Statement on the importance of safeguarding and preserving the environment
In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful
Dear sisters and brothers in faith,
As we observe the sacred month of Ramadan, please draw your attention to the following important issues that we should all consider a religious obligation.
God says in the Holy Quran, “It is He who has made you successors on the earth” [6:165].Therefore, it makes sense that we have an obligation to preserve that which He has placed in our trust and care. As such, we must heed the warning of God,”Do not be a wasteful spender. Squanderers are the brothers of Satan. Satan was faithless to his Lord” [17:27].
During the month of Ramadan, and every day thereafter, we call upon all the believers, mosques, and worship centers to implement permanent plans that will serve to protect our planet and save the environment so that it can remain a safe and viable home for all of God’s creatures. Individuals and organizations can practice the following list of actions.
Tips on ways to protect the environment:
- Minimize or avoid the use of plastic products such as dishes, drinking glasses, spoons, forks, and plastic bags (as much as possible). Instead, use recyclable and eco-friendly products. Always recycle any unavoidable plastics, and do not throw them into the garbage or landfill.
- Avoid the use of water bottles, since this creates plastic waste and often also wastes water (one in nine people in the world lack access to safe and clean water). Remind community members to only use one cup (e.g., by putting their name on it) and not waste any water.
- Modify eating habits and the disposal of uneaten and unused food. For example, reduce or eliminate food waste, and avoid buying and consuming food and drink not manufactured in an environmentally conscious manner and containing substances that are harmful to the environment. Save uneaten food for subsequent meals or donate appropriately to those in need in the community at-large. When possible, compost food rather than throwing it away. Moreover, make it a habit to remind community members to only take as much food as they will consume and not to waste it.
- Reduce carbon footprints in homes, mosques, and worship centers. Use clean energy for lighting, heating, cooling, and other uses. This can be in the form of energy efficient bulbs (compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) or LEDs), installing dimmers and motion-sensors, and use of green power.
- Learn and share what you learn about the most effective and sustainable ways to protect the environment. Educational programs are very useful and there are many organizations that offer these services.
God says in the Holy Quran: “Co-operate with each other in righteousness and piety, not in sin and hostility. Have fear of God; He is stern in His retribution” [5:2]
The Communication and Outreach Committee
The Council of Shia Muslim Scholars of North America