A London Muslim group has invited people of all faiths to its annual green iftar, in an initiative to cut waste and promote a greener month of fasting.
The “ethical iftar”, hosted by the Green Deen Tribe, was held on Sunday, April 10. Attendants at the vegetarian meal were encouraged to bring their dinnerware to reduce waste.
“We are not against people eating meat, but one thing we noticed and statistics suggest is that during the month of Ramadan, the percentage of meat consumption almost trebles among Muslims, particularly in Muslim countries,” the co-founder of the Green Deen Tribe, Rabiah Mali, told Arab News.
“Food wastage also increases dramatically during the holy month — the amount of food that goes into the bin doubles during Ramadan. There is a huge conflict between what the essence of Ramadan is and what is happening in Muslim communities, particularly in Muslim countries,” Mali said.
According to the group, the iftar was open to anyone who would like to join, welcoming people of all faiths and none.
We are delighted to be partnering with the Green Dean tribe to offer a celebratory gathering of ethical iftar as part of Ethical Iftar Week. @RabbaniProject – https://t.co/5etlDn4hwH#ramadan #iftar #ethical #food pic.twitter.com/oS6ALXNNYn
— St Ethelburga’s (@StEthelburgas) April 10, 2022
The iftar, held for the fourth year, encourages Muslim to eat in a way that is as less damaging and disruptive to communities as possible, Mali said.
“We initially started off by using compostable plates, cups, and utensils to serve food as an alternative to using plastic. As we continued, we realized that even this was ending up in the bin and that it was still a waste,” Mali said.
“This year, we’ve decided that people need to bring their own plate, cup, spoon and tupperware. So this iftar and the one before the pandemic, we’ve encouraged people to bring their own.
“When we originally decided to do this, we were unsure whether people would respond to that, but they came with their spoons, plates and cups. It was beautiful to see that people were willing to be part of this unusual experience,” she added.
Looking after our planet is one of our responsibilities as Muslims, as declared in the Qur’an: “It is He who has appointed you stewards on the earth… ” (Quran 6:165).
This ethical iftar follows other similarly remarkable initiatives launched by many Muslims in the west.
Earlier this month, Virginia-based Muslim group Green Muslims group launched an online toolkit to raise environmental awareness and encourage activism among fasting Muslims.
Windsor Muslim teacher Shaymaa Zantout has also launched green initiatives to connect students with nature during the holy month of fasting.