[Qur’an in Ramadan 26:Q52.24-Q57.29]
As Ramadan rolls in, so do our garbage bags keep rolling out. We make elaborate dishes of various kinds and in the end, a lot of it is wasted and thrown away. No one wants to eat ‘stale food’ for iftar, thank you very much!
It is however better to be ‘under-fed’ than over-fed in Ramadan.
The Prophet (SAW) recommended filling a third of our bellies with food, a third with water and a third with air i.e. for breathing. Ramadan is not supposed to be a food jamboree with subsequent waste or bingeing.
To minimise waste, we should watch the portions we cook and serve the dishes in a way that it is easy to preserve afterwards, if it is not consumed. An example is serving salad without the mayonnaise or salad crème so the vegetables could be used to prepare another meal.
We should also endeavour to break our fast on time, and not prolong it beyond Maghrib. It is Sunnah to break the fast with an odd number of dates and or water. We should not rejoice at iftar at the plethora of dishes but at the fact that we have been able to fulfil Allah’s commandment on us. After the salaah, we can dig into the first course then have the second course after Ishai or Tarawih prayers. This way, we are likely to allow some digestion take place before each feeding.
Food should also be shared with others by inviting them over to break the fast with us or shared at our local masjid.
Leftovers can be eaten at sahur, packaged for the children to take to school, eaten by the non-fasting members of the family or recycled into a new meal for iftar.
If we have done our best to minimise waste but still have to toss out some food, let us make the intention that animals may benefit from it and we should not pollute it as we throw it away.
May Allah reward our intentions.