This organization is bringing back the “environmental spirit of Islam”
By Vanessa Taylor
April 13, 2022
During Ramadan, many Muslims fast from the pre-dawn prayer, fajr, until sunset or even later into the night. To break the fast, they often gather together for communal meals, known as iftar. With over 4 million Muslims living in the United States, you can already imagine that there’s a whole lot of iftars going on. Unfortunately, though, iftars sometimes come with a lot of waste — there’s a lot of disposable silverware and serving items required when you’re feeding large groups at once. So in 2007, a group of 15 Muslims in Washington, D.C., took it upon themselves to throw an environmentally friendly iftar.
They didn’t expect it to grow into a national organization. But that one meal laid the foundation for Green Muslims, an organization committed to seeing “Muslims living in the environmental spirit of Islam, striving towards connection with nature and environmental stewardship.” At first it existed only as a series of zero-waste potluck iftars dubbed “leftars”; rather than assemble elaborate meals that used paper plates and plastic cups or utensils to serve everyone, the leftars encouraged people to use up leftovers from previous iftars and bring reusable utensils and containers to eat with.