Islam & THE Environment
Channel: Jamal Badawi
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My dear brothers and sisters in Islam. My Messiah. Man I greet you all with the the greeting of Islam which is the greeting of all of the prophets in its most complete form. salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. me the peace blessings of Allah be with you all.
In the beginning, of course, on behalf of myself, my brother's speaker also would like to thank our gracious hosts here in this centers and mobarak Mashallah. And also, I always remember the 10 years, the man family
that has been working hard for 30 years, Mashallah doing their best for the cause of Allah. The outline of the presentation basically, is about four areas. First of all, what is the meaning of environment? Secondly,
how does environment relate to Islam? Everybody's talking about the environment? How does environment relate even to the definition of the term Islam?
Thirdly, environment is not separate and what makes it Islamic is that it relates to the worldview of Muslims. So what is the connection between the two? The final part is the more important one where we get a little bit of concrete example inshallah, what is the teach? What are the teachings of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam about environment?
To start, first with the meaning of environment, in the broad sense of the word, environment, has everything around us. When we speak about environment, most people think only of physical environment, don't worry, this is the focus. But just to put things in the broader picture, environment, besides the physical environment is spiritual environment, more than environment, social, economic, political environment. All of these are interdependent, and interrelated. So that now we know whether that specific topic fits in the broader picture.
Now, the second question is, how do we define or find any connection between the environment and Islam? What makes it our mix this presentation or perspective, uniquely Islamic?
First of all, and then say that very quickly, because I'm sure you're all familiar with this, in terms of the linguistic origin, or the so called etymology of the term Islam come from my roots in Arabic, which means peace, submission, it also means purity, but the most important are the first two words, peace
and submission. And that way we can define Islam then as seeking peace, through submission to Allah subhanaw taala. Again, we can go elaborate more on this because I want to come to the specific because that piece includes or starts with, being at peace with Allah, resulting in inner peace within oneself, resulting if we're true to the faith of Islam, peace with all the creation of Allah subhanho wa Taala whether humans, Muslims, other faith communities, all humanity, and relationship to animals, vegetation, sources, all of these are together, as it reflects the broadness and comprehensiveness of the nature of the teaching of Islam. It's an electro Islam also besides the
comprehensiveness and the peace and harmony, it includes as well the key area in the Quran and my dear brother, Dr. Mahmoud alluded to the the concept that center about Rama and in our relationship, not only with humans, not only with Muslims but all the creation of Allah is the key idea in selected MBA the 21st and the last as I said NACA Illa Mehta and Delilah mean, addressing the prophet SAW Selim, we have not sent you but
Mercy has mercy to the worlds and the worlds here related to environment also, the for under they say world polluted. So the world of humans, the word of jinn, who also were guided by the Quran, the word of animals, vegetation resources. So it is very interesting precision in the Quran, to speak about various worlds, the world of known the unknown,
Shahada and the world of the unknown alive. So Pamela, one word in the village, if you look at it, so Pamela, it reflects its real nature. The third introductory remark or topic before we get to the meat of the subject,
that environment also aside from this basic concept in Islam, it's related to something that all human being shared, by the way, worldview, view every human being have some world view or the other, we're not judging the rights and wrongs better or worse. But speaking from an Islamic perspective, the worldview is summarized in three points, at least one, who am I as a human? These are the pressing question, especially in youth, who am I? You know, where am I going? What's my mission on earth and so on. So, who am I as a human, the Quran gives a clear answer and sort of albatron is where you are the trustee of Allah on this earth in each item for the halifa.
With this vision,
a Muslim sees all the resources that Allah created in the universe, in fact, as tools to help through Muslims to fulfill that trusteeship role on Earth. Just many if one was up for the lack of Murphy's similarity, or murfin, or deja Meaghan Minh allowed me in your service to help you to age you, benefits you. Everything. It's not only on Earth, Samoa,
or Jamia meaning as a gift from Allah Subhana time, but this carries the responsibility. When you are a trustee, you are giving a thrust by someone who owns things, they own the whole word, then you must respect the condition of that trust. You don't say Allah created me, Allah give me resources. Now let me do what I want. No, Allah has determined how you live. What are your duties financially, I buy that environmentally. So that's how I relate to environment. This is part of the trust. Our life is a trust from Allah, our health is a trust from Allah, the resources available to us is a thrust from Allah. So we've got to dispense with that thirsty ship according to his terms, not ours.
A second point in the Quran clearly speaks about the Quran and Sunnah, in fact, speak about the prohibition of abuse of that trust, especially with the method of environment, the earth that we live on. And more than once in the Quran, we find condemnation of facade to make mischief on this earth, like and sort of fill in one of the characteristics of the hypocrites will either feel at home led to signal from cloud or innama, national Muslim home. If it's said to them don't make mischief on Earth. They say no, we are only secret form.
There is one law who lay your head welfare said a law said clearly Allah does not like that people commit mischief on Earth. mischief can take various forms, one of which of course, is abuse of the beautiful gifts of Allah in our environment. From Islamic perspective also,
what naked Islamic, that in the conscious of Muslim, you can give and preach to people and exhort them. But the biggest motive for a Muslim to avoid is the love of Allah, the trust in Allah and realizing that there are consequences in case the person abused any of the conditions of that trust. Of course, nobody's perfect, but as to endeavor, as best as we can, to be true to that just now, the final topic, but don't you think I finished in the middle
That's the important ones. How do we apply that in a more concrete way so that we're not just talking generalities. These are more than generalize actually. This is the foundation that makes it Islamic. Everybody's talking about the environment. What makes it Islam? Well, to start with, generally speaking, when we speak about the teaching of the Prophet sallallahu, Alayhi, wasallam and the Quran, about the environment, we have to realize that the ultimate source for Muslims even in so called modern or imagic, perceived modern topic, but it's islamically it's there is what does the Quran and Sunnah say that? What does the Quran relate to teaching of the Prophet? Well, because the
Prophet and the Quran are not really to be separated, as I showed up there Lavanya and I'm very happy to speak in the message that is our mother and the mother of believers that they love on her.
When she was asked about the characters of the Prophet sallallahu he said, and what did she say? Can I Whoa, whoa, whoa, Al Quran is correct. That was the Quran, ie he was the embodiment of everything in the Quran, everything helpful everything needed by humanity in the Quran, like a walking for an cannot follow co occur and of course, for an cannot be properly understood without the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, otherwise everybody would go his own way. So it is essential to realize that Why yes and Hadith there are different degrees of authenticity. You cannot say Sunnah is not relevant Sunnah, explains, articulate and details, the teaching in the answer both of them
are related organically to one another. As such, when we speak about the obligation of Muslim in terms of the trust pertaining to the environment, we need to look into role models. And there is no rod role model, really, not only for Muslims, but for the whole humanity. Then prophet muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam This is not a testimony or a speaker or to not testimony by this organization, or that that testimony of Allah subhanho wa Taala himself, when he says about Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam addressing him, what sort of bellemore in NEC Allah, Allah hold open alvim of him, your character is really great. Your morality is great. And this is not the assessment
of humans. So by the standards of Allah, the highest standard of Allah, He called his prophet, the hunt, the one who has this
great role model, and the Quran directors actually to follow his model, so that he can allow computers to delay, who's watching has on demand Can I have to learn how early Ahmed was a Corolla Hakata indeed in the Messenger of Allah sallallahu sallam, you have the best of example, role model, which has a good role model to follow the for those who are seeking Allah, and that he is after and remember Allah much.
So with that in mind, then the remaining part basically is to subdivide the teaching of the Prophet sallallahu Sallam into four categories, since we define environment in a very broad way, but even when you think about environment, in the narrower way, it covers more than one area. So we're talking a lot about the earth itself, vegetation, animal life, other resources, including inanimate objects like mountain like water, and so on. inshallah, then a brief conclusion. First, about the earth. We notice here that whether you look at the for an or hobbies or modern science of Angola, there is a great deal of harmony if you look at it, clearly and objectively. First of all,
the environmentalists tell you that there is a clear interplay and interdependence between the Earth and Heavens
and the cosmic order even in general Subhanallah you look into the Quran, and then you just find that the Quran describes heaven as a kind of pee, which is a suck fun mouthful but as if not physical, obviously sealing
sattva Mafalda, if you look at it in the, in the, the modern term really, it could be interpreted or understood as the protective atmosphere, the scientists speak about a protective atmosphere, also the ozone layer, without which actually many of the harmful rays from the sun, like ultraviolet, could really be harmful to us. So panela It is as if you're a Mufasa. So you don't have to protect from this harmful rays. And he would say that prophets wrote for Ron was a product of its time. How did you know about this 1400 years ago, sapan Allah. Secondly, we read in the Quran, also, something rather interesting was seminary that Roger,
allow swears by the heavens. That was the one that returned, meaning return the water into rain. That's one of the most interesting edges of the Quran from the scientific standpoint. Because, you know, until the 17th century, there was no clear understanding of the source of underground water. As Dr. Maurice bouquet in his book, The Bible, the Quran and science, you know, indicate that it was only about the 17th century that I think a man by the name of palissy,
discovered for the first time that the source of underwater underground water not like mythical idea that it came from the ocean through secret channels, that the volume of water is exactly the same doesn't change. So you get evaporation of the water from the rivers and oceans, it goes to heaven, what does it go, it comes down again, in the form of rain, well, parts of that rain would go for the irrigate, to be drank by humans, what remains, it seeps into the ground. That's why sometimes the underground water unless there is no impurity coming from other man's hand, you know, it's pure water actually, in its origin was semi that's about it is that water that came back to us, it went,
like vapor came back as water. But there is something I have is just a humble suggestion about it. That, that that Roger also reminded us of some phenomenon, the so called acid rain, you know, when lots of impurities ascent, you know, to heaven. And that's the whole discussion about, you know, climate change, and all of this is part of it, in terms of worth and at least,
that water going up from factories and so on, it will come back with that in so as much as we neglect and not do not protect, because we say our Country Fair is my people perish none of this nonsense. If it harms everybody, because what you're producing is not limited to you or one area because of the movement of the clouds. Acid Rain is very harmful, as you know, it's not very good for irrigation for plants, or for good productivity of vegetation, semi arid Rogers, so what what is it some, so you make a mischief here? It will come back to you with the rain. Okay.
Then something we notice in doctrine that is rather unique. I say it's very with all respect the wish we didn't put people down at all or, you know, be making negative comments. But it is a fact that in some scripture, it says that because human beings disobeyed Allah, Allah cursed the earth.
Not only does the Quran never mentioned that the earth is a curse, I did not curse the earth. It's not muted. It even says that the earth is blessed with about a coffee or cup of coffee or a yummy salad say it's the texture, Baraka here. So the curse of mischief is not from the earth itself, but what people do on earth and do to Earth also and to their environment. Moving without another beautiful aspect also, Nana mom duty Rahim Allah also make a reference to that issue.
teaching in Islam based on the Hadith of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam, that if you have a cultivable piece of land, don't leave it idle like that. Either you cultivate it yourself, or you give to apparatus to cultivate and doesn't have to be free, it could be free, but it could also be like corrupt sharing, because that is beneficial. There are some ideas even that you could issue a law that would abide by Islam or in the spirit of Islam. And some countries do that. Some jurist even spoke about that, if you have a piece of land that is cultivable, and you living in idle, it could be taken from you after a certain number of years. Because this is yes, it is your property,
but it's also total property of the community. And as mount Juliet Armando, say this encouragement for people to use cultivable land or even to reform these non urban Nathan, the elf, if land is a piece of land is not cultivable, and you go and reformat, it is yours, but of course, through the permission of the government, because after all, you spend a lot of money to make it so there's inducement for productivity, as you call it, and the general benefit of people be the second teaching about vegetation.
What we notice first in the Koran, and we'll say the same about animals, is that the Quran does not only speaks about the benefits of fruits, or what comes from the earth and vegetables, and how healthy it is, and so on functionality, our needs as humans, but to speak also about its beauty. Those who say Islam doesn't have any art or anything, that's their mistake, there is bad art and there is good earth. The Quran, for example, in description of the plants, it says, on Zhu Li a summary of tomorrow is a look at the plan when it gives the food and the freshness of it. And the colors of it.
It's Pamela, Islam is a complete way of living, including also innocent, beautiful, artistic aspect that Allah created in this universe.
Secondly, there are regulations also, that pertains to education. I mentioned it here and come back to it under Resources, water, when the Prophet salallahu alaihe salam made it clear that people are everyone, our common partners in three things. And Matt is one water doesn't mean of course, the glass of water that you buy from the store or things of that nature, or the world that you have in your house or farm. But it can be understood to refer the rivers oceans, nobody can say it is mine. Just I arbitrarily have so many miles in a river transit, nobody approaches. It's my my water. No sense. Secondly, I'm not literally means fire but actually means firewood, like forest, unless, of
course you own somebody on it legitimately. But otherwise, it is open also for the use of others. And the third thing is as color which refers to pasture, you know, a lot of areas sometimes are not owned by anyone. And that's quite common. It was quite common in many places until also some government started to make this restriction, whether it's not owned by individual and get permission. So there's the pastures are made available.
For all one thing that is amazing also about vegetation, that the Prophet sallallahu wasallam prohibited that you cut a fruitful tree without good reason. I mean, if you're cutting open a road or something, but you don't cut a fruitful tree without a good cause. You can cut a tree that's dead, use it for width or something, but not even even in the battlefield, except in rare cases, where there is important strategic reason for the safety of the army, Muslim army, for example, in a legitimate battle, then even that, aside from that exception, you can't cut a war even when you're engaged in defensive battle feed for that matter. In fact, when people go to Hajj, you get a boot
camp in respecting
The creation of Allah including plants, you know, input camps, usually, it's a period of intensive training that remains with you, but you can't live all your time like that in a boot camp, no severe training. And had you're not allowed to pluck even a leaf from a tree, but at least during this period of consecration, the period of the Hara,
and somebody might say, what would plucking a leaf from a tree with millions of, of leaves, it's training, think you don't have to, because should respect what Allah created, something that is known in the West and East also as protected, deserves, you know, many countries would designate certain area as protected, you don't have the hair, you don't cut it from there, because these are important for all generation to enjoy and to look at the creation of Allah subhanaw taala. That was the case of Medina when the process standard went to Medina, and also this Medina is sacred, you cannot do any of these things. He is exempted only some type of tree that people is very essential
beneficial to people, but otherwise, nobody. It's preserved. Yeah, keep it in there. It's virginity. No, I'd say yeah, like Virgin Islands, for example.
There is so that was a concept known also as as far as the time of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. And then one final issue on vegetation is the question of sustainability. You think it's super modern, the Quran was super super model, because it's a came from a lot of anoeta, who knew the past, the present and everything coming in the future? Look at this.
When the Prophet sallallahu alayhi
salatu salam says that there is no tree that a believer plants
that anyone will eat from it, a human, an animal, bird, except that you will get rewarded for that. So so long as the three is there, it's like all if three that could live for hundreds of more years, some trees are hit, you can go hundreds of years, so long as anyone is benefiting from that anyone, then you get reward for that. It's almost like sadaqa jariya not sustainable. But there is one Hadees that really puzzled me when I read it first, when the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam says that his comments were the idea had to confess ILA in this the far.
Okay method, it says that if the Day of Judgment begins,
and one of you is having a shoot, to plant to become a tree just doesn't doesn't grow all of a sudden you just if you could with complete your task. And of course, the first reaction that many people would have, who cares? The Day of Judgment already started, just a set standards not eminent are coming started already, which means that the whole world would transform totally, all trees, all the
world will be destroyed the mountains will be like an unforced like, cut the wood, and all of that. Why do you complete planting a tree?
Those of you who have some experience with the new Of course, in agriculture, when you, for example, plant a fruit tree, I planted one my house I had to wait for seven, eight years before it started really digging big enough to get fruit and the devil is already in process. There is a deeper lesson. Don't only think of what you will benefit, that it was grow and become big and you get the fruit and semi hamdullah delicious. We will not eat from your you will die first and then of course you will be resurrected in the trumpet. But it is a lesson to teach sustainability. Think of future generation. If people look deeply in what this simple but profound words of the Prophet sallallahu
wasallam we will not face some of the serious problems in the environment today.