Having a Smaller Carbon Footprint in Ramadan

Source: The Huffington Post

By ; President of The Syrian American Medical Society

We are blessed to welcome Ramadan again this year. It is a time for fasting, spiritual fulfillment, emotional rebalancing, mental reflection and physical purification.
Ramadan is the ideal time for balancing the spirit, the mind and the body. Fasting is a universal exercise of patience, self-control and altruism, but it is only one among many important aspects of Ramadan. Traditionally, Muslims consider Ramadan the ultimate month of charity, prayer, Quran, family, community and often very rich cuisine.

Our lives are becoming more complex and our challenges are numerous. Climate changes, global warming, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, poverty, hunger, war and global diseases are realities of our modern lives. These challenges are becoming beyond the reach of international institutions and national governments. It is about time to reconsider our approach, have a Ramadan paradigm shift and think of our roles as individuals and communities of faith in tackling these global problems. Muslims believe that man is the custodian of the earth:

“Now, behold! Your Lord said to the angels: I am placing upon the earth a human successor to steward it” (Quran 2:30).

Men and women are accountable to their Lord on the Day of Judgment for what they have done during their lifetime to others and to the creation and for the legacy they have left after their death.

“We will record “in the book what they have done and what footprints they have left, and everything we have accounted for in great details in a detailed book” (Quran 36:12)

Every person will leave an ecological and a spiritual footprint. Your ecological footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in life by using energy, especially fossil fuel, through transportation, use of electricity, consumption of certain food that require transportation and industrial fertilizers, waste and pollution. As Americans, our average ecological footprint is five to ten times that of a person living in other areas in the developing world. We use fasting in Ramadan to cap our eating, our drinking and our impulses, so why do we not use it to shrink our ecological footprint?

Why don’t we advance the concept of the Muslim footprint and educate our community to work collectively to shrink it?

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Categories: Environment