By Nouman Khalil
This year, Peel, Halton and Toronto’s Muslim community is celebrating environment-friendly Ramadan by saying "no" to disposable bottles from sunset to sunrise.
The fasting month of Ramadan begins next weekend, May 27-28. It’s the Islamic month in which holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the revelation occurred during one of the last 10 nights, called Laylat Al-Qadr.
To reap maximum reward in this month, benefit others and protect the environment, TorontoMuslims — a project of DawaNet, a Mississauga-based nonprofit organization committed to community service, outreach and development — launched a pilot project called the #Waste Free Ramadan campaign to encourage all community members not to send plastic bottles to landfills.
“We really want to be environmentally conscious, especially in the coming month of Ramadan,” said Taha Ghayyur, one of campaign organizers. “If we are fasting to develop God-consciousness, we are also ensuring that we are not damaging the world and that’s the whole idea of seeking mercy.”
He said the campaign began with an initial goal of distributing 5,000 bottles through few major mosques in Peel, Halton and Toronto regions, especially in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga, but due to overwhelming response they have double the target to 10,000.
“The earth is green and beautiful and Allah has appointed you stewards over it,” reads a campaign message quoting a hadith (saying of the Prophet).
Bottles are available free of charge at local mosques such as ISNA Canada, Al Falah Islamic Centre, Sayeda Khadija Centre, Anatolia Islamic Centre, Islamic Propagation Centre (aka Coopers Masjid), and Dar At-Tawheed Islamic Centre. People can also obtain one free of cost by making an online donation.
Ghayyur said since it's a pilot project, TorontoMuslims initiated this campaign with selected mosques, but the actual idea was to distribute bottles free of cost.
The colourful bottles are designed for people to also write their own names on it and encourage others to do the same.
The #WasteFreeRamadan campaign hopes to engage all Canadian in discussions about climate change, global warming, environmental degradation and conservation.
For more information, visit https://www.launchgood.com/project/wastefreeramadan#/.
Nouman Khalil is a reporter with The Mississauga News, Brampton Guardian and South Asian Focus. This article originally appeared on Mississauga.com on May 19th, 2017.