Green Khutbah Campaign 2016

GreenKhutbah2016

It should be very clear that Islam has come with the intent of preservation. Those elements that Islam preserves are Faith, Life, Property, Intellect, Dignity and Progeny.

When we talk about preserving the environment, and this is no stretch, we are talking about preserving all these elements.

Whether we are talking about the spiritual and intellectual reflection possible by pondering the magnificence of creation, or the clear benefits to life, property, and progeny of conserving natural resources for the present and future of humanity. All these things are intertwined concepts of preservation and conservation. And that brings us to my point. There is not separation of environmentalism from Islam or vice versa.

This brings us to the Stewardship of the Earth that we’ve been entrusted with.

Islam’s stewardship of the Earth – Draft

 

Petrie Island Native Species Planting + Cleanup

April 30th Cleanup & Planting

Sign up here: http://goo.gl/forms/RcWACSrRvb

Invites all members and their friends to join the executive members along with local political dignitaries to the 14th Annual Spring Clean the Capital
ON
April 30th 2016 (Saturday)
11:00AM TO 2:30PM
AT
Petrie Island Park, Orleans, ON

Cleaning and gardening supplies will be provided.
Coffee, donuts and sandwiches will also be provided for volunteers.
Volunteer hours will be given to students.
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FOR MORE INFO, CALL:
Qamar Masood 613-859-6250
Sulaiman Khan 613-232-0210
Zamil Zaman 613-837-3446
Naiema Zaman 613-252-7582

What plants would do if they were able to

Go Green This Eid with Reusable Bags

Eid will be here in a few days, so we’ve been out getting our gift shopping done. We found all that we intended on getting well within budget and well in advance, which is a first. If you are also trying to keep the tradition of the prophet, peace be upon him, alive this Eid when he said: “Offer gifts to one-another, love will develop amongst you”, then read on.

This Eid we’ve been looking into something new and different. We are trying through our daily practices to, yet again, have an eco-friendly impact on our planet this Eid.

I’m not only talking about abandoning disposable cutlery, paper plates, or Styrofoam cups, which we ditched long ago, I’m talking about rethinking our gift ideas and gift wrapping.

One idea that my mother came up with, and that we successfully implemented last Eid, was giving Eid gifts in eco-friendly reusable bags. The kind of bags I spoke about in the last green feature of the Muslim Link.

They usually cost around the same price as, if not less than, regular paper gift bags that you get from dollar stores. They are much more durable, however, and will not tear when you place that extra large, extra heavy gift in them. I am talking about the eco-friendly grocery bags that almost every grocery store and department store, and shoe store, and mechanic, and dentist now offers for less than a dollar.

This was a brilliant idea at the time, especially for my mum, since she owns almost every eco-friendly bag that has ever been made. She was, after all, the inspiration of ” Paper or plastic? Choose fabric” from last August.

This idea has three general benefits. First, these bags are readily available at almost any shopping destination. Second, they are very durable and can be used multiple times. Finally and most importantly, it is an eco-friendly alternative to the paper bags that very quickly find their way to the landfill.

By using these reusable bags as gift bags you can reduce waste in the short term, introduce a good habit to your special gift recipient, and provide them with a durable bag to use in the future, further reducing paper, and plastic waste.

Naturally, many would exclaim at this point that there is no way they are going to use an ugly shopping bag for their Eid gifts. But that’s where they would be very wrong, and why I did a little bit or research.

I decided to look into some of the various bags out there that would make for beautiful Eid bags. It is surprising how many affordable reusable grocery bags out there could pass as very fashionable tote bags. Here are a few I came across:

So if you are in the market for some new gift wrapping ideas, and would like to keep a clean conscience during this blessed Eid, consider dropping by your local grocery store for a gift that will keep on giving.

Un-Halal Treatment of Animals – WARNING: GRAPHIC


This is not what Islam teaches us about how to treat animals.

Source:GoVeg.com

In fact, many of these practices deem the meat un-halal for Muslim consumption.

Check out these references:

Rights of Animals in Islam

Animals that are diseased and/or eat feces are not Halal.

Note for our Judaeo-Christian readers who are unaware of what halal is. Briefly, Halal means “permissible”. In the context of foods for human consumption, Halal means “permissible to eat”. It is analogous, but not equivalent to kosher. There are many ways that food is considered Halal. For example: dead land animals are NOT Halal, while dead sea animals ARE Halal. Animals that are properly drained of their blood are Halal, while animals that are treated like the some of those in this video are NOT Halal. Some animals in general are not Halal for consumption, such as pigs, animals with talons, claws, or that are scavengers, or carnivores. Also, anything that would harm you, or intoxicate you is deemed un-Halal. Oh, and the proper term for “un-Halal” is Haraam, which you may come to conclude means “un-permissible” or “un-lawful”. This, by no means, is the full explanation of Halal. You’d be better off checking one of these links.
We generaly tend to forget that Allah tells us in the Quran to only consume things halal and “tayib” (clean, good, pure, healthy).

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Eco-Friendly Bags – a Users Guide

You have probably already seen that nearly every grocery or department store is offering eco-friendly bags made of recycled material, such as post-consumer plastics, or fabric. These bags can be rather stylish, and in many cases cost less than a dollar. The use of these bags is a good alternative to the use of plastic bags, which have been a heavy burden on the natural environment.

Here are some of the facts about plastic bags:

  • Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute.
  • Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.
  • Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade— that means they don’t breakdown into harmless components, they just breakdown into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.

Using high quality reusable bags for taking your groceries home has the potential for reducing thousands of plastic bags per household. These bags have become quite a fad in the current eco-chic era. The question is though, how committed are we to trying to make a difference rather than just making a fashion statement?

In many cases we tend to buy eco-friendly bags to tame our desire to be eco-conscious, and lead a green style of living, but we then forget to bring the bags along with us to the grocery store. We end up either using plastic bags, or even worse, buy a new eco-friendly bag. Now its probably a good idea to have a few eco-bags to hold all the groceries we have, but when we are buying them at the same rate as we would normally use plastic bags, then there is a problem. And here lies the flip side of using eco-friendly bags; they are only as useful as the number of times they replace plastic bags, and reduce the amount of waste we generate.

Don’t fret too much if you’ve forgotten your eco-bags and feel that it has to be one way or the other and give up on eco-bags. If you find that you’ve forgotten your bags and need to use plastic bags, you can take them to some of the large grocery stores, such as Loeb and Loblaws, where they have receptacles for recycling plastic grocery bags.

The underlying message should be that we should actually lead moderate lives and try not to accumulate too much stuff, thus generating a lot of waste. Buy what you need and suffice yourself with that. There is an old Arabic proverb that states:
Contentedness is an everlasting treasure.

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Greenhouse Gases from Your Broccoli – Buy Local – Support the Environment and the Community

Greenhouse Gases From Your Broccoli
“Buy Local”
Support the Environment and the Community
(Appearing in the Muslim Link newspaper – by Omar Mahfoudhi)

On average the fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat and poultry we consume travel between 2,400 to 4,000 kilometers from the farm to your home. This long-haul transportation of our food is quite energy intensive considering the volumes being transported and the required refrigeration of perishable goods during transport. This is referred to as the food carbon footprint.

The concept of reducing our food’s carbon footprint is becoming a commendable endeavor that communities can collaborate on to reduce greenhouse gas emission from their daily practices. The carbon footprint of our food is the amount of carbon dioxide produced from processing, transporting, and storing the food we eat. Buying local is a simple concept, but in practice it may not be that attainable on an individual level. Soon you will understand why this needs to be a community endeavor.

Buying local means committing to buying produce and meats cultivated within 100 kilometers of your city. Not only does this reduce environmentally harmful emissions, but it also reduces the waste generated from packaging, the food remains fresh, and of course reduces the cost, which is passed on to the consumer.

So why don’t we just buy from our local farms? Well this is where it gets interesting. On a broad scale the evil of globalization has masked the true cost of the food we eat, and most large cities are ecologically dead since they no longer produce the goods needed to sustain themselves. On a more manageable scale, there are challenges that can be addressed with social awareness and community collaboration, which is the case here in Ottawa. As it happens, Ottawa has the largest local agro-economy of any major Canadian city. But there are some hindrances to committing to a dynamic market of locally produced meat and vegetables. Some salient hindrances are:

• Inconvenience/not consistently available
• Lack of awareness – where/how to access the food
• Lack of variety
• Lack of consumer support/demand
• Labour and financial constraints

There are already local organizations who are committed to promoting and facilitating the distribution and sale of locally grown produce. Community Shared Agriculture (CAS) is an approach to growing and purchasing food products in which the farmer and consumer are working cooperatively. Along with CAS is the Ottawa Buy Local Project, which also supports and advertises the wholesale component of the Ottawa Farmers’ market with businesses. Moreover, the Ottawa Buy Local Project delivers “Buy Local” presentations that highlights what is needed for a healthy food system in Ottawa.
A quick survey of some of our local halal grocers yielded that most of the halal grocers already provide locally raised meats and some provide locally grown produce. There was also a willingness of grocers to place signs that their foods are locally cultivated.

Here is where this endeavor becomes a communal effort. Encourage your local grocer to buy locally grown produce, and make a commitment to buy your fruits, vegetables and meats from them. This way the grocers can offset the cost and effort it takes to seek out locally grown produce with a committed market for this environmentally righteous source of food we would be buying anyway. This will also, create this demand that will motivate other halal grocers to enter the market of locally cultivated foods.

In this way we can support both environmentally righteous consumerism and our local Muslim businesses.

Tracking Foxes, Ducks, and Squirrels in Ottawa

The other day I had an interesting experience in the woods near the Rideau river. I was on the train going back and forth enjoying the scenery, as I often do with the hour before the radio show, when I happened to spot a couple of foxes sitting on the snow. I regretted not having my camera with me for the sight was worth capturing. Not to be defeated, I jumped off the train at the next stop, and ran down the tracks towards where I had seen the foxes. Surly enough, they were still there, but had realized my presence. They looked on at me with intrigue as I walked closer. The encounter, through brief was beautiful. The two rusty coloured creatures against the contrast of the silvery snow was simply beautiful. I crept closer only to induce them to dodge into their den.

I walked on, finding my self at the edge of the woods at a local park on the bank of the Rideau river. There I also happened upon a crowd of ducks and loons. They walked along side me as I walk along side the river, as if in anticipation of some food. I had nothing regrettably. I continued onwards to cross paths with a couple of birds that took no offense to my presence and hopped but a few feet away from me to peck at some seeds strewn on the snow by some previous visitors of this park. They were truly bold in their manner as well as their appearance. A soft blue breast with an outline of brown, crowned with a black mask across their eyes giving them the appearance of police scouting the area.


I trekked on to come across a family of red squirrels. What seemed to be the youngest of the three was all alone. As the other two bickered on about what seemed to be who got to be on a particular branch, the youngin’ nestled at the base of a near-by tree. The fighting went on until the youngster built up the courage to scurry over to the other two and join in on the action.
At this point it was nearing the time for my radio show and I had to run through two feet of snow to the nearest road in soggy shoes to the radio station; a 30 minutes walk away. I most definitely recommend to anyone, if you see, or think of something exciting, go after it. Have fun with the little time in your life. Forget routines, and live as life was meant to be. As a passage.

The Rights of Plants and Animals in Islam – Islamic Ecology

There is a Chapter in the Quran Entitled: The Spider.

Recap of the Previous two weeks:
First week: Islam’s attitude towards the Environment: 

  • balance
  • purpose
  • relationship:meditation, sustainable, utilization, care and nurture
  • Stewardship ( خلافة)

Second week: Conservation in Islam

  • Ecology: Water, Air, Land and Soil.
  • Conserve: DON’T waste – Allah says: “In deed those who are wasteful are the brethren of devils”
  • Justice and goodliness: DON’T harm – Allah says: “Do not cause ruin in the Earth after it has been developed”‘What may lead to a prohibition is prohibited itself’

This week: Animals and Plants in the Ecology of Islam.

  • Living resources of enormous benefit.
  • All with a purpose and in balance.
  • Part of a balanced ecosystem.

Plants:

“Then let man consider his nourishment: that We pour down the rain in showers, and We split the earth in fragments, and therein make the grain to grow, and vines and herbs, and olives and palms, and gardens of dense foliage, and fruits and fodder- provision for you and your cattle.”

  • Sustenance and nourishment for animals, and humans.
  • Plants enrich the soil and protect it from erosion
  • They conserve the water by impeding its runoff.
  • Habitat for other living things.
  • They moderate the climate and produce the oxygen, and store CO2.
  • Medicines (Periwinkle childhood leukemia, yew tree à anticancer), oils, perfumes, waxes, fibres, timber, and fuel.

The prophet Mohammed peace be upon him said: “If on the day of resurrection, and there is in the hand of one of you a sapling, then let him or her plant it”

It is forbidden to cut down trees even in the time of war.

“The is nothing in this Earth except that it exalts Allah with His Grace, but we do not comprehend their praise (of Him)” – Al-Issra’ 44

“See you not that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad-Dawab (moving living creatures, beasts, animals etc.), and many of mankind? But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honour him. Verily! Allah does what He wills”. Al –Hajj 18

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ وَكَثِيرٌ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَذَابُ وَمَن يُهِنِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِن مُّكْرِمٍ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاء

Al Hajj – 18

Animals:

  • Provide sustenance for plants (fertilizers), for one another, and for man.
  • Pollination, and distribution of plants.
  • Provide food for one another and provide mankind with leather and wool, medicines and perfumes, and means of transportation, as well as milk, and honey and other by-products.
  • aesthetic functions of these creatures
  • ECOLOGICAL balance – keystone species,
  • Worshiping Allah – Spiritual INTRINSIC VALUE – WHALES Singing

“The is nothing in this Earth except that it exalts Allah with His Grace, but we do not comprehend their praise (of Him)” – Al-Issra’ 44

“There is not an animal on the earth, nor any being that wings its flight, but is a people like unto you.” – Al- An’aam 38

  • Absolute destruction of any species of animals or plant is unjustified; harvesting rates should not excess the rate or its natural regeneration.
  • This applies to hunting and fishing, forestry and wood-cutting for timber and fuel, grazing, and all other utilization of living resources.
  • It is imperative that the genetic diversity of living beings be preserved–both for their own sake and for the good of mankind and all other creatures.

The prophet Mohammed peace be upon him said: “The merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful. Show mercy to those on earth, and He Who is in heaven will show mercy unto you.”

  • Taught mercy to animals:
    • The woman who was sent to Hell for torturing a cat to death.
    • The prostitute who was granted forgiveness and paradise for giving water to a dog.
    • The practice of sharpening and hiding the blade when slaughtering and being quick to ease the animal.
    • Forbidding killing for sport. Cursed who ever used living things as a practice target.
    • Not to startle a mother bird by taking its young
    • Forbidding the killing of livestock in the time of war.
    • Animals have a sacredness of life similar to that of humans.

“The rights of livestock and animals with regard to their treatment by man: These are that he spend on them the provision that their kinds require, even if they have aged or sickened such that no benefit comes from them; that he not burden them beyond what they can bear; that he not put them together with anything by which they would be injured, whether of their own kind or other species, and whether by breaking their bones or butting or wounding; that he slaughter them with kindness if he slaughters them, and neither flay their skins nor break their bones until their bodies have become cold and their lives have passed away; that he not slaughter their young within their sight; that he set them apart individually; that he make comfortable their resting places and watering places; that he put their males and females together during their mating seasons; that he not discard those which he takes in hunting; and neither shoot them with anything that breaks their bones nor bring about their destruction by any means that renders their meat unlawful to eat.”

في كل كبد رطب أجر The Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him said: “and in doing good to any living thing there is a reward”

Islam looks upon these created beings, both animals and plants, in two ways:

1. As living beings in their own right, glorifying God and attesting to His power and wisdom;

2. As creatures subjected in the service of man and other created beings, fulfilling vital roles in the development of this world.

Hence the binding obligation to conserve and develop them both for their own sake and for their value as unique and irreplaceable living resources for the benefit of one another and of mankind.

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ 

وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ وَكَثِيرٌ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَذَابُ وَمَن يُهِنِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِن مُّكْرِمٍ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاء – al Hajj 18

Air, Soil, Water, and Energy Conservation – Islamic Ecology

If you’ve been concerned, as many of us have been, about the state of the environment, you can learn more about it and how to become involved. I will be talking on the topic of Environmental Issues as seen from an Islamic perspective, and why it is important for Muslims to be concerned with this issue on Salam Ottawa 93.1FM radio. The second part of a four-part programme will be airing on Tuesday Jan 16 at 5PM for one hour. You can also listen on
http://www.ckcufm.com (click on “Listen Live” – you will need real player). Please email your questions, if you have any, and I will be happy to deal with them during the sessions to come ( salam_ottawa@yahoo.com). I will be posting the information provided on a Blog insha’Allah which I will announce later. Please pass on this message to your friends and family,

Thank you and Jazakum allahu khairan.
“Ruin has appeared on the land and sea, because of what the hands of man have earned, that (Allah) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from evil).” (Ar-Rum: verse 41)

What Is Ecology –> Okios (Greek) –> The House; Think of:

• Earth’s condition manifest in seasons, night and day, solar energy input, lunar forces, etc.
• Earth materials and any transformation they undergo; physical, chemical, biological
• Living creatures of the Earth and the interactions they have with other creatures and the materials around them, as well as changes they inevitably undergo.

Specifically, the interactions of the living organisms on the earth with their respective environments (composed of living and non-living) with carful attention to the condition in which the Earth may persist. The complete state of the Earthly system with its various components in a balance of energy and matter.

As discussed, of all the creatures on the Earth that were presented the responsibility of the Earth it was mankind who chose to take that responsibility.

Allah says in the Qura’an: (and we presented or offered the “trust” (Amanah, responsibility, stewardship) to Heavens, and the Earth, and the mountains, but they declined to uphold it, so we had mercy upon them, so mankind upheld it” Al-Ahzab. 72

As stewards, and representatives we were given guidelines and rules to follow.

Generally, against thoughtless consumption; that is, wastefulness and extravagance.
Teaching justice, conserve, and preserve. “And don’t be wasteful” and “In deed those who are wasteful are the brethren of devils” etc. “Allah enjoins upon justice”

It is within God’s wisdom that His creatures be of service to one another. The balance and measure Allah has placed in everything, all of which with a purpose is above all legal reason to conserve the environment and the resources it contains. (Chines proverb) “We did not inherit this land from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children”

How do these general laws and guidelines translate into our daily activities.

1. In water, energy, fuel, etc.
Allah reminds us of the value water: “Have you seen the water which you drink? Was it you who sent it down from the rain cloud , or did We send it? Were it Our will, We could have made it bitter; why then do you not give thanks?” , “and we have created from water everything living”

He also reminds us that the waters of the seas, oceans, lakes and rivers are habitat for other creatures of Allah’s creation that must be honored and not transgressed upon. “It is He Who has made the sea of service, that you may eat thereof flesh that is fresh and tender, and that you may bring forth from it ornaments to wear, and you see the ships therein that plough the waves, that you may seek of His bounty ,”

Realizing the value of water to life makes it clear that to fulfil our responsibility on this earth to honor Allah’s bounties and creatures we must also conserve and preserve this valuable asset.

Any action that obstructs or impairs the biological and social functions of this element, whether by destroying it or by polluting it with any substance that would make it an unsuitable environment for living things or otherwise impair its function as the basis of life; any such action necessarily leads to the impairment or ruin of life itself. And the juristic principle is,
“What leads to the prohibited is itself prohibited.”

The Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him said: ruin
“Do not waste! Even if you are at a flowing river”

Owing to the importance of water as the basis of life, God has made its use the common right of all living beings and all human beings. All are entitled to use it without monopoly, usurpation, despoilment, wastage, or abuse. The Prophet, upon him be blessings and peace, said, “Muslims are to share in these three things: water, pasture, and fire,”

2. Air,
Importance of “And we send the fertilizing winds. “ common use and right for all.

3. Soil and Land:
God has made the land a source of sustenance and livelihood for us and other living creatures: He has made the soil fertile to grow the vegetation upon which we and all animal life depend.

He has made the mountains to catch and store the rain and to perform a role in stabilizing the crust of the earth.

If we would truly give thanks to the Creator, we are required to maintain the productivity of the soil, and not expose it to erosion by wind and flood; in building, farming, grazing, forestry, and mining, we are required to follow practices which do not bring about its degradation but preserve and enhance its fertility.

For to cause the degradation of this gift of God, upon which so many forms of life depend, is to deny His tremendous favors. And because any act that leads to its destruction or degradation leads necessarily to the destruction and degradation of life on earth, such acts are categorically forbidden.

Finally, the Prophet Muhammad, God’s blessing and peace be upon him, declared that “The whole earth has been created as a place of worship for me, pure and clean.” Accordingly, we are charged with treating it with the respect due to a place of worship, and with keeping it pure and undefiled.
islamset.com

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