-By Sumaya Seedat
For this issue of Irtiqa I had the opportunity of interviewing Lutfiyah Suliman and Fatima Ragie, members of The Green Deen Campaign which is an Islamic environmental initiative. As a Muslim, caring for the environment is an act of Ibaadat (worship) and a religious duty. Allah (SWT) has blessed us abundantly and we should care for and utilize His gifts wisely, not abuse them.
Imagine living and wandering through a land void of luscious green trees providing shade and protection, of a kaleidoscope of colourful flowers to randomly pick and hand to a loved one, or of free-flowing water to quench our thirst on hot and humid days. In short, imagine a world absent of any natural, earthly beauty that reflects the mercy and magnificence of Allah.
Animals too, require the environment for food and shelter. By looking after it we are taking steps forward in preserving Allah’s creation for future generations.
Below are some pertinent questions that were posed to the spokespeople of the Green Deen Campaign, in the hope of gaining greater insight about this project.
Q: What is the Green Deen Campaign?
A: The Green Deen Campaign is an MSA (Muslim Students Association) Union initiative started by a group of Muslim youth, comprising of the Green Deen Committee. Its aims to raise awareness about current environmental issues and the relationship between Islam and the environment
Q: What are the objectives of the Green Deen Campaign?
A: To raise awareness about current environmental issues, to highlight the roleof the environment in Islam, to provide proactive tools for caring for our natural environment and to create an ongoing platform that fosters this environment-Islam bond.
Q: What methods will you utilise in informing the public about this initiative?
We have designed and distributed a booklet-manual that introduces and educates South African Muslims on environmental issues. A Green Deen Week, was hosted between the 7th and 13th October 2013 with a variety of activities, aimed to set up and maintain a platform for Muslims to engage with each other regarding the environment
Q: Who do you aim to target with this initiative?
A: All South African Muslims will be targeted, but specifically Muslim students at campuses, schools and Madressas. Also the Muslim community through mosques, local media and community-based Islamic organisations
Q: How can the public assist in promoting this project?
A: We need the public to spread the word, share their thoughts with us, support us andto and engage in projects. .
During the interview I felt admiration for the two ladies and those involved in this initiative. They are, at large, a group of students concerned about our environment. Whilst the campaign may seem “small”, contributes towards a great purpose worthy of recognition.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MSA_GreenDeen