Thinking Islamically about our environment Moen Ahmed

Oh humankind! Worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, so that you may become God-fearing.

(Worship none but) the One who (alone) has made the earth a furnished habitation for you, and (who alone has made) the heaven a (sheltering) edifice, and who (alone) has sent down from the sky water, whereby He brought forth with it the (varied) fruits of (the earth) as a provision for you. Therefore, you shall not set up rivals to God when you know (well that such deities cannot exist) 2:21-22.

In these two verses of the Qur’an, Allah Most High is directing mankind’s attention to the factors that sustain our entire existence.

Firstly, our attention is directed to Allah Himself. And we are reminded that He has created us. He is the One responsible for our very existence and those before us. In worshiping Him, we are reminded of His presence in our lives, an important cue that helps us do good deeds and avoid bad ones, even as our alarm clocks help us wake up to study for a test we cannot fail. Our attention is then shifted toward natural phenomena, such as the lands on which we walk, the sky which hovers above us, and the water and fruits we consume every day.

Interestingly, each is interrelated. The sky with its protective ozone layer provides just the right atmosphere necessary for plants on the ground to grow. It also houses rain clouds, from which water-the source of life-descends and allows human life to flourish. We cannot function without water and food, and water and food cannot exist in useful fashion without the earth to pool and root in, and without the sky’s protective canopy. And all cannot function together without Allah, the Creator of each and their integrative world.

The linkage between Allah, Most High, and the natural phenomena mentioned in the verse remains as crucial today as it ever has been in the course of human history. Humans, especially Muslims, must realize that the environment does not exist independently from the very mercy of our Creator. The sky and its ozone layer, which we continually desecrate with our super-efficient pollutants, find themselves under attack by the very humans they protect.

Our toxic waste, which we merrily dump into precious bodies of water, threatens water systems across the world with destruction. It’s as if the entire human race has revolted against the mercy of Allah and attacked the very things that sustain our existence.

Thinking Islamically about the environment means remembering Allah’s favor and mercy upon us. It means thinking about nature as an entity in need of care, and not one we can mechanically manipulate without considering the consequences of our actions. It means using another blessing of Allah, our intelligence, to come up with creative and effective solutions to improve the ways in which societies discard their toxic waste.

Courtesy Discover Islam

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