Islam and the environment
The principles, acts of worship and code of conduct in Islam are mainly based around the concepts of nasiha (well-wishing), salam (care, protection, peace) and `ibadah/ ma`rifah (recognising The Creator) [Qur`an, 51: 56]. These concepts are evident in many rituals of Islam including the five pillars of Islam and, in particular, in fasting [in Ramadhan] and offering alms (zakah). Similarly, they are central in dictating the relationship between man and his surroundings. To “spread salam (peace, greeting, protection, care)” and to provide “nasihah (well-wishes, sincere counselling)” are integral part of din (religion) and prophetic teachings.
Why does the Environment matter in Islam?
- Respect and good faith towards the environment is in fact glorifying and submitting to Allah, since the whole universe is His creation. [Qur`an, 39: 21; 30: 48; 50: 9; 16: 65]
- The environment helps us to appreciate and recognise our Creator.
“Indeed, in the creations of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs [of the existence and sovereignty of Allah] for those of understanding. [Qur`an, 3: 190]
- The Glorious Qur`an glorifies nature and wildlife as an earthly paradise, a mirror to the amazing luxuries and gardens of paradise in the Hereafter. [Qur`an, 6: 99]
- To care for the environment is our moral and social responsibility.
“And it is He (Allah) who has made you successors/ stewards (khala’ifa) upon the earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees [of rank] that He may try you through what He has given you …” [Qur’an 6:165]
How can we demonstrate this appreciation and respect to our environment and neighbourhood?
- Be part of #Neighbourhood #Clean-up
“Surely Allah loves those who are most repenting, and loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.” [Qur`an, 2: 222] Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Cleanliness is half the Iman (faith).” Sa`id b. Musayyib narrates (with a weak chain), “Verily Allah is Pure and loves purity. He is Clean and loves cleanliness. He is Noble and loves nobility. He is Generous and loves generosity. So, keep your courtyards [of your homes] clean …”
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) exhorted the Muslims to be considerate of others and not to cause inconvenience to anyone around us. He (PBUH) said, “Removing harmful objects from the road is an act of charity.” He (PBUH) furthermore instructed, “He who ate of this plant, i.e. garlic, should not approach our Mosque, for the angels are harmed by the same things as the children of Adam.”
A`isha (may Allah be pleased with her), narrates, “He (i.e. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)) used to repair his own shoes, sew his clothes and carry out all such household duties …”
- Say No to Over-Consumption
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Nothing is worse than a person who fills his stomach. It should be enough for the son of Adam to have a few bites to satisfy his hunger. If he wishes more, it should be: One-third for his food, one-third for his water, and one-third for his breath.”
From amongst the instructions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to his companions were, “Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them.”
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever digs a well, no free soul of a jinn, a human, or a bird will drink from it but Allah will reward him under the Day of Judgement,” and that, “If a Muslim plants a tree or sow seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a sadaqah (charity) for him.” He (peace be upon him) also said, “Seven deeds that their reward is continuous for a person even after he dies while he is in the grave: … he who fixed a river, dug a well, and planted a palm tree …”
- Treat animals and wildlife with dignity
– `They are communities like you`: “And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you. We have not neglected in the Register a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered.” [Qur’an, 6:38]
– `They sing [Allah`s] glory: The Prophet (peace be upon him) explained that an ant had bitten a Prophet (one amongst the earlier Prophets) and he ordered that the colony of the ants should be burnt. And Allah revealed to him,” Because of an ant’s bite, you have burnt a community from amongst the communities which sings My glory. “
– `There is a reward for serving all animates`: The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once narrated, “A man was very thirsty while he was on a journey, and he saw a well. He descended the well, quenched his thirst and ascended. Meanwhile, he saw a dog panting and eating mud due to excessive thirst. He said to himself, “This dog is suffering from thirst as I did.” So, he descended the well once again and filled his shoe with water and watered it. Allah appreciated him for that deed and forgave him.” The companions enquired, “O Messenger of Allah, is there a reward for us in serving the animals too?” He PBUH replied, “Yes, there is a reward in serving any animate (living being).”
- Help with #Food Banks
The Qur`an [89: 18] instructs, “And you do not encourage one another to feed the poor.” The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “The believer is not he who eats his fill while his neighbour goes hungry.”
- Work together for #Neighbourhood Safety
The Qur`an [2: 60] commands, “Eat and drink from the provision of Allah, and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.” [Ibid, 28: 77; 2: 60; 30: 41] It also [5: 2] instructs, “Cooperate in virtue (righteousness) and piety, and do not help each other in sin and transgression.”
In Islam, respect and good faith towards the environment is in fact glorifying and submitting to Allah, since the whole universe is His creation. Looking after the environment is part of being a good Muslim.
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Posted in General on 6th Nov 2016 by Our Imam | 1978 Views