Cleanliness ain’t Optional

Life is meant to be lived in a clean environment. Cleanliness is healthy. Filth is a breeding ground for diseases. No one likes to live in or around filthy areas. All of us want our families to be in clean environments that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Everyone hates garbage piling up and swarming with flies and mosquitoes and all manners of creatures from cockroaches and rats. These are common sense statements. However, like they say, common sense ain’t so common anymore.

From an Islamic perspective, cleanliness is one of the fundamental conditions for good Muslim societies and individuals. Cleanliness is half of the religion (of Islam). Every book of fiqh (jurisprudence) starts off with the book of Tahara (or purification). Prayers are not accepted if there is filth on the body or clothes or the place of prayer. So Islam not only encourages cleanliness, it requires it from us. We have to invest time, money and effort to ensure a clean environment. It is not optional.

Generally, cleanliness is a communal effort. The people need to ensure that the local government should have a sustainable garbage management system in place with enough money budgeted to make it work from start to finish. The people also need to ensure that there are measures in place against littering and to ensure that people do not dirty their environment and clean up after themselves. There needs to be fines associated with it and enforced properly. There also needs to be an awareness and an ownership of the issue in the people: people should feel proud of achieving a clean environment and ashamed of a dirty environment. There need to be advertising campaigns to ensure the right attitude towards cleanliness is promoted with the society everywhere.

Everyone needs to do their part to make the surroundings cleaner for everyone. Everyone needs to stop throwing garbage everywhere. Everyone needs to call out anyone that litters and ask them to not do that. Don’t wait for others to take the initiative, start yourself today. Promote a clean lifestyle with everything you do or say. Make dawah about cleanliness within your circle of influence.

And Allah knows best!

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Start with my own example

We all want to see improvements in the society around us. We all want clean water, fresh air, beautiful vegetation, garbage free surroundings and a pleasant safe and secure environment. We all want to live in a better world. We all want our families to feel safe and sound. We all want the good things in life. In an ideal world, people would come together and resolve societal issues together as a loving community. There would be systems in place to safeguard the environment, fresh water and clean air would be the norm and garbage would be recycled responsibly. And the whole world would be safe and secure for everyone.

However, since we don’t live in an ideal world, it is on our shoulders to come up with ways to fix the problems one by one. We could try to get everyone to do the right thing but fail miserably because we can’t tell people what to do or what not to do. We should be the change that we want to see in the world. If we ourselves change for the better and everyday live our life with the goal of making the world a better place for everyone to live, we would inspire individuals, one by one, slowly but surely to also do the same. First make the intention and a concerted effort to do the right thing ourselves and do it often and in plain sight for others to see and learn from. Good habits can also be contagious if they are done with this mindset. Infect others with the desire to make our environment better in every way we possibly can. Do not be disheartened by people who don’t wish to change and have no concern for the environment. Keep at it sincerely and it will catch on. InshaaAllah!

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