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Islam and Environment

“The Hajj, at its essence, is a gathering of the global Muslim community answering the call from God to come together to work collectively,” Catovic said. “Everybody is working individually and they are at the same time one collective. For example, one of the rituals we do is going around the Ka’aba. Each of us does this individually, but we also do it as a collective. This mirrors the effect of working locally to effect change globally.”...

 

As I started the in-depth study of the Qur’an some 20 years ago, I came across a passage about the plant kingdom that really caught my attention.

He Who has made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads (and channels); and has sent down water from the sky. With it have We produced diverse pairs of plants each separate from the others. 20:53...

If the flowers are bending at the time of eclipse and may be in a state of prostrating to Almighty Allah, why don’t we Muslims bow ourselves and prostrate for Almighty Allah instead of being in a state of diversion and inattention at the time of this strange phenomenon. Also if the bees feel with confusion and birds keep silent and stop singing in a state of glorification, exaltation and fear of Allah who created the earth and heavens, where is our glorification for Almighty Allah and our fear of Him?...

 

Al Shabaab’s plastic bag policy is designed to create the impression of a functioning local governing force and appeal to potential members from Somali slums and Kenyan refugee camps, which are blighted with plastic and other litter – but al Qaeda as a whole has been vocal on environmental issues in the past....

 

Prof. Al-Jayyousi elaborated that Islamic worldview defines a good life (Hayat Tayebah) living lightly on Earth (Zuhd) and caring for both people and nature. Islamic discourse offers a sense of hope and optimism about the possibility of attaining harmony between human and nature. Earth will find a balance if humans rethink their lifestyles and mindsets as stated in the Quran...

 

Though animal consumption was and is allowed today, the rules regarding the treatment and proper slaughter of livestock to be considered Zabihah Halal (the ritual slaughter of meat) clearly indicates a value system in which animals were to be treated with dignity, allowed to live in their natural state, dispatched with as much care as can be given, and consumed infrequently. The Quran itself is full of poetic verses praising the biodiversity of the natural world and the complexity of life that modern day scientists are still discovering.....

 
Water as Spiritual Nourishment
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Water as Spiritual Nourishment
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The Prophet of Islam laid great emphasis on conserving water. He once observed someone using water extravagantly and advised him to be very cautious in its use. The person in question asked if we needed to be meticulous even while using water. The Prophet replied: “Yes, do not waste water, even if you are on the banks of a flowing river.” There are many verses in the Quran that make such references to water....

 

The Prophet also declared an area of 12-miles in distance from the centre of Medina as Haram (forbidden by religion) and also prohibited the cutting of trees and the killing of animals within its borders. 1400 years later, our planet is paying a huge toll due to the shift in lifestyles, overconsumption and unsustainable practices and we are desperately in need to implement the Prophets (PBUH) ecological Sunnah so we can protect our planet and conserve its resources for the next generation....

Climate Change: Common Christian and Muslim Perspectives
Belinda F. Espiritu
Climate Change: Common Christian and Muslim Perspectives
Belinda F. Espiritu

A cosmic optimism is at the heart of both Islam and Christianity. This is a yearning for Paradise, the perfect world God originally designed and intended to be our home, but which was lost in the horrible tragedy of the fall. Because God has not given us any desires that do not have a fulfilment, this yearning for Paradise will be fulfilled in a future, renewed “new heaven and earth” where nature will be restored to its former glory.....

 

The Allah’s last revelation to mankind called the Qur’an is the ultimate cornerstone which the ignorant ones continue to subject to undue controversy in the building of their ultimate homes. This Book is like the beaming Sun the existence of which some blind people continue to query. Whether they see it or not, the Sun remains scorching in its effect and magnanimous in its photosynthesis. Yet, the denial of its existence cannot stop the blindness in the blind....

 
The Muslim World Has To Take Climate Action
Naser Haghamed
The Muslim World Has To Take Climate Action
Naser Haghamed

Climate action is also overwhelmingly a matter of living one's Muslim faith, with its emphasis on charity, protection of human life and care for this Earth, a gift from Allah. The Quran makes our responsibility to the Earth and each other clear when it states "And it is He who has made you successors upon the earth", and that "Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others."....

 

The natural world is a fundamental part of Islam; the whole of earth has been created a place of worship for us and the Qur’an glorifies nature and wildlife frequently. The Qur’an tells us that we were appointed as stewards on Earth, and thus have a duty to protect our planet, Allah’s creation, from environmental degradation. This includes protecting against the mass deforestation that the meat industry requires and thus protecting the habitats of much wildlife....

....she sees a very clear connection between the gathering at Sacred Stone and the teachings of Islam ― in the way Prophet Muhammad treated animals to treat animals and talked about consumption. She referred to a hadith, a recorded saying of the Prophet, in which Muhammad said that if someone has in his hand a sapling, they should plant it ― even if it was Resurrection Day and the world as we know it was coming to an end...

 

...nature is another language God speaks to mankind in, and can act as a fantastic way to inspire us, help us to reflect, teach and guide us, and ultimately let us know God a little bit better...

 

“Until when they came to the Valley of Ants, an ant said: ‘O you ants! Get into your habitations, so that Solomon and his hosts may not crush you, being unaware’.” What intrigues me about this verse was the fact that God describes a command literally by an ant to the rest of the colony. ..

 

“And your Lord inspired the bee, saying: “Take you habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you).” There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think.”..

 
Christian and Islamic Teachings on Climate Change and the World to Come
Belinda F. Espiritu, New Age Islam
Christian and Islamic Teachings on Climate Change and the World to Come
Belinda F. Espiritu, New Age Islam

He goes to explain that because God has not given us any desires that do not have a fulfilment, this yearning for Paradise will be fulfilled in a future, renewed “new heaven and earth” where nature will be restored to its former glory. In the perfect world of Paradise, there will be no pollution of any kind. “Calamities will cease to occur, and all disadvantages such as disease, accidents, old age and death will be eradicated forever”.....

 
Extinction is Forever
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
Extinction is Forever
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

In an extensive academic study that was recently concluded, the more than 150 joint authors of the report advised that 'most of the world's >40,000 tropical tree species now qualify as globally threatened'. See 'Estimating the global conservation status of more than 15,000 Amazonian tree species'.

Iqbal views the purpose of the creation of the world as ‘uncovering’ (uryani) or ‘unfolding’. He says: “Ye dunya da’wat-i-deedar hai farzand-i-Aadam ko/ ke har mastoor ko bakhsha gaya hay zauq-i-uryani” (this universe is meant for viewing for the offspring of Adam; each covered being has been given the desire to be uncovered so that others may see it.

 
The Climate Talks in Paris will Fail: Why?
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
The Climate Talks in Paris will Fail: Why?
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

If this sounds unrealistic, the strategy I have described above is Gandhi's. Gandhi never asked anyone to do anything he wasn't already doing himself. And by a century ago, his personal consumption was pitifully modest, even by Indian standards of his day, and he was highly self-reliant, exemplified by his daily spinning of Khadi to make his own clothing. If he could dramatically reduce his personal consumption and develop his self-reliance 100 years ago, how much can you do today?....

This understanding of jihad represents the wasatiyah (moderate) vision of Islam. Thus, efforts to promote wasatiyah should go hand-in-hand with the efforts to counter the current problem of radicalization of Muslim youths globally. Upon this basis, it becomes important to look at and promote initiatives that Muslims can undertake which represent jihad in the wider sense.

Islam, Faith And Climate Change
Queen Noor Al Hussein
Islam, Faith And Climate Change
Noor Al Hussein

The Islamic Declaration on Climate Change, endorsed in August by Islamic scholars from around the world, calls on countries to phase out greenhouse-gas emissions and switch to 100% renewable energy. With 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, the collective statement sends a strong signal ahead of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit later this month, and the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December.

 
Islam and the Environment: an Indian Muslim’s Perspective
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
Islam and the Environment: an Indian Muslim’s Perspective
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

Every religion has its own purpose or plan of creation. However, each faith tradition affirms that this universe has been created by God for all beings to live together in full harmony and in a spiritual symbiosis. All religions exhort us to be grateful towards the bounties of nature that nourish and sustain us. However, modern science and technology seek to conquer and control them....

The Prophet (PBUH) had declared a 30 km area around his city of Madinah a protected grove, prohibiting the cutting down of trees within its borders. He prescribed picking up litter from the streets as an act of faith. He forbade the cutting of cedar trees in the desert that provided shade and shelter to animals. He calls upon us to be what God intended us to be, which is in harmony with nature. We can sum up the importance of environment by quoting what the Prophet (PBUH) famously said, “Even if the Day of Judgment should arrive and you are holding a sapling in your hand, plant it”.

 

The Prophet gave clear and strict orders regarding environmental sanitation. He was very concerned about the health of cattle, camels and horses as well as the cleanliness of their grazing sites. He also gave orders that mosques should be cleansed and perfumed regularly with aromatic herbs and wood resins, that the front yards and backyards of a Muslim’s house should be thoroughly cleaned, and that no one should urinate nor defecate near bodies of waters nor human waste be thrown near sources of running water (Tirmidhi, pp.64-66 and Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Wudhu, pp.103). Similarly, this statement from the Holy Prophet illustrates well the principle of sustainable land use: “If someone revives an infertile piece of land by planting trees and by farming on it.....

 
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