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Ramadan meditations: Waste not, want not

  • Published at 01:38 am May 28th, 2018
  • Last updated at 09:53 am May 30th, 2018
This is not co-existence MEHEDI HASAN

Taking care of our environment is an important part of our spiritual growth

I was in Kabul in 2009 for a film screening, after which I had held a party for children. 

When I was about to discard the leftovers in a general trash can, a man intervened passionately and explained that food is always thrown away seperately, out of respect and for composting.  

This was one of the rare times in South Asia where I met an everyday individual who was passionate about waste managment grounded in philosophy. 

South Asia is one of the most religious places in the world, yet, from Afghanistan to Myanmar, mismanagement of trash is a crisis. Picture this -- cows and children eat from open piles of trash. 

How can we be so rapturous in our admiration for those who loved the co-existence of man and nature -- whether it be Krishna, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), or Buddha -- yet, fail to delve into the details of waste management in order to maintain a thriving environment? 

We obsess over what is halal and haram, but a child eating from the trash or a lake being filled with it does not ring any alarm bells within us.

Many more examples of this selective apathy can be provided, but it would be superfluous as we are indeed aware. This apathy and refusal to act is an impediment to our spiritual growth. 

What is with this failure to transform as a community, a country, a region? 

This Ramadan, can we have open discussions in every community on how to manage our waste with as much passion as we give to the creative process? 


Enough. These few words are enough.

If not these words, this breath.

If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to the life

We have refused again and again

Until now.

Until now.

-- David Whyte

Shireen Pasha is a contributor.