Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn piety and righteousness” (Q 2:183)
June and July will be a very special period for our Muslim Earth Keepers, as Ramadan will start on the 6 or 7 June respectively. Ramadan is a time of reflection and spiritual connection therefore we invite you to also use this opportunity to connect with the Creator through our environment, His gift to mankind.
As Green Deen writes, our basic needs of food, drink, sleep and intimacy connect us to our surroundings and the web of life, and Ramadan is an opportune time to honour this connection.
“Many aspects of us fasting in Ramadan reinforces environmental 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 prioritising our spiritual activities, we must simultaneously embrace a greener Ramadan.”
Green Deen has invited Muslim Earth Keepers to partake in the #30PacketsOfGreeness once again and makes some very practical suggestions that you can follow during Ramadan to honour our sacred earth, which concern food, water, energy and connecting to the Creator through the outdoors:
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- Ramadan is the month of the Quran. Identify the #greenverses while reading your daily Quran and ponder on their meanings.
- 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. 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.
We’ve written quite a bit about Green Monday South Africa, which encourages having one day a week on which we eat plant-based meals. This is not only beneficial to the environment, but can also bring us into a new relationship with the food that our Creator has so bountifully provided for us in the plant world.
The One Web of Life (OWL) programme is putting together a recipe booklet which speaks to this faithful eating and we will be distributing this soon. We warmly invite you to make use of this during Iftaar in the month of Ramadan.
Muslims for Eco-Justice are also engaging with how we can enter into a deeper relationship with our Creator and his creation during the month of Ramadan. We will be sharing their insights and resources soon.
We wish our Muslim Earth Keepers a very blessed month: Ramadan Kareem! May your Ramadan be successful and may all your duahs be accepted Insha Allah Ameen.
“The world is green and delightful and Allah has made you a custodian over it and is observing carefully how you deal with it” (Hadith)