For the past five years Khaleafa.com has been the voice for the Muslim environmental movement in Canada. Through its events and campaigns, it has attained a global reach in raising awareness of environmental issues through an Islamic lens.
As interest in the environmental movement continues to grow, many Muslims are revisiting their faith in an effort to identify the contributions Islam can bring in promoting greater environmental awareness. Muslims across the world have quickly adopted and adapted the green movement; spearheading new projects in their own communities and collaborating with other faith groups to address a broad range of common issues, ranging from animal rights to water management. Within Canada, Muslims are already involved in a diverse range of projects aimed at encouraging conservation, reducing waste and participating in ecologically-sensitive consumption. While there has been success in practicing the Islamic teachings surrounding the environment, there lacks a central forum for the exchange of ideas and recognition of our community’s accomplishments.
The term ‘Khaleafa’ is the Arabic term for steward and represents the sacred responsibility that has been bestowed upon us by Allah. The concept of stewardship is the inspiration of this project and has formed for the foundation for discussion of the environmental ideals already present within the Islamic faith. The goal of this website is to reignite the discourse surrounding the Islamic approach to environmentalism and to draw upon the essence of these teachings, emphasizing the movement from a Canadian perspective.
As Canadians we are intrinsically connected with the environment. The Canadian wilderness conjures up images of pristine lakes, vast tracts of forests and endless coastlines. Although most of us live in urban areas, we identify with these cultural symbols and have incorporated them into our national identity. It is safe to assume that Muslim Canadian attitudes reflect similar national trends. While the community as a whole has only recently recognized the future potential of the environmental movement, the Islamic tradition is rich in progressive conservation ideals based on the Islamic teachings of the Quran and Sunnah. It is only through awaking the stewardship responsibility inherent to all of us will we be able to develop new solutions to reversing the environmental problems plaguing our planet.
February 2011 - Khaleafa.com is officially launched online as the first Canadain environmental site that explores the Islamic perspective on the environment
March 2012- The Think Green Workshop, the first of its kind, brought together environmental activists within the Muslim community
April 2012 - Green Khutbah Campaign - An international campaign was launched to bring the environmental message to Muslims through a Green Khutbah
June 2012 - The ISNA Youth Foodbank Committee partnered with EcoSource to prepare a community garden in Mississauga
September 2012 - Water a Sacred Trust - An event in conjunction with Greening Sacred Spaces, was held to raise the importance of water conservation in interfaith communities
September 2012 - Partnering with Ecohesian and CivicMuslims, Khaleafa participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up at Rouge Park
November 2012 - Brass Crescent Award - An international award to recognize the importance of the Muslim web presence. Khaleafa was nominated the best new blog
January 2013 - The Alhamdulillah Series is launched as a reminder of many blessings found in the natural environment
February 2013 - Khaleafa sponsors the Muslim Interscholastic Tournament, an annual competition that brings together high school students to develop leadership, communication and creativity skills
March 2013 - Light-Off - Earth On - Khaleafa in conjunction with CivicMuslims participated in the an Earth Hour event host at the University of Toronto
April 2013 - Building on the success from the first year, the Green Khutbah Campaign returns with a 3C action plan: 1) Consume less 2) Conserve more and 3) Care for the environment
April 2013 - Khaleafa participates in the Seeds, Sprouts and Scriptures: The Jewish-Muslim Youth Planting Project which explores the ecological framework that are common in both the Muslim and Jewish traditions.
August 2013 - Green Eid Gift Guide is launched to help the Muslim community make sustainable and eco-conscious purchasing choices
March 2014 - Khaleafa launches the Green Leaders series that profiles Muslims who are involved with in the environmental movement
April 2014 - The Green Khutbah Campaign enters the third year with the 3E action plan: 1) Be empower 2) Become educated and 3) Being engaged
May 2014 - Mississauga’s One Million Tree Campaign - Khaleafa in conjunction with CivicMuslims participated in planting native trees and shrubs in the Applewood Greenbelt
June 2014 - Ramadan Reminders - A humorous series was launched that encourages Muslims to take green alternatives this Ramadan and consider the environmental consequences of everyday actions
June 2014 - Khaleafa becomes a signatory of the Charter for Compassion, an international cooperative effort to restore compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life
June 2014 - Interfaith Guided Hike - In partnership with Greening Sacred Spaces, Khaleafa participated in an interfaith hike of Taylor Creek Park
April 2015 - The Green Khutbah Campaign enters its fourth year and introduces the theme “Water - A Sacred Trust” exploring what the Muslim community can do to ensure water resources are protected for future generations
July 2015 - Noor Cultural Centre hosts a Multifaith Climate Iftar - Khaleafa shares its experiences with bringing the community together as part of the Green Khutbah Campaign
September 2015 - Organization of Islamic Learning - Khaleafa gives a presentation on climate change and the responsibilities and opportunities it presents to the community
February 2016 - In conjunction with the Muslim Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto, Khaleafa co-sponsors the Stewards of the Earth Symposium