Scholars tell Muslims not to waste food

Updated 12 August 2013
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Scholars tell Muslims not to waste food

Religious scholars, through their sermons, have advised Muslims in the Kingdom not to waste food during the holy month of Ramadan, when food is prepared in large quantities and the leftovers go waste.
Abdulrahman Bakri, an Islamic scholar said: “During Ramadan, there is always a major increase in food wastage not only in the Kingdom but also other countries across the Gulf. At iftar parties or banquets during Ramadan, the leftover food usually goes waste and wealthy hosts have no qualms about throwing them away. I myself have seen such things happening and have advised people, using such examples, to raise awareness levels.”
Stating that Muslims are commanded by the Qur’an to be mindful of food and not to let it go waste, Bakri said Muslims should be made aware of the huge amounts of food they waste every day. They should give it away to the poor and needy rather than throwing it away since Ramadan is a time when reward for giving will double, he said.
“Wasting food is a sin and breaches the very concept of Ramadan,” says Mohammed Zaki, another Islamic scholar. “Apart from the many health benefits, fasting educates Muslims to experience and understand hunger, deprivation and grief of the needy.”
Zaki advised Muslims to be more careful in managing food, pointing out that the food one person wastes is another person’s meal. He also asked Muslims to share food rather than enjoy it all by himself.
He said that people cook more and spend more on food during Ramadan and tables are spread from iftar to the end of sahoor. “It is sad to say, but so much food is cooked that a bigger portion of it goes to the trash bins later.”
“Food is seen as a gift from God and thus wasting it is seen as a sign of ungratefulness for this gift,” says Yaser AbuRayan, imam at a mosque in Jeddah. “There is always food that is left after iftar in this mosque. We make sure to call in street cleaners to finish it or give them away to the needy.”
AbuRayan says according to a Hadith, there is blessing in the food we eat but we do not know in which portion of the food it lies. “A verse in the Qur’an says ‘Give to the near of kin his due, and also to the needy and the wayfarers. Do not squander your wealth wastefully; for those who squander wastefully are Satan’s brothers, and Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.’ This makes it clear people must eat only as much as they need and they often need much less than they feel,” he said.
In another Hadith, the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said: “The food of one person is sufficient for two, the food of two people suffices for four people and the food of four people suffices for eight.”
The Hadith explains that there is enough food in the world but if the level of greed in people vanishes, the poor and hungry can be fed without any crisis.


Saudi Commission for Tourism adds 53,000 relics to national digital record

Pedestal or altar, 500–300 BCE. Saudi Arabia; Tayma city. Sandstone. (Photo courtesy: National Museum, Riyadh)
Updated 6 min 36 sec ago
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Saudi Commission for Tourism adds 53,000 relics to national digital record

JEDDAH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) is registering more than 53,000 artifacts and relics that it restored from inside and outside the Kingdom as part of the National Project for Digital Recording of Antiquities.

The project follows international standards for archaeological recording and archiving, and will document and store all historic sites, artifacts, historical monuments and urban heritage buildings in a national digital registry linked to a multidimensional digital map.
Naif Al-Qannour, director-general of archiving and protecting antiquities at the SCTH, said: “The new digital recording project stores detailed information and reports about 32,000 artifacts retrieved from outside the Kingdom and 20,000 returned by citizens to the SCTH since Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of SCTH, launched the campaign to retrieve national artifacts in 2011.
“Some artifacts found their way outside Saudi Arabia through foreign travelers who moved them to other countries. One of the most famous artifacts is the Tayma Stone, which was displayed at the Louvre Museum in Paris.”
Al-Qannour said that many employees of foreign companies, especially in the oil industry, visited parts of Saudi Arabia to study geology and natural manifestations, collected the artifacts they found and took them to national museums in their home countries.
“Robbers of archaeological sites sometimes dig for archaeological treasures and achieve fast financial gains,” Al-Qannour said. “By doing so, they are destroying important archaeological evidence found in these sites, be it on land or in the sea.”
Al-Qannour said the SCTH had released a red list of artifacts stolen from sites inside Saudi Arabia with information to make them easier to identify.
The SCTH has also announced financial rewards for those who return artifacts or report their loss or theft.
In 2011, Prince Sultan launched a campaign to review national artifacts, including media and cultural programs and initiatives to highlight the value of artifacts and the importance of returning them to the SCTH.
Recently, the commission released a list of 140 citizens and 18 Americans who returned artifacts, reported archaeological sites or cooperated with the SCTH to protect the country’s cultural heritage between 2013 and 2017. They will be honored during the First Antiquities Forum, which will be launched under the patronage of King Salman on Nov. 7 at the National Museum in Riyadh.