With the festive vibes filling the air and families getting ready to celebrate Eid al Adha, we 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 regular days. With family gatherings, outings, and Eid Al Adha shopping, people buy and consume more food, drinks, great sweets, and clothes, which results in an environmental footprint.
Islam and the environment
The Islamic perspective on environmental protection reflects a positive image of Islam and how it embraces every matter 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.
يَٰبَنِىٓ ءَادَمَ خُذُوا۟ زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَكُلُوا۟ وَٱشْرَبُوا۟ وَلَا تُسْرِفُوٓا۟ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُسْرِفِينَ
O children of Adam, take your adornment [i.e., wear your clothing] at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.
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 belongs 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 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 رَّحِيمٌ
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.
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 of which 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 behavior on climate change and the environment. And the Quran mentioned 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 يَرْجِعُونَ
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 enormous, every personal contribution from our side can not be underestimated.
Let’s celebrate Eid Al Adha in a greener way.
When we celebrate Eid al Adha, the cost and environmental considerations are often 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 this Eid al Adha difference.
9 ways to celebrate Eid Al Adha in a more eco-friendly way
1. Ditch the plastic bags. Whenever you go 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 shopping with plastic bags, so why don’t you start yourself.
2. Replace disposable plastic plates and cups with reusable paper products during events. Paper is easier to recycle and 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 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, 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 on Eid Al Adha 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 Al Adha.