By Adil James, TMO
|Shaykh Yahya Rhodus of the Zaytuna Institute speaks at the Flint Islamic Center Sira Conference on Saturday February 4, 2012.|
More and more mosques are celebrating the birthday of the greatest person ever to have lived on the planet, Prophet Muhammad (s). The Flint Islamic Center held on the annirversary of his holy birthday a Michigan Sira Conference on the subject of green living, and an awards ceremony for students who had written essays and presentations on the various facets of the greatness of Prophet Muhammad (s).
High powered speakers had been invited and brought from around the country to speak, and several hundred audience memters watched at various stages through the two-day series of meetings.
Among the most prominent were keynote speaker Nuri Friedlander and Zaytuna teacher Shaykh Yahya Rhodus.
On Saturday all of the speakers emphasized the importance of a frugal lifestyle of minimal impact on the land around us as being the exact example of the blessed Prophet (s).
Shaykh Yayha Rhodus emphasized even the fact of the color of Islam being green as evidence of the friendliness of Islam towards nature–he said that Prophet (s) used to remark on nature.
Shaykh Rhodus also emphasized the implications of eating, that the manner in which food has been nurtured and prepared, and the lawfulness of all the stages of its growth, affecting the person who consumes it. He referred to an entire book by Imam Ghazali on the manners of eating, as eating is the essence of spiritual development.
He argued that we need to avoid overconsumption, and that our status as vicegerents is in part a stewardship of creation. The overconsumption of the United States as compared with other nations is self evident from the fact he cited, that the 5% of the world population that lives here consumes 25-40% of the worldâ€™s resources.
It was a Muslim, said Shaykh Rhodus, who first predicted climate change, namely Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr.
Shaykh Rhodus also discussed the hadith of Prophetâ€™s (s) not wasting a single drop of water even when making wudu directly from a river, showing the principle of frugality.
He spoke at length on the subject of love for Prophet (s) as well, telling stories of the love of the early Sahaba for Prophet (s) that nearly brought many of those present to tears.
The event also had nasheeds praising Prophet (s), awards for children, and food for all.