Inviting others towards Islam is undoubtedly a virtuous act. With the global rise of Islamophobia, this has made sharing Islam a little trickier in some cases.
But does Muslim bad conduct e.g. dumping rubbish on the side of the street make Islam unsavoury for some? In this post, we’ll briefly explore why untidy Muslims drive a wedge between Da’wah and Non-Muslims.
From cans of pop to takeaway boxes, heavily populated Muslim communities are becoming notorious for all the wrong reasons. Dumping rubbish on the pavement and allowing this to become somebody else’s problem has become all too common. For an ummah sent to purify the hearts and ‘clean up’ society, disappointingly, we’ve reversed the roles and contributed negatively to local communities.
But what does this have to do with Islam? Quite a lot.
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty…” (Al-mu’jam al awsad)
Stepping over leftovers within the street certainly doesn’t count as beauty. And there is great reward for removing rubbish as the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
“Every joint of a person must perform a charity each day that the sun rises: to judge justly between two people is a charity. To help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it, is a charity. And the good word is a charity. And every step that you take towards the prayer is a charity, and removing a harmful object from the road is a charity.” [Al-Bukhari] [Muslim]
Whilst leftover food dumped on the side of a road may not be considered as “harmful”, this ultimately can cause a lot of harm. With the attraction of pests and vermin such as rats, local residents can be severely harmed with the carelessness and inconsideration of one or two. Regardless of a clean looking Mosque, neighbouring non-Muslims are not going to swallow the message of Islam with ease, if Muslims are visibly littering local streets.
So what’s the solution?
Mosques and local Muslims should adopt a long-sighted vision and consider the negative impact this has on their image amongst non-Muslims.
Committee members of Mosque should be involved in taking the initiative to clean up local streets. This warm approach to Da’wah will soften the hearts of non-Muslims as they will see Islam in action: Muslims caring for the community.
Muslims need to consider the prophetic example and be fearful of not causing harm to others. This will instigate an attitude of disposing waste responsibly. Persisting on taking shortcuts will bring about harmful long-term consequences for you, the local community, and the ummah.
It’s time to sweep away with the attitude of ‘it’s someone else’s problem’, and take ownership as Muslims. Once this philosophy is installed within us, we can help to clean the hearts of others (with the permission of Allah), and He (SWT) will purify us of our sins.