Muslims are required to be Eco-Friendly: Here’s the Qur’anic evidence

Posted on April 6, 2014

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This is an excerpt from the article: “10 Quran Verses On The Environment And Do-able Action Plans” from the ecomuslim.com blog.

For Muslims the Qur’an 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 faith, 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.

Ethics and equilibrium are key ingredients to peace (salaam) and even vegetarian living. Here are key quotes from the Qur’an that show what #EcoIslam is really about

Preservation of Water

Another way of ending poverty is to provide clean water where it’s needed. This doesn’t have to be a burdensome task. Ask your friends/family to chip in £5 for a community well abroad, your home country perhaps. Tell people to reuse their plastic bottles and donate the cost (£1) to your well-fundraising. Save water in your own homes by fixing leaky taps and request that the masjid caps water usage to limit wastage.

Water is a huge life-providing theme in the Qur’an. God talks about how He creates life through water then sustains it by streams, the rains, rivers and oceans that are homes for so many creatures.
“And Allah has sent down rain from the sky and given life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who listen.” (Qur’an, 16:65)
In the Qur’an, God uses the analogy of life and death for Muslims to recognise the value of water. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said that one day people will wage war over rivers of gold. He was talking about water. We have taps that fill our basins with gold, but we cannot afford overflows while people wait for the rains. Third-world countries in desert climates are counting on us to give the cost of our water to them.

By starting something simple like a well-fundraiser you kickstart a chain reaction that will motivate others to do the same. People will call your mosque a Green Mosque for following the prophetic Eco-Wudhu and preserving water. Whomever receives your well/water-pump will be able to plant crops, fruits and trees for generations.
“And We have sent down blessed rain from the sky and made grow thereby gardens and grain from the harvest.” (Qur’an, 50:9)

As water is another natural creation, Muslims believe it belongs to God and nobody can monopolise it. Water is for sharing and there is enough water for all.

Treating Animals With Dignity

“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) http://quran.com/6/38
God uses the word ‘community’ (umma) to describe the similarity between people and animals. We have our social groups, animals have theirs. There is a beauty and majesty in the innate construct of swimmings shoals of fish or flocks of birds dancing in the skies. Muslims reflect, where do penguins learn parenting skills? How do baby turtles know to head to water? For Muslims, this answer is divinely inspired.

It’s a sad reality that animal rights are grossly violated throughout the Muslim world. Violence like hunting for skins or tusks means that several animal species are extinct. Imagine those animals were ethnicity groups, could you really accept all of Europe or south-east Asia being wiped out? I don’t think so.

In many countries animals are needlessly killed or eaten without health considerations. For true Muslims, both actions are illegal. This is why pork is unlawful (haram); it’s very unhealthy. A few animals cannot be consumed under Islamic law and all animals have to be raised with dignity, with the exception of an attack (think poisonous snakes!)

The city shepherd

I know that Muslims know their faith is about being kind to animals. But what about a chicken’s lifestyle prior to being slaughtered? What about treating cats with love so they are not scared? What about giving back what is taken from them – ? Like what, you ask. Lemme tell you:

The Bee and the honey it makes: A whole chapter in the Qur’an is dedicated to bees (An-Nahl, 16:68-69), elevating the magic involved for turning nectar into honey. People are not supposed to disrupt honeycombs or knock down ‘live’ hives. In this instance, giving back would involve planting yellow coloured flowers to help bees collect nectar or supporting a bee farm.

Zabiha animals: In Islamic law animals like cattle and poultry are lawful to eat because they are healthy and they have been made by God to be consumed (see Mai’dah, 5:4). For an Islamic slaughtered the animals needs healthy grazing without hormones, given tenderness with freedom to roam and then prepared for slaughtering (zabiha).

The Zabiha method involves covering the animal’s eyes and reading God’s name (takbir) to help the animal submit. Without good health, the animal may be Zabiha but it will not be lawful (halal) to eat.

Muslims do not have to eat meat. Vegetarianism is an option in Islamic law and eating less meat is the best diet.

Doing more: Request your masjid to sponsor an endangered animal which students can get updates on (how cool would that be?). If you know a cosmetic company tests on animals, don’t use it. It might not save hundreds of animals or shut the company down but at least you’re not contributing to a monster

Patching The Ozone

The ozone “hole” over the Antarctica is a phenomenon whereby the stratosphere is thinned out (it’s not really a hole). It’s caused by refrigerants: CFC’s, halons and freons. These have been banned since the 1970s but we still lose a few percentile of ozone each year, and the increased thinning means the earth is losing its protective layer.

Islam’s 14-hundred-year-old book mentions the atmosphere in embracing language:
And We made the sky a protected ceiling (canopy), but they, from its signs, are turning away.” (Qur’an, 21:32)
“It is Allah who made for you the earth a place of settlement and the sky a ceiling and formed you and perfected your forms and provided you with good things. That is Allah, your Lord; then blessed is Allah , Lord of the worlds.” (Qur’an, 40:64)

Finding a band-aid

God has wrapped the earth with atmosphere and people have burned it away. Restoring it requires global diligence and commitment to neutralising toxic gases/radiation. It is asking a lot from billions of people yet I believe it is the only way to go about it.

Fight existing organisations that pollute the most and get politically involved to shake up government awareness. Environmental action is always on the agenda but not many have the courage to follow-through. Nuclear plants and factories have protected legal rights to emit certain amounts of pollution and waste, we cannot always defeat those. But doing our individual part can collectively heal the “hole” in the sky over the years.

Please click here to read the remainder of this very insightful post.

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