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Editor’s Note Happy New Year 2024: New Year Resolutions for Students, Children & Youth Together is Better Sir Syed Ahmad Khan Revolution, Students & Studies: Harnessing AI, Social Media & E-Learning Population, Environment, Water: Tackling the Triple Threat Muslims and their Festive Delights “Adventures of the Crescent” : The Wonders of Islamic World Hazrat Umar (RA) A Timeless Role Model Childhood under Siege in IIOJK Broken Crayons and Shattered Dreams Rising from the Ashes Kashmir’s History in Brief Kashmir Banay Ga Pakistan A Kashmiri Mother’s Letter to Her Soncc Kashmir: Plight of Children Beginning A New Best Way to Prepare for Exams Almonds: The Nutrient-Rich Treasure Protecting the Environment Save Water, Save Life Read to Lead Pain of Palestinian Kids A Child’s Cry Honoring Unity and Progress The Blessed Month of Ramadan The Spirit of Unity and Freedom Pakistan Movement -- From Start to Culmination Pakistan’s Day Welcome Spring! Let Patriotism Gleam Plea for Peace Being Kind to Animals Harmony Between Nature and Human “Scratch” -- A Software for Kids Learning If Chat GPT Writes My Assignment Hazrat Ali (RA) The Guiding Light ‘Generation Alpha’ Significance of Scientific & Digital Knowledge Safeguarding ‘Generation Alpha’ in Pakistan Tackling Misinformation & Disinformation The Planet Protectors The Reel World Yaum-e-Takbeer A Day of Pride Little Ant The Guardian of Sacred Waters Cheetah A True Marvel of Nature The Shining Stars Preserving Our Planet: Let’s Act Now! Climate Change Global Warming Environment, Water & Population Key Players on Planet Earth Zero Waste Management Easy Guide to Zero-Waste Lifestyle Eid-ul-Azha – the Festival of Sacrifice Islam’s Concept of Cleanliness Golden Principles of a Good Life Importance of Plants Shinning Star Escape the Scorching Heat Enjoy the Summer Delight The Exemplary Lives of the Prophet’s Grandsons Hazrat Imam Hassan (RA) and Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) The First Muslim Scientist Who Dared to Fly The Wings of Abbas ibn Firnas The First Muslim Scientist Who Dared to Fly The Wings of Abbas ibn Firnas An Adventure Awaits Spending Summer Vacations with Family Summer Fun and Reading Adventures The Power of Reading Exploring a labyrinth of knowledge The Tianjin Binhai Library A book’s Adventure Preventing Yourself from the Scorching Summer Beat the Heat Benefits of Exercise for Children General Knowledge Amazing facts about Human body Parker Solar Probe  Unveiling the Sun’s Secrets Pakistan and China's Lunar Mission A Nation’s Spirit Marches On The Unbreakable Spirit of Patriotism Grewia The Amazing Fruit Tree The Fish and the Tortoise Rising Temperatures in the Summer Tackling the Climate Change Shinning Star
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Tanzeela Ahmed and Zara Sher Khan

NA

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Hilal Kids English

Islam’s Concept of Cleanliness Golden Principles of a Good Life

June 2024

Moral Values Pivot to Clean Environment


Guys! Shouldn’t we tell you that we can keep our environment, our surroundings, and our belongings clean only by adhering to moral values, ethics and etiquettes which are the basic norms, principles, and teachings of our religion, culture and society?     
    We have gathered a list of moral principles which the Holy Quran has commanded us to obey. Let’s go through the following list of God’s Commandments first: 
•    Don’t lie (Surah 22: Verse 30)
•    Don’t spy (49:12)
•    Don’t insult (49:11)
•    Don’t waste (17:26)
•    Feed the poor (22:36)
•    Don’t backbite (49:12)
•    Keep your oaths (5:89)
•    Don’t take bribes (27:36)
•    Honor your treaties (9:4)
•    Restrain your anger (3:134)
•    Don’t spread gossip (24:15)
•    Think good of others (24:12)
•    Be good to guests (51:24-27)
•    Don’t harm believers (33:58)
•    Don’t be rude to parents (17:23)
•    Turn away from ill speech (23:3)
•    Don’t make fun of others (49:11)
•    Walk in a humble manner (25:63)
•    Respond to evil with good (41:34)
•    Don’t say what you won't do (62:2)
•    Faithfully observe trusts & promises (23:8)
•    Don’t insult others' false gods (6:108)
•    Don’t deceive people in trade (6:152)
•    Don’t take items without right (3:162)
•    Eat & drink, but be not excessive (7:31)
•    Don’t ask unnecessary questions (5:101)
•    Don’t be miserly nor extravagant (25:67)
•    Don’t call others with bad names (49:11)
•    Don’t claim yourselves to be pure (53:32)
•    Speak nicely, even to the ignorant (25:63)
•    Don’t ask for repayment for favors (76:9)
•    Make room for others at gatherings (58:11)
•    If enemy wants peace, then accept it (8:61)
•    Return a greeting in a better manner (4:86)
•    Make peace between fighting groups (49:9)
•    Don’t remind others of the favors you’ve done to them (2:264)
    Now if we follow in letter and spirit the following two commandments – “eat and drink, but be not excessive” (7:31), and “don’t waste” (17:26)– you will see that much of our goal “to keep our environment clean and make our earth green” shall be fulfilled.  
    This is because, adhering to moral principles, ethics, and etiquettes is vital to living a healthy life in a natural and clean environment. Moral values guide us to choose between right and wrong. It’s the key to making our home, street, town, city and country, or subsequently the overall earth planet a better place to live. 



    If we follow the Holy Quran’s teachings in true letter and spirit, then the Three R’s principle of Zero Waste Management becomes more relevant. The Three R’s – Reduce, Reuse & Recycle – means cut down the waste; recycle the plastic, paper, metal and glass, compost the food scrap; limit the use of one-time plastic and polythene bags, glass bottles; and opt for the reusable cloth bags, water bottles and containers.
    The above example leads us to think that all the Quranic principles and Islamic norms are not without a consequential logic. These are not just to memorize but to practically act upon. This is part of our training so that we may become a better human being and a good citizen, as well as a useful part of society. 
Cleanliness of Self
True to the Saying of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that “Cleanliness is half the Faith”, you have to keep yourself clean, and at the same time keep your home, street and area clean. For prayers five times a day, we have to make ablution (wazu) before going for prayer in the mosque. Ablution is a complete set of cleaning hands up to elbows, doing gargles after brushing the teeth (preferably by miswak), clearing nose from inside, washing face, and lastly massaging ears, head and neck. Imagine, if this act of cleaning is repeated five times a day, what level and standard of cleanliness we shall achieve!
    Likewise, we clean our home, street or area; every kind of shopping bags, plastic or glass bottles we remove from there stops it from going into gutters or drainages, so that it may not block the sewerage system of the area. 
    Hence, this example leads us to believe that all the principles and moral values and manners should be honestly followed because these are pivotal to building one’s overall character.
Character Building
The development of character genuinely begins at early childhood. It is the duty of parents to spend time in the character building of their children, and ensuring their sound physical and moral growth. Kids practice what they see their parents and elders doing. If we ask them not to waste water, energy, food, be polite and kind, observe cleanliness, focus on hygiene, speak softly, etc., they may not abide by at times, but if they see their parents doing the same at home, they will definitely follow it and themselves practice it. So the parents must set personal example of repeatedly doing something good for their kids to follow.
    Morality and etiquettes not only assure decent behavior in minors, but teaches them to differentiate good from bad. Moreover, school and social circles play very important role in guiding, supporting, and holding the kids’ hands as they navigate the landscape of ethics. Moral guidelines are for everyone: the young and old, men and women… These principles cover even minor actions such as entering or exiting a bathroom, cleaning, drinking water, eating, etc. 
Faith is Combination of Manners
The lifestyle of a true Muslim is a combination of faith and good manners. Practice of good manners and etiquettes serves as the distinction between a Muslim and non-Muslim. These principles are an integral part of faith. For example, if we wish to get guidance from Quran as how to speak in front of our elders, then we must refer to Quran’s Surah Hujarat, which gave the Companions (RA) of the Last Messenger (PBUH) a clear warning while addressing or talking to the Prophet (PBUH). “O you who believe, raise not your voices over the voice of the Prophet (PBUH), nor speak aloud to him, as you speak loudly to one another, lest your deeds may be wasted while you perceive not.”
    Our Prophet (PBUH) has taught us manners for all occasions, manners for family life, conduct in public, in mosque, behavior in social gatherings, behaving with seniors and juniors, etc. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “I’ve been sent (as Last Messenger) for the perfection of the morals.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
    The new generation needs smart learning techniques to acquire good manners and etiquettes that the previous generation learned in many years. The more dignified the manners, the more stable and vibrant would be the social fabric of society. Sadly, parents and teachers are not treated with due respect, elders are not given due honor and the basic manners of eating, drinking, cleaning, visiting, and speaking are not properly observed nowadays. 
Impact of Ethics and Etiquettes on Environment 
Manners, etiquettes, and moral values may seem unrelated to environment at first place, yet they have a tremendous impact on our relationship with natural world. We are responsible for the well-being of our environment, and peaceful livelihood. Whatever we do has a direct impact on our surroundings. Our practices define either the impact is positive or negative. 
    Do we ever think before tossing the wraps of confectionery, banana peel, garbage, and empty water bottles on streets, roadsides or in public places, how it’s going to affect the environment? A polythene bag could clog the sewerage and water drainage during rainy days. A banana peel can let people slip exposing them to injury. Regrettably, we have a long list of bad manners, and poor etiquettes that majority of the people are habitual of practicing in their routine life. Such as:
•    Heaping garbage in front of others’ homes, streets and roadsides.
•    Carelessly throwing plastic bags or bottles and wrappers anywhere. 
•    Spitting anywhere in streets and public places.
•    Keeping water taps open while brushing, soaping face or washing dishes.
•    Taking long showers and keeping the water running while shampooing or soaping.
•    Plucking delicate branches of baby plants or trees.
•    Impatiently pressing the horns aloud in the midst of traffic or crowds.
•    Knocking the door or ringing the doorbell loudly while visiting someone.
•    Pointlessly using paper and tissue papers in daily life.
•    Playing loud music in cars or at homes.
•    Driving bikes without silencer, and using smoke emitting vehicles.
•    Keeping unnecessary lights, and electronic devices on.
•    Wasting plenty of fresh water in washing a car or in outdoor spaces.
•    Making noise while eating, and speaking loudly.
•    Cutting and mishandling of trees.
•    Talking loudly and roughly on public spots or in public transport.
•    Discharging untreated hazardous liquid, smoke emission from factories, and commercial facilities in open air.
All stated practices above are bad manners, right! 
Humans are Humiliating the Environment
Humans are humiliating the environment with their bad practices, and the result is the environmental degradation, floods, drought, climate change, food shortage, social unrest, poor health conditions, and the extinction of rare species. Hence abnormal use of natural resources is causing depletion of finite resources.
    Let me explain how bad habits are contaminating the environment!
•    Instigating Pollution: Discharge from factories, deforestation, smoke emitting vehicles, lack of recycle and reuse techniques, garbage heaps around the streets and roadsides are causing water, soil and air pollution.
•    Noise Pollution: Loud music, loud call bell or knocking, honking, and traffic horns stimulate noise pollution and mental stress.
•    Scarcity of Resources: Long showers, water running while soaping and dish washing, car wash, keeping lights and electronics on, cutting of trees, are main causes of wastage of precious resources that  lead to the scarcity of resources. So, follow the follows: 
Basic Etiquettes and Morals
•    Be polite, gentle and sympathetic with everyone.
•    Treat elders with respect and courtesy, and juniors with kindness.
•    Be empathic and listen to others while being attentive and concerned.
•    Respect and treat everyone rightly regardless of  age, race, religion or status.
•    Understand that the foundation of success is hard work, not failure of others.
•    Learn to care in the form of sharing and being generous.
•    When visiting others, neither knock the door stridently, nor press the bell for long. 
•    Pay Salam or greet whenever you meet someone. Be the first in exchanging Salam.
•    Do not keep pressing horns in traffic.
•    Do not yell or speak loudly when at public spots and public transport.
•    Switch off lights, fans, and electronic devices when not in use.
•    Use reusable bags and products like cloth napkins, stainless steel and water bottles.
•    Chew food slowly while taking meals.
•    When someone is asleep or taking rest, do not disturb the person.
•    Do not call a person again and again if he or she hasn’t responded at first call.
•    Plant saplings seasonally every year, and do not miss planting on birthdays. 
•    Do not spit in public place and do not throw garbage on streets and roads.
 •    If there are three people together, two of them should avoid whispering to each other.
    The above mentioned principles and practices are just a few that reflect the level of purity, understanding, civility, behavior, and character of a good human being. Winning people’s heart by modesty, kindness, and empathy is the best strategy. The best person is the one who is a source of comfort for others including the environment.
Imprint of Good Manners on Environment 
Morals have a positive effect on the environment. Healthy environment means healthy human beings. By encouraging good manners, etiquettes and moral values, we can contribute to the society, the environmental and the Earth. 
    Genuine impressions of morality on environment are:
Conservation Mind-set: Morals like simplicity, responsibility, empathy, justice and compassion boost up a conservation mind-set. Mindful habits shape the valuing behavior for planet and its resources. Controlling the consumption patterns of water, energy and food means less waste generation, and lower carbon emission.
Compassion for Nature: Good manners and etiquettes like compassion, gratitude, and empathy allow respect and appreciation for the nature, wildlife, and ecosystems, motivating us to protect the environment for coming generations.
Environmental Consciousness: Etiquettes and moral values like cooperation, kindness and sharing foster a sense of responsibility, leading to collective action and collaboration in tree plantation, clean-up activities as well as conservation efforts.
    Healthy Lifestyles: Morals like responsibility, sharing and self-discipline let us strive for simple and healthy lifestyles, reducing our ecological footprint. It leads to the overall environmental well-being, making it a better place to live.


 

Tanzeela Ahmed and Zara Sher Khan

NA

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