Working Towards a Greener Eid Al-Adha Qurbani

In Islam, there are many basic acts that are expected by devout Muslims, also known as the Five Pillars of Islam. These include declaring your faith (Shahadah), performing daily ritual prayers (Salat), paying forward charity to those in need (Zakat), fasting during the month of Ramadan (Sawm) and undertaking the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). With each of these responsibilities, Muslims can feel closer to Allah and feel satisfied that they are living a responsible and good life according to the expectations of Islam. By taking part in these acts and showing their generosity, there are certain special occasions that Muslims … Continue reading

Towards an Eco-Friendly Eidul Adha

Eidul Adha, like other religious festivals, often has a major impact on the environmental resources. Extra food, drinks and clothes are made, used and consumed which results in a major environmental footprint. The celebrations and festivity are often extravagant and cause pollution of different forms. The day starts with the special prayers whereby men, women and children gather to offer prayers. The site of praying after the ritual is often plagued by litter, rubbish and waste scattered all over the place and even blowing in the air and migrating to nearby safe heavens for unaesthetic and unhygienic accumulations. Muslims on Eid … Continue reading

Towards a Waste-Free Ramadan Iftar

In the holy month of Ramadan, Iftar or breaking of fast becomes our main attention. The Iftars are either taken at home alone or with the family and relatives or at Iftar buffets at hotels and restaurants. The other option usually for the bachelors and less privileged people are to open the fast at mosques and at community centers whereby the iftar and dinner is provided for free organized by the rich, philanthropists, charitable organizations and mosque committees. Disrespect to Food It is a common sight that at Iftar, people do not respect the food and drinks that are provided … Continue reading

Islamic Framework on Integrated Water Resources Management

The Islamic perspective on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) framework provides a holistic approach to look at the entire spectrum of water management components, i.e, water resources, uses, treatment and resue. Islam provides policies and principles that address all elements of the framework for . At the resource level, Islam teaches that the Universe and humans are created by God. And the source of water is from God, the creator, however, Islam believes in the rational and pragmatic explanations of science. The first verse in Quran is “Read” and there are many references in Quran that urge humans to think … Continue reading

The Concept of Environmental Education

Unlike traditional forms of education, Environmental Education is a holistic, lifelong learning process directed at creating responsible individuals who explore and identify environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take action effectively to improve the environment. As a result, individuals develop a deeper awareness and understanding of environmental issues and have effective skills to make informed and responsible decisions that lead to resolute the environmental challenges. Environmental Education is neither environmental advocacy nor environmental information; rather, Environmental Education is a varied and diverse field that focuses on the educational process that has to remain neutral by teaching individuals critical thinking … Continue reading

الاستدامة البيئية في الإسلام

إن المعتقدات، التقاليد والقيم الإسلامية وفرت حلول فعالة وشاملة لمواجهة العديد من التحديات البيئية الحالية التي تواجه الجنس البشري. لقد أكد الإسلام على أهمية المحافظة على البيئة وحماية الموارد الطبيعية. ووفقا لتعاليم الشريعة الإسلامية, فإن العناصر الأساسية للطبيعة – الأرض، الماء، النار، الغابات والضوء- تعود ملكيتها إلى جميع الكائنات الحية وليس فقط للجنس البشري. إن القرآن الكريم والسنة النبوية الشريفة يعتبران نبراسا في تعزيز مفهوم التنمية المستدامة في الدول الإسلامية، وكذلك في جميع أنحاء العالم. أمر الله سبحانه وتعالى البشر بتجنب إلحاق الأذى وهدر الموارد الطبيعية والذي من شأنه تدمير وتدهور البيئة. إن الله سبحانه وتعالى ميز الجنس البشري باستغلال … Continue reading

Hima: Integration of Religion and Conservation

Revisiting the earliest days of rural, pastoral- and agriculture-based societies offers thought-provoking answers to solve today’s crises. At the highest levels of international concern, Islam’s formalized system of “Hima,” or Nature Conservation, is receiving optimistic attention. One of the reasons why Hima is an interesting solution for today’s conservation needs is because it developed under a similar set of crises. Relatively speaking, the ratio of human population to accessible natural resources in the days of Moses was just as dire as today’s challenges. It is possible to recognize the development of Hima by following the early days of Prophet Moses, … Continue reading

The Islamic Discourse on Climate Change

Global ecological trends show that we face the risk of tipping points and irreversible changes in the environment and in its capacity to support and sustain human life in all its dimensions.  This state of imbalance and pollution is referred to as “fassad” in Islam which is attributed to human-made actions. Transforming society and the world’s economy to a sustainable basis presents the most significant challenge to the 21st century. It is inspiring to harness local knowledge and culture to inform sustainability. Islam as a worldview and a way of life can provide a fresh outlook to human-environmental in a … Continue reading

ترشيد الطاقة في المساجد

المسجد هو المكان الذي يستخدمه المسلمون للعبادة ولتأدية صلواتهم على مدار السنة، إضافة الى الدور المحوري الذي يلعبه في المجتمع الاسلامي. تعمل المساجد ضمن جدول زمني محدد ومرتبط بمواعيد الصلوات اليومية الخمس الممتدة على طوال اليوم، وتستغرق كل فترة صلاة من 30 الى 60 دقيقة وهي تختلف من مسجد لاخر، وقد تطول فترة بقاء المصلين في المسجد اكثر من المعتاد في بعض المواسم والصلوات مثل صلاة الجمعة وصلاة العيدين وشهر رمضان. في السنوات الأخيرة اصبحت المساجد شديدة الاستهلاك للطاقة نظرا لإستخدام مكيفات الهواء وسخانات المياه والإنارة وغيرها من الاجهزة الكهربائية. لقد تطور الشكل العمراني للمسجد نتيجة الموقع الجغرافي والبيئة والعوامل … Continue reading

Islam and Environmental Protection: A Fresh Perspective

There is an inseparable relation between the environment and our soul. It will be great if Muslims in particular and the wider world in general learn from the Holy Scriptures, like the Holy Qur’an and Hadith, to try to wage an eco-friendly jihad (noble effort) to promote environmental balance and stability. This will be the true jihad to please God and ensure easy entry to heaven, in the existing world, not to speak of the hereafter. Thus, we can taste the bliss of heaven on this planet before we chance upon the eternal paradise. Quran and Environmentalism The Holy Qur’an … Continue reading

Miswaak – The Natural Toothbrush Tree of Arabia

Miswaak is an organic toothbrush which is readily available, inexpensive, easy-to-use and inherently natural. It is can be easily adopted by Muslims as well as people from other faiths as an attractive green alternative to the modern toothbrush for maintaining oral hygiene. Miswaak or Siwak is the Arabic common name for twigs of Aarak trees (botanical name Salvadora persica). The use of the Miswaak can be traced back to the pre-Islamic times; hence, the influence of Islam on the usage and spread of Miswaak in the world is significant. Muslim Miswaak users have taken it as a device that should be … Continue reading

Environmental Initiatives in Middle East – Challenges and Remedies

Environmental protection has become an increasingly important item on the social and economic policy agenda of Middle East nations. As I read last week’s piece titled “Environmental Impacts of Plastic Bags” I was struck by the succinct summary of the main problems with the ongoing use of plastic bags and how their effects can be felt in many ways, some widely publicized and others not. The article prompted a series of reflections upon other environmental initiatives emerging in the Middle East and North Africa, especially in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. In this article, I wish to share my … Continue reading