Last Saturday evening, a hundred people turned up for the talk 'Earth In Crisis: A Solution Rooted in Faith'. The talk was given by Shaykh Alaeddin Al-Bakri and Dr.Saidul Islam and organised by Muslim Convert's Association of Singapore in partnership with FiTree, as part of FiTree's May We Go Green campaign, a one-month long effort to encourage more youths to report for duty to save the Earth.
For those who missed the talk, here is a recap of the main points:
1) Firstly, to take care of nature is a form of 'ibadah/is to worship Allah.
2) Secondly, it is the Central Principle of Islam - to Serve or always think about something bigger than yourselves i.e. being selfless and serving the 'Other' instead of being selfish.
3) Allah has left a mark in all His Creations characterised by beauty and diversity. He could have made only one type of fruit but there's lots of them. He could have made only one type of leaf/trees but in fact there's so many of them etc.
4) Ayaat - which many people know as 'verses' actually refers to Signs. And in many verses of the Quran, the Sun, Moon, Stars, etc has been referred to as ayaat as well i.e. Signs. Ta'aiyi (which is another form of the arabic word of ayaat) actually means that you stop and look and then marvel at something. That is essentially what Signs of God is actually supposed to be. That you stop, look and then marvel.
5) There are 2 kinds of books: Written book and the Open book.
Written one is the Quran whereas the Open one refers to His creations in the universe. So in all these ayaats, we are meant to marvel at them.
6) In a few other verses God talks about how the World has been created for us but also with a purpose. He gave the example of how the squirrel that glides across a tree and made u go like wowww thats amazing, that is in fact the whole point of that creation. For us to be awed and amazed. In addition to that, consider how Man has been able to go into the depths of the oceans deeper than whales, dig huge holes underground deeper than ants or other insects, go high up into the sky, higher than birds. And in the Universe and all these signs, God gives you a message through a language that everyone understands i.e. through nature, that Man is actually a caretaker of the earth. Man is the only one capable of this.
7) As created beings (humans), you are created in this world to serve God, the One who has created you. And He has also created world to serve you. But we know for a fact that God does not need anyone to serve Him in the sense that He is not needy. So as humans, we actually serve Him by serving His creations, i.e. nature.
Stepping out of the talk, participants could take further action to save the environment.
With a total of seven booths, FiTree Fair was buzzing with activity. Participants could take their pick to choose from causes like stopping the haze, or finding out how to work with bees to save the Earth.
FiTree Fair also had a Shawl Exchange where the environmentally conscious hijabistas could exchange their pre-loved shawls for another pre-loved shawl. The FiTree Arcade was set up in collaboration with Literacy Initiative for Equity Singapore (LIFE SG) where parents could drop their child off at the arcade for a free childminding service. The children could play with games made of cardboard to encourage playful imagination in children.
Update (9/5/2016, 11:15pm):
1) We would like to thank all the participating environmental NGOs for your enthusiastic participation in making FiTree Fair a successful event!
2) We have linked the participating NGOs to their respective websites, do visit their site to take a look at how they are #ReportingForDuty to do what they are good at, in saving the environment.
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