In the name of Allah SWT, the Creator, the Controller, and The Cherisher of all the worlds and all that they contain. Rab-ul-Alamīn.
Setting the Scene
Since the inception of Green Deen South Africa in 2013 by a handful of university students, our task has been simple —revive and remind our Muslim community of the environmental consciousness and stewardship that is spiritually inherent in Islam. We had launched through the national MSA Union and associated campus MSAs, and have since grown into a separate entity with the guidance of Allah SWT and through the voluntary assistance of everyone on our team and on our extended Green Deen network. As an organisation and as a movement, Green Deen South Africa puts the focus on sound Islamic scholarship and sound science.
We are becoming the networking, educating, empowering and activating environmental organisation that serves the needs of the South African Muslim community in service of our Creator and all of His creatures and creations.
The community responds: #drought, #savewater, #prayforrain
It truly has been inspiring to see the various ulema organisations, Muslim media powerhouses and various individuals heed the current water crisis in South Africa and respond. Overnight, our phones have been flooded with verses from the Quraan, duas and saving-water posters that have been made by almost every local Islamic organisation. WhatsApp broadcasts have been circulating with water facts and saving tips. Salaatul Istisqaa (prayers that ask Allah SWT to bestow rain) call-outs have been made by energetic youth*, local masaajid and our ulema councils. Indeed the list of towns participating in the Salaatul Istisqaa has been steadily building up. There has been Jumuah pre-khutbah talks and radio shows on water-and-Islam issues.
All in all, it has been a watery good time.
*(a #greendeen shout-out to the youth of Lenasia for their Salaatul Istisqaa callout. The callout was not according to the prescribed method that encourages mass community involvement. However, it was encouraging to know that our youth care and get worried when communications in the community are delayed).
Green Deen South Africa has been speaking about environmental issues, including water, in light of the Islamic teachings for over some time already (though our current pro-bono status makes it difficult to provide the level service that is needed by the community of South Africa). Through our regular online media activity, we often cover aspects of water scarcity in our country. The environment needs to be conserved as a whole to care for our water resources i.e. polluted lands and polluted air means polluted water systems. Climate change is threatening our country’s (and world’s) water supply. Poor management and failing infrastructure in our towns, industries and homes are responsible for daily water wastage. We have too few qualified and capable water caretakers (engineers, scientists, teachers, plumbers, etc). We lack active citizenship.
We need to proactively and continuously care and act for water as individuals, communities and as a global society. First and foremost, we need to guide and power our actions with the spirituality, understanding and responsibility of water that are embedded in Islam.
The recent drought, increased awareness and accompanying problems in our communities has become a time for deep-pool thinking for many at Green Deen South Africa. Our culture as an organisation is to emphasise the long-term, sustainable changes that we need to make, especially at times of crisis.
We are taking this time of drought to do a reality check. A serious reality check.
#guidingwaters is a series that we will be developing in real time over the course of the following weeks InshaAllah. With the help and mercy of Allah SWT we are trying to redirect the current energetic discussions in our communities.
We would like to guide the waters of interest in our communities into long term commitment to change. We would like to encourage systems-level thinking and action that accompanies our prayers, charity, spiritual rejuvenation and behaviour rectification, InshaAllah.
This #guidingwaters journey will require the input of our South African community. To get us started on this journey, we have dug out a slightly old set of resources for our younger children to learn from. We hope that they enjoy it!
Download as a pdf: