Islam and the Environment
Serap is 19, a Muslim and lives in the electorate of Wollongong NSW. This is a reflection she submitted for ARRCC's 2012 Youth Embassy.
From a young age I was always told to keep the garden clean, not to pull leaves or flowers and not to pull on the grass and to leave everything in its original state. It is evident that as a young Muslim growing up I have always been taught the value of the environment and not to waste resources such as water. This is key I believe to teach the youth of today the value of the environment so future generations can benefit from what we have today.
In Islam Allah has made all the material objects -water, minerals, flowers etc for man's use, not for abuse. Allah has not prevented humans from enjoying the bounties God has provided us, but we have to maintain them and not to damage or exploit natural resources. Here are some Quranic verses commanded by God and Hadith (narration on the Sunnah (lived example) of Muhammad, includes reported sayings, actions, and traditions of Muhammad and his Companions) which show and teach us the importance in conservation of the environment:
“Eat and drink of that which God has provided, and do not go about acting wickedly on earth, causing disorder and corruption" (Quran Al- Baqarah, 2:60)
"Among the people there is he whose conservation on the present, worldly life fascinates you, and he calls on God to bear testimony to what is in his heart, yet he is most fierce in enmity. When he is told "Be careful of your duty to God (and so follow his commands)" vainglory seizes and thrusts him toward sin" (Quran, Al- Baqarah, 2:204-205)
"But seek, by means of what God has granted you, the abode of the Hereafter (by spending in alms and other good causes), without forgetting your share in this world. Do good to others as God has done good to you. Do not seek corruption and mischief in the land, for God does not love those who cause corruption and make mischief." (Quran, Al- Qasas, 28:77)
"Corruption and disorder have appeared on land and in the sea because of what the hands of people have (done and) earned (of evil deeds). Thus He causes them to taste the consequence of some of what they have done, so that they may return to the right way” (Quran Ar- Rum, 30:41)
Prophet Muhammad is a model to ALL humankind and shows us through his actions the love, care and utilising the environment and even going into finite details on even how water is to be used and not what not to be done to it for eg:“Any of you shall not urinate in dead water because they may do ablution with that water later” (Bukhari, “Wudu” B.68; Muslim, “Taharat” H.No: 95-96).
Prophet Muhammad also encourages the growing of plants: “If a Muslim plants a tree or grow grains and a bird, a person or an animal eats from it will be counted as a charity for him.”(Bukhari, "al-Khars ve'l-Muzara", Muslim, "Musakaat", H. No: 12)
and reinforces the rewards one will gain for their action:“Whoever plants a tree is rewarded by Allah as much as the produce grown in that tree.” (Ahmad b.Hanbal, Musnad, V, 415.)
However the one who plants a tree is not the end one must look after it,“Whoever plants a tree and diligently looks after it until it matures and bears fruit is rewarded,” (Ahmad b.Hanbal, Musnad, IV, 61, 374)
Therefore as a Muslim what the Quran simply encourages Muslims is not to spoil the environment, to plant trees and reproduce as much green as possible and condemns those who spoil the natural resources of the earth.