Avoiding wastefulness

It is part of our faith to avoid wastefulness, and this is something that we may often overlook. We must remember that we read in the Holy Qur’an:

“O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He [Allah] likes not those who commit excess.” (Qur’an 7:31)

When we are pouring a glass of water, we should think about how much we are actually going to drink. If we know we are not going to drink a full glass of water, we could avoid pouring the full amount. It is possible that the remaining amount of water will be left and eventually poured into the kitchen sink. This should really make us stop and think.

There are people in this world who struggle and go for days without finding clean and safe water to drink. We should not take our blessings for granted and be wasteful.

When we are taking food from a serving dish into our plates, we should think carefully about how much we are actually going to eat. This should not be something that we take lightly because we are distracted by other things whilst getting our meals ready. There are often times where people take an amount of food into their plates but don’t finish it, sometimes even leaving half of the food. We should really take time to reflect on this, as our religion teaches us not to be wasteful.

We should be careful about how much food we buy when we go to a shop. Buying excess often causes us to be left with food that eventually cannot be eaten as the expiry date has passed. We should think about how much food we should actually need and how we will be storing it. We need to think about how we can preserve the food, such as putting it into the fridge. There are so many small steps we can take to reduce the amount of food we waste, and we should not be heedless about this.

We read in the Holy Qur’an:

“And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.” (Qur’an 6:141)

Time is another key topic in discussion of wastefulness. There may be times where, other than when we are relaxing, we still continue to spend a lot of time using social media or watching the television. We should be very careful about this as time is not something we will always have. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in a hadith:

“There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good” (Bukhari).

We do not know when our lives will come to an end. Therefore, we must be careful not to waste the time Allah has blessed us with. We should strive to do good and gain rewards.

We could help our families, friends and people in the local community. We could give to charity to help those who are less fortunate than us. We should spend more time praying, reciting the Holy Qur’an, and doing zhikr. The time that we have now to do all these things will never come back. We will never be able to turn back time in order to be more productive and do more good.

If we regret wasting time in the past, this does not mean we should be hopeless and think that we have failed. Each morning we wake up in is another opportunity Allah has blessed us with to improve. We should not waste these opportunities given to us by our Lord.

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