Islam and Environment Protection

Environment protection is an important aspect of Islam. Being stewards of the Earth, it is the responsibility of Muslims to care for the environment in a proactive manner. There is a definite purpose behind the creation of different species, be it plants or animals. Muslims are encouraged to reflect on the relationship between living organisms and their environment and to maintain the ecological balance created by Allah. Protection of the environment is essential to Islamic beliefs and mankind has the responsibility to ensure safe custody of the environment.


Environment Protection and Resource Conservation

The Islamic perspective on environment protection reflects a positive image about Islam and how it embraces every single matter the humans face on earth. The Islamic attitude towards environment and natural resource conservation is not only based on prohibition of over-exploitation but also on sustainable development.

The Holy Quran says:

“It is He who has appointed you viceroys in the earth … that He may try you in what He has given you.” (Surah 6:165)

“O children of Adam! … eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.” (Surah 7:31)

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) encouraged the planting of trees and the cultivation of agriculture which are considered as good acts. This is illustrated in the following traditions: Narrated by Anas bin Malik (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: “There is none amongst the Muslims who plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, but is regarded as a charitable gift for him.”‏ (Bukhari).

Islam is against the cutting or destruction of plants and trees unnecessarily as is evident in the following Hadith: Abdullah ibn Habashi reported that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “He who cuts a lote-tree [without justification], Allah will send him to Hellfire.” (Abu Dawud). The lote-tree grows in the desert and is very much needed in an area which has scarce vegetation. The devastation caused by deforestation in many countries causes soil erosion and kills many of the biodiversity of the earth.

The approach of Islam towards the use of natural resources was brilliantly put forward by the Fourth Caliph Hazrat Ali ibn Abi-Talib (RA) who said “Partake of it gladly so long as you are the benefactor, not a despoiler; a cultivator, not a destroyer. All human beings as well as animals and wildlife enjoy the right to share Earth’s resources. Man’s abuse of any resource is prohibited as the juristic principle says ‘What leads to the prohibited is itself prohibited”.

When Abu Musa (RA) was sent to Al-Basrah as the new governor, he addressed the people saying: “I was sent to you by ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab (RA) in order to teach you the Book of your Lord [i.e. the Qur’an], the Sunnah [of your Prophet], and to clean your streets.” Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) forbade that a person relieve himself in a water source or on a path or in a place of shade or in the burrow of a leaving creature.  These values highlight Islam’s stress on avoiding pollution of critical resources and importance of cleanliness.

Spreading Environmental Awareness

There are various ways which you can raise environmental awareness in your personal and professional circles. The popularization of social networking among young generation makes it easier and attractive to spread environmental awareness using Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. A simple and effective method which I use is the distribution of qr codes (Quick Response Codes) in my college campus.

Another great idea would be to start your own school, college or workplace campaign for planting trees. Students, faculty members and co-workers can be motivated to donate a nominal amount of money towards plantation campaign. Keeping plants around your home, school or workplace is not only aesthetic and decorative but also keep you healthy and improve indoor air quality.

According to Hazrat Jabir (RA) reported that Prophet Muhammad [S.A.W] said: “No Muslim, who plants a shoot, except that whatever is eaten or stolen from it, or anyone obtains the least thing from it, is considered [like paying] alms giving on his behalf until the Day of Judgement.” (Muslim)


Environmental awareness and protection of natural resources is an integral part of Islamic beliefs. As viceroys of Allah on this earth, we have to utilize natural resources in a sustainable manner in order to ensure that Allah’s Bounties to continue. The principle of conservation is beautifully illustrated by the rule which says that while making ablutions (wudu) we should be abstemious in the use of water even if we have a river at our disposal.

As humans, we are keepers of all creation, including soil, air, water, animals and trees. A major objective of the Quran , Islamic teachings and Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) traditions is to build and maintain a healthy and clean environment which is devoid of any source of pollution and misuse.

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About Fatima Al-Banna

Fatima Al-Banna is a bachelor student at Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology majoring in Business Administration and Marketing. Her environmental passion started at college with a mission to create and develop campaigns and projects to address the students and faculty impact at the campus in terms of the sustainability level through the support from her mentors. She is an environmental activist and has been a part of numerous green campaigns. She has initiated paper recycling projects and also runs Facebook page of her sustainability club in college, Sustain Our Society (SOS). Fatima has worked with Bee’ah in creating mass awareness on waste management strategies.

48 Responses to Islam and Environment Protection

  1. V. MAMUNNI says:

    This is an excellent narration Fathima. Do more research on Islamic values in Enviromental Protection.

    • azzygirls123 says:

      I agree here, this is a very good presentation. keep up the good work!:)

      • J. Datucali says:

        Mashaa’Allah. I somehow get sad while reading and reflecting from this.

        There are so many Muslims and Muslim Orgs. who somehow neglected to contribute to this issue , of Environmental issue.

        May ALLAH bless and guide more people like this author.

  2. Pingback: Islam and Environment Protection « Cleantech Solutions

  3. Samir Burshan says:

    Well said and thank you for the time and effort. Habits are the hardest things to change, but with your insightful piece, maybe some will pause, be guided to do the right thing.

    • Salman Zafar says:
      Dear Samir and Mamunni
      Thanks for your kind words. I am hopeful that many people will take a cue from this article and shall try to care for the environment and natural resources as a religious obligation.
      Best wishes
      Salman Zafar
      Founder, EcoMENA
      • fazlollah says:

        I agree with Mr. Salman Zafar
        I can say that I am one of those who has taken a cue from this article; in having a fresh look at Islamic teachings, as a proactive context to increase the number of Muslims who will care for the environment. This can lead to comparative study of religious approaches towards preventing destructive habits and projects and encouraging a sustainable life style.
        Best regards

        • Salman Zafar says:

          Dear Mr. Fazlollah

          Thanks for your enlightening comment. Happy to know my article has been a source of inspiration.

          Look forward to your continued support.

          Best wishes


  4. Fatima Al-Banna says:

    Thank you Salman, Samir and Mamunni for your kind responses.  Salman and I have worked hard  enough to deliver such piece for the community to follow what Islam require us to do. It is indeed an honor to follow our religion's obligation. 

    Regards 🙂

  5. claire cosgrove says:

    Excellent. I had sited a similar article several years back and thought it most appropriate to give to my environmental management students as required reading here in the Gulf.

    Thank you for providing me with your article.


    • Fatima Al-Banna says:

      Hi dear Claire,

      Thank you for your kind response. Yes you will find lots of similar artciles about Islam encouraging us to protect the environment on the internet. So far, this is the best way to reach more people in my opinion 🙂


  6. hoodfaisal says:

    i apprecaite ur strugle

  7. Fatima Al-Banna says:

    Dear Hoodfaisal, thank you for the comment! ^^

  8. svenaake says:

    You are right. Caring for the creation is the clear responsibility for Muslims as well as Christians – and all other religions. Alas, it is so difficult going from words to action. There are some initiatives in the Muslim world – far too few so far.
    Unfortunately, most Arab leaders are the most eager denying climate change. You have all the reason to be upset – together with all other young people on this planet

  9. zahid says:

    Assalaumualakum. its gud effort but reltively short. try to gather more verses from Holy Quran and Hadiths of Holy Prophet regarding environment. areas should be resouources conservation, protection of plants and animals, cleanliness etc

    • Salman Zafar says:

      Wa-alaikum assalam Zahid Sb. Thanks for your suggestion. Shall try to publish a more comprehensive article on this subject in the coming months InshaAllah.

  10. noohassan says:

    sir we muslims save environment. areas should be resouources conservation, protection of plants and animals, cleanliness …if we obey rules and regulation ,,,we just say do this dont this this immoral ,,,if we obey this then it wiil morral value i think so

  11. Mohammed hafiz Abdul azeez Ma'din Academy ,Kerala says:

    it is very essential that, like fathima Al banna islamic students and researchers have to study mre concepts of islam. Anyway, I thank Fathima Al banna frm deep of my heart. As research student in psychlogy I would like to collaberate with you,

    • Sulphey says:

      You can read materials related ecological/environmental psychology The are volumes of literature in this.

  12. Sulphey says:

    This sort of article at this age is really marvelous. Keep working in this are Fathima – lots more to be done. Kudos to EcoMENA for having published this.

  13. Charles says:

    The world’s environment needs support from all directions. How do these ideas square against using resources such as oil and gas?

  14. mewabe says:

    Interesting and very informative article.
    I am however always surprised how humans have to be taught the obvious in the form of a strict moral or religious code. The obvious is what Native Americans always knew: that what we do to nature, to the earth, we ultimately do to ourselves…and that disrespecting the natural creation is the same as disrespecting the Creator, as they are distinct but not separate. Everything is connected, all life is one.

    Mitakuye oyasin
    All my relations.

  15. Rifai mansoor says:

    protacting environment is an ibada,unfortunately i have not heard any islamic speech about environment with any imam or interlectual in any occation.

  16. Aimelhayr says:

    Assalamo Alaikom..
    I am a college student from Mindanao Sate University in the Philippines. I have query about my thesis research about the interrelationship of Islam and the Environmental Protection. I’m actually having a hard time defining Environmentalism in Islam Concept because others have various definition. if you’d care to help on my research I’d be glad.. Thank you:)

    • Salman Zafar says:

      Wa-alaikum assalam

      Thanks for your message. Glad to know about your interest in Islamic concept of environment protection.

      Please let me know more about your project so that I may connect you with some of our experts.

      Hope to hear back soon.

      Best wishes

      Salman Zafar


      Founder, EcoMENA

      • Aimelhayr M. Macarimbang says:

        Sir Salman Zafar, I’m glad you have read my message. The reason why I’m having a difficulty in defining the terms in our study because my adviser advise me to define the following terms in Islamic concept and I have went to many libraries but most of the authors are from the western countries. The title of our study is “Relationship of Religious attitudes and environmentalism as perceived by pre-school learners.” The terms that I need to define are the following: 1. environmentalism 2. influence (parent to child) 3. relationship (child & parent) 4. religious attitude 5. religious belief 6. religious practice… I need the citation of the terms mentioned. Please send me the APA FORMAT citation of each term if ever it will be defined by a Muslim author…
        Thank you very much. Sorry if my reply was late because I was bust editing my research and others.

      • Aimelhayr M. Macarimbang says:

        Sir kindly send me the book titles, pdf or journals so I can search it on internet if there is…

  17. brothers and sisters In Islam, please help us define the terms:( , we can’t proceed to our final defense because we haven’t yet define it from Islamic scholars’ definition

    • Charles says:

      Don’t wait for a definition from the Imam(s), but think intelligently for ourselves. The Imam is less a scientist than a fount of knowledge of the verses, but perhaps our scientific views can then be offered for him to assay.

    • Dr Sulphey says:

      Dear Brother,

      Happy to take note that you are doing in research in environment.

      I don’t know if it will be useful to you. I have written an book on Environment management. The last chapter is on Religion and Environment, where one portion is on Islam and Environment. It is available on Amazon
      I am not sure if this is what you will be looking for

      But brother please done consider this as a promotion exercise.

      Warm regards and best of luck

  18. Mohd Nasir says:

    Firstly iam very much thankful to your contribution. Next n Great help that you brought to light how our Chalipha Il Omar (RA)taught us importance of cleanliness n even to forget our post if needed for cleanliness.

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  21. kayshree says:

    I recently listened an oration of an Islamic professor who spoke about the environment and islam and sufism also. that was wonderful. am awe stuck after reading this wonderful article. if we are united we can win over many things and enjoy the best of nature that can give to us ….inshah allah !

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  23. Ahmed Farhan says:

    Masha Allah this post is inspirational. This post is key for the success to all people. Our life and work should always for Allah.

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  25. Thanks for sharing information about helping our planet and making it more sustainable for the environment and humanity. We all need to do as much as we can to be a part of the solution. Please see my blog too as I do the same. Keep up the good work sister.

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  28. Ayesha says:

    dear Fatima,
    I really appreciate it, I had to write an essay about it so I just write the same thing, and got full marks so thanks for your help.

  29. Murtala Musa says:

    Very interesting coming across to this article,thank u so much.

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  32. Muqadas Ali says:

    this is very usefull thank you so much

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