, Where The Human Soul And The Environment, Mind, And Matter Are All Part Of One Living, Conscious Whole. ----------------------------------- Images + Kebabs (food.ndtv), Salad (health.US news), Fajitas (Today), Sandiches (Pinterest) ---- Believers should try to celebrate virtuous Iftar programs eco-friendly. Iftar is a pious ritual in Islam and the protection of nature and the environment is at the core of Islamic teachings. Iftar programs involving large-scale one-time-use-only plastics go against the grain of Islamic teachings which demands optimal utilization of resources. Across the world, some noteworthy movements are underway in this regard. Shedding plastics is the major step. Steel cutleries are easy replacement. Piety also includes responsibility toward the larger society. Along with reining in profligacy, reducing ecologically harmful conveniences are part of Islamic theology demanding positive social responsibility. Quranic Concept Of Eco-Protection In various places, Quran has pointed toward believers’ moral and spiritual responsibility towards nature and the protection of diversity. The Holy Qur’an offers a completely integrated view of the universe, where the human soul and the environment, mind, and matter are all part of one living, conscious whole. Therefore, it exhorts man to live a balanced, moderate and an eco-friendly life without causing any harm to nature. It says, for instance: “And do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.” (Qur’an, 2:60), and elsewhere: “And do not desire corruption in the land. Indeed, God does not like corruptors.” (Qur’an 28:77). Hadeeth also admonishes believers against the reckless destruction of nature. Prophet has emphasized many a times respect and moderate consumption of resources. Prophet has cautioned the faithful against extravagantly using water for ablution, even from the overflowing river. Islam considers man as representative of divine command and hence responsible for his actions. He is accounted for all his actions and thus admonish believers to lead conscientious life. The Prophet was keen on planting trees and exhorted his Companions, too, to do so. He said, “Whoever plants a tree and diligently looks after it until it matures and bears fruit is rewarded” (Source: Musnad). This saying is sufficient to apprise us of the eco-friendly nature of Islam. Planting a tree is a ‘Sadaqah Jariyah’ (continued charity) in Islam, for the poor and the rich alike. Whenever a human being or even an animal shelter under the shade of a tree or relishes a fruit that it produces, the planter will earn rewards, even after his or her death. Hussain Nasr’s works brought to prominence the ecological teachings of Islam in the modern time. His coherent views linking Islamic teachings with the developing literature in this regard gave to environmental protection a religious vigor. Sadly, in India, such an integrative approach is yet to develop. Eco-Friendly Models From Muslim Countries Besides academic guidance, many practical exhortations have been given by the faithful across the world. Iraq leads the example by strictly following green protocol during religious gatherings. Plastic waste used to clog the inland waterways. To save the natural health of water bodies, Green Pilgrim, an organization working for environmental protection, replaced plastics with reusable sacks and water bottles. They promote refill stations and contributions to environmental protection. Saudi Arabia has come forward with eco-friendly actions while ensuring physical safety. According to New Vision Plan by 2030, the government plans to completely develop holy sites with eco-friendly consumption. UAE leads the efforts through government coordination. Many Masjid committees in the west have taken lead to ensure eco-friendly Iftar celebrations. These efforts are motivated out of the conviction that nature and spiritual piety go hand in hand. In India, Muslim communities are yet to understand the gravity of the importance. It could be disproportionately attributed to a lack of environmental awareness in the developing nation. But according to religious literature, this is not a plausible excuse and the faithful and Muslim organizations should take up initiatives in this regard. Only then Muslim will be the community praised in Quran as an emulative community for all human hood. Malappuram District In Kerala Shows The Way A meeting of representatives of religious organizations chaired by Malappuram District Collector VR Premkumar prior to Ramadan called for making Iftar meetings environment-friendly. Use steel plates and glasses instead of plastic thermocol, paper and aluminum foil type glasses and plates for the distribution of food, beverages and tea at Iftar meetings, use paper cups instead of plastic cups for ice cream and salad distribution were some of the suggestions agreed upon. Use maximum steel cups, completely avoid flex plastic products for signs, notices and banners and use paper or fabric ones. Although many gaps are still evident in implementation, this is a praiseworthy initiative by the Muslim community toward their larger social and religious interests. ----- A regular columnist for, Mubashir V.P is a PhD scholar in Islamic Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia and freelance journalist. 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