Islam and the Environment

This piece was written by Saeed Abdulrahim, the full 41 page article is here. It covers 40 Topics on Islam and Environment and close to 199 references mainly from two of the Main Islamic Sources, The Quran and Hadiths - Teachings of Prophet Mohammad (Upon whom Be Peace) and references from additional materials.

THE ONENESS OF THE CREATOR: The “Oneness of the Creator” known as Tawheed is the fundamental Article of Belief in Islam and every thing else flows from this. The Quran tells us that everything in the Heavens and the Earth and all that is in between belong to Allah.

MEANING AND PURPOSE IN ALL CREATION: Allah tells us in the Quran that: “we have not created heaven and earth and all that is between them without meaning and purpose”.

MULTIPLICITY OF COSMIC SYSTEMS The Quran tells us of a Multiplicity of Cosmic Systems and states that the Heavens and Earth were once One Entity.

THE SUN, THE MOON AND ALL OTHER CONSTELLATIONS are set by Allah to run their appointed courses giving them various phases and giving us the variety of the weather that we experience, and The eclipses that we see.

THE EARTH A measure of the Significance and Importance of The EARTH in Islam is that it gets close to 990 mentions in The Quran, and we human beings have only been given its trusteeship and not its ownership.

ACCOUNTABLE LIVING The Quran tells us of a Day of Accountability when we all will be re-created to the “exactitude of our finger prints” to account for the Trusteeship of this Earth and The Environment that has been entrusted to us.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Although the various components of the natural environment serve humanity as one of their functions, this does not imply that human use is the sole reason for their creation. We have to acknowledge that “human kind” is not the Only Community to live in this world. Animals, Insects, birds and other Creatures also have a share in this world.

PLANTS, PASTURES AND POLLINATION IN ISLAMIC ECOLOGY: "ALLAH is the One who cleaves the grain and the fruit-kernel asunder, bringing forth the living out of that which is dead,” Although, we can sow the seeds, water the fields and Plough the lands, but, in the Final Analysis, It is ALLAH who causes that seed to grow into a Grain or Fruit or Flower bearing Plant, But, the Effort is needed anyway on our part, for if we did not make the effort, than what should ALLAH Reward us for? ALLAH tells us in The Quran that it is Him that “...let’s loose the winds to fertilize [plants]”.

CONSERVATION The Tradition in Islam of establishing “Conservation Areas” was put in place more than 1400 years ago by Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh) organized the planting of trees and of date groves. He made the forests and green spaces conservation areas, where every sort of living creature lived. These were called sanctuaries (hima). For example, a strip of land approximately twelve miles wide around Medina was proclaimed a sanctuary and made a conservation area. He is also thought to have proclaimed other areas, similar to this, as sanctuaries. All these show the paramount importance Islam gives to nature conservancy and protection of all of nature’s living creatures.

ISLAM AND MEDICAL SCIENCES No article on Islam and Environment will be complete without a mention of the tremendous contributions Muslim Scientists have made in the field of Medicine. Rhaze’s anatomy of small pox, Averroes’s Canon of Medicine, and a Treatise on gynaecology are just a few of the examples of the contributions.