Green Tips from the Sunnah

Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi
Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

By Shaikh Ahmad Kutty

Today, the earth is in a deplorable state: greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from our over use of fossil fuels is creating a crisis of epidemic proportions. Rising sea levels are making parts of the world at risk of disappearing into the sea, and the earth is becoming parched and dry making it more or less unsuitable for further cultivation. Isn’t it about time we asked ourselves how we are contributing to this and what we can do to reverse the process?

Fortunately, for us as Muslims, we have in the Prophet of mercy, a guide for us in even this. And so let us look to, and allow his daily examples to serve as a source of inspiration, and motivation for us in our attempt to live life green.

  1. While brushing our teeth or making wudhu, think of the Prophet (peace be  upon him), who never used more than one liter of water for his wudhu and remember that no one can perform wudhu better than he.
  2. As we take our morning shower, think of the three liters of water that the Prophet used for bathing and consider making your shower shorter (not more than five minutes).
  3. Remember that the Prophet’s mosque had only lanterns, which were themselves used sparingly, and that many of our eminent scientists and scholars used the moon light to read and write. Following in their lead, turn off the lights when not absolutely necessary and learn to relax and function without light or in dim light!
  4. Before debating purchasing a new outfit, remember that the Prophet’s wife, Aisha, wore a gown with close to sixty patches on it.
  5. Pitch in to remove litter from the streets knowing that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said that doing so is an act of charity.
  6. Curb our never-ending  desire to consume and amass more by reflecting on the Prophetic words that, “He is not a believer who fills himself while his neighbor is starving!”
  7. Recall that many of the Prophets were trained as shepherds and that a good shepherd is one who is out in the field. So, get to know the earth and its inhabitants and act as a guardian and goodly shepherd over it.

So, let us think of the blessings of Allah and appreciate them, and know that appreciating them means to use them wisely, in moderation and never abuse them or be wasteful. And let's take responsibility for protecting the environment by following in the non-carbon, green footsteps of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him)!

Shaikh Ahmad Kutty graduated in the traditional Islamic sciences and received the ijazah (certification) of al-Faqih fi al-Deen (jurisprudence) from Islamiya College Santapuram, a leading Islamic institution in south India. Kutty has served on the Fiqh Council of North America, the pre-eminent Islamic law body on the continent. He has served as Imam and resident scholar at various institutions in Montreal and Toronto, including Toronto's Jami Mosque and the Islamic Foundation of Toronto.

Photo credit from Jenny Mackness