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The Urgency of Stewardship – Living Green Series

The Living Green Series takes us through our responsibilities towards green living and environmental stewardship. In this segment, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains why we all have a responsibility to be stewards of the earth.

Stewardship a necessary part of living in this world. We are actually commanded to work towards justice to everything around us, and we have been given the moral ability to do so.

Allah commands us in the Qur’an:

Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. (16:90)

Justice entails giving everything its due, whether it be other humans, plants, and animals. The Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, would give names to his tools and household objects, signifying that he had a relationship with them.

Muslims have an overarching commitment to environmental protection, and are called to have a good balance with everything in our daily lives. This includes doing things like avoiding waste, knowing that small amounts of waste and extravagance are disliked, while gross waste is sinful.

It also involves  having a commitment to do well in work, studies, and family and social life, but not be excessively attached to them. This balance involves being in a position where we seek the good for ourselves, while still seeking good for others. We do this while being mindful of Allah, and doing everything with the intention of reaching Him.

About the Series

What is the place of green and environmental stewardship in Islam? How does the Qur’an view concern for the environment?  What is your responsibility towards the environment? Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin and Shaykh Ali Hani answer these are other critical questions by citing several prophetic traditions emphasising environmental consciousness and awareness.


Resources for Seekers

Day 26: Reduce Waste–30 Deeds 30 Days

Day 26: Reduce Waste

In these days of fasting, many of us make an effort to host and attend iftar dinners. We do this to reconnect with others, and share in the joy of this blessed month. However, sometimes these events come with a lot of waste; wasted food, wasted materials, and wasted time.reduce waste

For your next iftar, try your best to minimize waste. Use biodegradable plates and cutlery rather than the typical plastic and Styrofoam ones. Take only as much as you can eat, and encourage others to do the same. Use your time wisely, to ensure that you have enough time for worship. Most importantly, ask Allah to bless your efforts to help others and the environment.


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What is the Legal Ruling of Wasting Money?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: What is the Islamic legal ruling on wasting money? What is defined as wasting money? Some Muslims are really unnecessarily cheap in spending and giving gifts, some are over the top in trying to save every single penny even recycling tea bags.
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Waste is defined as usage above and beyond the need.
You are permitted to spend your money as you see fit as long as it does not lead to falling short in fulfilling your other obligations. As for being generous, this is the sunna. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah is generous, He loves generosity; He is noble, He loves nobility.” [Tirmidhi]
Please see: Generosity in Ramadan – Imam Zaid Shakir – New Islamic Directions
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Leaving Food on one’s plate

Answered  by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it sunnah not to finish all the food on your plate, and to leave some food for next time? I ask because someone told me this is a very good thing to do, and someone else said this is illogical. Please clarify this, insha’Allah.

leftover-food-plateAnswer : The sunna is to finish all the food one took on one’s plate.

Leaving food is from wastefulness: leaving just a little is better not to; leaving more than this is blameworthy; that which would be considered ‘excessively wasteful’ is sinful.

This is if the food on one’s plate got there of one’s own accord. Otherwise, the waste is from the one who gave too much.

Walaikum assalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Throwing Away Food

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Kindly could you elaborate on the issue of throwing away food? For example, if one has cooked food that is edible in itself but distasteful, what should one do about it? Can one throw it away? What about bread crums and crums of biscuits? Can one throw them in the garden i.e the crums and left over small bits of food?

Lastly, is one responsible in anyway in picking up food seen thrown away in one’s path? Please correct me if im wrong, was there Prophetic Sunna related to picking up own’s own food that falls to the ground and eating it after one says Bismillah? Insh Allah look forward to your response.

leftover-food-plateAnswer: 1. The sunna is to only take the amount of food one is sure they can eat. Taking more than this is improper. Not finishing one’s food simply because it doesn’t taste good is disliked. Not doing so because one is genuinely full is excusable, though one should take heed and be more careful the next time.

Crumbs and left over bits of food should be eaten. As the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, that is where the baraka may well be, and this is an expression of one’s recognition of the blessing of food.

2. If one sees food on the ground, it is recommended, if possible without preponderating secondary considerations, to pick it up.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani