In a speech made in Ottawa in 2013, Mawlana Hazar Imam stated that Muslims have a “responsibility and obligation, as good stewards of God’s creation, to leave the world in a better condition than we found it."

Throughout the month of April, members of the Northeast Ismaili community upheld this notion of stewardship by participating in Earth Day service events. From cleaning parks, to planting trees, to collecting trash, Jamats across the Northeast region engaged in acts of service within their local communities. The events were organized under the I-CERV (Ismaili Community Engaged in Responsible Volunteering) initiative.

Farida Nekushoeva, the project manager for I-CERV events in the Northeast, expressed that these events hold significance because they promote the importance of caring for the environment and protecting God’s creation. She also added, “Positively contributing to environmental development and improvement at the community level fosters a greater relationship with communities outside of the Ummah, spreading the genuine peaceful notion of our Jamat and its faith.”

Earth Day service events were organized for Jamats from Edison, Lake Success, Manhattan, New York Headquarters, Philadelphia, Poughkeepsie, Richmond, and Washington, D.C.

Jamati members from New York Headquarters and Lake Success participated in a park clean-up held at Whitney Pond Park in Long Island. They were joined by Councilwoman Veronica Lurvey, of North Hempstead, who volunteered alongside the Jamat. Together, they helped beautify the park by raking and bagging leaves, picking up trash, and repainting benches.

Arisha Mangani, one of the event participants, said that the Whitney Pond Park cleanup held meaning for her because it fostered the ethic of unity and enabled the Jamat to work together as one community. “[The event] allowed for our Ismaili community to come together for a good cause, and do something that will benefit the larger community that we are a part of,” she said. “It felt good to get together with friends, family, and other Jamati members to make a beneficial difference with our actions.”

Salima Ali, who also participated in the Whitney Pond Park cleanup, remarked that engaging in Earth Day service activities enabled participants to put into practice essential tenets of their faith. She added, “We practice goodwill in our own community, showing that we care not just for nature, but also for each other," a sentiment shared by other participants.