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The Muslim community is striving for a green Ramadan

Muslim communities continue to rally around themes of social change, embracing the link between Ramadan and eco consciousness. The latest, is limiting plastic waste.

Muslims around the globe are currently observing Ramadan: a holy month in which members of the faith endeavour to purify themselves against excess and materialism.

In keeping with these intrinsic values, mosques internationally are striving to combat arguably the worst ecological scourge of consumerism over the last century, plastic waste.

As Muslims break fast for Iftar – the after-sunset meal each evening to observe Ramadan – many large communal gatherings which used to necessitate the use of single-use plastic items like forks, knives, and bottled water are now turning to sustainable alternatives.

Other mosques and community centres are discouraging large evening meals altogether, owing to the generation of food waste and use of non-biodegradable materials being contrary to the key value of preventing wastefulness.

This practice of ‘greening’ is becoming increasingly prevalent in the faith during this holy month, and the Muslim Council of Britain is encouraged by bolstered efforts to protect the planet. See how you can get involved here.

Scholars regularly cite the core principle of having reverence for all living creatures in Islam’s foundational texts. The Quran, for instance, emphasises the role of humans as stewards on Earth, meaning direct parallels can be drawn to conservation and sustainability efforts.

Environmental activists of the Islam faith regularly highlight numerous hadith – sayings of guidance from the Prophet Muhammad – which maintain that Muslims should avoid excess, consume moderately, and respect all living things.

‘The ethos of Islam is that it integrates belief with a code of conduct which pays heed to the essence of the natural world,’ explained Fazlun Khalid, a founding voice on the intersectionality of Islam and environmentalism.

With this altruistic worldview ingrained, the desire for change extends beyond periods of Iftar too. Several guides exist online offering up everyday routine adjustments that can have a significant impact if adopted on a widescale. Here’s one, if you’re interested.

For the approximately 20 million pilgrims who visit Arbaeen yearly, awareness campaigns are aiming to help people reduce their personal footprints, limit their waste, and spread the message of ecological encouragement throughout the community.

Getting industries and businesses to buy into sustainability at the expense of profitability may prove incredibly difficult, but Islamic environmentalism is born from a noble set of values and genuine desire. It’s wonderful to see.

For those partaking this month, Ramadan Mubarak from all of us at Thred.