Thursday, November 5, 2009

Islam and Environment

Alhamdulillah,
Another day of learning the knowledge of Allah in this beautiful college really make me closer to this deen. May Allah guide us always.

After praying zuhur, I hurried to my 'ilm ul-iqtishod class. My teacher showed to the whole class a documentary-like-movie. The title of the movie is "The Age Of Stupid".


Seeing only 1/3 of it really broke my heart. How can the human race misused/exploited etc.. the world just to fulfil their desires without thinking of the future generation. This earth is the creation of Allah and Allah had sent us as his khalifah to manage this earth accordingly. Sometimes we overlook the task of sustaining ecosystem. Is this task not part of what we muslims must do and concern? Do we take this issue for granted?

Islam has a very close connection with environment:

It is God Who hath created the heavens and the earth and sendeth down rain from the skies, and with it bringeth out fruits wherewith to feed you; it is He Who hath made the ships subject to you, that they may sail through the sea by His command; and the rivers (also) hath He made subject to you. And He hath made subject to you the sun and the moon, both diligently pursuing their courses; and the night and the day hath he (also) made subject to you. And He giveth you of all that ye ask for. But if ye count the favours of God, never will ye be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude. (The Holy Quran 14:32-34)

Islam, as a way of life, expects human beings to conserve the environment for several reasons which may be summarized as follows:

1- The environment, is Allah's creation. The creation of this earth and all its natural resources is a sign of His wisdom, mercy, power and His other attributes and therefore serves to develop human awareness and understanding of this creator. (Ar-Ra`d, 13: 2-4; 21:79)

2- Muslims should seek to protect and preserve the environment because by so doing they protect Allah's creatures which pray to Him and praise Him. Humankind might not be able to understand how these creatures praise Allah but this does not mean that they do not do so, Allah says: (The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His glory: There is not a thing but celebrates His praise, and yet ye understand not how they declare His Glory!) (Al-Israa’ 17: 44)

3- The environment contains Allah's creatures which the Muslim scholars consider to also deserve protection.

4- Also among the reasons why Islam seeks to protect and preserve the environment is that Islam, as a way of life, is established on the concept of good (khayr). Therefore it is expected that Islam will protect the environment once it is understood that such protection is good by itself. The Qur'an states: (He whoso do good an atom's weight will see it. And whoso do ill an atom's weight will see it.) (Az-Zalzalah 99: 7-8)

In Islam, humans are expected to protect the environment since no other creature is able to perform this task. Humans are the only being that Allah has "entrusted" with the responsibility of looking after the earth. This trusteeship is seen by Islam to be so onerous and burdensome that no other creature would 'accept' it. Allah says: (Lo! We offered the trust unto the heavens and the earth and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it and man assumed it Lo! he is a tyrant and fool.) (Al-Ahzab 33: 72)

In Islam the relationship between humankind and the environment is part of social existence, an existence based on the fact that everything on earth worships the same God. This worship is not merely ritual practice, since rituals are simply the symbolic human manifestation of submission to Allah. The actual devotions are actions, which can be practiced by all the creatures of earth sharing the planet with the human race. Moreover humans are responsible for the welfare and sustenance of the other citizens of this global environment. The Qur’an contains many verses that can be referred to for guidance in this respect. The following verse 21 of the second surah of the Qur'an, is one example:

(O people! Worship your Lord, Who hath created you and those before you, so that you may ward off (evil). Who hath appointed the earth a resting-place for you, and the sky a canopy; and causeth water to pour down from the sky, thereby producing fruits as food for you. And do not set up rivals to Allah when ye know (better).) (Al-Baqarah 2: 21-22)

The word in this verse which is translated as "may ward off evil" is in Arabic tattaqun. It enjoins piety and awareness which is accompanied by an appreciation of the surrounding environment. In this verse, the Qur’an speaks directly to all groups of people, whether believers, or not. It attempts to mobilize people to the importance of "worshipping Allah" as a symbol and a way of life that enjoins justice and equity in handling the system created by Him.

This system has been placed under human responsibility, to be cared for and not misused as can be concluded by returning to verse 22 ofsurat al-Baqarah. The word lakum (for you) in the phrase "created for you" contains the message that the earth is not for one generation but for every generation, past, present and future and that would include humans as well as other creatures on this earth. Accordingly, rivers, minerals are the property of all. This should be distributed fairly and justly especially when it happens to be owned collectively like the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from www.lamp.ac.uk/trs/staffgallery/mawil_paper.html

Muslim effort for a green world

2 comments:

AmirSyafiq said...

smart ah

anta mmg tulis sendirik ke full english article nih?
ade tips x?

Abdullah Munir said...

part atas je..yg bwh amik dr source lain..x smpt tulis ni syeikh..~

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