LIFESTYLE ⎯⎯⎯ 18 SEPTEMBER 2016
What role does a Muslim play towards safeguarding the environment? What are the benefits and rewards of taking small yet crucial steps to preserve some of the most important treasures Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has blessed us with?
Doing your bit for the environment might seem a little too difficult initially, but doing so with the right intentions of pleasing Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will never go unnoticed. While talking about how quickly the Earth’s resources are depleting is easy, doing what you can to save the environment makes Muslims stand out from the crowd.
Let’s go through all the different resources we use on a daily basis and discuss what we can practically do to make our usage eco-friendly and productive:
We all know how crucial water is for our survival but we tend to take it for granted.
Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-`Aas raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet ﷺ passed one day by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqas raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) while he was performing wudu’.
The Prophet ﷺ asked Sa`d:
“What is this wastage?”
Sa`d replied :
“Is there wastage in wudu also?”
The Prophet ﷺ said :
“Yes, even if you are at a flowing river.”
Subhan Allah! When was the last time we thought about making eco-friendly wudu ?! Let’s all try to implement the following tips to save this essential precious resource:
Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth. By doing so, you could be saving nearly 8 gallons of water a day!
Use your dishwashers only when they are fully loaded, to save water and electricity. The same rule applies for using washing machines as well.
If you are living in a country that receives abundant rainfall, you could try rainwater harvesting which has been employed in certain countries to make ingenious usage of rainwater.
If you need to water your lawn, do so in the evening hours. This will help the water seep through as opposed to watering when the sun is out in full glory, which will lead to quick water evaporation, leading to water wastage and causing unwanted wilting of plants.
Electric fans consume less electricity than air-conditioners (ACs). Use the former as much as you can, whenever you can. An eco-conscious Muslim on the other hand, opens his windows to fill the room with natural air, improving the house’s ventilation in the best possible manner. By doing so, you will not only be saving a lot of electricity, but will also increase the quality of your life by giving your lungs the dose of fresh natural air it deserves.
Do not leave devices plugged in while not using them. Do not charge your laptops, cell phones or any electronic device excessively. This will result in unwanted electricity consumption and might harm your batteries too. Simply turn off devices (especially your laptops) while not using them or while sleeping to save power.
Keep the doors closed while leaving the room to prevent the room from cooling or heating up too much. This way, your room remains warm in cooler climatic conditions, preventing you from using heaters excessively. During warmer climatic conditions, you could use the same principle for preventing the cool air generated by ACs from escaping out, making your room feel relatively cooler as opposed to leaving the door open while you leave.
Dry your clothes outdoors if you receive abundant sunlight instead of using the dryers.
Walk outdoors instead of using the treadmill. This saves energy and is more beneficial for your body as well.
Use the good old bicycle to commute short distances instead of using your cars. This saves fuel and gives your body a natural workout, helping you stay fit. If you find that option awkward, you could try the public transport system too.
Natural resources like sunlight are a blessing for mankind from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Use solar panels if you live in a country that receives abundant sunlight.
FOOD AND YOU
Cook only that which is necessary. Many a times, we tend to cook way too much than what’s needed. Leaving the leftovers in the refrigerator (resulting in unwanted power consumption) or throwing them away (in effect neglecting the rizq that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has provided) will become inevitable.
Abdullah ibn `Abbas raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet ﷺ said:
“The believer is not he who eats his fill while his neighbour is hungry.”
[Al Adab Al Mufrad]
While you may not be living in a locality where your neighbour is hungry, you might probably come across people down the street who are in dire need of a few morsels. So make the intention to feed the poor in your locality if you do have leftover food. Try giving it to them when the food is fresh instead of passing it over when it has become stale.
Like the Prophet ﷺ said:
“Love for your brother what you love for yourself !”
Alternatively, you could use that food to feed the animals too. Abu Hurairah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said :
“A man felt very thirsty while he was on the way, there he came across a well. He went down the well, quenched his thirst and came out. Meanwhile he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst.
He said to himself :
"This dog is suffering from thirst as I did.” So, he went down the well again, filled his shoe with water, held it with his mouth and watered the dog. Allah appreciated him for that deed and forgave him.”
The Companions said :
“O Allah’s Messenger! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?”
He replied :
“There is a reward for serving any living being.” "
Your time on Earth is limited, so try collecting as many rewards as you can in every manner possible, In sha Allah.
MAINTAINING THE ENVIRONMENT
Many a time, we wonder how and where we could give charity. The possibilities are limitless. Here a few examples to get you started:
Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported that
The Prophet ﷺ said:
“Removing harmful things from the road is an act of charity (sadaqah).”
[Riyadh As Saliheen]
We often see public places littered with useless substances. You may see a stone, a branch, or any type of substance that is obstructing the pathway and could cause potential injury to someone. Why not remove it from the path to earn some charitable rewards إن شاء الله ?
PLANTING TREES :
INVESTMENT OF A LIFESTIME
You may have read umpteen numbers of articles on why and how you must plant trees along with the numerous environmental benefits. Now, let’s look at the Islamic benefits of planting trees.
The Prophet ﷺ said:
“If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it,
it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.”
So, if you don’t have the means to donate money for building a mosque or a well, and if you don’t have the time to impart beneficial knowledge to someone, you could still earn sadaqah jariya (continuous charity) by doing something as simple as planting a tree! Every time a person/animal benefits from the shade the tree provides or by relishing a fruit that was produced, you could be earning exponential rewards even after your death! So, take your family out and plant away.
Safeguarding and doing our bit for the environment by taking care of resources that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has subjected to our service, is a beautiful way of showing our gratitude towards our Lord. Being a part of this blessed religion allows you to earn magnanimous rewards in numerous ways possible. With several ahadith of our Prophet ﷺ stressing on making conscious efforts to conserve our environment, I hope to have inspired you to take small yet significant steps in doing whatever little you can to preserve our surroundings and receive Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) pleasure, إن شاء الله
Please share your thoughts on what you could do or have done for the environment, so we could inspire each other bi’idhnillah.