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‘Protecting Earth is religious duty’: UAE mosques urge faithful to go green during Friday sermon

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Religious lessons in sustainability rang out of mosques across the UAE during the Friday sermon that stressed the importance of going green. Preachers gave examples on sustainable living and preserving resources as detailed in the holy Quran and from the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

As mandated by Islam, sermons precede the afternoon congregational prayer on Fridays called Juma.

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As the UAE hosts the climate change conference COP28, worshippers who went to mosques for Juma were told that human beings are entrusted with the earth to protect and preserve it, and “not cause harm to its resources”.

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“Preserving the earth and … sustaining its resources and capabilities will help achieve security and peace,” a preacher at a Dubai mosque said.

He urged people to shoulder their responsibility in sustainability as they go about their lives.

Citing a hadith (a collection of traditions containing the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad), the preacher said: “The Prophet said: ‘If the Final Hour comes while you have a shoot of a plant in your hands and it is possible to plant it before the Hour comes, you should plant it.”

He stressed the importance of renewable energy, which “plays a major role in achieving climate balance so that the earth continues to advance, prosper, and stabilise. Our wise government is making global and local efforts to develop environmental resources and manage natural resources so that we can enjoy a healthy environment.”

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Faith Pavilion

COP28 is engaging religious leaders and communities with the first-of-its-kind Faith Pavilion. According to the COP28 presidency, over 84 per cent of the world’s population identifies with a religion and the “Faith Pavilion seeks to unite religious representatives, communities, and institutions in support of climate action”.

The Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai is taking part in the climate change conference.

In a speech, Ahmed Darwish Al Muhairi, director-general of the department, focused on the importance Islam places on the protection of the environment.

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He highlighted steps that the department has taken to help preserve resources, which include “reducing the wastage of water at mosques; planting trees in courtyards; reducing electricity consumption, and the green construction of some mosques”.

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