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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

UAE Friday sermon: appreciate food and shun extravagance

Mosque-goers will be told that throwing away leftovers is an act of extravagance, which God has forbidden

The blessing of food is amongst the most important favours that God has bestowed upon us, mosque-goers will here in the Friday sermon.

Worshippers will be told to appreciate the wonder of food, its formation and variety.

God says, “then let mankind look at his food - how We poured down water in torrents, then We broke open the earth, splitting [it with sprouts], and caused to grow within it grain, and grapes and herbage, and olive and palm trees, and gardens of dense shrubbery, and fruit and grass - [as] enjoyment for you and your grazing livestock.” (Abasa: 24-32).

Worshippers should give thanks for this blessing. Anas, a companion of the Prophet, said that when Prophet Mohammed went to bed, he would say, "All praise is due to Allah who has fed us and given us to drink, and has sufficed and granted us refuge, and how many are they who have none to suffice them and none to grant them refuge."

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One of the ways to appreciate this blessing is to recognise its value, avoid excessiveness and food waste. Ibn Abbas, a cousin of Prophet Mohammed and one of the early Quran scholars, said, "Eat what you like and wear what you like, so long as you avoid two things: extravagance and vanity.”

The Prophet advised people not to waste leftovers. Keeping leftovers is one of the greatest ways to show appreciation for the blessing of food.

The sermon will note that another way of showing gratitude is to give away a portion of the food. One way of doing this is to share with family and neighbours, thereby strengthening ties.

Wasting leftovers is a failure in gratitude and throwing away leftovers is an act of extravagance, which God has forbidden.

Giving leftovers to an animal will be considered an act of charity.

In this country, Allah has blessed us with welfare and multiple sources of provisions. In return, it’s our duty to avoiding wasting food.

Parents and teachers have a responsibility to teach youth about moderate consumption. By doing this, a culture of appreciation can develop and this will led to prosperity for the community, families, individuals and the land as a whole.

To that end, the government has launched initiatives to instil this culture, such as "Hifdh al Niema" (Preservation of Grace) where untouched leftovers are distributed to the underprivileged. Such initiatives encompass the meanings of gratitude.

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