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April 24, 2004
Our Duty to the World: Letís Do Our Part

by Amani Elsawah

Many of you may not know this, but April 22nd was Earth Day. Aah, Earth Day. I love Earth Day. Really, I do. I feel like a tree-hugging hippie saying that, but itís true. Itís the only non-Muslim ďholidayĒ I actually recognize. Not surprisingly, itís not very recognized or celebrated by the country. After all, there are no sales and nothing to buy for someone. No chocolates or presents are received or given. In fact, this day is actually about DOING something! *gasp* Itís about doing something selfless, something that you donít get anything out of, at least not in the short run. But, I still love it. I wonít go into the dorky ways Iíve ďobservedĒ Earth Day, but itís a special day for me because itís a reminder of the gift we were given by Allah Ė our Earth.

But, as the saying goes, every day should be Earth Day. Most people donít even take the time out on this ONE day to do something environmentally-friendly. Thatís just sad. Really, it is. Itís sad because we, as Muslims, should be the most earth-conscious people. Sadly, I have to say that many Muslims couldnít care less. What a shame. I know we are not perfect, we are all trying to perfect our Iman and get closer to Allah. But do you not realize that doing your part to help the environment IS a part of Islam? Since when is apathy part of our deen?

If anyone here knows me, you know I can be quite the ďcrazy environmentalistĒ. I am the Jesse Spano of the ISRU community. I used to watch and love Captain Planet. It irks me to no end when, after an ISRU event, there are plastic bottles in the regular garbage. I hate seeing Muslims unwrap something and throw the wrapper on the floor. It really hurts me to see this and I canít help but try to rectify this somehow. Iíve gone as far as reaching down and saving those poor plastic bottles from the regular trash (donít worry, I wore a plastic bag over my hand ;). Iíve even ďlecturedĒ my friends for not recycling. I wonít even go into how hard it is for me to go to another country or state where recycling doesnít exist or where littering is completely acceptable.

Seriously, though, how hard is it? How hard is it to just separate the plastic from the regular garbage? It takes less than a minute and that small thing is a big way to help our environment. Iíve heard some people donít recycle because the recycling bin is all the way over there. Come on, itís not that far. Laziness is not a characteristic of a Muslim. And Iím not a scholar or very knowledgeable, but I KNOW that helping out environment is part of Islam. I canít quote any hadith or ayat from the Qurían, but Iím SURE Allah never meant for us to treat our Earth this way. He didnít give us this world so we could abuse it and treat it like we do.

Please, donít make me come after you. If Iím around, be assured that I WILL be watching to see if you recycle that empty plastic or glass container. The ISRU picnic is next week. InshaíAllah Iíll be doing my part. However, since the brothersí side is so far away and since I donít want to be mistaken for ďchecking the brothers outĒ, Iíd love it if one (or more) of the brothers would volunteer themselves to be the ďcrazy environmentalistĒ who makes sure everything is recycled and nothing is left on the ground. Keep in mind that plastic cups are also recyclable. I know Johnson Park isnít as convenient as Rutgers for their recycling receptacles, so you will have to walk to get to the recycling bins.

Iím not perfect nor do I claim to be. I know there are more things I can do to help the Earth and Iíd like to do more. But letís start small and move upÖbaby steps. Letís do our part to take care of our planet. Donít brush off recycling as a waste of time or something thatís not important (as, unfortunately, many Muslims do). Itís part of Islam to take care of this world, so donít act like itís a burden or some annoying task that you unfortunately have to do by NJ law.

Letís protect our Earth, itís the only world weíve got. (Mars isnít ready for habitation yet).

JazakíAllah Khair.

of and relating to...
Jannah said

You're not crazy- sad that doing something so basic, that everyone should be doing gets ppl termed as nuts.

Jazak'Allahkair for the beneficial reminder.

on April 24, 2004 10:06 PM
Gillette aka Hassan Khaja said

Assalamu 'Alaikum,

Where's the discussion of israf when Muslims don't take the environment seriously, primarily recycling?

on April 25, 2004 12:05 AM
Saima said

Amaanii :) Masha'Allah great article :) Sisters, you better not be caught NOT recycling by Sr. Amani... otherwise... :)

we should keep a clear plastic garbage bag at the picnic for recycling.

btw: how many of you have planted a tree/plants in the past year ?

on April 25, 2004 12:16 AM
Amani said

What's also sad is that many masjids (including MCMC) don't have recycling programs. :( I spoke to someone about starting one at MCMC and was supposed to call the Township to hopefully create one, but never got to it. :/ Insha'Allah it's on my to do list. :)

Saima! Jazak'Allah khair :). Insha'Allah you can be my fellow Planeteer for the picnic. ;D

on April 25, 2004 1:08 AM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

Alhamdulillah...excellent excellent article and I couldn't agree with you any more.

So as a Qu'ranic proof (from the Rami theological school) is that ALlah says in the qu'ran that he will create a Calipha on the Earth. which means what?...which means that, as i said before, every ruler is responsible for those under him...Therefore by logic...the calipha of the earth(mankind), wll be responsible for how he treated it.

And even me, who is infamous for leaving the cap open on the milk and not washing my fruits before eatig them recycles everything I can...there is no excuse for anyone else not to recycle as well.

Excellent job Amani. masha Allah.

wasalaam Warahmatullah wabarakatu

on April 25, 2004 7:10 AM
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