Tag Archives: fasting

Eid-ul-Fitr – #TheEidConnection

Community. Creation. Creator. Connect.

#TheEidConnection

Eid al-Fitr (عيد الفطر‎), “festival of breaking of the fast”, is a religious day celebrated by Muslims across the globe. It marks the end of Ramadan – the Islamic holy month of fasting. A special Salaat (Islamic prayer) is prayed in the morning, generally in an open field, or in a large hall, or in a masjid (mosque). Eid presents an important opportunity for us as Muslims to connect to our Creator, to our community and to other creations. By acting wiser and thinking deeper, Eid can be a day for us to be more environmentally spiritual and sustainable.

Eid-ul-Fitr 2017, Green Deen South Africa, poster 1

#PartyResponsibly

There are various aspects for you to consider to ensure that your Eid prayers, feasting and festivities are more environmentally friendly and sustainable, especially in light of the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). From transport and clothing, to feasting and environmental cleanliness, take this Eid-ul-Fitr as an opportunity for you to do your bit for the environment with the intention of serving our Creator Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) .

Don’t ever think that any action is too small. As Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) reminds us in the noble Quran: “No leaf ever falls but that He knows about it, and there is no grain in the dark layers of the earth, or anything fresh or dry that is not recorded in a manifest book.” (Quran, 6:59).

Eid-ul-Fitr 2017, Green Deen South Africa, poster 2

 


1) Locomotion

”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 the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) to walk to the Eid Gaah for prayers on Eid morning, often using two different routes. In the days leading up to Eid and on the day of Eid itself, consider how you can reduce your carbon footprint and fuel costs, and also become more physically active in the process. When dropping of the children at school and madressah, when going to work, when doing the shopping and visiting rounds, and when going to the masjid, plan your trips beforehand. Fewer trips means less stress, less time wasted, and a lower carbon fuel footprint.  Form lift clubs with friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. When possible, opt for walking and cycling. Remember, the more people that we have walking and cycling the streets, the safer it becomes for all of us, Insha’Allah. Remember to try to uphold the Sunnah and walk to the Eid Gaah or masjid for Eid Salaah. Jump in with a fellow Muslim and reduce traffic and parking issues!


2) Clothing

”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)

Ibn Abi’d-Dunya and al-Bayhaqi have reported with a saheeh (authentic) isnaad (chain of narrations) that Ibn ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه ) used to wear his best clothes on the two Eids. The days of Eid, for many of us, are the occasions of the year when we wear our best. More often than not, we choose this time to buy a new outfit for the year – especially when it comes to buying a good set of clothing for our children.

While celebrating the blessings that we have been granted with by Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), there are some considerations that we can take to ensure that our purchases of clothing will be kinder to people and to the planet:

  • Wear clothing that is modest and that is in line with the dress code that our Deen has recommended for us.
  • Wear good, beautiful clothing – this is the day of Eid-ul-Fitr after all! A day to be happy and a day to celebrate!
  • Buy good, versatile clothing that will last a long time and can be used often and on many occasions. Think beautiful, think practical, and don’t just rush for the latest fashions!
  • Aim to support local industries where workers are treated properly. This could be your local community seamstress, a South African company, or a third world country where the company has been approved that they are upholding workers’ rights.
  • Aim to buy clothing that is made from more environmentally friendly materials, and that are produced with the environment in mind.
  • Do a bit of spring cleaning before Eid and donate your pre-loved clothing to those who could also do with good clothing for this Eid.

If you are curious about ethical and sustainable clothing, here are some interesting articles to read:


3) Food and Feasts

”Eat and drink of what Allah has provided, and do not go about the earth spreading ‘Fasād’ (corruption, mischief, disorder).” (Quran, 2:60)

Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) commands us in the Noble Quran in surah 7, verse 31, that we must “eat and drink” but we should “not be excessive” i.e. we should neither eat too little nor too much. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) then continues in the verse to warn us that He (سبحانه و تعالى) does not like those who are excessive (in eating and drinking).

Eid-ul-Fitr is the Eid of feasting. After a month of fasting for the pleasure of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), we celebrate the bounties that we have been blessed with by cooking and eating a storm! However, as the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) teaches us, we as Muslims need to be moderate in all of our actions.

A few aspects to consider on the day when you are planning your menus:

  • Think of your energy consumption. Plan your preparation and cooking times to ensure that the stoves and ovens get switched on less frequently and for shorter periods of time.
  • Incorporate more healthier food options into your menu as well as food items that have a lower carbon footprint. Include vegetable dishes and fruit platters, and decrease the amount of meat and sweet that you serve. You will feel a whole lot better after a day of eating wiser!
  • Don’t waste food. Encourage guests to dish out food wisely, and respect what is not eaten. Save leftovers for the next day (less cooking work) or share it with others.

Eid-ul-Fitr is also a time to share our bounties:

  • Pay fitrah for all your household members, preferably well in advance.
  • Be charitable and give more than the minimum fitrah amount if possible.
  • Donate to the many of the charity organisations that feed the less fortunate, both local and international.
  • Donate to an animal shelter (SPCA) and help feed the creations of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
  • Share the yummy delights and wholesome meals that you cook with those around you. Strengthen the ties of your relationship between family, friends, neighbours, employees, and colleagues.

May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) grant you baraqah in all the food that you make, eat and share on this upcoming day of Eid-ul-Fitr. Aameen.


4) Gifts and Decorations

Narrated `Aisha (رضي الله عنها): “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to accept gifts and used to give something in return.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 2585, Book 51, Hadith 19)

For many, the day of Eid-ul-Fitr is the day of gifting, especially for our children (Eiddee!). It is the day when we take pride in beautifying our homes and our tables for our guests. There is reward in both giving gifts and in treating guests with honour.

Keeping moderation in mind, here are some guidelines to ensure you are more environmentally friendly and sustainable in your gifts and decorations:

  • If you are giving gifts, choose to give gifts that are environmentally friendly and will last a long time. Think wooden over plastic. Think of gifts that won’t be out of fashion next year and be thrown away (e.g. fidget spinners).
  • We learn from the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) that if we plant a plant, and a person, animal, or bird eats from the food it bears, we will receive reward for it, Insha’Allah (Sahih al-Bukhari 2320, Book 41, Hadith 1). Take advantage of this narration and gift seeds, plants, and trees. Visit your nursery and get advice on easy-to-care for plants, especially those plants that will be a source of food to some kind of creatures, Insha’Allah. Remember that birds, bees and other insects feed off the flowers of ornamental plants and trees!
  • Do not give pets as gifts! Most of the time, after the excitement has died down, the animals get neglected and are sent to animal shelters and the SPCA. Thereafter, sadly, many have to be put down.
  • When wrapping your gifts, try to use less wrapper. Don’t use plastic wrapping. Opt instead for recycled paper, newspaper, and old school notes – just make it funky! An additional advantage of this is that you will save a good few Rands.
  • Use less disposable plastic ware in your decorations, in serving food, and in food storage. Avoid cling wrap! Use containers with their lids to keep food airtight.
  • Theme your tables with green, reusable, and sustainable themes. Make it an up-cycling art project for the youth, or search the house for items that can be used. Be discrete, do not waste.

Remember, one less piece of plastic used today, is one less piece of plastic choking an animal somewhere tomorrow!

Get the green, generous, creative juices flowing!


5) Mission: Pure Earth

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The earth has been made for me (and for my ummah) a masjid (place of prostration) and a means of purification (tayammum),” (Sahih al-Bukhari 335, Book 7, Hadith 2)

Wherever we are on earth, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has made it a place that we can pray on and a means to purify ourselves with for our prayers. Indeed, the earth is among the āyāt (signs, evidences) that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) asks us to ponder on.

“And of His (Allah’s) signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colours. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge.”
(Quran, 30:22)

The earth is in constant glorification of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).

“The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him (Allah) and there is not a thing but glorifies His (Allah’s) Praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He (Allah) is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.” (Quran, 17:44)

Litter has many negative impacts on our environment:

  • It is unsightly and reflects badly on the people who live in and use those places.
  • Litter stinks, especially when it piles up.
  • Litter serves as a breeding ground for vermin including flies, cockroaches, and rats.
  • Litter clogs our drainage and sewage systems.
  • Litter pollutes our waterways, rivers, dams and oceans.
  • Animals, especially marine animals, mistake litter for food and eat it. This blocks their digestive system and causes them to die of starvation. Not a nice thing to do on Eid.

Removing harmful objects from the paths of others is part of the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) (Sahih Muslim 2618, Book 45, Hadith 170). A simple, powerful stance to take this Eid is to ensure that we keep our prayer grounds, masaajid, homes, parks and streets clean. Clean enough to pray on. Clean enough to purify ourselves with. Don’t litter this Eid, encourage others not to litter, and pick up litter – even if it’s not yours.

May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) open all your pathways in life, and keep them litter-free! Aameen.

 


6) Be Water Wise

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)

Using water in excess of our needs has become the norm in today’s society, especially for the more fortunate of us who have the luxury of having multiple taps throughout our homes. When we open our taps and the water gushes out, it really is like a flowing river that we waste from! We forget where the water has come from and the cost that our water use has on our environment. The effects of our overuse is no stranger to us in our country. With the past and current droughts afflicting us in South Africa, our inability to use water sparingly and manage our water resources as a country has driven us into disaster status.

As Muslims, our relationship with water is of a unique nature. We need water for purification (istinja, wudhu, ghusl) on a daily basis for our prayers. After an entire day of fasting and not drinking water, one can’t help but appreciate the importance of water. The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) emphasised the saving of water even when it is plentiful. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) often speaks of the value of this valuable resource on in the Quran, with water being among the āyāt (signs, evidences) of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) reminds us that it is He (سبحانه و تعالى) who sends down water for us, causing rivers to flow and vegetation to grow for us and other animals to eat from. He  (سبحانه و تعالى) also addresses us in strong terms in Surah Waaqiah, reminding us to be grateful for His favours. He (سبحانه و تعالى) says, “And have you seen the water that you drink? Is it you who brought it down from the clouds, or is it We (Allah) who bring it down? If We willed, We could make it bitter, so why are you not grateful? ” (Quran, 56:68-70)

This Eid, take that extra care to ensure that you are water wise in all your activities. From cooking and cleaning, to washing and fun, choose to save as much water as possible. Remember to take the time out to sort out plumbing issues before the day of Eid.

Note of interest: 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, book 4, hadith 7).


Eid Mubaarak!

Are you praying Eid Salaah as a community under the cloudy, blue skies in an open field? Are you sharing meals, making memories, and playing games with family, friends and neighbours in your home, yard or local park? Connect with the Creator, the community and the creation this Eid!

Remember to:

Celebrate.
Eat well. Don’t waste food.
Don’t waste anything.
Gift nicely. Decorate wisely.
Play lovingly.
Pray with joy. Pray on time.
Pick up litter.
Keep your environment clean.
Help others. Be charitable.
Care for people. Care for creation.
Think of your Creator.
Think of the universe.
Thank your Creator.
Be the good guy. Be true.
Be Muslim.

May your Eid-ul-Fitr be a time of connection, contemplation and spiritual rejuvenation! May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) accept all of our acts of worship that we made during Ramadan and on the the day of Eid. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive us for all of our shortcomings. And may Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) give us the strength and dedication to continue with all good acts after this blessed month. Aameen.

Please find all articles and posters on #TheEidConnection series online (http://greendeensa.org/eid-ul-fitr-2017-theeidconnection/) or on social media – just search for Green Deen South Africa (@GreenDeenSA) on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Eid Mubaarak,

#30PacketsOfGreeness, #Ramadan2016

2016 30 Packets of Greeness posterRamadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Muslims set themselves into a daily routine of rising above their physical needs in order to embrace greater spirituality. The month is filled with extra acts of worship, an emphasis on being a source of goodness, and an avoidance of any action that is of harm to others and to one’s surroundings.

Following up on our #30PacketsOfGreeness campaign last Ramadan (just search for the hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!), we would like to invite you to take your daily remembrance (dhikr) of your Creator outside and practice on a Sunnah by cleaning up your neighbourhood. 30 days of fasting, 30 Juz (parts) of Quran, 30 sets of Taraweeh, 30 Sehris, 30 Iftaars…So why not 30 acts of environmental service to our Creator?

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said that removing harmful things from the path of others is an act of worship – Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim

2016 30 Packets of Greeness hadithPick up a packet of litter everyday or on as many days as you cann. On the way to the masjid. At your school or makhtab. At your local park. Around your work place. On your own. With a friend. With family. Wherever you are and whenever you can. Share with us your pictures of your #30PacketsofGreeness by tagging us on social media or emailing it through to us. Green Dawah on our streets!

Our duas (prayers) are with you as this special month of spiritual and self-discipline dawns upon us. Contemplate the deeper meaning of life Connect to your Creator! May you emerge from Ramadan spiritually uplifted, humbled, more conscious of the divine, more compassionate, and a better human being as a result of your worship. Aameen.

2016 30 Packets of Greeness collage 2015

 

#30DaysOfRamadan, #30PacketsOfGreeness

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar when Muslim set themselves into a daily routine of rising above their physical needs and wants in order to embrace greater spirituality. The month is filled with extra acts of worship, an emphasis on being a source of goodness, and an avoidance of any action that is of harm to one’s surroundings. 30 days of fasting, 30 Juz of Quran, 30 sets of Taraweeh, 30 Sehris, 30 Iftaars…So why not 30 acts of environmental service to our Creator?

This Ramadan 2015 sister Fatima Ragie, coordinator of Green Deen South Africa, has challenged herself to do her daily remembrance (dhikr) of her Creator outside – while practicing on a Sunnah! She will InshaAllah be picking up 30 packets of waste in her not-too-clean home suburb of Zinniaville, Rustenburg, North-West.

Green Dawah on our streets! Join her on her journey, wherever you are, whenever you can. Do it silently or spread the word. Follow her pickups on twitter and Instagram (@fhragie, @GreenDeenSA). Also, do share with us your pictures of your #30PacketsofGreeness by tagging us on social media or emailing it through to us.

2015 30 Packets of Greeness

Our duas (prayers) are with you as this special month of spiritual and self-discipline dawns upon us. Contemplate the higher purpose and deeper meaning of life! Connect to your Creator! May you emerge from Ramadaan spiritually uplifted, humbled,  more conscious of the divine, more compassionate, and a better human being as a result of your worship. Aameen.

 

Green Ramadan 2015

Allah (SWT) has created us with very basic, physical needs – drinking, eating, sleeping and intimacy. These needs essentially connects us to our environment, connects us to the living and non-living elements that surrounds us. Recognising these needs and this connection helps us to understand and embrace our dependence on our Creator through His creations. Allah (SWT) has also granted us free will and often, in our state of spiritual weakness, we go against our inner fitrah and transgress the boundaries set down by our Creator. We lie, gossip, cheat and steal, we become unreasonably angry and fight, we become negligent of and harmful to our surroundings.

Throughout the year, our life gets set in routine. Humans are prone to forget. For most of us, fulfilling our basic needs and crossing the boundaries against our natural, inner state becomes easy, thoughtless – just like breathing and our heart-beating is.

Ramadan is essentially that break from this routine, our time to remember who we are. By raising above our physical needs and halting transgressions against our natural state, we are allowing ourselves to enter a greater state of spirituality. We are more aware of who we are, we are more aware of our dependence on who and what surrounds us, we are more aware of our responsibilities to who and what surround us and we are more aware of our submission to our Creator.

Many aspects of us fasting in Ramadan reinforces environmentally consciousness. From moderation in consumption to self-discipline, the principles emphasised in Ramadan are in accordance with good spiritual, social, economical and environmental practices! While we try to find a balance between work, food preparations, and making our spiritual activities a priority, we can simultaneously embrace a greener Ramadan.

To remind us of the unbreakable connection between our Deen and our actions, we have prepared a series of theme-based tips for this  – follow the links below!

Be-green-soul-searching-tree-hugging-frog-loving-Muslim this Ramadan! (And thereafter!) #GDRamadan

2015 Adding the green to your ramadan, Intro

 

Post One: Don’t waste food!

¤يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُوا زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ

“O Children of Adam! wear your adornment at every place of prayer: eat & drink: but be not excessive, for God does not love those who are excessive.” Noble Quraan, Surah Al-Araf, Ch7, V31

An important emphasis that needs to be made in this blessed month is that to waste food is sinful. The “waste” in wasting food is more than the little bit of food that we throw away, but rather is a lot more. The waste includes all the resources that goes in to the growth, preparation and delivery of food from the rural farms to our tables and includes the use of land, water, energy, petrol, packaging, pollution and effort. We have no right to simply throw this food away to rot in landfill sites on the outskirts of our towns!

Food considerations for this Ramadan.

  • Eat healthy food that is less processed. Locally-sourced, fresh foods are both good for our internal physical and spiritual environment, as well as the larger physical environment.
  • Estimate properly. We tend to make more rather than less in these hungry times, but just  think twice before frying another dozen of samoosas (or cut another dozen slices of cucumber #thinkgreen).
  • Share the bounties of leftover iftaar goodies with your visiting friends and family and send them off with ‘barakatjies’. (Barakatjies – like a doggy bag, but with more panache.)
  • Eat leftover iftaar food for sehri the next day.
  • Pack leftover savouries for non-fasting kids for school lunch (less preparation for you in the morning)
  • And best yet, plate it up beautifully and distribute it to needy people at the masjid or in your community.

Let us try to be green with the correct intention and may Allah reward us for caring for the resources that he has granted us.

Think deen, think green, think green deen! 🙂

 

2015 Adding the green to your ramadan, Post 1, Food

Post Two: Use Water Wisely

¤قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَصْبَحَ مَاؤُكُمْ غَوْرًا فَمَن يَأْتِيكُم بِمَاءٍ مَّعِينٍ

Say, “Have you considered: if your water was to become sunken [into the earth], then who could bring you flowing water?” Noble Quraan, Surah Al-Mulk, Ch67, V30

After an entire day of not drinking water (even during these short winter days ), one can’t help but appreciate the importance of water. Allah (SWT) often speaks of the value of this blessed resource that we are dependent on in several places of the Quraan. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) emphasised the saving of water even whilst using it when it is plentiful. It is reported that Prophet (SAW) saw Sa’d (RA) performing wudu he said: “What is this? You are wasting water.” Sa’d replied: “Can there be wastefulness while performing ablution?” The Prophet (SAW) replied: “Yes, even if you perform it in a flowing river.” (Ibn Maja : 1990 : Vol. 1: 147: no.425).

So here are some tips, that if made with good intentions, Allah may reward us for our efforts:

  • When rinsing out fruit and vegetables, collect the water in a dish. Use it to wash out dirty dishes, mop the floors or even water the plants.
  • Cook with you pot covered where possible. You will use less water and energy.
  • When waiting for warm water for wudhu, fill up a bucket with the cold water and water the plants, use it elsewhere or fill up your istinja jug in the toilet.
  • Try to see how much water you can save by scooping water from a dish in the old fashioned way instead of using a running tap.
  • If the bucket-wudhu proves difficult remember: Say bismillah, don’t leave the tap running especially during masah, and complete your wudhu as quick as possible without talking. Win-win situation, follow the Sunnah way andsave water!
  • Alternatively, take your wudhu outside and water the backyard vegetables at the same time.
  • Many of us are reluctant to bucket shower these day. The easiest way  to save water whilst showering – wet you body, close tap, lather soap, and then rinse off quickly.
  • After a long period of sitting down and reading quraan, take a walk round your house and make note of any dripping taps and possible pipe leaks. Fix them up asap (or call a plumber)!

May Allah guide our intentions and accept all our good actions this month. Aameen.

2015 Adding the green to your ramadan, Post 2, Water

Post Three: Use Fuel and Energy Efficiently!

 ¤فَرَأَيْتُمُ النَّارَ الَّتِي تُورُونَ

¤أَأَنتُمْ أَنشَأْتُمْ شَجَرَتَهَا أَمْ نَحْنُ الْمُنشِئُونَ

“Then tell me about the fire which you kindle. Is it you who made the tree thereof to grow, or are We the Grower?” Noble Quraan, Surah Al-Waqi’ah, Ch56, V71-72

A care-for-the-environment advice series cannot be complete without reminding you to save electricity, energy and fuel. All sources of energy are from Allah (SWT). From the sun that we depend on, the oil from deep within the Earth, the fuelwood that we harvest and the more “man-made” forms of energy like electricity and petrol – everything comes from Allah (SWT). Acknowledging our dependence on these resources is an inherent aspect of Islam, and hence we as Muslims must not be wasteful or excessive in the use of these resources.

Use less petrol this Ramadan!
  • Take a walk to the masjid, work, school and to the shops.
  • Car pool or offer your neighbours and family members lifts, especially to the masaajid for salaah.

Save energy in the kitchen this Ramadan!

Remember that that by reducing our use of electricity we remove pressure from a winter-strained national grid. Try to use less electricity, especially at iftaar, with the intention of trying to avoid inconvenience from load-shedding to others.

  • Remember to switch off the stoves and oven after preparing for suhoor andiftaar, especially since iftaar is during the time when electricity is in demand.
  • Cook less of a variety to save on preparation energy costs.
  • Ovens use up a lot more than the stove-plates, so attempt to not use the oven everyday often by separating days for fried and baked goods.
  • Introduce a Ramadan Food Schedule to help to shorten cooking time in the kitchen so you can spend more time on Ibadat.
  • Reduce energy used to defrost foods in the microwave by letting it defrost outside earlier in the day.
  • Cook with lids on pots when possible.

Another great idea is to read Quraan and salaah in one room so as to minimise the number of heaters and lights that are switched on at one time. Important to note is the multiple benefits associated with many green tips. Take a walk = healthier for you. Give a lift to the neighbour = build good relationships. Pray together = build family ties. Insha-allah. May Allah (SWT) guide us and accept our efforts. Aameen.

2015 Adding the green to your ramadan, Post 3, Energy

Post Four: Connect To Your Creator

¤إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.” Noble Quraan, Surah ‘Ali Ímran, Ch3, V190

 

The plants, the animals, the insects, the microbes, the landscapes and mountains, the rivers and oceans, the skies, the clouds, the stars, the sun are all the creations of Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) talks of these ayaah, these signs, frequently in the Holy Quraan. Surahs are named after natural elements e.g. An-Nahl, The Bee, Ash-Shams, The Sun, Al-Layl, The Night. Allah (SWT) often takes oaths with various natural elements. Allah (SWT) repeatedly reminds us that these creations are created, owned and controlled by Him, and that they glorify Him and are a means of reflecting His Greatness.

The seerah of our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is also rich with the relationship he had with creation. His initial reflection on there being only one Creator was rooted in the time he spent contemplating the universe in the deserts. We know that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was an advocate for not wasting resources, for keeping our environment clean, for planting trees and not cutting them down, for stressing the reward in treating animals kindly and the sin involved in ill-treating them.

Ramadan presents the perfect oppurtunity to connect spiritually with our Creator by contemplating on His creations as well as the chance to gain extra reward by doing “green” actions. Here are some simple green-spirit household ideas:

  • Ramadan is the month of the Quran. Identify the #greenverses while reading your daily Quran and ponder on their meanings.
  • Children love animals. Get your younger siblings, cousins and family members involved in sharing some of the nature-Ramadan spirit  like feeding birds or ducks.  Remind them that it pleases Allah (SWT).
  • Plant a tree or shrub in your yard. Name it “Our Ramadhaan Tree”. Kids will love it and ask them to guess how big it will be by next Ramadhaan, Insha-Allah. Keep track of its growth throughout the year and InshaAllah the green spirit and Ramadan fever will be kept alive for the year .
  • Alternatively, plant pot plants for your kitchen windowsill. Flowers or herbs – something to remind you to be thankful to Allah (SWT) and marvel at His creation.
  • Take your ibaadat outside, especially when the fasting tires you. Sit outside, under a tree or near some green vegetation and read Quran.
  •  Take your tasbeeh and family for a walk in a nearby green space instead of a walk in the mall over the weekend.
  • Take out some charity to help some of Allah (SWT)’s creation this month in addition to your routine charity The NSPCA is always in need of food and medical supplies to house stray, abandoned and abused animals. Or donate to an organisation that plants trees in poorer communities.

We should always keep in mind that it is Allah (SWT)’s creation. Caring and nurturing for them pleases him; abusing and being unmindful of his Greatness displeases him. May Allah (SWT) guide us all and be pleased with our actions.

 

2015 Adding the green to your ramadan, Post 4, Connect

InshaAllah, we will be sharing inspirational #GDRamadan quotes, articles and photos on our social media platforms. Stay connected with us!