My Dear Muslim Son


Author : 

http://www.muslimmatters.org

Dear Son,

You are ten and we haven’t had the talk yet. I don’t mean the talk about puberty or sex ed, that we have been doing since you were little. Rather the talk that many Muslim mothers dread having with their growing sons.

Your Baba is an inventor. Our house and garage is filled with gizmos and gadgets. I think Dadda still holds on to his inventions from when he was a middle school kid. He went on to receive multiple patents for his inventions. We love his geekiness and I see the same sparks of joy when you design or make something from nothing.

Your father grew up in a time before 9/11. You on the other hand are growing up in a world where millions of dollars are spent on building hysteria around your faith.

You will not be afforded the right to be a regular kid. You will be judged on a totally different playing field.

Be careful of strange men, not just those who may want to use your body for their lust but also for their nefarious greed. They will come to you talking about justice and peace, offering you a free lunch. They will show you terrible footage of carnage of your people and urge you to express your feelings. Then they will sell you to the nearest FBI branch, who will concoct a plan to blow up a lighted Christmas tree or a mall and throw you into a prison called a Communications Management Unit where your Mama will not be able to touch you or hug you.

Just be careful. Don’t vent your anger in online forums. Come talk to me… That is why I take you to protests and forums where good men and women are trying to make structural change. Most importantly, make du’a to Allah about the injustices you see and aim to work to eradicate them through halal means.

Learn deen from our imams and the scholars near us. Those who frequent our masajid, who make Eid with us, who attend our janazahs and visit us to give classes. They know about Islam and you do not need to go online to ask questions about our religion. Ask me or Baba anything that bothers you about ayahs in the Qur’an, we will find the resources to answer all your questions.

I know you like police officers. When you were younger, I would always tell you to look for the uniform in case you were lost. That you would be safe until I could get to you. The police are meant to protect you but in these difficult times any innocent thing you do may be seen as a threat. As you grow from a cute young boy to a big, brown man, you may seem scary to others. They have been brainwashed by the movies made both in Hollywood and by professional bigots, that show people who look like us as the monsters who kill their children. Our politicians and leaders have used the perceived threat to gain quick votes. The White House, where our President lives, held a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism and just discussed Muslims and this has sent out a message to the entire country that they need to look at us through the lens of violence.

If you are ever in a position where you have to speak to the police ask them to contact your parents. Don’t be a wise guy. Don’t run. Don’t resist. You thought cops were just ‘mean’ to Black kids and that since you were not of the same color, it could not happen to you. But my dear son, I don’t want to hide reality from you. If you ever think you have it so hard – think about what our Black Muslim brothers and sisters go through every single day.

I don’t know how to do this. I do not have the generational wisdom of my Black friends who have had this Talk with their sons. This is why Mama has taught you about anti-racism work, why it is important for us to learn from and work with our Black friends. I will ask them.

I will also ask my friends who were raised in countries like Egypt where the police has often been an enemy of ‘our kind’ of Muslims. This is why I teach you about injustice around the world, so you are not shocked when it happens in your country. ‪#‎IstandwithAhmed‬

Be careful before taking an invention to school. Be careful while flying. Be careful making jokes. Anti-Muslim bigotry is REAL.

But most importantly, be careful not to lose your shine. I pray that your Minecraft obsession and tinkering with tools leads you to do immense good for mankind. I pray that you take after your father and continue building and making. I make du’a that you always stand for Justice.

Don’t ever hesitate to name your children after the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) or to say the takbeer (Allah hu Akbar) out loud, don’t ever be afraid to go the masjid, and don’t ever be afraid to invite mankind to our beautiful religion, no matter what.

Remember when the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was facing extreme hate Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) said to him:

[He is] the Lord of the East and the West; there is no deity except Him, so take Him as Disposer of [your] affairs. And be patient over what they say and avoid them with gracious avoidance. 73:9-10

He told us to rise up at night to worship Him and He will take care of it all.

Allah is with you. Trust Him and only Him.

I love you,

Mama
‪#‎RaisingMuslimmen‬

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10 Green Quranic Verses On The Environment


environment verses from quran
Carbon free revelations: Muslim or not, these 10 Quranic quotes on #EcoIslam will really make you think about greening your lives.

For Muslims the Qur’an is the ultimate green-guide. Believed to be a sublime revelation with remarkable ideas, this divine scripture is scrupulously read by Muslims for spirituality. But it is not limited to only that. In the Islamic faith, faith in the environment is on par to good faith towards humanity and indeed God, since Muslims believe He created all. The Qur’an therefore, doesn’t just link belief in One God (Tawheed) to being nice to plants and keeping a pet. The Qur’an glorifies nature and wildlife as an earthly heaven, a mirror to the lush forests of Paradise above.

Ethics and equilibrium are key ingredients to peace (salaam) and even vegetarian living. Here are 10+ key quotes from the Qur’an that show what #EcoIslam is really about.

1. Anti-Corruption Police

Living a balanced, moderate life is easy to say, harder to follow through. Even Muslims-the wealthier, western Muslims-have a difficult time living purely ‘off the land’. Yet this doesn’t detract from the verses:

“…And do not desire corruption in the land. Indeed, God does not like corruptors. ” Qur’an 28:77

“…And do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.” Qur’an, 2:60

 

Think about it
How many forms of corruption are there? Crime, political fraud, illegal banking systems, theft, rape. Sound pretty major don’t they. Now add to that list littering, deforestation, toxic waste and pesticides. Sure, these are hardly equivalent to murdering but in the long run, these things take human lives too, a fact. That is what the Qur’an is alarming readers about.

 

Corruption in our country, here in England, is when we see landfills galore and then expect it’s someone else’s job to sort out. Corruption is when there are homeless people in our towns and we walk past hoping that it’s they who won’t see us.
In the end, when we don’t restore these things to harmony we only end up polluting our own little bubble of survival. That is why God says our catastrophes are self-inflicted; “corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by what the hands of people have earned”. As if to give a wake-up call, people are told these catastrophic processes can heal and eliminate social and natural disorders, but through belief in God and respect for nature.

“…So… let them taste part of (the consequences of) what they have done that perhaps they will return (to righteousness).” (Qur’an 30:41)

2. Call Yourself A Human?

“Indeed, We (God) offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant. (Qur’an 33:72)

In Arabic the word for earthling is Khalifa (خلِيفةً) pronounced kha-leaf-ah. This is a magnificent word with multiple meanings like deputy, guardian, ‘friend of Earth’ and viceroy, although it all boils down to Stewardship. Human beings are the most intelligent beings on earth so it makes sense that we have the responsibility to care for our planet, to give it a hug and a health check now and again .

“And it is He (God) who has made you successors (khala’ifa) upon the earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees [of rank] that He may try you through what He has given you. Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an 6:165).

Notes
Interestingly, this idea of humans being ‘successors’ or stewards resonates in the Bible, particularly in Exodus and Corinthians. In the well-known Genesis verses the earliest humans alive are taught to sow and reap from the fields, in order to understand the functionality of earth and be in awe of its beauty. The Torah too instructs its followers with a job description similar to a noble janitor.

Muslims are supposed to hold this responsibility deeply. We are not the masters but we have been given a short-term trust. Anyone who creates corruption and pollution abuses their power and has violated this trust. Such a person fails as a Human and needs to earn the title back.

3. Ending Poverty

“And you do not encourage one another to feed the poor.” (Qur’an, 89:18)

There are so many modern ways to end poverty. I really believe there is enough man-power, resources and the all-important funding (you know, moolah) to end poverty the world over. But for personal and political reasons, we might donate £5/$5, give our Islamic “tax” (zakat) to a charity once a year, and think that’s enough. It is good, but it is not enough.

I hear so many apologies from Muslims like ‘you can only give to Islamic charities’ and ‘donate to the masjid first’ but that’s phoney etiquette. In the order of priorities under the Islamic social system, human life comes first, then preserving faith and then community. These principles overlap so that you cannot have one complete without the other.

Many orphans around the world are waiting for a kind person to sponsor them.

“No! But you do not honour the orphan.” (Qur’an, 89:17)

Honouring orphans? An orphan is without a father to financially support him/her. By giving a monthly amount you improve the lifestyle of a young person, you give a life. You also raise their status because you’re sponsoring their education, their food, their home. Without your provision another child potentially dies. God is saying that most people do not really care. Remember those priorities: Life.

An educated child has more opportunities so God exclaims, honour them! And remember the saying (Hadith) of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, that anyone who supports an orphan will live in close proximity to him, in heaven.

Another point in poverty, inheritance. Endless troubles are created because people who don’t understand the Islamic inheritance laws fight over who gets what. This is ‘unIslamic’, leading to more social inequity. God tells believers to discard the love of wealth and to be fair in giving people their due,

“[But] you consume inheritance, devouring [it] altogether,” (Qur’an 89:17).

Action plan – Some of the ways to end poverty

  • You could set up a standing order to your local charity
  • Ask your masjid to give one month’s donations to the poorest in your neighbourhood
  • Sponsor an orphan – if you want to know how please comment
  • Start a ‘buddy’ system where you ‘babysit’ an impoverished teen for a month
  • Petition your local council repeatedly to support and house the homeless-they are not a burden; you can do this anonymously

In Islam charity is prioritised to the most needy and the closest. If there is a single mum on your street who can’t pay for her weekly shop, that is where you donation should be headed. If a child you know lives below the standard, can’t afford school supplies or can’t even pay for school dinners, that is your obligation too. So you see, ending poverty globally is a challenge that can be done, but keep looking to your own neighbourhoods first.

4. Preservation of Water

Another way of ending poverty is to provide clean water where it’s needed. This doesn’t have to be a burdensome task. Ask your friends/family to chip in £5 for a community well abroad, your home country perhaps. Tell people to reuse their plastic bottles and donate the cost (£1) to your well-fundraising. Save water in your own homes by fixing leaky taps and request that the masjid caps water usage to limit wastage.

Water is a huge life-providing theme in the Qur’an. God talks about how He creates life through water then sustains it by streams, the rains, rivers and oceans that are homes for so many creatures.

“And Allah has sent down rain from the sky and given life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who listen.” (Qur’an, 16:65)

In the Qur’an, God uses the analogy of life and death for Muslims to recognise the value of water. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said that one day people will wage war over rivers of gold. He was talking about water. We have taps that fill our basins with gold, but we cannot afford overflows while people wait for the rains. Third-world countries in desert climates are counting on us to give the cost of our water to them.

By starting something simple like a well-fundraiser you kickstart a chain reaction that will motivate others to do the same. People will call your mosque a Green Mosque for following the prophetic Eco-Wudhu and preserving water. Whomever receives your well/water-pump will be able to plant crops, fruits and trees for generations.

“And We have sent down blessed rain from the sky and made grow thereby gardens and grain from the harvest.” (Qur’an, 50:9)

As water is another natural creation, Muslims believe it belongs to God and nobody can monopolise it. Water is for sharing and there is enough water for all.

5. Gardens of Paradise

The Qur’an contains lots of horticultural information which science has reaffirmed by more than 90%. Like previous revelations in the Gospels and Torah, Quranic plants are mentioned in detail with the medicinal properties of herbs being highlighted. God speaks about His creative design and the nutrition available from natural produce as an encouragement to eat healthily:

“And it is He who sends down rain from the sky, and We produce thereby the growth of all things. We produce from it greenery from which We produce grains arranged in layers. And from the palm trees – of its emerging fruit are clusters hanging low. And [We produce] gardens of grapevines and olives and pomegranates, similar yet varied. Look at [each of] its fruit when it yields and [at] its ripening. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.” (Qur’an, 6:99)

Among the plants mentioned in the Qur’an there is garlic, grapes, pomegranate, herbs, dates, ginger, olives, lentils, onion, cucumber, figs, mustard, a variety of trees including the cedarand the acacia flower.

What do we learn from this? Plants are already part of our diet so there’s not much impetus to start talking to trees but we could always take it a step further.

The Eco Muslim

  • I am pro-gardening and will always encourage readers to grow something. Anything. At the least, your pot of ‘wildlife’ will encourage pollination and eco-systems.
  • Cut a tree, plant a tree. For every bouquet of flowers you give, plant flower seeds; at least once a year, sponsor a sapling in Palestine; grow fruit trees with your kids. Grow stuff man!
  • Build an eco-system by filling hanging baskets with luscious compost or peat.
  • Needless to say, increase your intake of heavenly greens and fruits.
  • Finally, take time out to appreciate the beauty of meadows and foliage around you. These moments of reflection count as worship for Muslims, they are moments of connection to the Creator. But you can take it however you want. Gratitude is the key.

6. Treating Animals With Dignity

“And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are]communities like you. We have not neglected in the Register a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered.” (Qur’an, 6:38) http://quran.com/6/38

God uses the word ‘community’ (umma) to describe the similarity between people and animals. We have our social groups, animals have theirs. There is a beauty and majesty in the innate construct of swimmings shoals of fish or flocks of birds dancing in the skies. Muslims reflect, where do penguins learn parenting skills? How do baby turtles know to head to water? For Muslims, this answer is divinely inspired.

It’s a sad reality that animal rights are grossly violated throughout the Muslim world. Violence like hunting for skins or tusks means that several animal species are extinct. Imagine those animals were ethnicity groups, could you really accept all of Europe or south-east Asia being wiped out? I don’t think so.

In many countries animals are needlessly killed or eaten without health considerations. For true Muslims, both actions are illegal. This is why pork is unlawful (haram); it’s very unhealthy. A few animals cannot be consumed under Islamic law and all animals have to be raised with dignity, with the exception of an attack (think poisonous snakes!)

The city shepherd

I know that Muslims know their faith is about being kind to animals. But what about a chicken’s lifestyle prior to being slaughtered? What about treating cats with love so they are not scared? What about giving back what is taken from them – ? Like what, you ask. Lemme tell you:

The Bee and the honey it makes: A whole chapter in the Qur’an is dedicated to bees (An-Nahl, 16:68-69), elevating the magic involved for turning nectar into honey. People are not supposed to disrupt honeycombs or knock down ‘live’ hives. In this instance, giving back would involve planting yellow coloured flowers to help bees collect nectar or supporting a bee farm.

Zabiha animals: In Islamic law animals like cattle and poultry are lawful to eat because they are healthy and they have been made by God to be consumed (see Mai’dah, 5:4). For an Islamic slaughtered the animals needs healthy grazing without hormones, given tenderness with freedom to roam and then prepared for slaughtering (zabiha).

The Zabiha method involves covering the animal’s eyes and reading God’s name (takbir) to help the animal submit. Without good health, the animal may be Zabiha but it will not be lawful (halal) to eat.

Muslims do not have to eat meat. Vegetarianism is an option in Islamic law and eating less meat is the best diet.

Doing more: Request your masjid to sponsor an endangered animal which students can get updates on (how cool would that be?). If you know a cosmetic company tests on animals, don’t use it. It might not save hundreds of animals or shut the company down but at least you’re not contributing to a monster process. You are the one with the ethics.

7. Eating Wholesome

“Eat and drink from the provision of Allaah, and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.” (Qur’an, 2:60)

Halal food actually tastes better. There is more attentive cooking involved in a halal meal then a take-out, try it, invite your self to a Muslim friends’ flat.
A strong Islamic rule is to eat in moderation and drink in moderation. Food tech (home ec) lessons were right, wholewheat is better, 5-10 portions of fruit/veg a day is optimum, and 6-10 glasses of water is ideal.
The Sahaba diet: Muslims fast for 30 days of the lunar year. For the remaining months, a balanced diet is required with the occasional fast to keep the body in check. The Companions (sahaba) of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, lived in poverty but they chose to maintain healthy lives. Many of them had strong muscles and toned bodies, ready to dig and build for others. Laziness in exercise and strength is therefore not an option.
All major faith groups have some form of “consumption control” because binge-eating spoils the human spirit. Science tells us that the body is designed to fast so Muslims feel they have a headstart in this soul-food.

Islamic etiquette tells Muslims to follow a formula concerning food: We say God’s name when eating (bismillah), we always eat with our right hand, we eat slowly, chew slowly, eat smaller portions, sip water 3x, sit for eating and drinking, we share our food and cover all uneaten food.

How to eat

  • Go vegetarian for a month every year to improve your diet
  • Your body is not a bin so stop filling it with junk food
  • Recognise Zabiha vs. Halal: Zabiha is Islamic and Halal is organic. You need both
  • Keep to your ethics by checking food labels-support poorer countries and buy more local
  • Don’t bother with fancy diets. Make a food chart of what you should be eating and follow that 52 weeks of the year

8. Patching The Ozone

The ozone “hole” over the Antarctica is a phenomenon whereby the stratosphere is thinned out (it’s not really a hole). It’s caused by refrigerants: CFC’s, halons and freons. These have been banned since the 1970s but we still lose a few percentile of ozone each year, and the increased thinning means the earth is losing its protective layer.

Islam’s 14-hundred-year-old book mentions the atmosphere in embracing language:

“And We made the sky a protected ceiling (canopy), but they, from its signs, are turning away.” (Qur’an, 21:32)

“It is Allah who made for you the earth a place of settlement and the sky a ceiling and formed you and perfected your forms and provided you with good things. That is Allah, your Lord; then blessed is Allah , Lord of the worlds.” (Qur’an, 40:64)

Finding a band-aid
God has wrapped the earth with atmosphere and people have burned it away. Restoring it requires global diligence and commitment to neutralising toxic gases/radiation. It is asking a lot from billions of people yet I believe it is the only way to go about it.

Fight existing organisations that pollute the most and get politically involved to shake up government awareness. Environmental action is always on the agenda but not many have the courage to follow-through. Nuclear plants and factories have protected legal rights to emit certain amounts of pollution and waste, we cannot always defeat those. But doing our individual part can collectively heal the “hole” in the sky over the years.

9. Understanding The Creation

After reading such a variety of information from the Qu’ran, it’s time to look at #EcoIslam ideas as a whole. The Qur’an is a book for thinkers and is open to anyone not afraid to read. This is what the Qur’an also says…

The Art in Design (and the Design in Art)

“Do you not see that Allah sends down rain from the sky and makes it flow as springs [and rivers] in the earth; then He produces thereby crops of varying colours; then they dry and you see them turned yellow; then He makes them [scattered] debris. Indeed in that is a reminder for those of understanding.” (Qur’an, 39:21)

Tectonic plates and mountain ‘pegs’

“And He has cast into the earth firmly set mountains, lest it shift with you, and [made] rivers and roads, that you may be guided,” (Qur’an, 16:15)

Travelling on sea

“He released the two seas, meeting [side by side]; Between them is a barrier [so] neither of them transgresses.” (55:19-20)

Weather patterns

“And it is He who sends the winds as good tidings before His mercy until, when they have carried heavy rainclouds, We drive them to a dead land and We send down rain therein and bring forth thereby [some] of all the fruits. Thus will We bring forth the dead; perhaps you may be reminded.” (7:57)

“It is Allah who sends the winds, and they stir the clouds and spread them in the sky however He wills, and He makes them fragments so you see the rain emerge from within them. And when He causes it to fall upon whom He wills of His servants, immediately they rejoice.” (30:48)

“It is He who shows you lightening, [causing] fear and aspiration, and generates the heavy clouds.” (13:12)

All these verses are amazing starting points for activism. Environmental welfare is described as something sacrilegious, beneficial for us, and so naturally Muslims are going to act on them, right? I mean, to say that being The Eco Muslim is a spiritual act is laughable for many but I see it as a real integral part of my faith.

By reading these verses it should at the very least make you aware of Islam’s harmonious core. Living as socially responsible and exemplary human beings is one of the Islamic commands of God.

10. Respecting The Creator

So Who is God? “Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call – to Him belong the best names.” (17:110)

A world without God
No belief at all is like saying there’s no morality or no social code: the system cracks. In Islam, Quranic warnings describe a world where there is no authority and the ego becomes the ultimate religion. Such a world inevitably destroys itself and becomes destroyed. These final days are described in various Quranic verses.

If a person has no belief, one has to question where the morality comes from. Logic tells us to respect nature because it’s the source of our food, health, livelihood. It’s our planet. All things come from the ground and The Eco Muslim policy is to walk on this ground without damaging it.

Appreciating the universal system, from quarks to quasars, the Qur’an says be a thinker, reflect, meditate. It’s good for your own health. Respect others, pass the good vibes on.

Finally, regardless of your faith, ask yourself: have I improved my life and the lives of those around me?

Peace + eco-jihad.
Zaufishan, The Eco Muslim

10 Green Ahaadith


islam environment muhammad hadith quotes

Ten beautiful quotes from Prophet Muhammad of Islam ﷺ (peace and blessings be upon him), on evergreen faith and ecological protection.

What makes a successful leader? Many world leaders and religious figures have advocated protection of planet Earth in their struggle to reach the top, but most have ultimately failed to create a long-lasting conservation plan.

Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, is one of the most, if not the only one who reached a pinnacle of success by not only verbally teaching, but stringently applying Islamic principles of ecological welfare. His concern for preserving nature was so consistent that history reports the only time he cut down plants were the palm trees in Madina to impede the Jewish tribe Banu Nadhir.

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, categorically taught people to live on less, to protect animal and plant life, and to worship the Creator by being merciful to the creation. What is also distinctive about Prophet Muhammad’s advice is the connection between ethical practices and the eternal effects in the life after death, which represents a greater incentive for Muslims to care for the earth and its resources.

I wanted to share these prophetic sayings (ahadith) which I believe are excellent indicators to reflect the Islamic faith as a relevant environmental ‘movement’.

1) A believer is like a growing tree

“The example of a believer is that of a fresh tender plant; from whatever direction the wind comes, it bends it, but when the wind quietens down, the plant becomes straight again…” narrated by Abu Hurayra, Bukhari

Prophet Muhammad was teaching new Muslims that their life on the path of faith must always progress and beware of climatic changes, just like a young tree. There will be tough times when the storm seems to never end. But patience and persistence in planting roots no matter what the trouble, will heal both one’s own branches and protect the nearest plants.

2) Plant a tree even if it’s your last deed

“If the Hour (the day of Resurrection) is about to be established and one of you was holding a palm shoot, let him take advantage of even one second before the Hour is established to plant it.” – Al-Albani.

3) Planting trees is a renewable source of reward

“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.” – Imam Bukhari.

4) Conserve resources even when used for routine rituals
Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, happened to pass by a Companion, Sa’d, as he was performing ablution (wudhu) next to a river. At this, the Prophet said, “Sa’d what is this squandering?”
Sa’d replied: “Can there be an idea of squandering (israf) in ablution?”
The Prophet said: “Yes, even if you are by the side of a flowing river.” – Ibn Majah.

5) Keeping the environment sanitary maintains the community

“Beware of the three acts that cause you to be cursed: [1] relieving yourselves in shaded places (that people utilise), in a walkway or in a watering place.” – Narrated by Mu`adh, hasan, by Al-Albani

Hygiene and cleanliness (tahara) is so integral to Islam that it is actually a major sub-branch of Muslim belief. Without physical hygiene, prayers are broken. Without clean facilities pollution ruins cities, and without any effort to improve one’s own purity, it becomes more difficult to prevent external corruptions like littering.

6) Thus, Prophet Muhammad said about street clean-ups,

“Removing harmful things from the road is an act of charity (sadaqah).” Narrated by Abu Dharr Al-Ghafari.

7) Say no to over-consumption (or at least reduce it)

Abdullah ibn `Abbas reported that the Prophet said, “The believer is not he who eats his fill while his neighbor is hungry.” Authenticated by Al-Albani

8) Eat a little less every day
Excessive eating is abhorred in Islam. For the days of Ramadan, fasting is precisely a command in order to learn control and when to say ‘no’. Prophet Muhammad did not encourage eating a three course meal nor a heavy meal. Every meal should be shared between two and choosing between take-outs and home-cooked, a healthier diet is always the better option (less meat, more greens). In the Islamic law system (Shariah), a person should stop eating as soon as the hunger pangs cease.

“Nothing is worse than a person who fills his stomach. It should be enough for the son of Adam to have a few bites to satisfy his hunger. If he wishes more, it should be: One-third for his food, one-third for his liquids, and one-third for his breath.” Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.

9) Consider recycling and fixing before buying new items
When asked about how the Prophet used to live in his house, the Prophet’s wife, `A’ishah, said that he used to repair his own shoes, sew his clothes and carry out all such household chores done without complaint or want for more. (Authenticated by Al-Albani).

The idea behind this was to show Muslims that menial tasks (mehna) were not degrading for God’s Prophet. Reusing and repairing things instead of always buying new is not a sign of poverty, they are a sign of power. By performing household duties, the Prophet was saying we can build foundations on less ‘stuff’, we are in control of what we consume and we don’t need more.

10) Animals should be cared for:

“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.”
– Imam Bukhari.

The Prophet provided for animals, as did Abu Huraira who narrated this hadith. Abu Hurayra’s name translates as the ‘father of kittens’, named so because he was known to carry kittens in the draped sleeves of his robe.

Animals have a huge role in the ecological welfare system. The tenets of the Shariah law towards animals rights make it obligatory for any individual to take care of crippled animals, to rescue strays and to guard a bird’s nest of eggs.

Hopefully this will inspire everyone reading to follow through on the Eco-Sunnah. Adopt an animal, reuse your wudhu water, eat much less. Be a leader.

Peace + eco-jihad. Zaufishan, The Eco Muslim

A Pillar of Society !!!


By Abu Muhammad Yusuf

The foundation of the tallest tower in the world is hidden, yet it is the most important part of the building. A mother is indeed an important part of our society, yet her role and contribution is seldom acknowledged!

A man came asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) ” Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: Then who? So he replied: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So he replied: “Then your father.” (Hadith- Bukhârî )

The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed upon her and the difficulties that she has to shoulder – responsibilities and difficulties some of which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligations upon a person is to show gratitude, kindness and good companionship with her.

Quite often and mainly due to our social environment, the importance of mothers is seriously downplayed and demoted to a menial job.

There was once an officer at the driving license counter who asked the lady, “what is your occupation ?” the woman seeking renewal of her license seemed to be puzzled.

So the officer said, “ma’am, are you employed….have your own business or….”

The woman replied, “oh, yes !! I have a full-time occupation. I am a mother

Officer : “we don’t have ‘mother’ as an option for occupation. I will write it down as ‘housewife’. That takes care of all questions.”

This had happened long ago, and was forgotten.

Years later when the same lady went to get her license, the public relations officer was a somewhat pompous woman.

“Your occupation?” she asked in a rather authoritative tone.

The lady just had an inspiration and replied, “I am a researcher in the field of child development, nutrition and inter-personal relationships.”

The lady officer stared at her in amazement. She calmly repeated her statement, and the lady officer wrote it down verbatim.

Then, unable to conceal her curiosity, she politely asked, “what exactly do you do in your profession, ma’am ?”

She was feeling good about having described her occupation so calmly and confidently. She replied, “my research projects have been going on for a number of years (mothers never retire !!). My research is conducted in the laboratory as well as in the field. I have a CEO and a senior Director (CEO is Allah of course and the Director is my entire family). Have received two honours in this field (a son and a daughter). My topic is considered to be the most difficult part of sociology (all moms will agree!!). I have to work more than 14 hours every day. Sometimes even 24 hours might not be enough and the challenges are tougher than many other professions. My compensation is in terms of mental satisfaction rather than money.”

After this brief introduction she could see that the officer was thoroughly impressed. After completing the licensing formalities, she came to the door to see her off.

This new viewpoint about her occupation made her feel much better on her way back home. She was welcomed by her 5-year-old research assistant at the door. Her new project (6 month old baby) was enthusiastically waiting to meet her.

She had earned a small victory over the governmental red tape and society stereotyping. She was no longer ‘merely a mother’. Instead she was now a highly placed functionary in a service vital for humanity – motherhood !!!

‘Mother’ – isn’t it a great title. Fit to be added to the nameplate on the door or even on your sporty car number plate!!!

By this standard, grandmothers deserve to be called senior research officers, and great grandmothers qualify as ‘research directors’. Aunts and other ladies of that age group can be called ‘research facilitator’.

Mothers are indeed of noble stature in society and their position is elevated to the highest position in Islam. The Noble Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him) emphatically proclaimed;

” Jannah (paradise) lies under the feet of your Mother!” (Hadith Ahmed,Sunan Ibn Mâjah).

Allah Ta’ala, The Most Wise says;

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say, “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.”(Noble Quran 17:23-24)

We don’t need to wait once a year and be commercially exploited on Mother’s Day to recognize this great personality, celebrate her today, tomorrow and everyday!