Zero Waste– 5 ways to convince your Muslim friends to pitch in

Zero Waste Week is open to everyone; after all, waste is everyone’s issue! And the more people who get on board, the better it is for us all.

Today, I’m delighted to welcome Emma Wiley and Eman Al-Sibassi  from Muslim Women of Merton, as guest writers.

They’re sharing how you can convince your Muslim friends to join in with the zero waste movement.

Take it away ladies!

Waste is everyone’s business – but how do you convince people from diverse backgrounds that reducing food waste has something to do with them? Here’s 5 tips from the Muslim Women of Merton on engaging the Muslim community:

  • Remind them that there are passages in the Quran and sayings of the Prophet Mohammad that encourage people to minimise food waste and feed excess to the poor:

The Quran says ‘eat of their fruit in their season but render the (poor) dues that are proper on the day the harvest is gathered.  But waste not by excess – for Allah loveth not the wasters’.

‘O Children of Adam, take your adornment at every place of prayer, eat and drink, but be not excessive – Indeed Allah likes not those who commit excess’

The Prophet Mohammad said ‘He who sleeps while their neighbour is hungry is not one of us’

  • Give them examples of how the Prophet Muhammad would ‘reduce, re-use and recycle
  • Reduce He said ‘The Son of Adam will not fill a pot worse for himself than his stomach. It is enough for the Son of Adam to eat a few bites that strengthens his spine. If he likes to have more, then let him fill a third with food, a third with drink and leave a third for his breathing’.
  • Re-use by repairing his own shoes, sewing his own clothes and carrying out all household chores without complaint. He lived a simple life, despite status and influence and sleeping on a straw mat on the floor.
  • Recycle giving away what he possessed such that when he died, little remained in his physical possession, but much in kind deeds.

He also promoted the safe disposal of items by saying that “removing harmful things (such as rubbish, sewage) from communal roads and paths is an act of charity”.

  • Remind them of examples from Islamic history eg at the Sulaiymaniye Mosque built by Sinan between 1550-1577 air, containing soot, from burning lamps was taken away, purified and recycled to make ink for Arabic script.
  • Encourage them to connect with modern day non governmental organisations such as MADE (Muslim Action for Development and Environment) who campaign for social and environmental change and initiatives and support projects like the Cambridge Mosque Project, which aims to be Europe’s first Eco-mosque, naturally lit and with an almost zero carbon footprint.
  • Finally, if all else fails send them to us and we shall ply them with coffee and cake which generally seems to fix most global issues!

With love and dedication,

Emma and Eman

Muslim women of Merton

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @merton women

Facebook: Muslim women of Merton

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Rachelle Strauss

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