Ramadhan is a special season. Spiced with special greetings ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ wishing one a happy-blessed Ramadan, or ‘Ramadan Kareem’- meaning may Ramadan be generous to you. Coming in, at the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is a reflective month where Muslims refrain from food and drinks, from dawn to sunset. The daytime hours are devoted to prayer and fasting. Offering worship to Allah, as well as garnering the blessings of the month.
The month comes with a call to charity and Generosity. It is a month to give more. The deprivation, of food and drinks, help the Faithful’s resonate with the hardships faced by the poor and needy who cannot meet their necessities. It is a time to empathize with the less fortunate in society. This practice reminds Muslims, to always give to charity and the ecosystem that supports our life. It is time to think green. Be environmentally friendly, non-polluting and avoid wastage. Make a shift to a greener lifestyle- by improving the quality of life and working towards sustainable development.
Ramadan celebrations, on the other hand, witness overconsumption, massive slaughtering, and cooking. Sadly, One-fourth of the prepared food end-ups in the trash bins. In 2012, Dubai municipality estimated that in Ramadan an approximated 1850 tons of household waste was thrown away every day.
“The staggering amount of food waste in Ramadan urgently demands a strong public-focused strategy for its minimization, sustainable utilization, and eco-friendly disposal,” Jeanne Bedard.
To exercise, the bestowed stewardship on the food resource there needs to be moderate in the amount of food cooked as well as healthy eating. Food should also be served in manageable quantities.
This special observance is a sacred and one where one garners purity. It is opportune time to shun our unfriendly habits that affect our ecosystem negatively. A time to rise to the call of stewardship and create awareness on the 4R’s of refuse, reduce, recycle, and reuse, as we rethink and act positively towards our environment. The opportunity provided by Ramadan offers a model for green and responsible behaviour that addresses urgent environmental issues.
Environmental protection is an important aspect of the Islamic faith. Man has a responsibility to care for the environment, as stewards and custodians of the earth. The Holy Quran says:
“It is He who has appointed you viceroys in the earth … that He may try you in what He has given you.” (Surah 6:165)
“O children of Adam! … eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.” (Surah 7:31)
The environment regards to the human being, with everything that surrounds him, and it is illogical to separate the environment and man, as man is an integral part of it. A healthy environment is synonymous to a healthy man, and an unhealthy man neglected psychologically, mentally or physically is the greatest harm to the environment.
The opportunity provided by Ramadan, to shun the wrong habits and build on the good habits offers a model for a green and responsible behaviour that addresses the urgent environmental issues.