Since moving back to the city my family has been slowly building an urban homestead. Among our goals is to catch rainwater, build soil and compost, raise chickens for meat and eggs, bees for pollination and honey, and grow most of our seasonal vegetables.
We currently have four laying hens providing us with about two dozen eggs a week. They were gifted to us by a local farmer downsizing his flock. We also have fifteen broilers we expect to harvest in about four weeks. We’ve been eating fresh greens from our kitchen garden for about two months, and we have a colony of bees we keep in a Warre hive.
Why would a Muslim start homesteading? Our most cherished values are easily expressed through homesteading. Homesteading can increase our appreciation for Allah’s gifts and even awaken the spiritual being within us. Homesteading is a very practical use of time, it helps us meet our essential needs and benefits people and the planet we share.
As we settle this land we call New Medina, where we have named the place we gather to sight new moons, Mt. Hilal, we are humbled to be stewards of this place, designing social structures that support our most essential need, an environment that inspires people to realize their potential as human beings. New Medina exists to give life to our highest aspirations.
Before making hijrah with our actions we should first make hijrah in our hearts. But what is the hijrah of the heart? Is it an exodus from what trespasses our sensibilities? Or is it to embody a holistic framework for our presence in the world? The latter is more comprehensive and the hijrah we aspire to.
When you see people becoming too greedy, following their own desires, and sticking each to his opinion; then stay at home, keep silent, take what you know and leave what you do not know. Care only about yourself and forget about the common people.
Messenger Muhammad ﷺ
In the last decade we have witnessed unprecedented greed. We have consumed vast stores of the earth’s treasures and yet our desires remain unsatiated. Political parties are at odds, religious strife abounds, and war is on the rise.