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Connecting Children to Green

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What is the first thing we do when we wake up in the morning? Wash our face? Brush our teeth. What does our breakfast include? What is the one thing that is mandatory to be alive? Water, Rice, fruits, milk, oxygen… Where do all these come from? Nature!!

Is there a moment in our entire life where we can disconnect ourselves from nature? The answer is ‘No.’ Even when we leave this world, we remain connected. Then why are we so insensitive towards nature and the environment? Why are we reluctant to spare a thought for this?

Parents work very hard to connect their children to their religion and rituals right from their early upbringing days. But are they aware of how much Islam talks about nature and the environment and reminds humans of their responsibility towards the planet? Allah azwajal has blessed us with many creations so that we benefit from them and be happy.

The importance of nature and the environment have been emphasized in several ayat of the Holy Quran. Below are a few of the ayahs.

‘And We have sent down blessed rain from the sky and made grow thereby gardens and grain from the harvest.’ (Quran, 50:9)

‘Eat and drink, but do not be wasteful: God does not like wasteful people.’ (Quran, 7:30)

‘Let man consider the food he eats! We pour down abundant water and cause the soil to split open. We make grain grow, and vines and fresh vegetation, olive trees, date palms, luscious gardens, fruits and fodder, all for you and your livestock to enjoy.’ (Quran, 80: 32–34)

There are several hadiths too that stress nature and environment and their sustainability. Below are a few hadith.

“The world is beautiful and verdant, and verily God, be He exalted, has made you His stewards in it, and He sees how you acquit yourselves.” (Muslim)

“If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.” (Bukhari)

“Whoever plants a tree and diligently looks after it until it matures and bears fruit is rewarded” (Musnad)

As people of tawakkal, is it not incumbent upon us to take care of Allah’s niyamah and ensure they are sustained?
Parents and teachers leave an indelible mark on a child’s life. It is the responsibility of these two to sow the seed of love for nature right from the early days of a child’s life. The onus is majorly on parents to make this a parenting value. Parenting values cannot be empty of the value of bonding with green. Parents must create and strengthen their child’s bond with green from early upbringing. Parents, mothers, in particular, must educate and expose their wards to the abundance outside the mechanical world.

Nature is the best analogy one could use while teaching children. Every animal and plant has something to teach us, and nature is full of stories, mysteries, and examples for every area of human development. There cannot be a better analogy than nature. Of the multitude of lessons that one can derive from nature, the one that tops is of GRATITUDE. The more one connects with the green world, the stronger the feeling of gratitude that one builds in oneself.

In sha Allah, in my next part, I will share a few ways parents can help their child/children bond with green.

(Sahera Jamal runs an initiative called GardenYaar to spread awareness for green and sustainability in people, mainly in children. She can be reached on [email protected] / [email protected]; @Garden.yaar (Instagram); 91 8919479455 (call/whatsAp).

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