Join the campaign: You and your group united for a #LitterFreeHajj. After visiting any of the Holy Sites, invite your entire group to each pick up at least one piece of litter and put in its place.
Don’t leave the site until everyone in your group has picked up at least one piece of litter and put it in its place.
Result: If every Hajj group does this, the Holy sites will be kept clean and those that litter will be overwhelmed by those who intend to keep Makkah clean.
Take the pledge to: Keep Makkah and Madinah litter free by not leaving a Holy site without putting one piece of litter in its place.
The Story: 10:50 pm. Evening in Madinah. Post-Hajj. We always take our Hajj group to visit Mount Uhud during the day, but this was the first year we would take them in the evening. Our group climbed the archers mount at Uhud, and one of our group’s speakers launched into a series of Sahabah stories of courage and heroism.
Within a few feet of where we stood rested the graves of over 70 of the Prophet’s companions who died in Uhud. Amongst those graves was that of the Prophet’s uncle, Hamzah, may Allah be pleased with them all.
The evening was warm and Madinah-peaceful, I sat on the sidelines watching the group and drinking it all in. So sweet, so beautiful, so peaceful. I pulled out my camera and took a picture of the group; the purplish dusty Madinah sky and the Prophet’s Masjid their background.
But then something very sad happened.
Something that made me upset for over a year.
Something that made me say, enough is enough! I must take action.
You know how when you take a picture and then after, when you’re looking at the picture on your phone, you see something that you hadn’t seen with your naked eye? Well, when I opened the picture of our group standing there on the archers mount at the Mountain of Uhud — I saw something in the picture that I hadn’t seen with my naked eye. I looked up to see the scene clearly this time:
The day’s visitors had left the holy site, had left Uhud, riddled in their litter, rubbish, trash, wrappers, and plastic bottles!
I was so sad. I looked back at the picture on my phone and said to myself, “I can’t share this picture on Instagram and be disrespectful to the Haram, to this blessed place. The world should see the Holy sites in its clean, pure form — not in this state that visitors such as ourselves left it in.”
After our group had heard the delightful stories and was quietly shuffling away, I requested everyone’s attention. I announced, “Please brothers and sisters, open your eyes. Look all around you. How sad it is that visitors like ourselves threw all this trash and rubbish on the grounds of this blessed site. Trash in such a blessed place is unacceptable and tonight we must make a difference! I’m not the of the sort to offer little more than a complaint. I am obliged to take action invite you to join me in making a difference tonight. Please, everyone, before we leave, let us all pick up at least one piece of rubbish and put in its place.”
Then something wonderful happened:
The Saudi cleaning teams, may Allah reward them, do their utmost to keep the Holy sites clean, day and night, before and after the Hajj season. Now it’s the time that we, the VISITORS, join in that blessed effort.
Our small Hajj group, working together, cleaned up the Holy site of Uhud’s Archers mount within a few minutes! It was amazing, and this year we are expanding the announcement and the invitation.
This year, invite YOUR group to participate in the
United campaign for a #LitterFreeHajj
If enough Hajjis adopt this campaign and attitude of cleanliness in the Holy sites, it will overcome those who were unfortunately never taught to put rubbish in its place. And picture this, if we can make this campaign stronger and stronger, year by year, YOU will have been one of the pioneers that ensured the continued cleanliness of Makkah and Madinah.
Join the United campaign for a #LitterFreeHajj
Please share this message with someone going for Hajj.
Founder and President of DiscoverU, an Islam-based personal development institute. Muhammad Alshareef graduated Islamic Law from Madinah University and holds a Masters Degree from West Virginia University. Canadian, ethnically Egyptian, and a true citizen of the world. He writes about Islamic solutions to popular personal development questions.