With the festive vibes filling the air and families getting ready to celebrate Eid al-Adha, we get to enjoy these blessed days by spreading happiness, sacrifice, and sharing. Yet all these festivities come with a hefty price tag.
It is reported that people celebrate Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al Fitr with 50% more waste than other normal days. With family gatherings, outings, and Eid shopping, people get to buy and consume more food, drinks, lavish sweets, and clothes, which definitely result in an environmental footprint.
Islam and the environment
The Islamic perspective on environment protection reflects a positive image of Islam and how it embraces every single matter the humans face on earth. The Islamic attitude towards the environment and natural resource conservation is not only based on the prohibition of over-exploitation but also on sustainable development.
سورة الأعراف 31
وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ
“O children of Adam! … eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.”Surah Al-A’raf 7:31
Trustees not owners
One of the core Islamic beliefs is that everything within our possession and which we conveniently call our property is not only provided by God but ultimately belong to Him. On this belief, what we have is merely placed in our trust, and must be preserved and delivered back to God in the best manner possible. And as Muslims, we extend this belief to include all the natural resources that we’ve been blessed with.
وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَكُمْ خَلَائِفَ الْأَرْضِ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَكُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ سَرِيعُ الْعِقَابِ وَإِنَّهُ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌسورة الأنعام 165
And it is He who has made you successors upon the earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees [of rank] that He may try you through what He has given you. Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.Surah Al-An’am 6:165
The imperative towards charity here is premised on the belief that we are mere trustees of the wealth in our possession.
سورة الحديد 7
آمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَأَنفِقُوا مِمَّا جَعَلَكُم مُّسْتَخْلَفِينَ فِيهِ ۖ فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَأَنفَقُوا لَهُمْ أَجْرٌ كَبِيرٌ
Believe in Allah and His messenger, and spend of that whereof He hath made you trustees; and such of you as believe and spend (aright), theirs will be a great reward.”
ِSurah Al-Hadid 57:7
A call for personal change
We can not deny the impact of our ill behaviour on climate change and the environment. And the Quran has mentioned it more than 1400 years ago that we are held accountable for this damage.
ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَسورة الروم 41
Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness].Surah Ar-Rum 30:41
Though the negative impact is huge, every personal contribution from our side can not be underestimated.
Let’s celebrate Eid al-Adha in a greener way
The cost and environmental consideration when we celebrate Eid al-Adha are often being neglected, not considered and forgotten. But the affordability of extra food, water and clothes does not mean that wastage should increase.
Let’s explore what we can easily do to make a difference this Eid.
9 ways to celebrate Eid Al-Adha in a more eco-friendly way
1. Ditch the plastic bags. Whenever you go for grocery shopping or Eid shopping, remember to get a cloth bag with you or re-use one of your old plastic bags. Less plastic consumption means less dumping in the environment. Some countries have already banned the use of shopping plastic bags, why don’t you start by yourself.
2. Replace disposable plastic plates and cups during events with reusable paper products. Paper is easier to be recycled and is less harmful to the environment when dumped.
3. Serve drinks in smaller glasses for less waste.
4. Share the food leftovers with the less fortunate.
5. Educate your family members and guests about avoiding leftovers and wasting food.
6. Use less water in ablution (wudu’) and the shower. It was reported that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used a container filled with around 628 ml of water which is equivalent to a medium-sized mineral water bottle.
7. Use a reusable water bottle for refilling.
8. Cut down on your energy use.
9. Plant a tree. You can also get seeds and gift them to others in Eid to promote your cause.
No matter how small you feel your act is, it will make a difference towards a more eco-friendly environment.
We wish you a greener Eid Adha.