Muneeb Nasir

Toronto Imams Mark Earth Day with 'Green' Khutbah

Imams in Toronto joined the worldwide Green Khutba Campaign on Earth Day and delivered sermons to raise awareness on the environmental challenges facing humanity.

“Islam appreciates and celebrates the earth and the environment to the extent that some Qur’anic surahs are named after some creations such the cow, the ants, the bees, the sun, and the moon,” said Imam Dr. Wael Shehab of Masjid Toronto in his message to the congregation. “The earth and all creations glorify Allah, so we have something in common with them all.”

“We love all creations and they love us too,” said Imam Shehab. “For us, the whole earth is like a masjid, so we should preserve it.”

The Green Khutbah Campaign commemorates Earth Day which coincided with the sermon awareness campaign this year.

“This year the theme of the Green Khutbah Campaign is ‘Climate Change: Working Together to Solve a Global Challenge’ whereby we encourage Muslims to evaluate their contribution towards global warming and consider the implications for current and future generations,” said Muaz Nasir, the publisher of the Canadian environmental website, and one of the founders of the Campaign.

The Campaign was launched in 2012 in Canada and, every year, Imams across the world are encouraged to deliver a message that remind their congregations of the Qur’anic message to be stewards of the earth and its environment.

“We have been honoured to be vicegerents of God on earth,” Imam Dr. Hamid Slimi told the congregation at the Sayeda Khadija Centre in Mississauga. “Take responsibility of your duty to Mother Earth.”

“This environmental crisis is not localized but universal,” said Friday Imam Muneeb Nasir in his sermon at Masjid Toronto at Adelaide. “This crisis is not just a scientific problem or an environmental one but the result of a deep, inner crisis of the soul – it is a moral issue.”

“We cannot tune out – tuning out would mean that we are disregarding our moral responsibility to Allah’s creation,” added Nasir. “As such, we must be, not just ‘friends of the earth’, but its guardians.”

“Today’s Green Khutbah Campaign is calling all Muslims to reflect and join with others to create a sustainable future – a future where we meet our needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The first Earth Day, held on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement.

More than 1 billion people across the world now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

As the world commemorated Earth Day on Friday, leaders from more than 170 countries gathered at the United Nations in New York to sign an international treaty that aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Earlier in the week, 250 religious leaders around the world released the Interfaith Climate Change Statement warning, “The planet has already passed safe levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

“Unless these levels are rapidly reduced, we risk creating irreversible impacts putting hundreds of millions of lives, of all species, at severe risk.”

This article appeared on on April 22nd, 2016. 

A Testament to Multifaith Collaboration


The support of a leading community foundation for the charity, Faith & the Common Good (FCG), is a testament to the value of multi-faith collaboration said Dr. Lucy Cummings, Executive Director of FCG.

Cummings made the remarks on Sunday at the announcement of a grant to Faith & the Common Good by the Olive Tree Foundation (OTF).

“The support for our work from the Olive Tree Foundation is an important sign of support from a leading Canadian Muslim community foundation,” said Dr. Lucy Cummings.  “This is not only a deep honor, but a testament to the value of multi-faith environmental collaboration in Canada.”

The grant was announced at the Annual Awards Ceremony of the Olive Tree Foundation held at the Sayeda Khadija Centre in Mississauga on Sunday, November 30.

“The Olive Tree Foundation is very pleased to be able fund this important project of Faith & the Common Good,” said Muneeb Nasir, President of the Olive Tree Foundation, in announcing the grant. “This project will build upon the trust of Faith communities in helping vulnerable people in our society with compassionate outreach.”

Faith & the Common Good will use the grant to study how faith communities can act as neighborhood resilience hubs during the next extreme weather event. The project will develop a model that can serve as a template for future community-based responses to extreme weather.

The overall objective is to learn and understand what makes a “good” community resilience hub, specifically, what criteria need to be in place, for a Faith community to be successful in caring for the vulnerable, in the case of extreme weather conditions.

“To date, we have interviewed 12 Faith communities, from different traditions and geographical locations, in the city of Toronto, and their willingness to participate in this project has been immediate,” said Dr. Lucy Cummings.  “The Olive Tree Foundation grant will allow us to engage and mentor youth members to help us analyze neighborhood extreme weather needs at each of the faith community sites.”

“We will also lead a workshop to teach the youth volunteers how to write and present a key findings report on the topic,” she added.

Faith & the Common Good (FCG) is an interfaith organization that helps faith communities make the connection between their faith and care for the environment.

The Olive Tree Foundation is a philanthropic foundation that promotes community development through the collection of endowed funds and charitable contributions to fund services for the long-term benefit of the community.

This article was originally published on IQRA.caon December 2nd, 2014.