Allah says in the interpretation of the meaning, “O children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters” (Quran 7:31)
A while ago, one of my friends invited me out to eat Vietnamese food. As being an individual that loves various kinds of foods, I accepted her invitation. So, when we went we eyeballed the menu a few times and settled for some soup. Unfortunately, the soup’s broth was made with pork. So, we decided on rice and chicken. In my passionate love of Chinese fried-rice, I ordered fried-rice on the side with my chicken. In ordering up our meals, I soon realized I didnt really like what I had ordered. So, I simply had it boxed up to eat for later.
In getting home, I retired my boxed-up meal in the refrigerator. Days and days went by and I still hadnt ate my meal. So, I threw it away. I know that this may have happened to a few people in their quest of trying different foods, but this act of throwing away good food bothered me. I can remember numerous times of going to a buffet and leaving heaps of food on my plate. Or you can even apply this same kind of behavior to spending money on items that we just do not need.
In reflecting on the above Quranic ayat (verse), it is apparent that one should be careful in wasting resources or even time. The verse shows the permissibility of an individual indulging in having things at their disposal, but at the same time God is letting them know that they should not waste by excess. It is similar to the catch-phrase of “Living within your means”. Also, it calls attention to being mindful of: spending habits, eating habits, time management and etc. We shouldn’t waste what we are given.
In looking back at the overwhelming amount of food I had left, I could have given it to someone. Or I could have simply ordered another meal. This would’ve been the smarter thing to do instead of wasting food. Now, we can put this in a world-wide perspective and say that the meal I wasted could’ve been enough to save someone’s life. In having privilege, you sometimes forget how you are granted resources that another person may not have. So, once you do realize your privilege you should act on this knowledge, better yourself and hopefully better others. It is known within the Islamic-tradition that the best knowledge is that acted out through the limbs because it is beneficial. Knowledge that is never acted upon does not reap any benefit for you or society.
So, this ayat (verse) from the Quran really did make me think a lot about my responsibility as an individual and as a consumer of our globalized-world. It is very easy to waste if you dont have to worry about where your next meal, outfit or means of survival will come from. Sometimes if we can open our eyes a little bit we may just understand the value of not wasting. In countries all around the world, including Western countries, people are struggling to survive with trying to maintain their bare neccessities. So, if we keep this in mind about being cautious of how we use and maintain our resources, we can truly live a life of moderation