Praise be to God who has filled the
world with abundant provisions. The Earth is designed to feed and
sustain every single creature, and if God wants He can have every
creature eat and enjoy whatever it wishes.
We have studied in the first part how we must advocate feeding
to allow God’s provisions to reach more fellow human beings.
However, though we are free to enjoy God’s provisions, we
have no business wasting any of them.
As much as God loves us, He also tells us that he does not like
He is the One who established gardens, trellised
and untrellised, and palm trees, and crops with different tastes,
and olives, and pomegranate—fruits that are similar, yet dissimilar.
Eat from their fruits, and give the due alms on the day of harvest,
and do not waste anything. He does not love the wasters (6:141).
Wasting anything is a sign of arrogance and being unappreciative.
If there is something you possess or worked for and passed it on
to someone else, you will not tolerate its misuse in any way. If
the person thanks you, you will acknowledge it. But if the person
also makes good use of and does not waste what you have given, you
will see true appreciation. This is the best kind of thanks. It
is the same with God and all His provisions, not just food provisions.
Our Lord has decreed:
“The more you thank Me, the more give you.” But if you
turn unappreciative, then My retribution is severe (14:7).
Maybe it is also a test upon us to see how we will deal with God’s
blessings. Remember, God says that He sends down the provisions
in exact measure. This means there is an adequate amount for everyone
on earth even though it may appear unequally distributed. If we
are guilty of denying someone else his provision by taking more
parts instead of one, then God will surely make us account for it
on the Day of Resurrection. The food a person wastes can be the
relief of hunger for another.
We send down from the sky water, in exact measure,
then we store it in the ground. Certainly, we can let it escape.
With it, we produce for you orchards of date palms, grapes, all
kinds of fruits, and various foods (23:18-19).
We have distributed it among them in exact measure, that they may
take heed. But most people insist upon disbelieving (25:50).
Most believers will not be among those who waste food though they
may slip up once in a while, especially in their use of water which
is very easy to forget about. But this article is not just to remind
believers about their occasional wasting of food. It is also to
remind that we must encourage others not to waste food. I have traveled
a lot by God’s grace. I see people waste food
everywhere including poor countries
where those who can afford to eat well just don’t seem to
realize or care about the provisions they waste. Whereas in prospering
countries, where poverty is less, food is abundant and comparatively
inexpensive, food is wasted flagrantly. For example, in many restaurants
the portions are quite large and salads and breads are either supplemented
free or served as large portions. On top of that, people place multiple
orders “for taste” but waste perhaps 50% of the total
amount of food on the table (two provisions for the requirement
Sometimes people eat just a mouthful of the salad, mess it up,
and the rest goes straight into a garbage can. I have asked several
of these people why they waste so much food.
Typical reasons are: ‘The portions are so large,” “they
give the salads free” or “I’m paying for it so
how does it matter.” I have never accepted any of these reasons,
though I don’t blame these people entirely. They have never
experienced “want” so they can’t value it. (I
have grown up in a country where poor children lick discarded food
containers out of sheer hunger, not taste!). All the same, that
is no excuse to abuse God’s provisions. If someone doesn’t
have the guidance regarding the bad practice of wasting food, then
we should let them know. God willing, each of us
Continued on page 4