WASTE HAS NO PLACE IN ISLAM
by Karimah bint Dawoud, muslim chaplain and well being writer.
Allah created us as His representative on earth to managed this earth responsibly. The environment is also a sign of Allah‘s Oneness (Tawheed), which is the foundational concept in Islam. Did you know that the earth will bear witness against us on the day of judgment? Allah speaks to us about the earth on the Day of Judgment and tells us: ―
“On that Day will she declare her tidings” (Q. 99:4)‖.
We say we follow the Quran and Sunnah, however there is so much more that we need to be aware of and think about.I wanted to find out more about waste and Islam with regards to food and water . I spoke with one of my teachers mashallah, Imam Raza, at the Shariah Council and he directed me to Professor Abdul Ali Hamid, also of one my teachers maashallah, who kindly asked me to come and see him.
Today I went to see Professor Abdul Ali Hamid at the Muslim College, to speak with him about what Islam has to say about waste and here’s what he had to say, after giving me a handout he had photocopied from Sahih Muslim. He told me “Read this and make your own comprehension of it”.
The hand out he gave me refers to the hadith,
“THE MERITS OF LICKING THE FINGERS AFTER TAKING THE FOOD AND WIPE THE DISH WITH THE FINGERS AND EATING THE FALLEN MOUTH FUL OF FOOD AFTER REMOVING THE DIRT STICKING TO IT “
The licking of the fingers is reported in hadith in Sahih Muslim by Ibn Abbas, Ibn Ba’b bin Malik and Abdullah bin Ka’b.
Jabir, Sufyaan and Anas all reported about the wiping dirt from fallen food and eating it.
Professor Ali went on to explain that in the time of the Prophet, salah la alaihi wa salem, they had such tough times that there was no need to even discuss recycling, etc ,as we do today, as we have such access, they were very poor then, even without hat poverty professor ali explained that this hadith shows there is no need to waste.
I also asked Professor Ali about wasting water and that I had heard that the Prophet, salah la alaihi wa salem made wudu with a “mut” of water
He said yes that was sahih but asked me to give him time to find the hadith.
He explained that a mut is 1/4 of “sah “which equals 2.8 litres so a mut is 700ml.
GREY WATER IDEAS
I told the sheikh I had been researching about “grey water” which is used water and that I had been using just over a mut, 100ml and doing my wudu over a bowl , collecting the waste water to put in my plants. He thought the idea was wonderful and commented that if in these impoverished drought torn countries, the waste water was managed more effectively 1/3 of the problems would decrease.
You see we pay for the water coming in and coming out of our house, even if we threw water out of the window and in the garden we would be saving money and putting back into the environment.
He also commented that following the Sunnah of using less water to do wudu become s a habit and he said that the Prophet salah al alaihi wa salem said ,that even in the excess of water like flowing river, there is no need for excessive use. I love it in the film Kingdom of Heaven , near the beginning where the black Muslim knight threw a shoe at one of the surfs for urinating in the river instead of by a tree.
Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu-Alaihi-wa-Sallam) said to Sa’ad (Radii-Allah-Anhu) when he passed by him while he was busy doing wudu, “What is this wastage, O Sa’id?” In which he replied, “Is there wastage in wudu?” The Prophet (Sallallaahu-Alaihi-wa-Sallam) answered, “Yes, even if you were at a flowing river.”
So with this little bit of Islamic knowledge what can we do to stop wasting food and water? I’d love to hear from you