Muslims’ Guardianship and the Environment

When we hear the word environment we generally think of nature, pure flowing water, animals roaming freely and not a human being in sight! But we, as humans have been blessed by the use of the plants, animals and other resources.

{And indeed We have honoured the children of Adam and We have carried them on land and sea and have provided them with at-tayyibat (lawful good things) and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a marked preferment} Quran 17:70

But privilege comes with responsibility and it all started with the creation of our father Adam (peace be upon him)

{When your Lord said to the angels: ‘I am placing on the earth a caliph (a custodian/governor)’, they replied: ‘Will You put there who corrupts and sheds blood, when we exalt Your praises and sanctify You?’ He said: ‘I know what you do not know} Quran 2:30

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The world is green and sweet and verily Allah is going to appoint you as governors (caliphs) in it in order to see how you act” narrated by Muslim.

We have been placed on this earth as guardians as a test. The problem is power tends to go to our head! We become complacent, arrogant and ignore our responsibilities. As a result of our negligence, our environment is suffering.

{Corruption has appeared on land and sea with what the hands of the people earned. Therefore, they taste some of what they did in order that they return} Quran 30:41

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The people, lands, trees and animals find relief upon the death of a corrupt person” narrated by Bukhair and Muslim

Corruption, greediness, materialism and selfishness result in poverty, debt culture, and helplessness as well as pollution, destruction of rain forests and adverse climate changes.

As Muslims we have the obligation to stand up to what’s right and commit to positive change.

Be Just and Reset the Balance

{O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice, be just: that is nearer to piety and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do} Quran 5:8

Strengthen Your Belief

{And if the people of the town believed and were conscious of Allah, certainly we would have bestowed upon them blessings from the heaven  and the earth} Quran 7:96

In Islam, belief is what has firmly settled in your heart and is reflected in your actions. Therefore, belief necessities action.  Our persistence to achieve that combination of belief and action to the best our ability makes us of the people Allah had promised to bestow his blessings on.

Support the Collective

At some point, you will need reinforcement so bring in others to support. Or you may have the resources but not the project or initiatives to utilise those resources. Find and work with others who are already active and support them.

{Help one another in goodness and righteousness and do not help one another in sin and transgression} Quran 5:2

This earth is our home in this life so let’s make it wonderfully inhabitable for us and generations to come.

Every effort counts…

  • Start with shifting your mind set. Why and how does protecting the environment matter to you personally?
  • Make your own changes. Think, can you Reduce ie packaging, water use, heating time; can you Reuse your shopping bags, clothing etc or can you Recycle paper waste, composting food waste and make an old piece of furniture into another.
  • Find out what initiatives are going on and take part and support as much as you can. How about also checking The Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES)? IFEES works to develop ecological knowledge and promote conservation and sustainable development based on environmental ethics contained in Islamic teachings.
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