Ecology and Islamic Values – IV

Fitrah, “Deep primordial nature”

 

 

 

 

As opposed to certain popular doctrines, which hold that the cosmos is flawed and human nature is basically bad, Islam tells us that our deepest nature is beautiful, harmonious and right. It is only ignorance and bad choices, not an original built-in flaw, that can prevent us from realizing the fullest fruits of our Fitrah, our beautiful deepest human nature, which is a gift from Allaah. In other words, we were made to live in harmony with ourselves and our world. We simply have to pursue the knowledge, and make the decisions, that will allow us to do so. The Quran and Sunnah, designed to awaken the built-in rational and intuitive knowledge of our Fitrah, contain the gist of the knowledge we need. The Quran and Sunnah can be supplemented but not replaced by instrumental reason and empirical science. A world guided by this viewpoint will avoid the errors of original sin and unbridled science, and put all its efforts into establishing and maintaining the harmony between humans, creation, and the Creator that is the deepest essence and potential of our humanity.

 

 

Corruption upon the earth”

 

 

 

The Quran incessantly warns us against spoliation and corruption. One aspect of this corruption, besides the spiritual one, is the corruption

 

of the earth—the environment, the animal species, and the plants. The two forms of corruption are closely related. The following passage seems especially appropriate to today’s environmental dilemma, which is closely linked to humanity’s spiritual dilemma. Allaah Says (what means): “Corruption is spread over land and sea/from what men have done to themselves/that they may taste a little of what they have done: /They may haply come back (to the right path)./Say: “Travel on the earth and see/how came the end of those before you.” [Quran, 30:4l–42]

 

 

 

If we accept Allaah’s invitation and travel around the earth, we will see the ruins of countless civilizations that fell due to some combination of spiritual corruption and environmental heedlessness. The highly advanced Mayan civilization, for example, crumbled in just a few generations, as unsustainable farming practices coincided with an explosion of ever-bloodier warfare aimed at gaining captives for human sacrifice.

 

 

 

Variations on this theme have been repeated countless times throughout 10,000 years of human history.

 

 Jared Diamond, in a new book called COLLAPSE: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, suggests that today’s industrial-capitalist civilization seems on the brink of following its predecessors into oblivion through environmental degradation. But Diamond does not fully appreciate the spiritual dimension of the problem. The Quranic passage quoted above continues: “Most of them (the ruined civilizations) were idolaters. / So set your face towards the straight path before the day arrives from God which is irreversible.” Various forms of idolatry whether warfare for egotistical ends and human sacrifice to pagan idols, or the worship of money, consumer goods, social status, and shiny erotic televised images—are the root cause of natural catastrophes. To save ourselves and our communities we must turn toward the straight path, the path laid out with unsurpassed clarity in the Quran, before our situation becomes irreversible. There are signs that our environmental situation (not to speak of our moral situation) may soon become irreversible. British scientist Steven Hawking has warned that as little as a 7 degree rise in global temperatures could set off a negative feedback loop that would send temperatures sky-rocketing until the earth becomes as the boiling, molten surface of Venus, completely inhospitable to any form of life. Meanwhile, just last month, a new global warming study suggested that previous estimates were far too optimistic, and that the world is likely to experience a global 10 degree temperature jump within the next century. The London Independent headline for January 23rd, 2005 puts it starkly: Global warming approaching point of no return, warns leading climate expert.

 

(See: http://copvcia.com/free/ww3/012705_ g1oba1_warming.shtml(.

 

 

 

Look around us at the beautiful life forms that Allaah has created as signs pointing to their creator, and contemplate the potential transformation of this jewel of a world into a ball of molten toxic waste. We must resist wastefulness, egotistic consumerism and disregard for the creation around us. We must realize that our commitment to Allaah requires us to be conscious and protective of our environment and merciful towards animals. We must use the strength of our religion to rise proudly to the defense of our Ummah and the planet that is its home.

 

 

 

Source: Al Jumu’ah Vol. 16 Issue 12

 

Tuesday : 13/09/2005
This piece is taken from the website IslamWeb.
See on-line at: http://www.islamweb.net/VER2/engblue/article.php?lang=E&id=101579
Advertisements

Tags: , ,

2 Responses to “Ecology and Islamic Values – IV”

  1. self storage Says:

    Added to my favourites list and added to my blogroll.

  2. bath screens Says:

    Great comment, love the design of the site too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: