View Full Version : Significance of the Environment in Islam

wafa islam
07-29-2006, 05:06 PM

Significance of the Environment in Islam

Over the years, our environment has been facing a severe threat. The rivers are polluted with undesirable chemicals and toxicants; underground water is being depleted and getting polluted. Forests are being lost at an alarming rate resulting in environmental degradation.

A balance in oxygen and water in the environment is being lost, which is so important to sustain and preserve the human civilization. For the past century and a half, enormous advances have taken place in science and technology to the benefit of mankind. But, these developments have also posed great problems and health hazards, threatening the existence of human life on earth.

Purpose of Human Creation

The question of the creation of human beings is reGreater Syria, to understand the role of religion in the environment the Holy Qur'an states "Blessed be He, in whose hands is all sovereignty. He has power over all things. He created death and life that He might put to test and find out, which of you acquitted himself best. He is Mighty, Forgiving One" (67:1-2)".

Life is thus, a brilliant demonstration of God's wisdom and knowledge. He has shown the humans the right path of life. There is a complete stability and unity in the laws of the universe. The entire cosmos is remarkably homogenous and in balance.

Man being a part of the whole system must also operate justly in the sphere over which he is given control and power, otherwise, he is working against the natural laws of the Universe, as well as his own nature. The result of which can be alarming calamities and destruction in the environment.

Cleanliness in Islam

Nearest to the human body is its soul, followed by the environment. Thus, Islam addresses itself in considerable depth to the question of cleanliness and purity of both soul and body, since it is the essence of good appearance and health.

Allah says, "Happy shall be the man, who purifies himself, who remembers the name of his Lord and prays to Him". (Holy Qur'an, 87: 14-15)

The Prophet (SAWS) said, "Cleanse yourself, for Islam is cleanliness". Diet also plays an important role in human health. Thus, Islam has prohibited certain foods and allowed others, "O people, eat of what is lawful and good on earth, and do not follow the foot-steps of the Evil one, for he is your avowed enemy" (Holy Qur'an, 2:168)".

Thus, personal cleanliness and the environment in which a person lives are greatly emphasized in Islam. Further, all those means, which can lead man to indecency and corruption of the environment are also discouraged in Islam. Thus, drinking and gambling are prohibited in Islam.

As the Holy Qur'an states, "They ask you, (O Muhammad) about drinking and gambling, say there is a great harm in both, though, there is some benefit for the people, but harm of the sin is far greater than the benefit" (2:219).

Emphasis on Plantation and Agriculture
Forestry and Agriculture form the backbone of human civilization. However, we find in recent times, a large-scale deforestation all around the world. This has resulted in ecological imbalances in the natural resources. The Prophet (SAWS) said, "when a Muslim plants a plant or cultivates a crop, no bird or human being eats from it without it being accounted as charity for him."

The Messenger of Allah (SAWS), once remarked that even if you knew that the world would end tomorrow, you should plant a tree.

Management of Water Resources

The proper and judicious use of the water resources is of utmost importance to keep the viable environment for the benefit of humanity.

Depletion of resources

Moderation is the most important characteristic of Islam. It is probably how Islam views human nature and the meaning of life. Man is created by God, Almighty, and is commanded to be God's viceroy on earth. Islam discourages luxurious and lavish living. It is a general observation that luxurious life styles lead to weakness among nations, and eventually to their downfall.

The existence of luxury is also an expression of social injustice, as few can afford luxurious items at the expense of the deprived masses of people. The Holy Qur'an states, "when We intend to destroy a township, We permit its luxury loving people to commit wickedness therein. Then the word is proved true against it and We then destroy it utterly" (17:16).

Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was the perfect example of moderation. He advised his followers to spend within their means, neither to be too lavish as to make themselves destitute nor to hold back their wealth from those who had a claim on their resources.

Corruption, dissolution, nervous and mental disorders, intellectual and sexual perversions are eating away the body of present day civilization by destroying the nations and individuals, by exposing the people to evil and corrupt means of life.

However, as long as the human kind follows the laws ordained by the creator, all aspects of his life in the environment of the earth go the natural way. But, if deviations occur from the prescribed path of the Creator, all the social, environmental calamities that human beings face today ensue. It is in the fitness of things, that human life styles be programmed according to the laws of the Creator to save humanity from environmental disasters.


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Ayesha Rana
07-29-2006, 05:25 PM
This is all very true sis. As the trustees of this earth we should be taking care of it not detroying it.

wafa islam
06-16-2007, 04:03 PM
Appreciating Nature and Preserving the Environment

Allah has subjected to you (O human beings) whatever is in the skies and the earth; Behold! Therein are sure signs for those who reflect. " (Qur'an 45:13). There are more than 500 verses in the Qur'an dealing directly with nature, the environment and natural phenomena ...

Nature in the Qur'an

There are more than 500 verses in the Qur'an dealing directly with nature, the environment and natural phenomena. In fact, numerous chapters (surahs) are titled after either animals or natural phenomena. These include ...
Al-Baqarah The Cow, Al-An'aam The Cattle, Ar-Ra'd The Thunder, An-Nahl The Bee, An-Noor the Light, An-Naml the Ant, Al-'Ankabut the Spider, At-Toor the Mountain, An-Najm the Star, Al-Qamar the Moon, Al-Buruj the Constellation of Stars, At-Tariq the Night Star, Al-Fajr the Dawn, Ash-Shams the Sun, Al-Layl the Night, [I]Ad-Duha the Morning, At-Teen the Fig, and Al-Feel the Elephant.

These references to the natural world around us aim at ...

•conscientizing us about the Creator of creations
•instilling in us a sense of respect for Allah's creation
•making us cognizant of our inextricable relationship with nature

Reflect upon Nature & the Environment

We are commanded (Q7:179) to use our sensory, conceptual and moral faculties to appreciate the realities around us and to be heedful of the signs we see and the lessons we learn.
We are encouraged to reflect upon the creation of the celestial and earthly spheres, upon the operations of nature, upon the alternation of night and day, upon the variety of life forms, upon the vegetation with all its variety and its tendency to decay and regenerate (Q3:190, Q13:2-4, Q10:6, Q45:5, Q42:29, Q35:27,Q30:19,Q87:4).
Surely, in all these there are signs for those who reflect (Q45:13).

Natural Disposition

The Qur'an and Prophetic traditions make constant reference to Fitrah natural disposition. We are ...

•informed that every person is actually born upon pure natural disposition
•instructed to live according to the best of our nature (Q 30:30)
•made aware that every creation submits its existence to a natural pattern (Q3:83)

Natural Communities

As the human community is part of nature so too do other creations form communities at their respective levels. Allah reminds us of this in the Qur'an (6:38)
The thought-provoking incident between the wise Prophet Solomon / Sulayman (pbuh) and the community of ants related in Surah an-Naml(Q27:16-19) serves as a great lesson in human consideration of other creation.
"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." Aldo Leopold
There is an age-old native Indian saying: "Reflect on the fact that the land belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, few are living, and countless numbers are still unborn."

Do Not Abuse Nature Nor Destroy The Environment

We are commanded in the Qur'an: And do not cause disruption/corruption/mischief/chaos on earth after it has been so well ordered/organized (Qur'an 7:56)(Q 67: 3-4)

Man's greed and desire for material profit tends to make him oblivious of the irreparable destruction caused to the environment.
Mahatma Gandhi rightly said that "there is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed."If we are not careful, then "Humanity is on the march, earth itself is left behind." David Ehrenfeld in 'The Arrogance of Humanism'.
Nature is Invaluable
Native Indian Chief Seattle of the Duwamish Tribe said: "Wilderness complements and completes civilization. I might say that the existence of wilderness is also a complement to civilization. Any society that feels itself too poor to afford the preservation of wilderness is not worthy of the name of civilization."
An ancients Cretian prophecy warns: "After the last tree has been cut down; after the last river has been poisoned; after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."
Chief Seattle said, "Whatever befalls the Earth - befalls the sons of the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life - he is merely strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
We need to understand, value and appreciate nature.
"Activities that destroy environment always end up destroying life. Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better", said Albert Einstein.
Compassion for Creation
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reflectively said: "Have mercy for those on earth so that the One above may have mercy on you." Pierre Troubetzkoy echoed the Prophet's sentiments when he said: "Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?"

Watch How You Deal with the World
"Allah has subjected to you (O human beings) whatever is in the skies and the earth; Behold! Therein are sure signs for those who reflect" (Qur'an 45:13).
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) reminded us that the best of Allah's creation are those most beneficial to his creation, advised us that the world is green and delightful and Allah has put you in charge of the world and is observing carefully how you deal with it.

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