The Environmental Impact of Hajj and Umrah

peoples are performing hajj and umrah

The Hajj and Umrah, hold immense spiritual significance for millions of Muslims worldwide; these are two of Islam’s holiest pilgrimages. Dedicated believers set out on these pilgrimages each year to satisfy their religious duties and achieve spiritual fulfillment. However, worries related to the impact these pilgrimages will have on the environment have grown along with the number of them over time.

 “Corruption has appeared on land and sea because of that which men’s hands have done.” (30:41)

One of Islam’s most important teachings is protecting the environment. Every one of us must protect the planet as its curator. We need to consider the consequences of our actions and review our lifestyles because we are damaging the environment. If the pilgrims and the government act sustainably and refrain from various forms of pollution, the Hajj could be made environmentally friendly.

Maintaining the environment is one of Islam’s core teachings. Every adult Muslim who is able to pay the costs of making the journey must fulfill this obligatory religious duty at least once in their lifetime. The annual Hajj pilgrimage of nearly three million Muslims from multiple Muslim nations has a significant environmental impact.

During the Hajj, enormous amounts of waste are produced, including food, packaging, and plastic bottles. Additional effects include water use and waste, as well as air pollution from moving automobiles. The pilgrims’ health suffers as a direct result of all this pollution, which also produces litter that blocks public infrastructure and is ugly.

The Qur’an’s Environmental Wisdomphoto or Holy Quran

Islam places such a high value on environmental preservation that the Qur’an contains numerous verses addressing these topics.

“Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by what the hands of people have earned,” the Qur’an reminds us (30:41).

Many things, such as pesticides, toxic waste, deforestation, and littering, are destroying our planet. All people, not just Muslims, have a responsibility to preserve the environment as protectors of the world.

“And it is He (God) who has made you successors (khalifa) upon the earth” (6:165).

Khalifa is a term that can refer to a deputy, protector, or “friend of the Earth.

“And do good as Allah has been good to you. And do not seek to cause corruption in the earth. Allah does not love those who corrupt.” (28:77)

In terms of wasting resources, the Qur’an states,

“O children of Adam! … waste not by excess, for Allah loves not those who waste.” (7:31)

The Green Prophet (PBUH)

In light of the growing worldwide concern regarding environmental threats and the widespread passion with Eco-friendly concepts, it is useful and timely to consider the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH) in this regard. There are many hadith, or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), discussing environmental concerns like recycling, resource management, sustainability, waste reduction, and conservation.

For instance, Aishah (r), the Prophet’s wife, described how the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) used to live in his home by repairing his own shoes, sewing his own clothes, and doing other household chores without complaining or desiring more. Prophetic character can be demonstrated by fixing, recycling, and reusing items rather than constantly purchasing new ones.

Waterwater dropping from tap

The world’s most valuable resource is water. Water is how God creates and maintains life.

“And Allah has sent down rain from the sky and given life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness. Indeed, that is a sign for people who listen.” (Qur’an, 16:65)

Allah makes the comparison between life and death in the Qur’an to help Muslims understand the importance of water.

We should not waste water, as the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, taught us. “What is this extravagance?” he asked, walking by a companion who was wasting water while practicing wudhu. “Is there extravagance with water in ablution?” the companion asked. “Yes, even if you were on the banks of a flowing river,” the prophet responded.

It follows that it is forbidden in Islam to waste water. Even more inappropriate is when one does the Hajj or Umrah.

Plasticclose photo of plastic bottels

The Qur’an reminds us,

“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will be judged on it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of bad will be judged on it.” (99:7-8) 

Stated differently, actions that appear irrelevant to us in this life could turn out to be highly significant in the next. Try to limit your use of plastic if you want to preserve our planet for future generations. Steer clear of throwaway items such as straws, plastic water bottles, plastic food wrap, disposable cups, and plastic of any kind.

The Prophet (PBUH) said,

 “Cleanliness is half of faith.” 

He also said,

 “Removing harmful things from the road is an act of charity.”

Thus, we are living by a religious duty by maintaining a clean environment, refraining from using plastics, and not littering.​ Humans are not meant to destroy the earth; rather, they are Allah swt’s representatives here to care for it.

Foodwhite and brown cooked dish on white ceramic bowls

Both the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Quran forbid wasting food.

The Qur’an states, 

“….and waste not by extravagance. Verily, He (Allah) likes not those who waste.” Qur’an 6:141

​It is forbidden for Muslims to throw food in the trash. This is regarded as disobedience to Allah’s blessings and disobedience to His commands. Not a single man fills a container worse than his stomach, according to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He only needs a few bites to keep his back straight.

If necessary, he should set aside one-third for breathing, one-third for drink, and one-third for food. Put differently, eating too much in food is strictly prohibited. Muslims should share and give away any extra food to the hungry as a way of expressing their gratitude and appreciation to Allah SWT.

Islam promoted sharing extra food with others, as evidenced by the hadith that states,

 “A believer does not sleep while his neighbor goes hungry.”


The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) supported agriculture and tree planting, both of which are regarded as good deeds.

The Messenger (PBUH) said,

“There is none amongst the Muslims who plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, but is regarded as charity for him.”‏ (Bukhari).

He also said,

 “If the Day of Resurrection is about to be established and one of you was holding a palm shoot, let him take advantage of even one second before the Hour is established to plant it.”

Islamic law prohibits the unnecessary cutting down or destruction of plants and trees, as stated by the Prophet (PBUH):

“Anyone who cuts down a lote tree [without a reason] will be sent to Hellfire.” (Abu Dawud). 

This hadith is related to the devastation brought about by deforestation in many nations, which kills the earth’s biodiversity and causes soil erosion.


Muslims who perform the holy pilgrimages of the Hajj and Umrah must consider their environmental impact and work toward beneficial pilgrimage practices because they are protectors of the planet. The preservation of the environment and the sanctity of these spiritual pilgrimages can coexist if we incorporate preservation, resource efficiency, and environmental responsibility into pilgrimage management. Join us as we set out on a path of ecological balance and conservation, preserving the sacred places of the Hajj and Umrah for the benefit of all believers.


What impact does a pilgrimage have on the environment?

Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage seasons result in higher waste, water use, air pollution, and habitat destruction.

What is the green guide to Hajj and Umrah?

An environmentally conscious Hajj and Umrah guide book encourages waste minimization, water conservation, and careful travel.

Green Hajj places a strong emphasis on environmentally friendly behaviors all along the pilgrimage route to reduce its negative effects.

What Colors are used for Umrah?

Although there isn’t a set color required for Umrah, pilgrims usually dress in white Ihram garments, which stand for equality and purity.

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