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Islamic Society (23 Feb 2014 NewAgeIslam.Com)

In the Connectivity of the Universe, to Breed or not to Breed is the Question


By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

23 February, 2014

With over seven billion humans on the planet earth, it is increasingly being questioned whether the planet earth is capable of sustaining the current rate of increase of human population!

Man-made causes, such as unbridled energy consumption, overuse of natural resources, land degradation, air and water pollution are issues said to be affecting sustenance of life, not just human but the entire diversity of life on earth.

The best two definitions of sustainability are given as:

“Sustainability is a concept which promotes equality between the people of today and the people of tomorrow. …. Our needs of today must be taken care of in such a way that it does not negatively impact the needs of the next generations”

And, “stabilizing the currently disruptive relationship between earth’s two most complex systems—human culture and the living world.”

But the above is countered by the argument that natural phenomena that have always been part of the earth’s environment like volcanoes, forest fires, earthquakes and floods are far more devastating. They site Noah’s flood to support the argument.

In many learned and scientific quarters, sustainability has gained heightened awareness. But like many other things that are taken for granted in nature, this issue in public domain remains the least talked about, particularly in the third world which is largely poor and as a result mostly illiterate; a concomitant outcome.

What little attention has been given to the issue in the third world is the initiative of the first world. For example by honouring individuals, the West has raised the profile of those brave souls that have and are striving to draw attention, on at least a few aspects of sustainability for their country.

One such person that comes to the fore is the recipient from Kenya, activist, environmentalist and Nobel Prize Laureate, late Dr. Wangari Maathai. She had made the following statement:-

“This recognition in many ways endorses the campaign and brings it to the forefront so that leaders in this country can really realize that protecting the forest in this country is a matter of life and death". She could have added ‘and the world’.

The accolades saved her from further trauma. Such is the fate of activists in many countries, where the wealthy and elite wish to be left alone to plunder the resources with impunity.

Religious teachings In many societies too play a major role on this particular issue. It is believed that the Creator of the universe, in his infinite capacity is able to correct on an ongoing basis all the damage mankind can inflict on the planet. And that He has put no responsibility on humans, the same as animals, to care for the earth.

An interesting example of this was aired on a high profile Urdu TV channel that illustrates this point.

The panellists were a group of “all male priests” on one hand and mixed young adult students on the other.

An honest labourer, from the studio audience, was recounting his life experiences. He lamented how hard his life was, to earn enough just to feed his family, let alone to send children to school.

The Compare asked—Aap Kay Kitnay Bachhey Hain? How many children have you?

Sheepishly and a bit embarrassingly he replied—Jee, Giyaarah! Sir, Eleven!

There was muffled laughter and giggles from the students and the audience, but a loud chorus of “Masha Allah” from the priests’ bench!

Thy Will shall be done in heaven as on Earth, rolled out into one holy cacophony.

In religious terms it is believed that Mankind has no control over reproduction of the species as “God gives life and takes it away…10-56” and can do no harm to the planet earth’s environment, as its contribution is miniscule compared to natural disasters.

This is endorsed somewhat by the Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gayaa/Gau the mother of universe principle, proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to “maintaining” the conditions for life on the planet.

Whether or not all religions concur with this theory; but it can be said with reasonable certainty that Muslims believe that large family is a gift of God and to interfere to restrict it is going against the Will of God and hence considered as blasphemy.

Therefore to raise this subject is a taboo, both within and without the Muslim ‘religions’ and communities at large.

The Catholic Church too for centuries grapples unsuccessfully with the issue of birth control among its flock.

To give an example of connectivity in animal terms of over breeding; the early British settlers introduced Rabbits in Australia and some other animals too. The open vast lands and lack of natural predators to control their population, they exploded in plague proportions. They bred like….well like rabbits know best.

This has resulted in degradation of large tracts of farmland and bush-land, with flow-on effect on other living creatures too and issues including economy, particularly agricultural productivity.

Of course rabbits are not intelligent like humans to comprehend such complexities!

What was introduced without considering the consequences of the action taken in ignorance is now being reversed, with controlled and knowledge-based science, with the use of chemicals even; sort of chemical war declared on rabbits!

In the Quranic context it is argued here that mankind has been given responsibility of control and managing the universal gifts of nature -verse 45-13. Poet Iqbal translates this verse as:-

Haq Nay A’lam Iss Sadaaqat Kay Liye Paidaa Kiyaa,

Oar Mujhey Iss Kee Hifaazat Kay Liye Paidaa Kiyaa.

The truth is that Mankind is given the management of the earth.

There are various verses in Quran with regard to conservation, which forms an essential part of this management.

Issues such as procreation, using the land sustainably, and sustained use of resources and not to waste, abound in it.

Conservation of animal life is specified, prohibiting hunting in breeding season.

Sharing with others is the essence of the teaching of Quran, coupled with keeping of one’s wealth and means of sustenance free flowing for the benefit of all of mankind.

Importantly, land is given as a trust and so Iqbal again translates:

Zahe Khudayaa Yeh Zameen Teree Nahin’ Meree Nahin’

Teray Abaa Kee Nahin’ Taree Nahin’ Meree Nahin’.

Glory to God, this land is neither yours nor mine

Not your ancestor’s, neither yours, nor mine.

“The earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth”, is the common wisdom in many indigenous communities where there is no such thing as “freehold” title to land.

Myriads of other interconnected issues are touched upon in the Quran and to be acted upon knowledgeably. Acquiring knowledge is a repeated ordinance there in.

Hence, it is not only individual’s but communities’, the State’s and in today’s terms an internationally imposed responsibility.

Although, what damage the poor man inflicted upon himself and his family, was of his own doing; but it is also the community’s and the whole country’s problem. The misguided labourer may not have known of the consequences, but that does not exonerate the rest in the chain of collective responsibility.

Unpalatable as it was, “China’s one child policy” and India’s “Hum Doe Hamaaray Doe” is an example of authorities exercising their responsibilities for the greater good. And indeed there are many other countries in the world which deserve such intervention today. Though, the religious brigade and the vested interests may find it very unpalatable.

Nature does not recognize national or international boundaries for implementing the reactions to human’s acts.

An example of this is; decades ago the denuding of forests was attributed to the acid rain that fell over the northern countries of Europe. It was realized that Europe’s fossil fuel fired industries and power stations, bellowing out toxic smoke in the air was carried by the Southerlies to the northern parts. It turned into defoliant as acid rain and was responsible for the problems there.

The problem of air pollution has not quite disappeared yet. - “EU Commission launches legal action over UK air quality”.

The same is the case with America’s air pollution causing damage to the Canadian environment.

And the same applies to all such industries and deforestation round the world too.

Consider this, the USA is said to have dropped over seventy five million litres of ‘agent orange 2,4,5T defoliant’ during its one sided Vietnam war on that country alone; with devastating effects, which the small and poor nations of the region are still suffering from!

The rest of the world is not spared either, as it has been consuming agricultural and marine products from there since!

Mankind has been given the choice to use its “knowledge” for good or bad.

The truism holds that Knowledge is noble only in the hands of the Noble souls!

It is not in jest that the planet earth is called “global village”. All in the global village have the responsibility thrust on them by the Creator, to take care of it and make it sustainable for generations to come.

With the knowledge mankind has now, there is no option to breed in an unplanned manner, even for a family let alone in the context of the whole world.

Because “mankind is but one community…2-213”, says the Good Book.

A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-society/in-the-connectivity-of-the-universe,-to-breed-or-not-to-breed-is-the-question/d/35893


  • One of my  Hindu teacher used to say "Muslims produce so many children because they have no other means of entertainment."
    in our village one person produced eighteen children. they are living in slum like place.

    Positive trend is some Muslims are not listening to Maulvis in this matter. any educated Muslim if sits with Maulvis take pride in numbers. one of my friend who was educated in the same college i studied used to say:
    Muslims one day will outnumber the Hindus. So Muslims will have deciding votes and one day will become rulers.
    2. Islam is a beautiful religion because it allows polygamy.
    Religions in general are against the family planning.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 2/24/2014 9:15:11 AM

  • India with a fertility rate of 2.55 children per woman is ranked 81 in the world and ranks higher than several Muslim countries such as Bangla Desh, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Indonesia and Kazakhistan.

    Israel with fertility rate of 2.65 is ranked 76 and above Malaysia, Kuwait and India,

    Philippines with fertility rate of 3.1 is ranked 53 above Pakistan, West Bank, Egypt, Oman, Syria and Israel.

    By Observer - 2/24/2014 6:26:10 AM

  • @Sahil

    If you really not talk about what I have to say, that will be a service you will be doing to others who are here for a serious discussion.

    Thank you.

    By non muslim - 2/24/2014 5:16:03 AM

  • which point do you want say as an indian and a non-muslim, i will not talk about that thinking that it is vague of a vague man.
    By sahil - 2/24/2014 5:01:40 AM

  • @Sahil

    It doesn't matter what my name is. What is important is what i have to say here as an Indian and a non-Muslim.

    By non muslim - 2/24/2014 3:44:00 AM

  • dear non-muslim what benefited you to hide your identity? is there anyone who does not like your identity? or is there anyone whom you do not like by not showing your identity?
    it is something others do not like or you do not like but is clear that human is different in nature

    By sahil - 2/24/2014 2:59:58 AM

  • @ Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia

    It's true that Muslims
    are behind.

    But behind the progress of the Jews, there is a very good reason. Jews have been part of the western world for several centuries. They have been fortunate to receive the modern education, to be a part of the revolution that brought modern education.

    Also, centuries of persecution of Jews has reduced them to a small number. but these small numbers have been the best and the brightest among Jews. Because only the fittest could survive.

    And centuries of persecution have united this small number leading to mutual benefiting.

    The incredible progress of the West itself is because of how they plundered the rest of the world.

    But that's a different debate.

    However, as far as Jews are concerned, they have been fortunate to receive the best education for centuries now.

    Contrast to that, the eastern world (including Muslims) have been exposed to secular modern education only in the last few decades.

    Those who have been fortunate enough to have recieved good education for centuries or even millennia obviously tend to be ahead of others. Case in point: Brahmins of the subcontinent.

    I don't believe in the other rubbish that some people are chosen by the god. That's the worst load of rubbish ever.

    It's just a matter of good education/culture/environment.

    By non muslim - 2/23/2014 10:52:51 PM


    My Fellow Human,


    Thanks a million for point it out. I will tell my Jewish friend to get the record corrected.


    With all the corrections, you must face fact that Muslims are way behind. That’s a pathetic record so to speak and there is nothing anyone can do to change it.


    Have a blessed day.


    Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia  

    By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia - 2/23/2014 9:02:45 PM

  • lodhia
    you have many bachkaani problems with others, why don't get help from NAI foundation for a psycholgical treatment. you need it badly because you have many ideosynracies.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 2/23/2014 8:49:06 PM

  • @Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia

    Please tell your jewish friend to not twist facts. In the list he has mentioned, without googling or without doing any research, I can find out factual errors.

    Abdusl Salam won nobel prize in physics. Nobody has a right to call him non-muslim.

    Mohammed Yunus won the nobel peace prize.

    By non muslim - 2/23/2014 8:40:51 PM

  • The birth rates are however falling all around the world.

    Why are birthrates falling around the world? Blame television.


    Iran attempts to reverse falling birth rate


    By Observer - 2/23/2014 7:35:27 PM

  • The prolific growth of human population, besides being deleterious to other species whose spaces we have usurped, will bring havoc to our own species because of the pollution and the climate change we cause.

    The forces against population control are extremely powerful, the main ones being religion and big corporations. Religions seek an ever increasing size of their flocks (maulanas oppose limiting family size, Vishwa Hindu Parishad's Ashok Singhal asks Hindu couples to have five children each, the Vatican is against birth control). Religions also are against the idea of Man putting himself in charge of humanity's future. They see it as usurpation of God's sovereignty.

    For multinational corporations larger populations are essential in order to have ever more consumers and to ensure cheap labor.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 2/23/2014 2:13:53 PM

  • @Observer

    I agree with a few points you made. There is no data available to understand the growth rate of Muslim population according to economic class.

    Muslims are grouped together and they have a higher growth rate compared to Hindus.

    It's perfectly possible that the growth rate of poor Hindus is at par with poor Muslims. But because of lower growth rate of upper caste/upper class Hindus, the overall growth rate of Hindus is reduced.

    It's criminal that the government want to divide and rule on the basis of caste and religion but such statistics are produced on the basis of caste and religion.

    However, based on the available data of the recent census, population growth rate of Muslims is higher than Hindus.

    I don't know if discrimination is the reason behind lower representation of Muslims among clerical posts in government offices. But, I will tell you this, as far as police department is concerned, the number of Muslim youth who even appear for exams (which just requires class 12 qualification) is abysmally low.

    This was revealed to me by a Muslim activist that Muslims (in general) do not even appear for the exams. They cry discrimination and don't even appear for exams. He insisted that, and I believe him to a great extent, that if Muslims applied and took exams, they are recruited in the police department without prejudice.

    I don't believe that there is no prejudice. But I believe that it is much less than what is ascribed to it.

    I say this based on my interactions with a lot of police officials.

    That's why I said, about 70% of the problems lie within Muslims. I admit that 30% of the problems of Muslims can only be solved with the help of others. (70, 30 is just a number, it might as well be 60,40)

    When I worked in Seattle for a software company, out of about 200 people who worked in the office, only 2 were Muslims. Of Pakistani origin (I don't know if they are first generation or second). There were 60-70 Indians. Hindu/Chrstian/Jains and others.

    Why were not there more Muslims? I ask this because the population of Muslims in US alone is more than that of Hindus.

    Even if you consider the fact that Muslim migration to US has come down drastically in the recent decades, close to 3 million Muslims live in the US.

    I will not be surprised if you see same abysmal representation by Muslims in every field, except for small businesses.

    This maybe ascribed to culture of business among Muslims but i refuse to buy that argument because in almost every other field, they are underrepresented.

    In fact, even in Muslim countries, top engineers, doctors, managers, technicians are all majorly non-muslims. And I am talking about rich muslim countries with abilities to provide proper education in foreign universities.

    The point I am trying to make is simple. Again, most problems among Muslims exists within not without.

    They need to look inside and correct them.

    This is unfortunately true because, as a non muslim, if I told Muslims of their inherent problems, I will be labeled an Islamophobic or a racist.

    So, no one can help Muslims but themselves.

    By water bottle - 2/23/2014 11:37:37 AM

  • From: A Jewish Friend
    Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 5:20 PM
    To: Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia


    Dear Rafiq,


    Thank you very much for your beautiful wishes for Rosh Hashanah. I also wish you and your family all the best blessings and I pray every day so we can find peace between all nations of the world.


    I agree with you that “Hatred is the cancer of the intellect” and I would add that “Ignorance is the gateway for hatred and intolerance”. “The more we know our neighbor, the less we talk about our differences”. You are leaving a great legacy by sharing knowledge to the world on your blog “My fellow Muslims


    Jewish values are centered in the enrichment of the intellect and I believe this has been the main reason why we have survived through all adversities in human history ….  


    World Islamic population:  1.300.000.000 Billion; Which is 20% of world population:

    Nobel Prices:

    1988 - Najib Mahfooz

    1978 - Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
    1990 - Elias James Corey
    1994 - Yaser Arafat:
    1999 - Ahmed Zewai



    1960 - Peter Brian Medawar
    1998 - Ferid Mourad

    World Jewish Population: 13.500.000 Millions;

    0.01%  of world population.


    Nobel Prices:

    1910 - Paul Heyse
    1927 - Henri Bergson
    1958 - Boris Pasternak
    1966 - Shmuel Yosef Agnon
    1966 - Nelly Sachs
    1976 - Saul Bellow
    1978 - Isaac Bashevis Singer
    1981 - Elias Canetti
    1987 - Joseph Brodsky
    1991 - Nadine Gordimer World

    1911 - Alfred Fried
    1911 - Tobias Michael Carel Asser
    1968 - Rene Cassin
    1973 - Henry Kissinger
    1978 - Menachem Begin
    1986 - Elie Wiesel
    1994 - Shimon Peres
    1994 - Yitzhak Rabin

    1905 - Adolph Von Baeyer
    1906 - Henri Moissan
    1907 - Albert Abraham Michelson
    1908 - Gabriel Lippmann
    1910 - Otto Wallach
    1915 - Richard Willstaetter
    1918 - Fritz Haber
    1921 - Albert Einstein
    1922 - Niels Bohr
    1925 - James Franck
    1925 - Gustav Hertz
    1943 - Gustav Stern
    1943 - George Charles de Hevesy
    1944 - Isidor Issac Rabi
    1952 - Felix Bloch
    1954 - Max Born
    1958 - Igor Tamm
    1959 - Emilio Segre
    1960 - Donald A. Glaser
    1961 - Robert Hofstadter
    1961 - Melvin Calvin
    1962 - Lev Davidovich Landau
    1962 - Max Ferdinand Perutz
    1965 - Richard Phillips Feynman
    1965 - Julian Schwinger
    1969 - Murray Gell-Mann
    1971 - Dennis Gabor
    1972 - William Howard Stein
    1973 - Brian David Josephson
    1975 - Benjamin Mottleson
    1976 - Burton Richter
    1977 - Ilya Prigogine
    1978 - Arno Allan Penzias
    1978 - Peter L Kapitza
    1979 - Stephen Weinberg
    1979 - Sheldon Glashow
    1979 - Herbert Charles Brown
    1980 - Paul Berg
    1980 - Walter Gilbert
    1981 - Roald Hoffmann
    1982 - Aaron Klug
    1985 - Albert A. Hauptman
    1985 - Jerome Karle
    1986 - Dudley R. Herschbach
    1988 - Robert Huber
    1988 - Leon Lederman
    1988 - Melvin Schwartz
    1988 - Jack Steinberger
    1989 - Sidney Altman
    1990 - Jerome Friedman
    1992 - Rudolph Marcus
    1995 - Martin Perl
    2000 - Alan J. Heeger

    1970 - Paul Anthony Samuelson
    1971 - Simon Kuznets
    1972 - Kenneth Joseph Arrow
    1975 - Leonid Kantorovich
    1976 - Milton Friedman
    1978 - Herbert A. Simon
    1980 - Lawrence Robert Klein
    1985 - Franco Modigliani
    1987 - Robert M. Solow
    1990 - Harry Markowitz
    1990 - Merton Miller
    1992 - Gary Becker
    1993 - Robert Fogel

    1908 - Elie Metchnikoff
    1908 - Paul Erlich
    1914 - Robert Barany
    1922 - Otto Meyerhof
    1930 - Karl Landsteiner
    1931 - Otto Warburg
    1936 - Otto Loewi
    1944 - Joseph Erlanger
    1944 - Herbert Spencer Gasser
    1945 - Ernst Boris Chain
    1946 - Hermann Joseph Muller
    1950 - Tadeus Reichstein
    1952 - Selman Abraham Waksman
    1953 - Hans Krebs
    1953 - Fritz Albert Lipmann
    1958 - Joshua Lederberg
    1959 - Arthur Kornberg
    1964 - Konrad Bloch
    1965 - Francois Jacob
    1965 - Andre Lwoff
    1967 - George Wald
    1968 - Marshall W. Nirenberg
    1969 - Salvador Luria
    1970 - Julius Axelrod
    1970 - Sir Bernard Katz
    1972 - Gerald Maurice Edelman
    1975 - Howard Martin Temin
    1976 - Baruch S. Blumberg
    1977 - Roselyn Sussman Yalow
    1980 - Baruj Benacerraf
    1984 - Cesar Milstein
    1985 - Michael Stuart Brown
    1985 - Joseph L. Goldstein
    1986 - Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
    1988 - Gertrude Elion
    1989 - Harold Varmus
    1991 - Erwin Neher
    1991 - Bert Sakmann
    1993 - Richard J. Roberts
    1993 - Phillip Sharp
    1994 - Alfred Gilman
    1995 - Edward B. Lewis
    1996- Lu RoseIacovino


    Best Regards,

    By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia - 2/23/2014 11:36:15 AM

  • My Fellow Human,


    First of all, I have problem addressing someone who is not a Muslim as “Non-Muslim.” This is so impolite that I rarely use it.


    What you have stated is absolutely correct, Sir/Madame. I do not know who you are, hence, excuse me. Many educated Muslims are acutely aware of all that you have mentioned in your post.   


    Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with you that “Truth Needs To Be Told.Then again, the question of the day is, “Who Will Listen?” Muslims at large have a tendency to keep “A Respectable Distance From The Truth. Our problem is the moral decay of our religious, political and business leaders.


    Granted that the article written by Rashid Samnakay is enlightening, however, how on earth will Muslims ever be able to realize what the author rightly stated that, “Mankind has been given the choice to use its knowledge for good or bad.” The truth of the matter is, Muslims are severely infected with the syndrome of “Indifference.” They would much rather prefer to live in their own sweet world of “Self-Righteousness,” and above all, are more so focused on their own “Self-Salvation.”


    My brief time in pasting few comments on the “New Age Islam” forum has taught me that, “Good Words” expressed by any sane Muslim will be intentionally ignored and no Muslim readers will muster enough courage to come to the defence of the commentators except for hardly a few. All such behavior is nothing but a clear-cut sign of “Aloofness” as if nothing matters at all.


    Finally, I would like to share with you an email from my dear Jewish friend who returned the greetings of Jewish New Year on September 18, 2012. On reading the message you will find that it is the Muslims who are lagging way behind in the race to obtain “Knowledge.

    Thanks again for your genuine concern, I remain


    Very respectfully yours,


    Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia 

    By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia - 2/23/2014 11:34:06 AM

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