Category Archives: Our Articles

Conscientious (Green) Hajj

The annual pilgrimage of Hajj to Makkah, Saudi Arabia, is no small event. With around 2 million people (numbers varying from year to year) in attendance from across the globe, it is very easy for the essence of spirituality, connection and contemplation to get lost in the rush of the masses. In the throngs of crowds, food is eaten, business thrives, water and electricity is used, waste is generated, and spaces to breathe and think are few. Our lives are constantly overshadowed by the news and experiences of traumatic natural and man-made disasters. Political upheavals and social ills make for a depressing nature of affairs. The need for the pilgrim in these times to conscientiously and holistically experience the Hajj physically, spiritually and morally cannot be over-emphasised.

So how to have a more conscientious and greener Hajj? Insha’Allah over the next few days Green Deen South Africa will be sharing a few simple ways to be more conscientious on your Hajj pilgrimage. If you are not going this year, please share these messages with other pilgrims, and may Allah SWT bless us all with the oppurtunity to perform Hajj soon, Āmīn.

 

 


Dr Husna Ahmad writes in the “The Green Guide for Hajj” [published by Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) , September 2011]:

As you are about to embark on the Hajj, the journey of a lifetime, all kinds of emotions and thoughts will be running through your mind. Why is the Hajj so important? For many it is the culmination of years of spiritual development, for others it is the opportunity to complete a fundamental duty as a Muslim. ||

Being on Hajj enables greater alignment with our physical, spiritual and moral being. From the moment we make our intention (niyyah) to perform the Hajj our actions need to reflect on our connection with Allah through our prayers and how we treat other human beings and nature. If we do not take care our world, who will? Every Muslim has a duty to care for their environment, for the world around them and for animal and plant life. What better time to begin this duty and commitment than when you are about to commence your most beautiful spiritual journey? ||

This will be your chance to contemplate, to connect, to spend time on meditation and prayer; it is a time for patience and thoughtfulness towards other pilgrims. It is a time to understand your place in relation, not to your immediate family or your status in society, but your place in relation to the Universe. We are just small players in Allah’s plan; we are insignificant and small and yet Allah has placed humankind in the highest position in comparison to all His creation.

The Green Guide for Hajj  by Dr H. Ahmed provides the pilgrim with simple instructions on how to implement a green Hajj. The Hajj experience can be improved by taking into account the environment around, and on the simple decisions you make.  Download the guide at http://www.arcworld.org/downloads/Green_Guide_for_Hajj.pdf (external link),


“It is to Allah that everything in the heavens and earth submits, every creature that moves, even the angels – they are free from arrogance.” Quran (16:49)

 


“It is He (Allah) who made you the Khalaaifa (vicegerents, deputies, custodians, successors) of the Earth and raised some of you in ranks over others, so that He may test you in what He has given you. Surely, your Lord is swift in punishing, and surely He is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.” Quran (6:165)


“Wal-‘Asr (By time),
Indeed, mankind is in loss,
except for those who believe, do good deeds, urge one another to the truth, and urge one another to steadfastness (patience).” Quran (103:1-3)

 


 

“In the creation of the heavens and earth; in the alternation of night and day; in the ships that sail the seas carrying that which benefits people; in the water which Allah sends down from the sky to give life to the earth when it has been barren; in every creature He (Allah) has scattered on it (earth); in the changing of the winds and clouds that run their appointed courses between the sky and earth: there are āyāt (signs, evidences) in all these for those who use their minds.” Quran (2:164)

 


“We (Allah) showed Ibrāhīm (Abraham) the site of the House (of Allah i.e. Ka’bah), saying, ‘Do not associate partners to Me. Purify My House for those who make Tawāf (circumambulation around it), and those who perform Qiyām (standing up in worship) and those who perform Rukū‘ (bowing down) and Sujūd (prostration). And announce to all people about (the obligation of) Hajj, so that they will come to you on foot and on every kind of swift mount, emerging from every deep mountain pass’.” Quran (22:26-27)


Narrated Abu Huraira (رضي الله عنه ):

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “While a man was walking he felt thirsty and went down a well and drank water from it. On coming out of it, he saw a dog panting and eating mud because of excessive thirst. The man said, ‘This (dog) is suffering from the same problem as that of mine. So he (went down the well), filled his shoe with water, caught hold of it with his teeth and climbed up and watered the dog. Allah thanked him for his (good) deed and forgave him.”

The people asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Is there a reward for us in serving (the) animals?” He replied, “Yes, there is a reward for serving any living being.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 2363)


 

Abu Barza al-Aslami (رضي الله عنه) said, “I said, ‘Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), show me an action by which I will enter Jannah (paradise)!’ He (ﷺ) said, ‘Remove harmful things from people’s pathways’.” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 228, graded Sahih by Al-Albani)

“Give relatives their due, and the needy, and the travellers. And do not squander your wealth wastefully. Indeed, those who squander are the brothers of Satan, and Satan is most ungrateful to his Lord.” Quran (17:26-27)

“Then eat of what Allah has provided for you (which is) Halāl (lawful) and Tayyib (good). And be grateful for the favor of Allah, if it is (indeed) Him that you worship.” Quran (16:114)
 
“Oh Children of Adam, wear your good clothes to every place of worship, and eat and drink, but do not commit ‘Isrāf’ (do not be excessive), because Allah does not love those
who commit ‘Isrāf’ (are excessive).” Quran (7:31)

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr (رضي الله عنه) that: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) passed by Sa’d (رضي الله عنه) when he was performing wudhu (ablution), and He (ﷺ) said: ‘What is this extravagance?‘ Sa’d (رضي الله عنه) said: ‘Can there be any extravagance in wudhu?‘ He (ﷺ) said: ‘Yes, even if you are on the bank of a flowing river.’ (Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol 1, Book 1, Hadith 425)

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) used water sparingly, even when making ghusl (bath) and wudhu (ablution). He (ﷺ) used to take ghusl with one Sa` (± 3ℓ, 4 Mudd) up to five Mudd (± 3.75ℓ) of water and used to perform wudhu (ablution) with one Mudd (± 750mℓ) of water. (Sahih Bukhari 201).

 


 

 ”The servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk on the earth humbly, and when the ignorant people speak to them (with bad words), they reply peacefully”. Quran (25:63)

 

It was narrated that Safiyyah bint Shaibah said:
“I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) delivering a sermon in the Year of the Conquest (of Makkah), and he said: ‘O people, Allah made Makkah sacred the day He created the heavens and the earth, and it is sacred until the Day of Resurrection. Its trees are not to be cut, its game is not to be disturbed, and its lost property is not to be taken except by one who will announce it.’ Abbas said: ‘Except for Idhkhir (a kind of fragrant grass), for it is (used) for houses and graves.’ The messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Except for Idhkhir’.”
Sunan Ibn Majah, Book 25, Hadith 3228, Hasan (Darussalam)

 

Green Verses, Ramadan 2016 – Prophets, Nature, Quran

Our #GDRamadan series for 2016 focused on aspects of nature that feature in the stories of our Prophets (Peace be upon them). From animals to trees, miracles to punishments, inshaAllah you will find this journey through the Quran a naturally blessed one! May Allah SWT give us the ability to draw closer to the Sunnah of the Prophets, especially the sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace be upon him), in all aspects of our lives, aameen.

For those who would like to print this series as flashcards for their children, please feel free to do so. Print only when needed, and only laminate if you are certain you would like to use the series for a long, long time. Plastic takes centuries to decompose.

The series can be downloaded in two parts as pdf documents:

– Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, portrait orientated graphics

– Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, landscape orientated graphics

For teachers in particular, extra text (hashtags and contact details) have been removed from the posters. These edited documents can be downloaded in two parts as pdf documents:

– Text minimalised: Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, portrait orientated graphics

– Text minimalised: Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, landscape orientated graphics

#ProphetsNatureQuran #Ramadan2016 #Ramadan1437 #GreenVerses

If you are having issues downloading the series, please drop an email to schools@greendeensa.org or research@greendeensa.org, and we will email them through to you, Insha’Allah.

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 0, Introduction

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 0, Introduction

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 1, Prophet Adam AS and his creation from clay

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 1, Prophet Adam AS and his creation from clay

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 2, Prophet Adam AS and Hawwa (Eve) AS's first abode was the gardens of Paradise

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 2, Prophet Adam AS and Hawwa (Eve) AS’s first abode was the gardens of Paradise

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 3, Habil, Qabil, the crows, and the first burial on earth

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 3, Habil, Qabil, the crows, and the first burial on earth

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 4, Prophet Nuh AS and the massive flood

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 4, Prophet Nuh AS and the massive flood

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 5, Prophet Nuh AS, the animals, and the ark

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 5, Prophet Nuh AS, the animals, and the ark

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 6, Prophet Hud AS, the people of Aad, and the roaring, wind storm

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 6, Prophet Hud AS, the people of Aad, and the roaring, wind storm

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 7, Prophet Salih AS, the people of Thamud, and the she-camel

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 7, Prophet Salih AS, the people of Thamud, and the she-camel

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 8, Prophet Ibrahim AS and observing the sun, moon and stars

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 8, Prophet Ibrahim AS and observing the sun, moon and stars

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 9, Prophet Ibrahim AS and being thrown into the huge fire

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 9, Prophet Ibrahim AS and being thrown into the huge fire

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 10, Prophet Ibrahim AS, Prophet Ismail AS, and the ram

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 10, Prophet Ibrahim AS, Prophet Ismail AS, and the ram

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 11, Prophet Yusuf AS, the well, and the wolf

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 11, Prophet Yusuf AS, the well, and the wolf

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 12, Prophet Yusuf AS, the dream, and the agricultural-financial affairs of Eqypt

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 12, Prophet Yusuf AS, the dream, and the agricultural-financial affairs of Eqypt

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 13, Prophet Shuaib AS, the people of Madyan, cheating, and causing corruption on the earth

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 13, Prophet Shuaib AS, the people of Madyan, cheating, and causing corruption on the earth

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 14, Prophet Musa AS, the chest, and the river Nile

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 14, Prophet Musa AS, the chest, and the river Nile

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 15, Prophet Musa AS and helping the two sisters at the watering hole

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 15, Prophet Musa AS and helping the two sisters at the watering hole

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 16, Prophet Musa AS and the series of punishments

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 16, Prophet Musa AS and the series of punishments

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 17, Prophet Musa AS, striking the rock, and the twelve streams

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 17, Prophet Musa AS, striking the rock, and the twelve streams

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 18, Prophet Shamweel AS, King Talut, and the test of not drinking too much water

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 18, Prophet Shamweel AS, King Talut, and the test of not drinking too much water

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 19, Prophet Dawud AS, and praising and glorifying Allah SWT with the mountains and birds

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 19, Prophet Dawud AS, and praising and glorifying Allah SWT with the mountains and birds

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 20, Prophet Dawud AS, Prophet Sulaiman AS, and the case of the livestock and crops

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 20, Prophet Dawud AS, Prophet Sulaiman AS, and the case of the livestock and crops

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 21, Prophet Sulaiman AS, his marching armies, and the ants

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 21, Prophet Sulaiman AS, his marching armies, and the ants

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 22, Prophet Sulaiman AS, Queen Bilqis and the hoopoe bird

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 22, Prophet Sulaiman AS, Queen Bilqis and the hoopoe bird

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 23, Prophet Yunus AS and the big fish

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 23, Prophet Yunus AS and the big fish

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 24, Prophet Ayyub AS and the healing waters

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 24, Prophet Ayyub AS and the healing waters

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 25, Prophet Uzair AS, the long sleep, the preserved fruit, and the resurrected donkey

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 25, Prophet Uzair AS, the long sleep, the preserved fruit, and the resurrected donkey

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 26, Prophet Zakariya AS, Prophet Maryam AS, and the fresh fruits from Allah SWT

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 26, Prophet Zakariya AS, Prophet Maryam AS, and the fresh fruits from Allah SWT

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 27, Maryam AS and the birth of Prophet Isa AS under a palm tree and next to a stream

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 27, Maryam AS and the birth of Prophet Isa AS under a palm tree and next to a stream

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 28, Prophet Muhammad SAW, the first revelation of Quran, and the cave of Hira

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 28, Prophet Muhammad SAW, the first revelation of Quran, and the cave of Hira

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 29, Prophet Muhammad SAW, and the cutting and burning of the orchards of the Banu Nadir

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 29, Prophet Muhammad SAW, and the cutting and burning of the orchards of the Banu Nadir

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 30, Prophet Muhammad SAW and The Pledge of Ridwan under the acacia tree

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 30, Prophet Muhammad SAW and The Pledge of Ridwan under the acacia tree

 

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 31, Khaleefatul Aard, Caretakers of the Earth

Prophets Nature and Quran, Green Deen South Africa, 31, Khaleefatul Aard, Caretakers of the Earth

Green Verses, Ramadan 2015 – A verse per Juz/Para

Our first #GDRamadan Quran series from last year (2015) focused on bringing you a green, ecological verse from each juz/para every day. We have collated them below for you to have a refreshing read!

May Allah SWT make us of those who recognise, understand and appreciate all of His aayaah – in the Quran, within ourselves and in the universe around us. Aameen.

#greenverses #GDRamadan #Ramadan2015 #Ramadan1436


 

Quran, ch2, v11

Juz 1: Do not cause mischief on this earth… #greenverses #quran #GDRamadan #greenramadan

 

Quran, ch2, v164

Juz 2: Signs for people of understanding…

 

Quran, ch2, v261

Juz 3: Allah SWT draws a beautiful comparison between how much we spend in His way (i.e. on the poor and needy, on our relatives, on our friends, etc) and the reward we will receive in return, with how one single seed sown gives a multiplied produce of 700 times more seed. May Allah SWT accept all our acts of goodness we do and reward us many, more times over in return, Aameen.

 

Quran, ch3, v190-191

Juz 4: A true #greendeen favourite! And inshaAllah appropriate to all who read our posts!

 

Quran, ch4, v43

Juz 5: So, if we pollute all our waters and dirty the earth with our waste…how will we pray?

 

Quran, ch5, v31

Juz 6: The first burial of our modern human species was taught to us by Allah SWT through a crow! The first murder was committed by Qabil – one of the sons of Adam (AS). Qabil (Cain) was upset that he’s other brother Habil (Abel) got to marry he’s prettier twin sister while he had to marry Habil’s less prettier twin. Angry and resentful, Qabil struck Habil and killed him. Afterwards, Qabil felt ashamed of having murdered his brother and did not know what to do with the body. Allah SWT sent down a pair of crows (medium sized black birds) who fought with each other. The one killed the other and scratched a hole in the earth in which he buried the dead bird and covered it was sand. Qabil followed this example and buried his brother. May Allah SWT never make us of those who kill unjustly, Aameen.

 

Quran, ch6, v59

Juz 7: Allah SWT is the All Knowing, the All Aware…

 

Quran, ch7, v40

Juz 8: Stern warning – do not abuse the aayaat of Allah SWT! Aayaat in our Quraan, aayaat within us, aayaat in the world around us!

 

Quran, ch7, v100

Juz 9: May Allah SWT never make us of those who are abusers of our inheritance, that is, the earth and all that it contains. May our Sustainer never make us of those who spoil this inheritance that we will InshaAllah pass on to the following generations of mankind. And may our Creator never make us of those who are deaf to the beauty and power of His wonderous creations that surrounds us and continously gives joy to our hearts!

 

Quran, ch9, v89

Juz 10: Allah SWT has chosen the best and final destination for us in the hereafter to be “gardens beneath which rivers flow”. SubhanAllah. Do we take the time out of our busy days to take a deep breath in the gardens of this earth? Are we rejuvenating ourselves by sitting and contemplating as we see rivers flow by to be better human beings in the service of our creator? Can we truly even begin to imagine our Jannah if we don’t appreciate and understand the creations of our Creator? May Allah SWT be pleased with our actions in the service of Him and His creations, and may He bless us all with a place in the gardens of paradise.

 

Quran, ch10,v6

Juz 11: Signs that are all around us…

 

Quran, ch11, v6

Juz 12: Allah SWT has taken it upon Himself to provide sustenance (rizq) to all creatures in the lands, skies and waters, with this rizq being more for some than for others…

 

Quran, ch13, v3

Juz 13: Mountains, rivers and earth

 

Quran, ch16, v79

Juz 14: Birds in the sky are a sign of Allah SWT!

 

Quran, ch17, v43

Juz 15: We often forget that everything is in constant glorification of our Creator. The animate consciously glorifies Allah SWT. The inanimate glorifies Allah SWT by simply being the evidence of the true magnificence of Allah, the exalted. Sadly, we humans are “deaf” to this constant glorification of our Creator. The question we need to ask ourselves is…are we truly respecting our Creator by abusing that which glorifies Him? How would you feel if someone hurt the person who always said good things about you? Or how would you feel if someone threw dirt on the trophy that shows you were the best in academics or sports? May Allah SWT forgive us and give us the ability to “hear” and understand how the entire universe is in constant glorification of Him! Aameen.

 

Quran, ch20, v49-50

Juz 16: When Allah SWT draws our attention to Him in the Quraan, or when the Prophets (AS) of the past remind their people of Allah SWT, it is frequently through a description of Allah SWT as the originator, sustainer and controller of the universe and all that it contains. The guidance that Moosa AS is telling Firaun of in this verse is not the guidance we commonly associate with beings of intellect i.e. the guidance in humans and Jinn. Rather, it is more likely referring to the guidance that Allah SWT has given to non-intellectual beings to fulfil the purpose they were created for. The air, water and earth to support life, the fire as a source of energy, the bees to make honey, the animals to hunt and graze, etc. (Ma’ariful Qur’an)

 

Quran, ch21, v79

Juz 17: Dawood AS – the prophet that glorified our Creator along with other creations… Prophet Dawood (David) was a just and righteous ruler who brought about peace and prosperity among his people. He was honoured by Allah SWT to be a Messenger and delivered Allah SWT’s messages to the people through the precious gift of his melodious voice. When he recited the Zaboor it was as if the rest of creation chanted with him! They messages that Dawood AS delivered are famous and well remembered. They are known in the Bible as the “Psalms or Songs of David”.

 

Quran, ch24, v35

Juz 18: “The Verse of Light” contains a beautiful parable of the Light of Allah SWT. Its plain meaning is enough to mystify the reader, while its layers upon layers of spiritual meaning draws the deeper thinker into mysteries of delight. The physical light of this world is but a reflection of the true Light that is Allah SWT. We can only begin to comprehend Allah SWT by our limited senses, and the purest thing we can comprehend is light. Knowing this, we accept that the perfect Light of Allah SWT has none of the physical defections of the light that we see and has all the properties of “illumination” and “empowerment” far beyond the light that we see. A niche is a little recess that is found in the wall of a room (before we started using electricity) and in which lamps are placed. A niche is usually high up in the wall and thus allows the lamp, which gives of the light, to better shine down on the room and its contents below. The glass that makes up the outside of the lamp is transparent but glows white like star when the lamp is lit. The oil is the source of light, and olive oil is the best of oils. An olive tree that is neither of the East nor of the West could possibly mean that the tree is not limited to any single particular geographical location. It could also mean that the oil is the best of oils coming from a tree that receives full sunlight and not only receiving morning (eastern) nor only afternoon (western) sunlight. Allah SWT knows best. Allah SWT ends this verse by saying that He choses to guide with His Light who He wants to guide, and it is He who is all-knowing of everything. May Allah SWT make us of those who guided by His Light and of those who can have a taste of the beauty of this verse, Aameen.

 

Quran, ch25, v48

Juz 19: A simple reminder. It is Allah SWT who causes the winds to blow that are responsible for the formation and movement of clouds. It is Allah SWT who causes the rain to fall from these clouds, thus bringing down water from the sky. And it is this water that purifies and sustains the lands, the creatures and us. Let us be grateful for this Mercy upon us and let us not be of those who waste and pollute this precious resource of water, Aameen. Note: Often in the Quraan, when speaking of Himself, Allah SWT makes use of the “Royal Plural” (e.g. “We”) as a means of stressing His all-encompassing nature among other things.

 

Quran, ch27, v60

Juz 20: n the Noble Quraan, Allah SWT often draws our attention to the order, beauty and grandeur of the universe. Can we really think that there are multiple, conflicting gods or a weaker god besides the One True God? If we cannot even cause a tree to grow, how can we not recognise and not submit to the One True God?

 

Quran, ch30, v41

Juz 21: ‘Fasād is translated as evil, corruption, plight and calamities. This includes and is not limited to famine, epidemic diseases, frequency of the incidents of fires, drowning, lack of Allah’s blessing in everything, and reduction in profits and increases in losses in businesses… [Ma’ariful Qur’an] We need to sit back and self-reflect. Wars, land degradation, air pollution, water shortages, waste issues, human and animal rights violations, famine, human induced climate change…are we collectively the cause of it? Are we so wrapped up in chasing our own interests in this world that be have forgotten our roles as being leaders and caretakers of this Earth and all its creations? Have we forgotten that in order to attain success in the Hereafter we need to be accountable for all aspects of our lives in this world? Be an earthkeeper…even if it means only saving the life of a single trapped ant today… May Allah SWT protect us and the other creations of this earth from Fasād, Aameen.

 

Quran, ch33, v72

Juz 22: As custodians of this great Amānah we need to impress our Lord and fulfill the responsibility of caring for the world and its contents. This Amānah is so great that the heavens, earth and mountains declined to bear it for fear of failing! May Allah SWT makes us of those who are capable of upholding this Amānah that we have undertaken to bear, aameen.

 

Quran, ch39, v21

Juz 23: Rain, sky , rivers, crops

 

Quran, ch40, V57

Juz 24: The heavens and the earth includes all creations – from the distant galaxies to the tiny fleas on the stray cat that visits your backyard. We are but a tiny part of creation. Why are we so egocentric?

 

Quran, ch41, v53

Juz 25: If one looks at the creatures and creations of the whole universe, big and small, in the skies, on the land, in the water, they all bear witness not only to the existence of Allah Ta’ālā, but also to His Knowledge, His all-encompassing authority, and to His being One and unique. If one looks even nearer, at one’s own self, at each organ and limb, at the fine and fragile mechanisms and systems functioning within oneself, it simply leaves one in awe of Allah Ta’ālā.

 

Quran, ch47,v15

Juz 26: Subhanallah! The Gardens of Paradise…a true #GreenDeen dream! Unpolluted rivers of water…milk that never spoils…wine that is sweet to taste and does not intoxicate…honey that does not have to be cleaned and processed…and fruits of all kinds! May Allah SWT make us all of those who are fortunate to live in the Gardens of Paradise in the Hereafter, Aameen.

 

Quran, ch55, v6

Juz 27: The word “najm” may collectively refer to stars or to herbs (which are non-woody plants e.g. grass, dandelions, spinach, etc.) while “shajar” refers to woody plants with stems (trees, shrubs, etc.). The Sajdah (prostration) made by these elements differs from the sajdah made by those that have free will. We (humans, jinn) have the choice to submit or not. The submission of other elements, like the air, water, animals, plants, clouds, stars, black holes etc., is inherent in their nature. They fulfil their duties to their Creator in playing their roles in the universe without defecting. Subhanallah.

 

Quran, ch59, v5

Juz 28: Only once in his lifetime, whether in war or in peace, did the Prophet Muhammad SAW ever damage trees or any other part of nature without a direct need to use them. This verse [59:5] from the Quraan speaks of this exception. After the Battle of Uhud (3AH, 625AD), a matter arose where a companion of the Prophet Muhammad SAW mistakenly killed two men (after witnessing 70 fellow Muslims being murdered) and blood money had to be paid to the neighbouring tribe to which the two men had belonged to. The Prophet Muhammad SAW started to collect the money from both Muslims and non-Muslim residents of Madinah. This was according to the clauses of the Madinah Charter (one of the first written unilateral treaties) signed by the different parties of the city. Sadly the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadeer, after signing the treaty two years prior to this incident, and subsequently promising to pay their share of the blood money in this incident, attempted to assassinate the Prophet Muhammad SAW. Following this treachery, the Prophet Muhammad SAW offered them the option of evacuating the city. They refused and the only means of coaxing them to leave their well-stocked, heavily-fortified fortresses was to start burning their orchards. This situation was so exceptional that revelation was sent down to make clear mention of it and that the Muslims were granted special permission in this serious case. Never again would the Prophet Muhammad SAW harm the creation and he would repeatedly speak to his companions not to harm or ill-treat any creation.

 

Quran, ch67, v15

Juz 29: As humans, we have been given the ability and the permission to use the earth and its resources to seek our provision beyond that which other creatures are able to do. In this verse, Allah SWT warns us that even though we have been given this ability and permission, we must not be neglectful of death and the life-after-death. This world is a temporary abode. We will return to our Creator and be held accountable for all the good and evil that we did. We are often warned in the Quraan not to get caught up in chasing the worldly adornments of this life. It’s precisely this transgression that has resulted in a disconnect from each other and from our environment. It is this consumerism attitude that is largely responsible for the continued violation of social, economical and environmental rights across the globe. Seek your provision, but remember your return is to your Rabb.

 

Quran, ch113, v1-3

Juz 30: Despite there being many #greenverses in the last juz of the Quraan, it is simply befitting to end on a surah familiar to all of us – Surah Al-Falaq, The Break of Dawn. This surah, alongside the last Surah of the Quraan (Surah An-Nas), was revealed after the Prophet Muhammad SAW fell ill from being a victim of witchcraft. Surah Al-Falaq in particular tells us to seek Divine protection against worldy calamities, while Surah An-Nas tells us to seek Divine protection against calamities in the hereafter. Surah Al-Falaq is rich with the symbolism of daybreak and darkness. It is Allah SWT that causes the sun to rise, breaking the night, and thus vanquishing the evils and difficulties that are usually associated with darkness. It is Allah, Rabb (Lord) of the Daybreak, with whom we seek refuge from the “sharr” (evil) that He has created – whether this evil comes directly from mankind, or is a result of calamities from other creatures and creations in our world and universe.

GMOs, Islam, Monsanto and South Africa

March Against Monsanto 31. What are GMOs?

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are defined as any living organism whose genetic hereditary material has been altered. Genetic material, the DNA of organisms, can be altered through:

  1. selective breeding of plants and animals. This has been practiced in various forms since the earliest days of our ancestral farmers.
  2. genetic engineering that has been occurring in the last half-century which involves the direct transfer of DNA between organisms at a microscopic level.

GMOs themselves include a variety of organisms. In agriculture, domesticated livestock and food crops are usually modified to create better, more resilient and more productive breeds. Scientific and medical research often use GMOs for the production of chemicals, medications, antibiotics and vaccines. Many ornamental plants and flowers are genetically modified.

2. Why the fuss?

Well, simply put, the GMO business is tricky. GMOs affect us in two places where we feel it the most – our food and medicine. Additionally, the use of GMOs in agriculture and research has knock-on effects on the environment (that we obviously all depend on). When we speak of GMOs, we are talking of conflicts of interest between global companies, governments, activists, farmers and the average citizen. There are pros and cons with regards to human health, food ethics, animal rights and environmental health. Science is usually undertaken with no independent moderation and profits seem to speak larger than rights.

What is certain is that a great doubt exists in various aspects, such as the health implications, environmental impact and political agenda of the GM companies etc. It is our hope that for the sake of the Ummah and mankind in general, Muslim scientists of repute and integrity could shed some independent light on this matter. – South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA), Genetically Modified Foods

March Against Monsanto 23. So, what does Islam have to say about GMOs?

Dealing with GMOs in Islam is no simple matter. There are many aspects to consider, some of which are:

  1. Is the actual process of genetic altering organisms acceptable? To what extent? And on which organisms is this allowed (compare bacterial cell to a potential animal embryo)?
  2. Are there animal rights violations occurring in the testing and production of these GMOs?
  3. Are these GMOs halal? Are these GMOs tayyib (pure and wholesome) for human health in the long term?
  4. What about the impacts of using these on other microbes, plants, animals and the environment in general?
  5. What are the effects of promoting the GMOs commercial industry on the small farmers, the poor and the undernourished? Will GMOs empower them or enslave them to a global corporate?
  6. Can corporates copyright GMOs and sell them?

“In conclusion then, it can be said that Islamic scholars need to seriously investigate the issue of GMF (Genetically Manipulated Food) and prove its conformity to principles established within Islamic sources. Such an investigating necessarily requires close collaborations between traditional areas of scholarship with modern natural and life sciences. The presentation of the issues and challenges outlined in this paper is intended to serve as a starting point for further in-depth examination and debates on the subject.” – Isabel Schatzschneider, The Debate on Genetically Manipulated Food: An Islamic Perspective, 2013-07-16

4. GMOs, Monsanto, Global to South Africa

Monsanto is a multinational company that began in the USA more than a century ago. It has a long history of chemical and agricultural seed production. On Saturday, 21 May 2016, there was a global march against Monsanto in over 400 cities in 50 different countries (http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/may21/). From France to Mexico, Chile to South Africa, protesters gathered and raised the issues of human health and food sovereignty.

Monsanto’s presence in Africa, particulary in South Africa is not new (http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/pages/southafrica.aspxhttp://www.monsantoafrica.com/). In a continent and a country where our average small farmer is vulnerable to climate change, land right issues, weak economies, corruption and poor support structures, the issue is as complex as can be.

I support the march against Monsanto because I feel there is a disconnect with our food. Large corporations, like Monsanto, have dehumanized our food. I wish we could trust our government in South Africa to make informed decisions about our food, but that is being too optimistic. Access to healthy food is a constitutional right, yet in most cases you have to be rich to eat healthy. We need to restore food ethics of care that underpins our food system. Food is our heritage. We must work together, support small-scale farmer, and model new systems of ethical, eco-agricultural practices. Of our kids and for future generations.” Rifqah Tifloen, @GreenDeenSA board member, 2016-05-16

Recently, Monsanto has released a request to test a new set of GMOs in South Africa. The application is for field trials of three genetically modified maize products in the Western and Northern Capes, Free State and Mpumalanga, and was published in The Business Day, dated Monday 23 May 2016. An online petition has been started to object to these trials in South Africa. To read more about the petition and sign-up to it at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/949/204/342/we-say-no-to-monsanto/.

5. Recommended readings and websites

1. The Debate on Genetically Manipulated Food: An Islamic Perspective,by Isabel Schatzschneider, 2013-07-16.

2. Genetically Modified Foods Q: Are Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or ingredients or products containing GMO’s Halaal?, South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA).

3. The African Centre for Biodiverstiy website.

4. The Monsanto website.

5. The South African Food Sovereignty Campaign website.

March Against Monsanto

 

All About Cloth Nappies

Cloth nappies are akin to what our parents and grandparents used before disposables became popular, but these days they are far from those towelling squares that we tend to associate with cloth nappies. Those square folded nappies are still around if you prefer to go old school, but like many things that have been revolutionized, newer cloth nappies have also been redesigned and has evolved into a ready to go and easy to use item of clothing that has become an obsession to many. Now, they come in a variety of styles, (which is an article on its own and I cannot pretend to be fully knowledgeable on all of them,) fabrics, prints and even brands. Most cloth nappies function very much like a disposable with the added benefit of it being washable and reusable.

Cloth Diapers All about cloth nappies pic 1

To most, the idea of nappies being washable and reusable sounds like a nightmare, but like our clothes, socks and even underwear, cloth nappies don’t require much additional work other than an extra load of laundry.

How does it work?

My nappy routine involves changing my son like one usually would, then putting the soiled nappy into a nappy bucket that has a mesh drawstring bag. Every second day or if the bucket is full, I pull out the drawstring bag and drop it into the washing machine. I do a pre-rinse to rinse out the wee and then I either wash the nappies on its own or if I need to, fill up the machine with more laundry and run a regular wash cycle with detergent, without using fabric softener. Thereafter you have the wonderful display of a washing line filled with cute, clean and fresh fluff (as it is fondly called).

Cloth Diapers All about cloth nappies pic 2

Then there’s always the revolted question, “What do you do with the poop?” Exactly what everyone else does with poop, flush it down the toilet. With the aid of a biodegradable and flushable bamboo liner that’s placed in the nappy, wee passes through the liner and catches any solids so you can just turn your nappy upside down and drop it into the loo. Admittedly, on occasion baby poo has missed the liner, but a lovely invention that has been dubbed a nappy sprayer, aka a handheld bidet or I like to call it an istinjaa hose, any rogue excrement can be showered off directly into the toilet. As much as you might think it is, I promise you, it’s nowhere near as gross as being vomited on.

Why did I choose to use cloth nappies?

Long before I was pregnant with my son, I started researching alternatives to disposable nappies purely with the intention of trying to do my bit in saving the environment. Some may argue that washing nappies would be using more water, but there are ways to offset the extra load’s water by reducing your consumption elsewhere, such as shorter showers and even the type of washing machine you use. That said, I have learnt that it actually uses about 34 litres of water to make one disposable nappy and after it ends up in a landfill, it could take between 250 to 500 years to decompose. This was the catalyst to the start of my journey of going green and me realising that I need to be more conscious of my impact on the environment in many aspects of my life. I still have a long way to go though and my intention with using cloth nappies is to raise and teach my son the importance of being mindful of this as well.

What does it cost?

Depending on what brand and type of nappy, the price may put many parents off, but once you’re set, the saving, which is a bonus, will become evident after a few months of not buying disposable nappies, if you choose to go full time. If you don’t have the cash available for the initial start up cost of a cloth nappy stash big enough to use full time, you could choose to do cloth part time. Then, over a few months add as it suits your budget with types you like best until your stash is large enough to stop using disposables. A word of warning though, with the huge variety of options, collecting cloth nappies can be become addictive.

My advice?

The thought of giving up the convenience of disposables completely could be daunting for many parents, old and new. So if you’re interested in attempting cloth nappies but still a little apprehensive, you don’t have to commit to doing it full time to start making a positive change on the environment. With the right intention and every soiled cloth nappy sitting in it’s nappy bucket, there’s one less disposable filling up a landfill and the beginning to a better future for our children and selves. 

Nielfa Cassiem-Carelse is a wife, stay-at-home mom, freelance graphic and book designer, living between Cape Town, RSA and Dammam, KSA. She loves drinking tea and iced coffee, cuddling cats and is affectionately called a hippie. Can be found lurking on social media platforms @nielfahanifa.

 

Cloth Diapers All about cloth nappies pic 3

Green Deen South Africa at the Living Faith Camp, Brits, 2015

– FH Ragie, 2015-12-17

Over the past weekend I was gifted the opportunity of mentoring youth at the Living Faith Camp that took place in Brits. These camps are hosted by the Living Faith Project (http://www.livingfaithproject.org/) and are aimed at reviving faith in the hearts and minds of younger Muslims by equipping them with the understanding of Islam. The camp makes use of mentorship models, workshops and fun activities that are all run on the clock of salaah in Jamaah (congregation), dhikr sessions and tasty meals. It was a space to learn, to form bonds of friendship, to be inspired, and to be at peace at being a Muslim – for both campers and mentors. Self-identity workshops, social activism sessions, eating watermelon, dhikr sessions, bonfire reflections, and hearing Athaan in the middle of the bush on a night hike, were just some of the activities at this camp that have left me humbled and energised.

Living Faith Camp 2015 Brits Photos Green Deen SA 1
I, on behalf of Green Deen South Africa, ran a session that encouraged the campers (and mentors) to get thinking green. The first part of the session was a drawing exercise. With a few clippings of branches, leaves and flowers, and some tree seeds and a few rocks, campers and mentors were asked to be observant of nature and Allah’s creations by drawing them. You would be surprised how crayons turn us all into excited kids!

Living Faith Camp 2015 Brits Photos Green Deen SA 2
The second part of the workshop consisted of brainstorming around the concept of Green Masaajid and Madressahs in South Africa. The groups of campers, who were already divided according to age and gender, were first asked to role play different people on their masaajid committees: Chairperson, Imam/Islamic Scholar, Teacher, Parent, Youth, Caretaker, Treasurer- Finance, Community member and Adviser. This was aimed at exposing them to the difficulties of decision making as well as making them aware on how they need to consider the viewpoints of everyone in their community. Each group was tasked with one of six themes: Water, Energy & Transport, Plants & Animals, Waste & Recycling, Decoration & Design, Tarbiyyah (Education) & Community Empowerment.
It really was an inspiring workshop. May Allah SWT bless both the mentors and campers for their enthusiasm for this rather difficult task. Their artwork was beautiful! Their team spirit was energizing! And their presentations were intelligent, creative and professional! I really would like to thank the camp organisers (who do this without receiveing any rumenration), the mentors and the campers. May Allah SWT bless you all and take you from strength to strength. May Allah SWT make the Living Faith Project continue growing so that it can serve our Muslim girls and boys in South Africa.

As one of the helping staff in the kitchen said – we came, we prayed (in Jamaah) and the rains came!

If you would like to:

  • have a look at the Green Massajid workshop plan, please feel to drop us an email on info@greendeensa.org.
  • learn more about the Living Faith project including their different sessions hosted by mentors, please drop them an email on team@livingfaithproject.org. Their camps consists of spiritual building (salaah, dhikr, quraan, reflections), practical education sessions (self-identity, arts, social activism, history) and fun and games.

Living Faith Camp 2015 Brits Photos Green Deen SA 3

 

#HiraHike reflection from an EarthWatcher, Kgaswane Mountain Reserve, Rustenburg

#HiraHike reflection from an EarthWatcher, Kgaswane Mountain Reserve, Rustenburg

This article was written by a an anonymouse sister who attended the #HiraHike hosted by the

Zinniaville Go Green team in Rustenburg. The team took a group of girls, boys and adults for a trip to the Kgaswane Nature Reserve on the 23 August 2015.

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatu

I pray that all is well with everybody. I would like to highlight our special trip to the Rustenburg Nature Reserve. For me, the trip was nothing out of the ordinary as I am a regular visitor. To join a group of amazing people was highlighted when their eagerness to explore the wilderness was so striking. To go out into nature is humbling. To witness the creation of Allah Subḥânahu wa ta’âlâ (The Exalted) in all it’s natural beauty is breathtaking and to engage the youth to appreciate this even more promising.

#HiraHike reflection from an EarthWatcher, Kgaswane Mountain Reserve, Rustenburg 3Let me tell you something about going into the mountains; it is a place of absolute peace and serenity. A place where one finds solace in the soul. Once you are up there, all the stresses of life disappear for that time. I write this from my personal experience. Being faced with many challenges, I personally did a lot of soul searching and received lots of solace and answers from there.

Another thing I would like to bring to your attention is that almost all the Prophets ‘Alayhimus-salâm (Peace be upon them) received divine intervention in the mountains. Most of the Prophets  ‘Alayhimus-salâm (Peace be upon them) served as shepherds at some time in their lives. There was a purpose behind it. To find solace. To find Allah Subḥânahu wa ta’âlâ. Our Beloved Nabi Muhammad Şalla-Allâhu ‘alyhi wa sallam (Blessings and peace be upon him) was in the cave of Hira when Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala sent down the first revelation of “Iqraa”.

Coming back to our trip, it was a joy to see the eagerness of the kids. New friendships were formed,  kids brimmed with excitement as we climbed up the rocks and breathed in the essence of the view before us. Everyone was absorbed at the marvel that lay before them. Alhamdulillah. The Zikr on Surah Faatiha brought appreciation to ‘Ihadinas Siraatul Mustaqeem’. May Allah Subḥânahu wa ta’âlâ instil ‘Ihadinas Siraatul Mustaqeem’ firmly in our hearts. Aameen.

A big thank you to Aadil, Naazneen and Fatima from all who participated in the field trip. May Allah bless you abundantly and may this exercise grow from strength to strength. Aameen.

#HiraHike reflection from an EarthWatcher, Kgaswane Mountain Reserve, Rustenburg 2

Interviewing Sister Faatimah Mansoor: World Forestry Congress, 7-12 September 2015, Durban

(Interview conducted by Fatima Ragie)

2015-09-21 World Forestry Congress Durban Faatimah Mansoor pic

1) Ragie: As-salaamualaikum sister Faatimah. Thank you for your time and I hope you are doing well.

Mansoor: Wa-alaikumusalaam. All is good and it my pleasure to speak to you.

 

2) Ragie: The fourteenth World Forestry Congress was held from the 7 to the 11 of September this year, 2015, in the City of Durban. You were privileged enough to be able to attend this international event. Before we speak of this forestry congress, Faatimah, as a scientist and a professional member of our Green Deen South Africa network, can you tell us a bit about yourself, what you are studying and why you have chosen to study what you have?

Mansoor: I am currently pursuing my Masters degrees in Plant Sciences with the School of APES at the University of the Witwatersrand. My research thesis is focussed on the conservation of Avocados. I chose to study in this field as I have always been passionate about plants and the natural environment.

 

3) Ragie: The World Forestry Congress (WFC) is the largest gathering on forests and forestry internationally and is held at six-year intervals by a host country and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Before we continue, I would like to ask you, what is a forest? What are the different kinds of forests that we find globally and in South Africa?

Mansoor: We usually think of a forest as a number of trees that are growing together. However, forests are more than that. Forests also include other vegetation forms (such as shrubs, herbs and weedy plants) and a community of other organism that live in them, such as mammals, birds, amphibians, insects and fungi. Globally, we find rainforests in tropical areas like central Africa and Brazil, while more temperate deciduous and evergreen forests in the northern most countries of our world. In South Africa, we have arid, savannah forests that cover large expanses of land, while smaller patches of tropical forests on our coastlines.

2015-09-21 World Forestry Congress Durban Faatimah Mansoor pic 2

4) Ragie: The World Forestry Congress served as a platform of discussion for various different parties and stakeholders in the forestry industry. You attended the conference with your professors and a fellow student from Wits University. Can you us an overview of the various types of people and organisations that attended? Who hosted the congress and who was actively involved in decision making?

Mansoor: The congress was hosted by the United Nations’ FAO and our South African government, especially the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. There were around 4 000 attendees from 142 countries. Participants, stakeholders and presenters included people from national government and local municipalities, academics and students from universities, representatives of indigenous communities, corporate industries, social and environmental activists, and other research organisations.

 

5) Ragie: The theme for the WFC2015 is ‘’Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future’’. Can you unpack this for us? Why do we as people need to invest in our forests to ensure a sustainable future?

Mansoor: The theme was focussed on the importance of forests in supporting our livelihoods. We have become so urbanised that we forget that our existence is dependent on the forests that surround us. Forests provide us with important ecosystem services like air recycling, regulating natural water flow from rain, keeping our soils intact, climate moderators and are carbon stores that help against climate change. Products from forests include timber, fuelwood, coal, paper, furniture, crafts and all the plants, animals and living organisms that provide food and medicine. The emphasis was placed on the sustainable use of forest natural resources.

 

6) Ragie: Can you give us an overall idea of how the congress was structured?

Mansoor: The congress spanned over five days and consisted of panel discussion by politicians, scientists, people from the forestry industry, and people from indigenous communities. There was a special program dedicated for youth attending the conference which consisted of discussions, addresses by youth representatives from around the world and a few rather fun brainstorming workshop sessions.

 

The words WFC, staged by the youth during a “flash mob”. Photo source: http://www.iisd.ca/forestry/world-forestry-congress/wfc-14/9sep.html

The words WFC, staged by the youth during a “flash mob”. Photo source: http://www.iisd.ca/forestry/world-forestry-congress/wfc-14/9sep.html

7) Ragie: : The congress took place for first time on African soil. As a South African, did you identify with this and did the South African voice come out strongly?

Mansoor: Sadly there were not enough platforms given to South African experts and stakeholders to share their experiences and concerns. Encouragingly, the voice of Africa was strongly expressed by the youth in the round table discussions.

 

8) Ragie:  Information was shared and deliberated and decisions were made at the congress. Where can the public access these resources?
Mansoor: The public can visit the following pages:

Panel discussion “Youth- Forests for the future”

Panel discussion “Youth- Forests for the future”

9) Ragie: Two sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, comes to mind as we talk of trees and our relationships with them. The first is that if we plant a tree and any living creature eats from it, we will be rewarded. The second is that even if we think tomorrow is the end of the world and we have a sapling in our hands, we must plant it. What advise can you give to the average South African citizen to help care for these priceless assets of forests?

Mansoor: Educate yourself on what forests are, where they are and how important they are. Use and consume products, from fuel wood and paper to tinned food and clothing, in a moderate way and do not waste. Make informed consumer choices. Furthermore, green up. Plant indigenous trees and fruit trees in your immediate community and take active steps, especially as youth, to safeguard natural forests.

Bio: Sister Faatimah Mansoor is a plant scientist from Johannesburg who has obtained her BSc Honours degree in Plant Sciences and Environment, Ecology and Conservation at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Plant Sciences focussing on the viability of long term storage of avocado genetic material. She is a top achiever in the scientific academia and an avid gardener. Faatimah is part of Green Deen South Africa’s professional network. She can be contacted via email on faatimahmansoor@gmail.com.

“The Museum” visit – a simple reminder

– 2014-11-16, Fatima Ragie

“The Museum المتحف ” is a newly established Islamic museum at the Darul Uloom Zakariyya University, south of Johannesburg, South Africa. Extremely well designed, well reMuseum logosearched, pleasantly themed and of moderate size, The Museum is definitely worth a visit.

 

Having recently visited The Museum, I felt that the strong take home messages from the centre warranted a share on the Green Deen networks. The replicas of common household objects and artifacts on display, the models of the early 7th century city of Madinah and the rich history of ahaadith presented sent out a clear lesson – simplicity and moderation. Our noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW) led a life that allowed him to be truly connected to our creator and His creations. A life that was stripped of the excessive frills that we so often enforce on ourselves,

Consumerism. The chainsaw of all good. Kills our spirituality. Eats away at our society. Creates the endless cycle of want-use-greed-discard that lies at the bottom of all our environmental woes. Consumerism. That which our blessed Prophet Muhammad (SAW) strongly advocated against.

Back to the Museum – it was a simple reminder, among other lessons, that our Prophet Muhammad SAW lived a simple life even if in his latter years he could have lived in luxury.

Some things in particular that caught my eye emphasizing this wise, simple, moderate lifestyle were:

  • The small measurement vessel of a “mudd”, approximately 755ml of water, which the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) would use to make the wudhu ablution before prayers. #SaveWater

1 Mudd 2 Mudd

  • The simple sandals that he wore even though he had access to wealth.

3 Sandals

  • His simple bedding.

4 Pillow 5 Pillow

  • The handmill that his daughter Fatima (RA) would use to grind grain (even though her father was a ruler, she was advised to do her own work rather than have a slave).

6 Flour grinder

 

  • The advice to sustain oneself with a simple job rather than to beg.The fruits and vegetables that was part of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)’s diet instead of a meat-rich diet. #EatHealthy #EatSimple

7 Livelihoods

If you would like to visit The Museum at Darul Uloom Zakariyya to experience some valuable aspects of our Prophet’s life (and do think of the Green Deen lessons) please contact Moulana Younus Ali on 082 302 9850 or email him at younus@frankstreet.co.za. The Museum is usually open to the public on Sunday afternoons (confirm before visiting) while special trips can be arranged for schools and madressahs during the week. You can find The Museum’s Page on Facebook. May Allah SWT reward all of those involved in the establishment of this Museum.

Enjoy the photos! Visit! Ma’as salaam.

 

8 Hunting dogs 10 Shield 11 Cucumber 12 Fruits 13 Onions 14 Dung Beetle 15 Outside

Finding the direction of Qiblah using the Sun and your wrist watch

Not everybody has a compass or a compass application on their phones (and we all know that phones sometimes can be troublesome or simply flat). Finding Qiblah using the old method “of sun rises in the east and sets in the west” can be inaccurate due seasonal to changes in the sun’s position relative to the earth.

An analog (normal not digital) watch can be used to locate north and south.

In the southern hemisphere, the 12 on the clock face should be pointed toward the Sun and the point halfway between the hour hand and 12 o’clock will indicate north. In the morning, halfway is in the anti-clockwise direction of 12, whilst in the afternoon its in the clockwise direction.

Qiblah, being in the NNE direction in South Africa, is slightly to the right of the halfway point (one hour to be exact on the clock face).

Insha-allah this helps and may Allah (SWT) accept all of our efforts Aameen.

Compass

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