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What is Sustainability?

A way I like to define sustainability is, a mindset and approach to ensure current and future resources and prosperity are equitable and accessible for all: without the exploitation of people and the environment in the process. Given the results of the recent election everyone is bound to see more sustainable policy, action, and a sustainable driven agenda around themselves.

A lot of us perceive sustainability to be the idea of global warming or climate change however sustainability is there in almost every aspect of our lives including religion. One common theme in humans is the ownership of all materials present on Earth. However, Islam recognizes and teaches us that land, water, and other natural resources are not just ours by also other animals and habitants of the Earth.

Another big concept in the Quran is that of a man being a Khalifa (owner). A man should try as hard as possible to keep his land pure so the next generations to come that use the land are given the same pure land. This concept is especially important in today's age due to the widespread corrupt business pouring hazardous waste near minorities such as the bronx. A hadith says, “If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.” (Bukhari). The Prophet (PBUH) also states it is not okay to cut down trees even during war. Nevertheless, we see widespread deforestation all around the world which plays a crucial part in global warming.

We all can take important lessons from this and evaluate how we live our lives. It is increasingly important now more than ever that we follow these principles to help save a planet for our future brothers and sisters while also making the earth a possible home for the wildlife. One personal eye opening experience for me was calculating my ecological footprint and realizing how much I contribute to waste and can change my lifestyle to a more sustainable way of living. I recommend you all to take a couple of minutes and calculator your own ecological footprint! calculator link!!