The Earth in its essence acts as an obligatory location for mankind to live, learn and grow. The source of its message is reflected very simply- to flourish and multiply goodness in two-fold within the land and for the land.
Islam within the environment is stated 61 times within the Quran and very much elaborated upon as a means to an end-created by Allah with a specific purpose. Within the times that we are currently situated, the earth is not in equilibrium with the rizque that God had originally put forth in great numbers for us to seek. Now the times are much changed. We exist on the brink of environmental catastrophe. The issues that we face, advance in excess of human management. There is destruction of natural habitats and ecosystems globally, loss of biodiversity and all these factors grow further strained due to the cataclysmic stress from climate change. These factors are very much clear to be routed back to us as a species, we are the source of the earth's pain and discomfort, due to our saturated greed and ignorance for the balance that was created so perfectly around us.
Islam within the environment calls upon Allah’s most developed and emotionally driven creatures to save and preserve the earth. There is a verse within the Quran that states ‘every living creator is in a state of worship, to bid ill will and to hurt any life is as if he silenced the community of worship that was given to the divine.’ Therefore, it is very transparent to see that the earth very much adopts a divine constitution, and for the will of Allah, we should try above and beyond our means to seek out to protect every ounce and being of that constitution. The natural law and order that dominates the earth will cease to exist if man’s behavior and excessive desires cannot be controlled nor obtained. Expressions of this constitutional balance exists within hadiths also, Bukhari states that ‘if a Muslim plants a tree which reaps and sow’s seeds, any bird, person or living creature that depends on such, as a source of food, will deem this act as a charitable gift and sadaqah to he who planted it.’ It is very clear to see, that Islam within the environment and the scholarly material is trying to advocate and teach the simplicity and longevity of sustenance within everyday life. Every action has consequences; it’s the ones that have a long term positive effect that we need to see more of in today’s populous society.
Practices that we must adopt
From the teachings available to us, they act as guidelines which are still very much applicable within today’s society and nations.
Prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him) propagated the importance of keeping the land accounted for; in good conservation for future generations and for wildlife to flourish. He created designated areas called ‘himas’, which were prohibited areas (within the times of the Caliphates) to be grazed upon with agricultural activity. They were given into political power as a private property to conserve the land for many years in the future. We see similar practices today within national parks for example across the UK and internationally. Yet this need to be encouraged more, the amazon rainforest is being deforested at alarming rates (so far, land the same size as the state of New Jersey), so are the rates of lands surrounding the sub-Saharan Africa, as more land is merging into deserts due to desertification from the hands of villages who have the lack of knowledge to graze sustainably.
Even within war the prophet instructed that trees were never to be cut, nor burn surrounding lands- just preserved. This applies now more than ever, for war has torn lands apart, we see it every day and everywhere-yet are the lands preserved and held accounted for? No, it seems within war, they are the first to be lost and seen as necessary actions for political advancement and geopolitical gain.
Many view that the growing population, is the reason for such strain on resources, that we are taking from the earth more than it is actually giving. However, the first dynamic action to create change and significant impact must begin with the first incremental step. Mountains were created from the gradual erosion that nature's elements had affect into play-over millions of years and alas change was indeed its formation. If humans have the will, be it a day or a century, then doing so change shall be favorably inclined. It is the outlook that gives the solution. Never forget the might and power of unity within communities. We have something that never existed before and that is the power of togetherness, and connection across the seven seas. Digital awareness aids for the future and allows you to give strength, empower and provide knowledge to all who seek it.
That is why NEA have begun a journey in aid of empowering you and ourselves. We have the intentions to enlighten you with the knowledge to make a difference within today’s society. Sustainability and conservation is the biggest concern for the future, but together we can unite and make our environmentally friendly mark on the earth, hand in hand.
With good intentions (the niyyah) comes blessings of the divine and the ultimate might of change.