Rethinking Sustainability: Islamic Perspectives

The 21st century is characterized by a number of global environmental challenges that shaped and defined the discourse and agenda of the West with respect to the developing world, specifically the Islamic world. Islam provides new sustainability perspectives for discovering and explaining the root causes for the current environmental, economic and social crises as manifested in climate change, HIV, poverty and human security. For example, the Islamic perspective on climate change is that the root cause of this global issue is the absence or lack of human stewardship and is an indication of market failures. Pitfalls of the Western Model … Continue reading

Water in Islamic Culture

The great cultural bloom that took place during the al-Andalus period was made possible from a material and social viewpoint thanks, among other factors, to the wise water management at those times. Countryside, cities, public bathhouses and fountains, mosques and gardens honoured the element of water. However, this water culture emerged from a distinctively Islamic conception which is briefly summarized in the following paragraphs. Water in the Holy Quran In Islam, life and knowledge originated from water, a divine gift that symbolises profound wisdom, the drink that quenches the soul’s thirst. But it is also science. Thus, the word al-ma’a – water … Continue reading

Water Stress in the Mediterranean

For many years now, the Mediterranean has been facing problems leading to a situation of serious environmental degradation. An increase in the temperature and salinity levels has been recorded during the second half of the 20th century in the Mediterranean Sea. However, this increase does not follow progressive trend and periods of temperature alternation have been observed. Following several climate change scientific reports, sea level trend at the global scale is higher than at the regional scales. Furthermore, in the regional scale there are other influence factors such the atmospheric pressure and the wind. In addition, the small rises in temperature … Continue reading

الإسلام وحماية البيئة

حماية البيئة هو جانب هام من جوانب الإسلام. بما اننا خلفاء في الأرض، فإنه يقع على عاتقنا كمسلمين العناية بالبيئة، فهناك غرض محدد وراء وجود أنواع مختلفة، سواء كان ذلك نباتات أو حيوانات.  لذا يتوجب على المسلمين التفكير في العلاقة بين الكائنات الحية وبيئتها والحفاظ على التوازن البيئي الذي خلقه الله فحماية البيئة أمر أساسي للمعتقدات الإسلامية، والبشرية لديها مسؤولية لتضمن الحفاظ الآمن للبيئة حماية البيئة والحفاظ على الموارد  المنظور الإسلامي حول حماية البيئة يعكس صورة إيجابية عن الإسلام وكيف يحتضن كل مسألة  تواجه البشر على وجه الأرض.  الموقف الإسلامي تجاه البيئة والحفاظ على الموارد الطبيعية لا يعتمد فقط على … Continue reading

The Holy Quran: A New Ecological Paradigm

Among the world scriptures, the Holy Quran provides a unique resource for building a new ecological paradigm. Grounded in the Abrahamic tradition, it presents a harmonious view of nature reminiscent of the Far East. In the Quran, “whatsoever is the heavens and on the earth glorifies God” (59:1; 61:1; 62:1; 64:1). “The stars and the trees prostrate” (55:6), “the thunder hymns His praise” (13:13), and “unto God prostrates whosoever is in the heavens and whosoever is on the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, and the beasts” (22:18). In these and many other verses, the … Continue reading

Islamic Principles on Sustainable Development

A huge number of verses in Qura’n and several sayings of the Prophet Muhammad indicate the great importance that has been given to environmental concerns and the responsibility of man to the environment. The concept of sustainable development in Islam can be defined as “The balanced and simultaneous realization of consumer welfare, economic efficiency, attainment of social justice, and ecological balance in the framework of a evolutionary knowledge-based, socially interactive model defining the Shuratic process”. The Shuratic process is the consultation or participatory ruling principle of Islam. The over arching principle in the use of nature is derived from the prophetic … Continue reading

Working Towards a Greener Qurbani

In Islam, there are many basic acts that are expected by devout Muslims, also known as the Five Pillars of Islam. These include declaring your faith (Shahadah), performing daily ritual prayers (Salat), paying forward charity to those in need (Zakat), fasting during the month of Ramadan (Sawm) and undertaking the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). With each of these responsibilities, Muslims can feel closer to Allah and feel satisfied that they are living a responsible and good life according to the expectations of Islam. By taking part in these acts and showing their generosity, there are certain special occasions that Muslims … Continue reading

Environmental and Spiritual Benefits of Ramadan Fasting

Our environment is more than trees, water, land, and air. It is a sense of peace, an understanding of our place in our society. It sustains our satisfaction in life and our interest in caring for the life around us. Recognizing the sustaining forces that make up our environment sometimes requires a time of deep introspection. Few practices in the human repertoire can guide us to deep introspection like the profound practice of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan. For one full month in every year, fasting is required for Muslims all over the world. The day-long fasting process in … Continue reading

Muslims and the Environment: A Mischance

The detachment of the modern-day man from the environment can be attributed to the desacralization of nature, and the modernist destitution of the inner state of the soul which, according to the scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr in ‘Man and Nature’, accounts for the phenomenon of the ‘prostitution of nature’: “For modern man, nature has become like a prostitute ─to be benefited from without any sense of obligation and responsibility toward her.” Eradication of Natural World Mankind has surrounded itself with square walls and barren concrete structures for the sake of creating this artificial industrial world. Its constant need to feed … Continue reading

Rediscovering the Natural World – The Islamic Approach

Today more than half the world’s population live in cities. Our increasingly urban lives have ensured an almost total disconnection from the natural world to the extent that it is not uncommon to meet children who believe that milk originates in plastic supermarket cartons. It is as well to be conscious of this as much is left out in their education, both religious and secular, to the extent that we are continuing to cause irreparable harm to the Earth. Muslims are no exception to this, having also adopted urban lifestyles and modern modes of living that reveal an almost complete … Continue reading

What Every Muslim Should Do For The Planet

When it comes to our responsibilities as Muslims in protecting the planet, there are no blurred lines. As citizens of this planet, it is our obligation to do our part, both as individuals and as a community. This means, that we look environmental sustainability in the eye – that we begin to introspect our lifestyles, and make choices that are compatible with the well being of our home and the teachings of our faith. If you’re new to this conversation, then here’s my invitation for you: continue reading. Here are some of my top tips to help you embark on … Continue reading

Environmental Sustainability in Islam

Islamic beliefs, traditions and values provide an effective and comprehensive solution to the current environmental challenges faced by the human race. Islam has a rich tradition of highlighting the importance of environmental protection and conservation of natural resources. According to Islamic law, the basic elements of nature – land, water, fire, forest, and light – belong to all living things, not just human beings. The Holy Qur’an and Sunnah are a guiding light to promote sustainable development in Islamic countries as well as around the world. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) commands human beings to avoid doing mischief and wasting resources … Continue reading