Seven Ways You Can Save the Planet


Seven Ways You Can Save the Planet

Shehnaz Toorawa

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, “The world is green and beautiful and God has appointed you as His stewards over it. He sees how you acquit yourselves…” (Muslim).

Allah tells us in numerous verses of the Quran, that He has
created everything on Earth—animals, rain, plants, oceans, stars, the
sun, the moon—for the benefit of humans. With these favours comes the
role of Khalifah, or guardianship. The Quran tells us,

He it is Who has placed you as viceroys of the earth and has exalted
some of you in rank above others, that He may try you by (the test of) that
which He has given you
” (6:165).

Today the planet is in a mess. Deforestation, desertification,
water pollution, air pollution, soil erosion, extinction of species and the
dwindling of resources indicate that humans are not fulfilling their role of
Khalifah adequately.

What can we do to fulfill our responsibility to protect the Earth? Here are seven small, but effective steps each of us can take to begin the process:

1. Buy less, consume less, waste less.

On average, an individual in a developed nation consumes twice
as much grain, twice as much fish, three times as much meat, nine times as much paper, and eleven times as much gasoline as an individual in a developing nation.(1)

Yet, shopping malls, TV commercials, flyers, billboards, and
the fashion industry continually tell us we don’t have enough and we need
to buy more. The 12 percent of the world’s population that lives in North
America and Western Europe accounts for 60 percent of the world’s private
consumption spending.(2)

The Quran correctly describes our materialistic society in the verse,

The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things) until you visit the graves” (102:1-2).

While North Americans squander wealth and waste it in luxuries, 825 million people in the world are undernourished (3), 2.4 billion live without basic sanitation, and one billion lack adequate shelter.(4) Destruction of forests, desertification of grasslands, water pollution, depletion of fossil fuels, and the collapse of fisheries around the world warn us that the world’s resources are limited—certainly not enough to support the lifestyle habits of an average North American.

In the Quran, God warns us not to take more than our share of the world’s resources:
“…Do not squander (your wealth) wastefully. Surely the squanderers
are the fellows of the Devils
” (17:26).

In a world of limited resources, we have an obligation to resist consumer culture and squelch the urge to buy, consume, and eventually waste.

The words of the Prophet (pbuh) are a beautiful example of how to live:
Be in the world as if you were a stranger or a traveller along a path” (Bukhari).
The best livelihood is the bare minimum” (Ahmad).

The Quran reminds us that we will be accountable for every item we own and resource we use:
Then (on the day of judgement) you will certainly be questioned about
all the favours you enjoyed
” (102:8).

Next time you’re in line at the cash register, ask yourself if you really need what you’re buying or if you can live without it.

2. Reduce your shower time to five minutes.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Excess in the use of water is forbidden, even if you have the resources of a whole river” (Tirmidhi).

Ever noticed how long you spend in the shower? A five-minute shower consumes 100 litres of water. (5)
That may not sound like much, but consider that less than one half of one percent of all water on Earth is fresh water for human use. The rest is sea water or frozen in polar ice caps.(6) Every person on Earth has a share in this water, yet 20% of the world’s population already lacks access to an adequate supply of clean drinking water.(7)
While the average Canadian uses 335 litres of water per day, the average sub-Saharan African survives on 10-20 litres per day.(8) 

The Prophet (pbuh) would perform ghusl, a complete bath, with one Sa’
of water—that’s just 1.6 litres. In a world where water scarcity
and pollution are increasing, every drop counts.

3. Buy locally grown food, without the packaging

Where does the food you eat come from? The local farm or a land far away? In the United States, the average food item travels 2,500–4,000 kilometers.(9) The farther food travels before it reaches your plate, the less money the rural farmer retains.

Multinational corporations that haul, package, and process the food collect a larger portion of the profit.

The farther food travels, the more energy it consumes for pesticides, preservatives, ripening, packaging, processing, transportation and sales. Eating local food results in a healthier diet, more equitable profit distribution,
less energy consumption and less environmental pollution.

4. Take the transit or walk more often

Cars not only guzzle the world’s dwindling supply of fossil
fuels, but the burning of those fuels contributes to urban smog, acid rain,
and other air quality problems. Cars produce large volumes of carbon dioxide
and other greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The average car
produces about 2.4 kilograms of CO2 for every litre of gasoline‚ or three
to four times its own weight in CO2 every year. (10)

This means more air pollution, more extreme weather and storms, more water contamination and more diseases.

Public transit, cycling or walking are simple ways to reduce energy consumption, improve air quality and lead a healthier lifestyle. If you
normally drive to work, take the transit once a week for a refreshing change.

5. Install energy-saving bulbs and appliances in your home

North Americans consume 30% of the world’s energy—an amount similar to that consumed collectively by all developing countries, holding
more than 80% of the world’s population. While we may flick the light
switch without a second thought, 2 billion people in the world lack access to
electricity or other modern energy supplies.(11)

While it may be impossible for North Americans to forego the luxuries of electricity, heat, stoves, dishwashers and microwaves, we can reduce
our energy consumption through efficiency. Europeans have done it—although
they lead a similar lifestyle, people in the United States and Canada consume
2.4 times as much energy at home as those in Western Europe. (12)

Home appliances are the world’s fastest-growing energy consumers after
automobiles, accounting for 30 percent of industrial countries’ electricity
consumption.(13) The good news is that energy-efficient lighting and appliances have become common in the North American market. Making your home energy efficient is an easy and effective way to reduce energy consumption without sacrificing convenience.

6. Eat more vegetables

Vegetables capture energy for growth directly from a renewable source—the sun, while meat production in industrial countries requires a high input of non-renewable fossil fuel energy. When farmers raise animals on pasture, they require little grain, consume little energy and their manure becomes valuable agricultural fertilizer.

Today, in most industrial nations, rather than being pasture-fed, corporations raise animals in factory farms that consume huge quantities of grain, water, hormones, and electricity and produce tonnes of toxic wastes. Producing one calorie of beef or poultry requires 11–17 calories of feed.(14) Producing 8 ounces of beef requires 25,000 litres of water.(15)

This means that a diet high in grain-fed meat requires two to four times more
land than a vegetarian diet. Health is another consideration—the crowded
conditions of factory farms along with an absence of waste recycling make livestock easy targets for disease.

The Prophet (pbuh) allowed us to eat meat and, like all other foods, meat is one of Allah’s favours that He permits us to enjoy.

However, we need to apply the principle of moderation, a key aspect of the Prophet’s (pbuh) lifestyle, in our diet. Eating more vegetables, without abandoning meat, can make a significant difference in the amount of natural resources each of us consumes.

Next time you bite into that steak, think of the energy that went into producing it.

7. Recycle and compost

Canadians generate approximately 1.7 kg of waste per person per day.(16) When we use recycled materials along with recycling and composting our household waste, we significantly reduce our energy consumption and waste production.

Producing aluminium from recycled material, for example, requires 95 percent less energy than manufacturing it from raw materials.(17) Keep in mind that having a recycling box or a compost bin doesn’t justify consuming more and wasting more.

Reducing consumption is still the best way to reduce our impact on the environment.

Where do you Stand? Calculate Your Ecological Footprint

The ecological footprint is a tool that assesses the environmental
impact of an individual, a region or an activity. Your ecological footprint
indicates the amount of biologically productive land area required to support
your lifestyle based on the amount of resources you use and the amount of wastes you produce.

Calculations show that the planet has available 1.9 hectares of
biologically productive land per person to supply resources and absorb wastes—yet the average person on Earth already uses 2.3 hectares worth.

These “ecological footprints” range from 9.7 hectares claimed by the average American to 0.47 hectares used by the average Mozambican.(18)

Calculate your ecological footprint and discover your impact on the planet at
http://www.redefiningprogress.org/.
The results may shock you!

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Zaitoon (Olive) is Cure for Seventy Diseases


Olives are good for You

Dr. M.Laiq Ali Khan

Zaitoon (Olive) the sign of peace and friendship in this world has its description in Holy Qur’an Allah Taala says

  1. By the fig and olive
  2. And the mount of Sinai
  3. And the city of security
  4. We have indeed created man in the best of moulds
  5. Then do we abase him (to be) the lowest of low
  6. Except such as believe and do righteous deeds for they shall have a reward unfailing
  7. What then, can after this, make you deny the last judgement
  8. Is not Allah the wisest of judges” (The Fig, Surah 95)

The plant of olive goes upto the height of 3 metres, leaves are bright green and very attractive and the fruits are of bright bluish or violet colour, possesses a metallic taste. It is known from old ages. During the excavation of ancient Egyptian graves, vessels full of olive oil were found with other articles. According to the scholars of Hadith, on subsidence of Toofan-E-Nooh, when water level came down, the first thing on the earth that was seen, was the olive plant.

The plant is extensively found in Asia minor, Palestine, Roman territory, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Italy, North Africa, Algeria, Tunisia, California in America, Mexico, Peru and South zone of Australia.

Olive oil is a good preservative for other eatables too. Sardine and other fishes are tinned and preserved in olive oil. The smoke-less burning of olive oil is a peculiar feature, which produces a bright light. Holy Qur’an stresses the importance of Zaitoon on several occasions: (141-M-AlInaam-6), (99-K-AlInaam-6), (11-K-AlNahl-16), (AlNoor-35), (Moominoon).

Hazrat Sayyed Al-Ansari narrates that the Prophet (Pbuh) said “Eat the olive oil and massage it over your bodies since it is a holy (mubarak) tree.”(Tirmizi, Ibn Maja)

Hazrat Alqama Bin Amir narrates that Prophet (Pbuh) said, “ There is olive oil for you, eat it, massage over your body, since it is effective in Heamorrhoids (Piles).” (Ibn Al-Jozi, Zanbi)

Use Olive Oil for many benefits

Hazrat Aqba Bin Amir narrates that the Prophet (Pbuh) stated, “You have the olive oil from this Holy (mubarak) tree, treat yourself with this, since it cures the Anal fissure (Basoor).” Khalid Bin Saad narrates “I came to Madinah with Ghalib Bin Al Jabr. Ghalib became ill during the journey. Ibn Abi Ateeq came to see him and told a narration from Hazrat Aisha that the Prophet (Pbuh) told about the cure in Kalonji. We crushed a few seeds of Kalonji and mixed it with olive oil and dropped in both nostrils, after which Ghalib became healthy.” (Ibn Maja, Bukhari)

Hazrath Abu Hurairah (t) narrates that the Prophet (Pbuh) stated, “ Eat the olive oil and apply it (locally), since there is cure for seventy diseases in it, one of them is Leprosy.” (Abu Naim)

Hazrat Zaid Bin Arqam narrates “ We have been directed by the Prophet (Pbuh) that we should treat the Pleurisy with Qust-e-Behri (Qust Sheerin) and olive oil.” (Tirmizi, sanadeAhmed, Ibn Maja)

Olive oil has a place in Govt Pharmacopoca of USA and Britain (British Pharmacopoca). Both of these countries have given prime importance to olive oil for the treatment of various ailments and have fixed standard parameters to evaluate its purity.

Massage Olive oil for good skin

It contains Palmatic Acid, Oleic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Steanic Acid, Myristic Acid and Glycerides. It is not dissolved in water but in Alcohol, Ether, Chloroform and Liquid Paraffin.

The adulterant very often used in the olive are of the seeds of Tea Plant, Arachis oil in the market samples of olive oil. Sometimes Machine Gun oil and refined Mobile oil are also found.

Olive oil is extracted from the ripened fruits. The unripe and over ripe fruits contain less amount of the oil. The fruits are processed three times. Successively, the first round oil is the best in quality, golden in colour, with a light fragrance and known as virgin oil. Some varieties of olive oil remained unchanged in its effectiveness for years together. It contains therapeutic potential even if it is a thousand years old. Despite the prime importance and holiness given by Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) no work has been done to find out its efficacy for the ailments other than the Haemorrhoids, Anal fissure, Skin diseases, pleurisy and leprosy, which are already described by the Prophet (Pbuh) , whereas the Prophet (Pbuh) himself says us that it contains cure for seventy diseases.

According to Ibn Al-Qayyim the red coloured oil is better than blackish one. It is an exhilarant, glows up the facial complexion, provides prevention against poisons, regulates the digestive process, expels the intestinal parasites, makes the hair lustrous and minimises the ageing problems. The massage of olive oil with common salt over the gums is a remedy for several diseases of gums and teeth. The local application of olive oil or the water extracted from the crushed olive oil leaves is effective on boils, rashes and itching. The chronic ulcers and boils, which show difficult healing condition, are healed up with the use of olive oil locally.

According to Zahbi it strengthens the hairs and body, hence could be used as a good tonic in old age problems and to delay the ageing process. It is also useful in sexual weakness. Combination of normal saline with olive oil is highly effective in burns cases.

The decotion of olive leaves in water is effective against mouth and lips ulcers and allergic dermatitis also. The concentrated aquous extract of olive leaves and fruits is very effective against dental cavities and application of this solution shows very good effects on Leukoplaquea in mouth. This solution is applied with vinegar on Alopecia, grows the hair and removes the Alopecia. It is also stated that the local application of this extract removes the scars of small pox and boils. The powder of seeds mixed with butter is effective in brittle nails. The pickles prepared from olive fruits is a good appetizer and removes constipation. The smashed leaves are applied locally to check excessive perspiration. The water extracted from the leaves with honey is used as Ear drops and effective in various Ear ailments. The oil procured by burning of olive wood is effective against all fungal infection viz, Ringworm, T.versicolor etc. in addition to Eczema, Psoriasis, Dandruff and Alopecia. The local application of olive oil on scalp is highly effective against dandruff. It grows the hairs and checks, the loss of hair. The application of olive oil in eyes relieves the inflammation.

The massage of olive oil over the body tones up the muscles and organs, it relieves muscular pains. Some physicians also advocate the massage of olive oil for epilepsy. It relieves the Sciatic and arthritis. The ointment prepared from olive oil are very good healing agents. It heals the sinus and fistula very quickly. 25ml of olive oil mixed with 250ml of barley water, if taken internally, is highly effective against chronic constipation. It is good Diuretic, hence is used in Ascites. It also removes the kidney stones.

A conventional regimen is also available comprising of olive oil and other herbal drugs having potential against the Gall bladder stones. It is stated that this regimen dissolves and expels the Gall bladder stone.

Olive oil has multiple benefits

In view of the researchs carried out in USA and England, it is concluded that it is a good nourishing diet during the ailments of kidney, where nitrogen containing food/proteins in take is contra indicated. Since, the Prophet (Pbuh) stated that it is a good remedy for Anal fissure, hence for the same complaint patients were advised to take two spoonful of olive oil at bedtime and an ointment was applied on fissure locally at retiring and in morning, prepared from 8 spoonfuls of olive oil and 2 spoonfuls of ground henna leaves. This showed very good effects against the problem. It is a good tonic for hair and maintains the lustre. Its combination with other prescribed drugs of Tibb-al-Nabwi is a good remedy for Psoriasis and Eczema. The impressions of several doctors practising in middle east and North Africa reveal that no case was detected of Gastro Intestinal Carcinoma, among those who were used to consuming olive oil. Japanese doctors also endorse this fact and have the opinion that olive oil prevents the incidence of Carcinoma in G.I.T.

The Prophet (Pbuh) stated that it is a good remedy for intestinal inflammations. Therefore it was used in the cases of G.I.T ulcers and found very much effective. It is also observed that no remedy equates the benefits of olive oil in hyper acidity and gas troubles.

The Prophet (Pbuh) recommended the use of olive oil in Pleurisy. Keeping this in view olive oil was administered in various diseases of Respiratory tract and it was observed that the regular users of olive oil were least affected with common cold and coryzha and pneumonia.

Include Olive Oil in your daily diet

The clinical experiences of well qualified and highly established doctors in the profession who take a keen insight in Prophet’s medicine reveal that olive oil is a good supportive treatment in Tubercular infection of either sites. According to a narration of Kahlid Bin Saad in Ibn Maja, one spoonful of Kalonji was pulverised and mixed with 12 spoonful of olive oil. This suggestion was dropped into the nostrils morning and evening for the cases of chronic cold and epistaxis. The results were found highly positive.