Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Tafsan 

 

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TOPIC: ISLAM AND THE PROTECTION OF THE OZONE LAYER

 

Alhamdu lillah al ladhee khalaqa kulla shayin was salatu was salamu ‘al Rasuluhi al Kareem

 

Human race is essentially dependent on nature or environmentally speaking on biosphere as it provides him with all the necessities for his sustenance, growth and development. But the development and progress of the human civilization has brought the biosphere – the giver of products essential for life, living space, quality-of-life, variety-of-life and national economies–to a crisis point. The biosphere is now giving us many signals that it is greatly stressed; that it is struggling to cope with natural resource depletion, ozone depletion, acid rain, ecosystem loss, polluted air, land, rivers and oceans. Yet our future depends on it.

 

One of the most important problems in today’s world is the environmental crisis. It seems that this problem started when modern man stopped understanding himself as the vicegerent and trustee of the All-Merciful God who must channel divine mercy to everything at his disposal or within his reach, and stopped understanding nature as a sacred sign and valuable trust from God. For the same reason, it seems that the best way to protect the environment from destruction and, indeed, to improve its condition is to revive these forgotten understandings by referring back to the teachings and instructions of divine religions and reviewing and readjusting our policies regarding the application of modern technology and in using natural resources appropriately.

 

For Muslims the Quran is the ultimate green-guide. Believed to be a sublime revelation with remarkable ideas, this divine scripture is scrupulously read by Muslims for spirituality. But it is not limited to only that. In the Islamic religion, faith in the environment is on par to good faith towards humanity and indeed God, since Muslims believe He created all. The Qur'an therefore, doesn't just link belief in One God (Tawheed) to being nice to plants and keeping a pet. The Qur'an glorifies nature and wildlife as an earthly heaven, a mirror to the lush forests of Paradise above.

 

This religious faith of the people can be better utilized for the environmental protection.

 

Why should we preserve the environment?

The answer is quite simple, and it reveals the direct correlation between human beings and their surroundings. Preserving the environment equals our own physical and mental wellbeing. Our immediate surrounding is where we are constantly in touch with and its quality will inevitably affect our own mind and soul. Moreover, we are the ones who make use of the environment in order to fulfill our needs, and the way we use it will ultimately determine our own condition of life.

 

On the other hand, Allah has made this world in perfect equilibrium and human’s excessive exploitation of natural resources will result in damaging this balance:

And We spread out the earth, and cast in it firm mountains, and We grew in it every kind of balanced thing” (15:19).

 

When the balance is disturbed, the result will be the many environmental crises that we are faced with nowadays, including pollution, global warming, natural resource depletion, waste disposal, climate change, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, ocean acidification, ozone layer depletion, acid rain, water pollution, etc.

 

How Can We Preserve the Environment?

The above-mentioned problems are the result of our own irresponsibility toward the blessing of environment and this is we that should compensate for it. What follows are some Islamic guidelines for us to observe in our treatment of the environment:

 

1. Avoid Wastefulness

When you make excessive use of natural resources such as water or what is produced by water such as electricity, paper that is made through cutting trees, fossil fuels  etc., you put the environment in danger and threaten its durability. Quran also emphasizes the necessity to be moderate in using God’s blessings in this world: “… Eat and drink, but do not waste; indeed, He does not like the wasteful” (7:31).

 

2. Keep your Environment Clean

Think about the environment as your home and keep it clean as you like your home to be clean and tidy. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says in a narration that: “Allah is pure and likes purity and cleanliness… therefore, keep where you live in clean”. As it was mentioned above, pollution is one of the most pervasive environmental issues in today’s world; this includes air pollution, water pollution, as well as the excessive amount of waste produced on a daily basis. Those who have faith in Allah and consider His satisfaction in every instance of their lives, must be much warier regarding their own or their environment’s cleanliness, since as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) puts: “Cleanliness roots in one’s faith”

 

3. Engage in Green Activities

Plant a tree or bring awareness to people with regard to the environment and the natural crisis that is threatening the earth and its inhabitants. There are many narrations from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that highlight the necessity of planting trees. For instance, he says: “If a Muslim plants a tree and a bird, human or another creature eats its fruit, it will be considered as an act of charity from him [by Allah]”

 

4. Poverty alleviation: Various scientific studies have established that poverty & environmental degradation are directly proportional to each other. Hence, ending poverty is essential for environment protection. In Islam charity is prioritized to the most needy and the closest.

 

"And you do not encourage one another to feed the poor."(Q89:18)

 

"No! But you do not honour the orphan." (Q89:17)

 

 

5. Simplicity: Simplicity is an important feature of Islamic life having far reaching implications for the environmental balance. The Holy Quran has ordained such a life by proscribing extravagance. It says: “Do not be extravagant, surely Allah does not like extravagant. (Q6:141)