This Ramadan, we are launching an essay competition for youth between the ages of 14-22 to consider the negative effects of poor stewardship on earth and the environment. Caring for the environment is obligatory upon all Muslims, as climate change and the harmful effects of environmental degradation is a social justice issue. Climate change affects poorer and more marginalized communities both locally and globally. This Ramadan, as we embark on our annual spiritual journey of self-purification, we should also remind ourselves of the responsibilities we have to nature and Allah (SWT)’s beautiful creations.

Our essay competition will embark applicants on an intellectual journey in which they will learn important writing techniques and how to utilize religious sources. In addition to rewarding essay writers with cash prizes, this competition will provide beneficial resources to participating youth to improve both writing and research skills.

Our essay contest is open to high school and college students between the ages of 14-22. The top 3 winners in each category will win cash prizes.
1st Place: $1,000
2nd Place: $500
3rd Place: $250

Rules to Enter:

  • Must be a resident of New York
  • Must be between the ages of 14 – 22
  • Attend either high school or college
  • Must have a valid and active working email address
  • Must submit the entry application to enter the essay contest by 11:59 PM EST on Friday, March 26th, 2021

Meet Our 2021 Winners!

Meet Our Judges!

Lamiya KhandakerLamiya Khandaker is the Project Manager of Majlis Ash-Shura: Islamic Leadership Council of New York. Prior to joining the ILCNY, she obtained her Masters from Harvard Divinity School in Islamic Studies.
Peter Dziedic Peter Dziedzic is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University. He focuses on Persian Sufi literature and Islamic literary representations of the environment.
Munjed MuradMunjed M. Murad is a doctoral candidate at Harvard Divinity School who also studied at the Yale School of the Environment. His academic focus is on religion and nature.
Rida Bint FoziRida Bint Fozi is an award-winning public relations and communications specialist with over a decade of experience developing strategic initiatives for both for-profit and nonprofit mission-driven organizations. She is currently the Managing Director at The TASC Group, a New York City-based public relations firm representing a wide range of nonprofit, advocacy and socially responsible clients.
Marium DarMarium Dar, a Columbia University graduate and a former Paralegal Specialist at the Department of Justice, currently serves New York City as a Realtor® for RE/MAX EDGE. Ultimately, Marium intends to pursue a legal education in the near future and return to serving her community as a Public Interest lawyer, who focuses on social justice and civil rights.

First Place Winners

Sumaiyah Rahman

MDQ Academy

Bio: Sumaiyah Rahman is currently a junior at MDQ Academy. She is invested in social justice, likes to ponder about the wonders of the universe, and hopes to spread the message of Islam in the future. Her main hobbies include eating biryani, which she avidly admires.

Why Should Muslims Care About the Environment? “If the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, was empathetic towards a mere grieving tree, then what does that tell us about how we, as his Ummah, should treat the entire Earth?”

Read Full Essay Here

Farha Ferdous

MDQ Academy

Bio: Farha is a junior at MDQ Academy. She is an aspiring student, and is exploring various interests to help contribute to society. But most of all, she always looks forward to having fun with her baby sister. 

Why Should Muslims Care About the Environment?  The Earth is our origin, our residence, and our destination, making it a most definite trust from Allah which we should seek to salvage. 

Read Full Essay Here

Second Place Winner

Jenna Elsheemy

Susan E. Wagner High School

Bio: Jenna is a junior in high school and is passionate about science. She is the co-captain of the Science Olympiad club at her school. In her free time, she is either at the masjid or she is practicing photography. 

Why Should Muslims Care About the Environment? As Muslims, our main goal in life is to have Allah be pleased with us and Allah is pleased with those who take care of the environment that he gifted us.

Read Full Essay Here

Third Place Winner

Mithi Islam

Hillcrest High School

Bio: Mithi has always been hardworking and determined to fulfill her goals that she has. She never gives up and works her way to accomplish her challenges in order to make her parents proud and herself. She’s a bit shy and quiet but always participates when she has to. 

Why Should Muslims Care about the Environment? Muslims should care about the environment because it’s our obligation and duty from Allah(SWT) to look after one another like their our own because we were sent on this Earth for a reason and all of our brothers and sisters need to perceive and see how much beauty we may be destroying because of our inferior actions that we must change. 

Read Full Essay

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