By: Idil Said and Syed Ali
Students at York University recently took part in a campus cleanup event organized by the York Muslims Students Association and Regenesis@York. The event included the cleanup of three woodlots located on the university's property with supplies provided by Campus Services and Business Operations (CSBO). Several dozen students and staff participated in the unique collaboration between two campus groups and the unseasonably warm weather and fall colours contributed to everyone's high spirits.
“This was an uplifting experience”, commented Idil Mohamed, a participant at the event. “As I was cleaning, I thought about how we’re not just cleaning the university’s property, but God’s property, which He bestowed upon us in amanah (trust) to not only use for our benefit, but to love and care for.”
Many students came out to support the cause, even though they did not have scheduled classes that day. Considering the commuting nature of the campus, the clean-up demonstrated the passion and commitment of Muslims and non-Muslims alike towards community involvement and ecological awareness.
“It was great to see two organizations that both care for the environment to come together for a common cause,” said Mashood Khan, Campaign Director for Regenesis@York, a community environmental organization. "As well, with this event, we could make October officially Harvest Cleanup Month in Toronto just as it is in Brampton to get city-wide clean up initiatives going."
After the cleanup, students reconvened at the Scott Religious Centre for refreshments and a lecture by Imam Belal Ahmad about the environment from the Islamic perspective. This was followed by a reflection by Himy Syed about sustainability and its role in Islam.
Some lessons that were shared include the importance of stewardship over the resources Allah has provided us and the collective responsibility we have as servants of Allah. The students also learned about the natural blessings we have surrounding us and our duty to actively maintain these areas.