Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barkatuh!
Waste Not – Want Not!
15% of the world has more than enough to eat, only 60% of the world’s people have just enough to eat, and 25% of the people in the world do not have enough to eat.
20 million people die annually in the world because of hunger and its effects.
It is estimated that one billion people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition, and Three-fourths of the deaths are children under the age of five.
According to statistics in the US, 14 million tons of food scraps were generated in 1995.
Think it or not, Food is a rich resource, and too often taken for granted. It is a great blessing of Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. It is only from the Great Mery of our Ever-Merciful Lord than we are able to open a fridge, and see it filled with food to eat.
With the abundance of food available, though, especially in the west with all the food mountains (stored surplus foods); it is only too easy to waste this precious gift. Islam places great emphasis on making good use of our resources, and not wasting excessively.
Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala commands us not to waste by excess;
“It is He Who produceth gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in variety): eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: for Allah loveth not the wasters.”
[surah al An’am; 6: 141]
Ibn Kathir mentions that this ayat means do not waste in eating because this spoils the mind and the body.
The Prophet said;
Eat, drink and clothe yourselves without extravagance or arrogance.
We shall all be accountable for everything that we do; including what we have eaten, and what we have wasted. Extravagance in all things is something that is blameworthy, and something that we should be conscious of.
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says;
“..and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not those who waste by extravagance”.
[surah al-Ar’af; 7:31]
And the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said:
“The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight. If you must fill it, then one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air.”
[at-Tirmidhi, 2380, 1939, ibn Majah, 3349]
Umar (radiAllahu anhu) said:
By Allah, if I wanted I could wear the finest clothes among you, and eat the best food, and have the most luxurious life. But I heard that Allah will condemned people for some of their actions and said:
“You received your good things in the life of the world, and you took your pleasure therein. Now this Day you shall be recompensed with a torment of humiliation, because you were arrogant in the land without a right, and because you used to rebel against Allah’s Command (disobey Allah)”
[surah al-Ahqaf; 46:20]
From heaping mounds of pasta to pizzas and all-you-can-eat buffets, the prevailing philosophy (in the Western, Capitalist world) generally appears to be: Load up the platters. The more food the better.
The common restaurant (and sadly home) attitude, with such abundances in food seems to be: Never mind if you can’t clean your plate. Wasting food is “the” way – there’s more where that came from. “Waste not, want not” is meant for people in other, less fortunate countries and cultures.
Recent studies on obesity point an accusing finger at large portions in foods as one of the culprits responsible for the world’s expanding waistlines. Portions and amounts that individuals not only don’t need, but that are potentially dangerous for their health.
Its a depressing fact to realise JUST how much the world’s precious resources are abused and wasted to such an excess, and how many people in the dunya are suffering because of a lack of food.
Sufyan al-Thawri (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
If you want your body to be healthy and to sleep less, then eat less.
Al-Hakim narrated that Abu Juhayfah (RadiAllahu anhu) said:
The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam)(Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said:
“The more people eat their fill in this world, the more hungry they will be on the Day of Resurrection.”
Below are a list of options one may take in order to try and not to be extrvagant and waste food unnecessarily:
Eat less We are aware of the hadith of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) of filling our stomachs with 1/3 of food and 1/3 of water.
Eat less portions Instead of piling your plate with food, pour in a little, and complete that before ending up with left-overs later on. Once the food is dumped in the dust-bin (garbage), then it is lost forever.
Donate food Inevitablely, especially in the Western world, food is left over. If not from Eid, then from Dinners and masjid functions and so on. If you cannot keep whatever is left over for too long, then why not try donating food discards to food banks, soup kitchens and shelters.
It is a beautiful and easy way for communities to divert food discards, and insha’Allah help your local community.
In the Hereafter, charity could be the reason for protecting oneself from Hell-Fire even if it was as small as a piece of date!
Remember the hadith, where Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said;
“There will be none among you but will be talked to by Allah on the Day of Resurrection, without there being an interpreter between him and Allah. He will look and see nothing ahead of him, and then he will look (again) in front of him, and (only) the Hell Fire will confront him. So, whoever among you can save himself from the Fire, should do so even with one half of a date (ie. if all what you can give as charity is one half of a date)”
Indeed, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has praised those who make a constant right in their wealth for the poor and has promised them multiplied rewards for their charity. He, Subhanahu wa ta’ala said,
“Who is he that will loan to Allah a beautiful loan which Allah will double unto his credit and multiply it many times?”
[surah al-Baqarah; 245]
Feed animals Another traditional way to divert food waste is to feed it to livestock, or birds.
There are many birds, alhamdulilah, and they can easily eat bits of bread, and nuts which otherwise would be wasted.
Farmers may be able to provide storage containers and low-cost pick-up services for those discards which may be piled up.
Even for animals, waste isnt natural. A waste to one species is food or a resource to another. Subhan’Allah.
Recycle and Compost Composting is a more complicated yet effective food waste reduction process. Discarded food can easily be piled at the back of the graden/yard in containers, together with leaves and cut grass to eventually make compost which is great for gardening and the envioronment.
Cook! Even left-overs can be turned into a new, delicious dish, sometimes even better than the original meal for which it was used for!
Use it for cosmetics Alhamdulilah, many foods are increasingly being used for helping the health and beauty. There are many health benefits from the use of food – including Olives, Honey and Figs.
Thus, many foods which may be rotting away, could rather be used for and on your face as a moisturiser, or exfoliator, cream, and so on.
Organise Organise a food drive (invite muslims and raise awareness) and donate food to a local food bank, shelter or soup kitchens.
Lectures Plan tours of food recovery facilities or arrange for knowledgeable speakers to increase community and ummah awareness of hunger and poverty problems, and what people are doing to address them.
Our Lord! grant us good in this world
and good in the hereafter,
and save us from the chastisement of the fire
“Aao Lout chalain apne “RAB” ki taraf….!!”
“SAJDAY MAI GIR KE MANAA LO APNE “RABB” KO…”
Allah Hu Akbar
اللهم صلي على محمد و على آل محمد كما
صليت على إبراهيم و على أل إبراهيم ا نك
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