Imam Zaid Shakir image

Imam Zaid Shakir

How does your faith help you in times of struggle, change, and new beginnings?

Faith defines the parameters of our goals and the struggles needed to achieve them. Therefore, without faith, there is no struggle.

How does your faith describe the relationship between all living things, the Earth, and the Divine?

Islam enjoins upon us to be stewards of the Earth. If we take our faith seriously, then we must do everything in our power to be good stewards, for we will be held responsible before God.

What does your faith tradition teach about material consumption and simplicity?

Our Prophet (peace upon him) is the model we should pattern our lives after. He is a model of simplicity. One cannot claim to be a true follower of the Prophet (peace upon him) if one does not strive to emulate his simplicity in living and doing without much.

How does your community approach examining and changing our lifestyles?

The month of Ramadan, by encouraging fasting, empathy with the poor, consciousness of what we eat and how it is produced, creates tremendous change for one month. It is up to us to make the lessons of Ramadan lasting and permanent.

What role does your community play in providing you with a guide to life?

Healthy communities are the key to healthy societies and a healthy earth. As Muslims, we are encouraged to create healthy communities.

Which sacred text most inspires you to act for change?

The sun and moon are in measured orbits. The stars and trees are prostrating. He has raised the heavens aloft and established the balance. You should not disrupt the balance (through excess)." (Qur'an 55:5-8)

What have you done to improve the sustainability of your diet, transportation, and/or energy use?

Praise be to God, I have been able to move within a minutes walk from my workplace. Hence, while I do have hybrid car, a Prius, I can go days without using it. I frequently bike to the store and the post office and for other errands. We do not buy meat throughout the year, we only eat it at various dinners we are invited to and at the time of Eid al-Adha. We recycle and compost also.

How would you describe the experience of making these lifestyle changes?

Doing the right thing is always rewarding. It is not difficult at all to live as we do. In fact it is quite rewarding, health wise, economically and in man other ways.

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