Archive for March, 2010

The Environmental Problem: Its Causes & Islam’s Solutions – Hizb ut-Tahrir Denmark (In English)

March 24, 2010
The

Environmental

Problem

Its Causes

Solution

& Islam’s

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This booklet has been issued by

Hizb ut-Tahrir – Denmark

1430 A.H. / 2009 A.D.

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Content

Foreword ………………………………………………………………………………..5

The Reality and Problem …………………………………………………………13

The Solution according to Capitalism

From the Kyoto Agreement to COP15……………………………………….15

Part One…………………………………………………………………………….15

The Issue turned into a question of Supply and Demand …………15

Exaggeration in the Assessment of Quotas…………………………….18

Part Two…………………………………………………………………………….19

”Clean Development”………………………………………………………….19

Constraints imposed on the developing countries…………………..21

Capitalism causes environmental crisis……………………………………..22

The Islamic view …………………………………………………………………….26

Islam’s view on the environment ……………………………………………..29

Islam prohibits harm and that which leads to the forbidden………..38

Preservation of the Environment in the Islamic State………………….41

Qadi al-Hisbah (Supervisory Judge) ……………………………………….42

Qadi al-Khusamat (The Judge of Disputes)……………………………..43

Qadi al-Madhalim (The Judge of Unjust Acts) …………………………43

The Environmental Problem and its Globalization………………………44

The Real Solution to the Global Problem…………………………………..46

Finally we direct this appeal to the Muslims………………………………48

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Corruption has appeared on land andsea because of that which the hands of

men have earned. He (Allah) will give

them a taste of some of their deeds: in

order that they may turn back (from

Evil).

[TMQ. Al-Rum 30: 41]

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Foreword

The environmental issue has never received as much attention

throughout the history of mankind as it has in the past couple

of decades as a result of the disruption in the environmental

balance resulting from the negative consequences of the

industrial revolution and man’s consumption of natural

resources. The World now fears a devastating deterioration of

the environmental condition. Amongst the most debated

issues in this context is climate change and global warming,

the concern of which is not limited to a single country, but

rather encompasses the whole world since there is no region

or State which is not affected by it. As a result global warming

has received a large amount of international attention. Several

scientific conferences, international summits and forums have

been held in order to debate the causes of the problem, how

it can be solved and the extent of co-operation between the

different countries to counter it. The organizers of these

meetings have sought international agreements, which oblige

the compliance to what is regarded as the solution to the

climate problem, tackling its causes and harmful

consequences in a manner that balances between

safeguarding the standard of living and need for natural

resources on the one hand, and respect for the climate on the

other. With the participation of several heads of states and

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governments as well as a great number of governmental

delegations, experts and researchers, the Copenhagen Climate

Conference, which is held from the 7

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of international conferences.

Whoever follows these conferences and the commitments

and proposed agreements, and studies the research

specifically done by western scientists, experts and thinkers

will realize that the occupation with the issue of environment

has taken a wrong direction from the beginning. This is due to

the fact that the debate has primarily been limited to the

symptoms of the imbalance of the environment and the

immediate causes behind it such as greenhouse gases, which

affect the atmosphere and the role of industry in this context.

These causes are the effects of the problem rather than the

real causes. Hence there has been no significant progress in

resolving the environmental issue. Progress will remain

stunted and deficient as long as the diagnosis and treatment

of the problem remains flawed.

We do not believe that the actual causes behind the

environmental problem are to be found in production,

technological development or the exploitation of natural

resources for the benefit of mankind. This is due to the fact

that Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) has ordained the earth

th of December till theth of December 2009 A.D, is regarded as part of a long series

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with everything contained in it to the service of mankind. He

(the Glorified and Exalted) has thus called on people to

cultivate the Earth and seek subsistence therein, and to

explore the natural laws to take advantage of them by putting

everything which is upon the Earth and within the atmosphere

in their service to meet their needs, satisfy their hunger and

further develop the means of life. Mankind has lived on this

earth and enjoyed its benefits without it leading to shortage

or imbalance. Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) says:

“And the Earth We have spread out (like a carpet); setthereon mountains firm and immovable; and produced

therein all kinds of things in due balance. And We have

provided therein means of subsistence― for you and for

those for whose sustenance you do not uphold. And there is

not a thing but its (sources and) treasures (inexhaustible) are

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with Us; but We only send down thereof in due and

ascertainable measures.” [TMQ. Al-Hidjr 15: 19-21]

In our view the environmental problem, in its complete

meaning, is due to causes of intellectual dimensions as well as

a deep ideological dilemma that has resulted in a lasting

practice leading to the emergence and deterioration of the

environmental problem. We can confirm that the industrial

revolution, which has been attributed the major responsibility

for the environmental problems, arose and evolved in the

West. The western world continues to lead in this field, whilst

the rest of the world follows in its footsteps. The western

world in which the western culture is prevalent has formed

the ideological foundation and the intellectual framework that

has dominated the industrial revolution and its achievements.

This culture is materialistic and benefit-oriented, and its

philosophy dictates that the Creator (the Glorified and

Exalted) should be separated from the affairs of life, just as it

calls for freedom, including freedom of property and personal

freedom. It makes benefit the criterion for actions and

believes that man’s happiness is achieved through the

realization of his maximum share of sensual pleasures. This

culture also considers the economic problem as being the

scarcity of goods and services, makes the state a tool to

protect the freedoms, and assigns man the right to legislate.

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As a result of these beliefs, this culture contains the seeds of

the problems across various aspects of life, including the

environmental problem. This culture directs man, society and

the state towards destruction. It has paved the way to the

formation of the individual who does not feel Allah’s

surveillance or fear of Allah’s accounting; a man whose

boundaries are defined by his material interests and who

strives for the achievement of maximum wealth and material

pleasure. This culture has extinguished the glow in the nature

of man and distanced him from his spiritual needs. Therefore

due to his beliefs, such a man was suited to be greedy and

violate the rights of others without regard for moral

boundaries or spiritual values. Similarly, this man is

characterized by an uncontrolled consumption of goods and

services, as he is driven by the desire to own without any real

need. Several homes in the West thus accumulate goods such

as electrical appliances, clothes, beauty products and so on,

which are continually replaced by new products simply

because a new model has been produced or because fashion

has changed, or because there is no longer any need for

them. As a result, western societies are described as consumer

societies that do not take the environmental impact of

superfluous consumption into account.

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National Income and economic growth has been made the

criterion of economic success as a result of this culture’s

proclamation that the economic problem is the scarcity of

goods and services, as well as the solution to this problem

consisting of the increase of production. Hence, states are

driven to focus on production and its increase in order to

reach the highest possible level of National Income and to

increase economic growth, without paying any regards to the

environment. Major industries and manufacturing companies

engage in a ruthless exploitation of natural resources and

filled the markets with products in huge quantities to achieve

profits with boundless greed, without any regard for anything

other than the material gain. These companies and industries

made their governments as well as those of the poorer

nations subservient in order to realize their own economic

interests. Similarly, they were able to exert considerable

influence on different legislation and legislators to benefit

their own profit and economic objectives. All this is done

without regard to the dangerous consequences that affect

man, animals or the environment.

Furthermore, there is a Capitalist understanding that there is a

constant trade-off between development on one hand and

the environmental and human issues on the other. This view is

fundamentally flawed since economic development and

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prosperity do not necessitate violations against humans,

animals or the surrounding environment, and any solution

based on this erroneous view will only lead to an escalation of

the problem. Similarly, the solutions proposed by the western

politicians, whether they are solutions from the Kyoto-

Conference, the EU’s Climate Plan or the UN Climate

Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) all confirm the lack of

interest in the environment and climate if the western

companies have to pay the price.

It is only natural that the western culture’s dominance of the

world and the implementation of the Capitalist system lead to

fatal consequences in the shape of hunger, poverty,

colonization, wars of aggression, mass killings of civilians,

economic crises and the emergence of western led dictator

regimes in the Muslim world and other poor countries. The

repeated abuse of the environment and the emergence of the

environmental problem are merely fruits of this Capitalist

system.

Today, mankind is standing at a crossroad, and further

continuation on the path of Capitalism will without any doubt

leave mankind to the mercy of an unimaginable tsunami of

disasters. The emergence of the crises that we bear witness to

in our time is nothing other than the legacy of this ideology on

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its death bed, which only maintains its existence through the

brutal repression of other nations and ideas.

Islam has a fundamentally different view regarding this

matter. Islam offers mankind a solution that can deliver real

economic progress, stability and development for the whole

of mankind, without being at the expense of the environment

or for the interests of a small elite.

The Muslims have the ability, if they have strong will, to

change the path of life and choose the method of Islam, which

will not only provide tranquility to man, but also respect

nature and the environment, which is a necessity for the

survival of mankind.

In this booklet we will briefly deal with the reality of the

proposed solutions in the international forums, including the

Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, to show the clear

differences between the view of Islam and the view of

Capitalism regarding the issue of the environment and

economic prosperity and growth.

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The Reality and Problem

The definition of the environment, or the natural

environment, is a term that comprises all living and non-living

things that occur naturally on Earth or on some part of it.

We have over a long period of time witnessed repeated

attacks upon the environment, as western states and

companies directly or indirectly have destroyed forests, rivers

and put an end to many animals to such an extent that some

species are endangered, which has led several animal welfare

organizations to collect signatures in protest. In these days,

millions of tons of waste are shipped from the western

industrial countries to the so-called third world countries,

actually becoming a lucrative business in itself. The

consequence is that land areas and rivers in these countries

are contaminated, as a large proportion of the waste is toxic,

such as batteries and lead, which has a direct effect on the

human nervous system. All of this has caused many deaths

among workers and caused extensive harm to thousands of

others.

But the environmental and climate debate, which takes place

in the media and among politicians in the West, has created

misunderstandings which have led to a neglect of real cases

that concern the environment as a whole. The direction that

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the climate debate has taken removes the focus from other

environmental problems the world currently is

facing! Therefore, the debate should not be limited to climate

change and reducing carbon emission. Besides climate change

and its impact on man, the debate must focus upon the

reckless behavior that characterizes the western states and

companies. Reducing only CO

in every other way will not remove the environmental

disasters that the third world countries suffer from

disproportionately.

The ongoing scientific discussions and debates about the

effect of ordinary peoples’ behavior are in reality misleading.

We do not wish to discuss scientific facts here, but it is

necessary to draw attention to the fact that scientific faculties

and organizations depend on financial support from

companies to finance much of their research. This makes the

nature and results of this research a subject of speculation and

suspicion, especially when it concerns the interests of big

companies.

Alternatively, the following should be discussed: How does

one avoid all environmental threats? What causes the

environmental disasters that the world is witnessing? Who’s

responsible for this? Should striving for economic growth be

at the expense of the environment?

2 while contaminating the world

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The Solution according to Capitalism

From the Kyoto Agreement to COP15

Part One

The Issue turned into a question of Supply and

Demand

The Cap and Trade System is an integral part of the Kyoto-

Protocol and EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). It will

also be part of the new agreement at the Climate Conference

in Copenhagen (COP15), if the parties manage to reach an

agreement.

According to this scheme, the countries that joined the

agreement have to disclose their total carbon-emissions.

These countries are obliged to reduce the reported amounts

with percentages that have not yet been agreed upon. This is

achieved by assigning a number of CO

companies in the respective countries. These companies are

then required to reduce their carbon- emissions over time,

2-quotas to the

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which reduces the country’s total carbon-emissions to the

level that the country has committed to. The companies in

those countries that joined the agreement may choose to use

all their quotas or limit themselves to less, in which case they

can sell their excess CO

other companies that want more CO

production. Thus, CO

is defined according to the principle of “Supply and

Demand”. The former chief economist of the World Bank,

Nicholas Stern, commented upon the “Cap and Trade System”

saying: ” The greatest market failure the world has

seen.” These climate agreements have left it to the market

forces to solve the environmental problem, as clearly stated in

Kyoto and EU ETS, giving companies property rights to pollute.

The mechanisms of the “Cap and Trade System”, which are a

part of the Kyoto-agreement and EU ETS, as well as the

mechanisms of the “U.S. Acid Rain program “, aim to privatize

the property rights to pollute, which is beneficial for the most

polluting industries and countries (in the West).

Nicholas Stern points out that “the basis of emissions trading

is assigning property rights to emitters, and then allowing

these to be traded.” The problem has thereby taken new

dimensions, as pollution has become a right that can be

acquired and sold by private companies. The above

2-quota on the international markets to2-quota due to increased2 has become a commodity, whose price17

mentioned agreements have given the companies that cause

pollution the property rights to pollute, and at no cost.

Based on the above, CO

market, called the carbon-market. According to a report

published by Pointcarbon.com, carbon-emissions increased

from 1.6 billion tons in 2006 to 2.7 billion tons in 2007, i.e. an

increase of 68 %. Meanwhile, the sales of CO2-quotas have

increased significantly in the same period. In 2006 the trade

amounted to $ 33 billion, and in 2007 it amounted to $ 60

billion, i.e. an increase of 80 %. And in 2008 the trade reached

the peak of $ 118 billion. Thus, the trade in CO

continues to grow despite the global recession. Accordingly, it

is not surprising western companies that are responsible for

the pollution call for this system that guarantees them free

property rights to pollute and thus the right to trade them.

The Cap and Trade System has secured the property rights of

the richest and most powerful western companies to pollute.

Thus, the Capitalist system managed to organize the property

right to pollute as it organized the right to extract oil, coal and

other natural resources, leading to accumulation of these

resources among the wealthy and influential. Based upon this

organization, the system of the right to pollute can lead to

monopoly, which only serves the western companies, who

cause the greatest environmental damage.

2 is turned into a product with its own2-quotas

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Exaggeration in the Assessment of Quotas

The distribution of the quotas enjoyed by a specific country is

often characterized by exaggeration, which leads to a surplus

of CO

Czech Republic in 2005 the big energy company CEZ was given

one-third of the CO

state assigns. In 2004, the volume of carbon-emissions in the

Czech Republic was at 90 ton, which secured the country a

profit of $ 187 million as a result of the sale of CO

the period between 2005-2007. The CEO of CEZ, Martin

Roman, said that the company secured huge profits through

the sale of its CO

prices fell the company bought back the quotas to increase

their coal production.

This is the reality of all countries which have joined the Kyoto-

Protocol and EU ETS or other similar agreements. As a result

even when companies invest in new technology to reduce

carbon-emissions the total carbon-emissions will not decline,

since the companies that have excess of CO

them to other companies that will use them to increase

pollution. It is therefore misleading to portray the problem as

being a consumer problem, and misleading to argue that a

reduction of the consumer’s electricity consumption will

reduce the carbon-emissions caused by electricity. The

2-quotas allocated to companies. For example in the2-quotas of 97.6 million tons which the2-quotas in2-quotas when prices were high and when2– quotas will sell

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explanation is that the excess CO

sold to other countries, which depend on coal in their

production of electricity. Reducing the climate problem to a

question of the actions of consumers is an attempt by the

western politicians and companies who promote this view to

shirk their responsibility.

2-quotas for pollution will be

Part Two

”Clean Development”

The Clean Development (CDM) mechanisms allow

industrialized countries to increase their CO

the purchase of CO

gas emissions

understanding of sustainable development, companies do not

need to reduce pollution even when they consume their

maximum quotas for pollution.

This system consists of western companies investing in a

project in a developing country that “contributes” to reducing

carbon-emissions. According to the regulations of the Kyotoagreement,

such projects trigger CO

2-quotas through2-credits (credits from cutting greenhouse) from developing countries. Based on this2-credits that can be sold

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and purchased in connection with the production. Thus, these

companies can pollute the environment with greenhouse

gases in quantities greater than the quota assigned to them by

the state.

The system exempts the companies that have contributed to

pollution from taking responsibility for the pollution they

caused throughout previous years. Rather, it even paves the

way for these companies to continue polluting in the same

manner. Since their emergence, “CDM”-projects (“green

projects”) have been characterized by corruption, fraud and

lack of transparency. These projects have in fact often

increased the damage to the environment in developing

countries. Among such examples is the chemical factory in the

province of

Fluorochemicals Limited), whose main base is in

London. Being a part of the UN’s “green” projects, this factory

is financed by taxpayers. Because of this factory’s production

of toxic chemicals, the water in the surrounding area has been

polluted to the extent that it is undrinkable. The water is now

known as

been destroyed and the surrounding areas of land are no

longer cultivable. The astonishing thing about this case is that

the company that bears responsibility for this pollution is a

part of the “CDM”.

Gujarat in India, owned by GFL (Gujaratthe water of death. Consequently, the harvest has

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Constraints imposed on the developing countries

There are some countries such as China and Brazil, whose

industries are considered as being relatively young compared

to those in the West. The subjection of these newly

industrialised countries to the demands of the West to reduce

their carbon emission is tantamount to constraint of the

industry and the economic prosperity in these countries. This

is due to their assigned CO

industry requires increase in the factories’ production, which

entails an increase in the amount of carbon emission, rather

than a decrease. Consequently, the signing of such

agreements at the present moment or in the future will entail

that these countries will be subjected to the dominance of the

West with respect to production and prosperity.

Furthermore, the greater part of non-western countries (the

developing countries), including the countries in the Muslim

world, has no real industry. If the developing countries

become a part of any agreement in the future, their

development will be prevented such that they do not become

industrialized countries. These countries will be compelled to

sell their CO

there will be no benefits for the developing countries except

through the application of the CDM (“green projects”), and

these projects guarantee additional CO

2 –quotas since the development of2-quotas to the developed countries. On this basis,2–quotas for the

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western industries meaning the increase of production for

them. The developing countries will be a consumer market for

pollution that the western economy and industries need, or in

other words, the developing countries will remain subject to

the influence and dominance of the western industrialized

countries.

Consequently, the western solutions and agreements put

forward as answers to the climate problem are nothing but

guarantees for the western companies that the climate and

environment do not become a barrier for their ongoing

pollution whilst it is necessary for their economic growth and

achievement of profit. Based on the free market forces, these

solutions make the environment a victim of the greed of those

who caused the environmental crisis to begin with.

Capitalism causes environmental crisis

The environmental problem is not the only failure of the

capitalist system, which has caused one crises after the other.

The global food crises and the financial and economic crises

which we have witnessed the last few years are far from the

last crises of Capitalism. These crises have left millions

destitute, and at the same time made it possible for a few

people to posses more then the human mind is able to

imagine.

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The reasons that capitalism lacks the ability to present the

correct solutions to these problems which mankind faces, are

first of all due to its doctrine (

is built upon the idea of compromise, makes the incompetent

human mind the legislator. The idea of separating religion

from life has brought people under the control of the

capitalistic legislators who believe that the purpose of life is to

obtain maximum share of sensual pleasure, and that benefit is

the criterion for any action without taking anything else into

account.

The deficiency of Capitalism in presenting the correct

solutions is also due to its view on the economic problem as

being the scarcity of resources relative to the growing and

endless consumption (theory of scarcity). This has made the

focus of capitalism limited to the production at the expense of

a fair distribution and the fulfilment of every individual human

being’s basic need for housing, food and clothing. For

example, in the stronghold of capitalism the United States, in

2003 the production increased while the poverty level rose by

1.3 million people.

Moreover, there is no room for morality in regards to the

economic transactions of Capitalism, since it is an economy

that only aims at realizing material values, and which

considers the increase of wealth for the individual as the key

‘aqeedah). This doctrine, which

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to success, regardless of the consequences to the society and

nature. The founder of capitalism, Adam Smith, expressed this

when he stated that greed is the individual’s moral, and this

moral controls the economy.

The effects of such a philosophy are destructive for mankind

and the environment, and we have witnessed the destruction

and contamination of rivers, forests and farm land as

consequences of western companies’ actions all over the

world.

Whether in Indonesia or South America these companies are

eliminating the world’s forests. These forests, which directly

contribute to reducing carbon in the atmosphere, are

therefore threatened with extinction. Ironically, it is these

same companies that make speeches about protecting the

environment and the climate.

People in South America, Africa, Asia and even in Europe have

witnessed contamination of the land which they are used to

live on. This has reached the extent that their children are

born with deformity, and people being affected by odd

illnesses due to the toxic wastes that are being dumped in

oceans, rivers and lakes. At a time when speeches are being

made about reducing carbon emission in order to save the

climate, toxic waste is being sent to the third world countries,

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killing people, contaminating arable land and destroying fish.

For example the Nile is contaminated to such a degree that

the people who drink from it suffer from severe heath

problems. Tarik Sameer, a member of the Water

administration in the national research centre, said: “there are

areas in the Nile and its ramifications that are contaminated

due to the untreated industrial wastewater, which runs out to

the river”. He added that “the organic solvent from the

industrial production, the agriculture and the wastewater that

runs out in the Nile do not disappear, even after water is

treated with chlorine in the wastewater treatment plant”

There are great costs in connection with the protection of the

environment, and when profit is the only objective, any

company will aim at minimizing its costs. According to the

capitalistic logic, priorities of profit size and maximization

exceed protecting the environment and human dignity. Since

the implementation of capitalism is the cause of the apparent

destruction which man and the environment suffer from, the

sensible person should wonder about the motives of the

capitalists’ concern about mankind’s future life and the

preservation and protection of the environment!

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The Islamic view

The Islamic view of life is based on the absolute belief that

man, life and the universe are created by a Creator, Allah (the

Glorified and Exalted), and that Islam is the message which the

Almighty Creator has sent down to mankind to bring it forth

from darkness into light. And when man is absolutely and

intellectually convinced by this doctrine and enjoys peace of

mind, then he will make this doctrine the basis for all of his

ideas and the criterion for all of his actions. Consequently, the

Muslim is convinced that the Creator, Allah (the Glorified and

Exalted), has sent down the last message that determines

good and evil, truth and falsehood. In all matters of life and

regarding solutions to all problems the Muslim refers to the

Islamic doctrine from which a comprehensive system for life

originates. This system organizes man’s needs, at anytime and

anywhere and is not influenced by the surrounding

environment, circumstances or individual interests.

Additionally, the Islamic doctrine solves his problems in

consideration of all spiritual, human, moral and material

values. The Islamic doctrine organizes these values in a

concordant manner that realizes all the values. Therefore, the

material value is not prioritized over the other values, and no

value is ignored in favour of another, rather they are all

coordinated. The decisions for the society are carried out on

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the basis of the coordination between all four values, rather

than on the basis of material prosperity alone, in which the

Gross Domestic Product or other economic indicators are the

criterion. The material progress and growth gained at the

expense of the world’s people, or at the expense of nature,

can never be the correct criterions for the correct righteous

society.

The balance of these four values will never be achieved if

legislation is left to man, based on the fact that man is

incapable of being free from the influence of his own interests

and inclinations whilst legislating. This is due to the fact that

man’s understanding of organizing is subject to variation,

discrepancy, contradiction and influence from the

environment in which he lives, which would result in an

inconsistent and contradictory system and inevitably lead to

man’s misery. The state of the world today, which is ravaged

by corruption, injustice and damage to man and nature, is the

best proof of man’s incapability of designing a suitable system

that determines what is good and what is evil.

Islam does not forbid man to enjoy Allah’s blessings, nor does

it forbid him to work, nor gain earnings and wealth. On the

contrary, Islam renders work necessary for the progress of the

human life, and for man to carry out his duties. Allah (the

Glorified and Exalted) says:

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”Say: Who has forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah, whichHe has produced for his servants, and the things clean and

pure (which He has provided) for sustenance? Say: They are

in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) purely

for them on the Day of Judgment. Thus do We explain the

signs in detail for those who understand.” [TMQ. Al-A’raf 7:

32]

However, Islam does not accept that some people overconsume

while others are unable to satisfy their basic needs.

Consequently, Islam regards the economic problem as being

related to the distribution of the wealth and not its scarcity.

Hence Islam’s concern is not dedicated to the increase of

production, rather it is dedicated to eradicate poverty, and to

ensure the balance in looking after the interests and needs of

the community and the individual. Thus, Islam does not

disregard the needs of the individual in favour of the

community, nor does it favour the needs of the individual at

the expense of the community. Islam does not accept the

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inhumane conditions which the greater part of the world’s

population lives under the control of the capitalistic system,

due to the insatiable desire and hunt for wealth by a few

people.

With these views Islam forms an individual that remembers

Allah’s supervision in all his affairs, and an individual who

voluntarily complies with Allah’s commands and prohibitions,

even if this leads to material losses. Such an individual will

make sure to stay as far away as possible from greed and

excessive consumption. With these views Islam ensures that

the economic activities conform to

and spiritual values, and prevent the economic activities in

becoming a mere material activity that doesn’t pay regard to

anything except profit. In doing so, Islam eliminates the type

of human behaviour which leads to an environmental

imbalance.

Shariah and to the moral

Islam’s view on the environment

Islam does not view man’s relation to nature as one of conflict

or contradiction. On the contrary, because the universe and

life itself, just like man, are all Allah’s creations, Islam treats

their relations as being mutually complementary. Also, Allah

has put the universe in man’s service and He assigned man to

cultivate the land. Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) says:

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”It is Allah Who have created the heavens and the earth andsends down rain from the skies and with it brings out fruits

wherewith to feed you; it is He Who has made the ships

subject to you that they may sail through the sea by His

command; and the rivers (also) He made subject to you. And

He made subject to you the sun and the moon, both

diligently pursuing their courses: and the Night and the Day

He (also) made subject to you.” [TMQ. Ibrahim 14: 32-33]

And He (the Glorified and Exalted) says:

“Behold thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create avicegerent on earth.” They said “Will You place therein one

who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we

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do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?” He

said: “I know what ye know not.” [TMQ. Al-Baqarah 2: 30]

Persevering and avoiding both the material and the

immaterial mischief on the earth are all necessities to the

cultivation of it. Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) says:

” Do no mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order,but call on Him with fear and longing (in your hearts): for the

Mercy of Allah is (always) near to those who do good!”

[TMQ. Al-A’raf 7: 56]

Islam considers deprivation on the earth a detestable crime.

Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) says:

”There is the type of man whose speech about the wordlyaffairs may please you and he calls Allah to witness about

 

32

what is in his heart; yet is he the most contentious of

enemies. (204) When he turns his back his aim everywhere is

to spread mischief through the earth and destroy crops and

cattle. But Allah loves not mischief.” [TMQ. Al-Baqarah 2:

204-205]

Also, Islam has clarified that in the universe and on the earth is

a balance and a purposeful and exact measure for all kind of

things. Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) says:

” And the earth We have spread out (like a carpet); setthereon mountains firm and immovable; and produced

therein all kinds of things in due balance.” [TMQ. Al-Hidjr 15:

19]

Furthermore, Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) says:

”Verily, all things have We created in proportion andmeasure.” [TMQ. Al-Qamar 54: 49]

 

33

These and similar Quran verses suffice to illustrate the Islamic

view on nature and the environment, and indicate the

necessity to preserve the environment and the prohibition of

imbalance therein. The texts mould a Muslim that is eager to

cultivate and preserve the earth as well as looking after his

interests hereon. Additionally there are many

the Quran and Sunnah that are related to details concerned

with the preservation of the environment, which indicate that

Islam is not confined to a general and wide treatment of the

matter. On the contrary, Islam goes beyond that and deals

with the details, so man is prevented in damaging and

contaminating the environment. Islam did not leave the

relationship between the Muslim and nature according to his

own individual desires and interest without regard for nature

or human lives. The following are some narrations from the

Prophet (pbuh) that suffice to show these details:

Shariah texts in

Relationship with water

It was mentioned in the narration from Abu Hurayrah (may

Allah be pleased with him), who said, that the messenger of

Allah (pbuh) said:

water, and then use it for bathing”

Muadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated

from the Prophet (pbuh):

“None of you may urinate in stagnant(Bukhari and Muslim).“Avoid the three actions that bring

34

people’s curses: defecating in water sources, on roads, and in

the shade.”

Abdullah ibn Ámru bin Al-Ás (may Allah be pleased with him)

narrated: ”

pass by Sa’d as he was performing ablution. Whereupon he

said: Sa’d what is this squandering? Sa’d said: Can there be

any idea of squandering (

(the Prophet) said: Yes, even if you are by the side of a

flowing river.

(Abu Dawud and ibn Majah)That the messenger of Allah (pbuh) happened toisraf) in ablution? Whereupon he” (Ibn Majah)

Removal of harm

The messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:

branches, the highest is to testify

Allah

harmful from the road”

The messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:

harmful from the road is a charity

“Iman is some 70 or 60there is no god besides, and the lowest of which is to remove something(Muslim)To remove something.” (Bukhari)

The messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:

branch on his way, whereupon he picked it up. Allah was

then pleased and applauded his action and forgave him”

“A man found a thorny

(Bukhari).

35

Crops and plants

The messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:

plants a tree or grows crops, and a bird, a human or an

animal eats from it, except that it will be counted as a charity

for him.”

“There is no Muslim who(Bukhari).

The messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:

barren land, it belongs to him”

“Whoever cultivates(Abu Dawud).

The messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:

comes, and in one’s hand is a sapling, one has to plant it if it

is possible”

“If the time of judgment(Ahmad).

When the Prophet (pbuh) sent his companions to Jihad he

(pbuh) used to advise them with the following words:

forth in the name of Allah…. and do not cut down any tree,

except the trees which prevent you from fighting or

constitute a barrier between you and the Polytheists”

“Go

(Bayhaqi).

Birds and animals

It was narrated from Abu Hurayra that the messenger of Allah(

pbuh) said:

“While a man was on a road, he became very

36

thirsty and he found a well and went down into it. He drank

and then came out. There was a dog panting and eating mud

out of thirst. The man said, ‘This dog has become as thirsty as

I was.’ So he went down the well and filled up his shoe with

water and the let the dog drink. So Allah thanked him and

forgave him.'” They (companions) said, “Messenger of Allah,

do we have a reward for animals?” He (pbuh) said, “There is

a reward for every living thing (with a moist liver).”

(Bukhari)

Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, that the

Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said

Hell on account of a cat, because she tied it. She had not

given the cat anything to eat nor did she free it to enable it

to feed itself from among insects and other creatures of the

earth till it died (due to losing weight)”.

It was narrated by Anas, who said:

(pbuh) has forbidden the shooting of tied or confined

animals.”

The messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:

or anything bigger than that without a just cause, Allah will

hold him accountable on the Day of Judgment.” The

listeners asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what is a just cause?”

He replied, “That he will kill it to eat, not simply to chop off

its head and then throw it away.”

: “ A woman was doomed to(Bukhari).“The messenger of Allah(Muslim)“Whoever kills a sparrow(Nasai).

37

The above was merely a minor selection from an ocean of

Shariah

a unique picture of how Islam focuses on nature. Furthermore

they illustrate that Allah has created nature and put it in

service for Man, and made Man its guardian to enjoy and not

ruin it.

texts which concern the environment. These texts give

38

Islam prohibits harm and that which leads

to the forbidden

Most of the

environmental pollution to a great extent are the principles

concerning harm that are derived from a series of narrations,

including the Prophet’s words:

Shariah principles which are related to“No harm and no harming.”

(Daraqutni).

Examples of these principles are:

prohibition”

(mubah) element that is harmful or leads to harm, is

prohibited, but the matter remains permissible.”

with the environment should therefore be done in a way that

is not harmful or leads to harm.

Like the principles of harm there is the principle:

of the forbidden is forbidden”

“the essence of harm is, “harm is removed” and “any permittedDealing“the means, which is derived from the

Shariah

nature which leads to something that

will also be prohibited, even if there is not a text with a

specific prohibition. It is therefore forbidden according to

texts. According to this principle, any relationship withShariah has prohibited

Shariah

leads to harm, or leads to something forbidden during the

process of manufacturing, economic development or

exploitation of natural resources, such as contaminating the

to pollute the environment so that it is harmful, or

39

water, air and soil, with poison, disease and destruction of the

soil, animal resources and fisheries. This is regardless of the

cost there may be to avoid this, which means that the

Shariah

has ignored the discussion of economic losses related to

countering environmental harm and combating pollution.

Regarding the destruction of the community life in a particular

area, such as pollution of public land, rivers, lakes, meadows

and forests, Islam does not allow the subjugation of the lives

of people to individuals. On the contrary, Islam places public

property under state supervision which ensures the

safeguarding of people and prohibits harming them. The state

is also obliged to remove harm from the community, such as

forbidding factories to dispose their harmful waste products

into rivers and oceans.

Islam has defined the property and framed the type of

ownership and the manner of acquisition, without interfering

in the amount. This is in contrast to the quota solutions which

the climate agreements have set, where limiting the amount is

made as the basis of manufacturing. This shows that the

climate agreements are designed to serve companies and

industrialized countries and not to remove the real harm. The

one who closely examines the issue will realize that the

production quantity is not the problem. The problem lies in

the type and the manner of acquisition. For example, when

40

factories are built in residential areas with harmful results, it is

then due to the location of the factory and not the quantity

the factory produces. Hence, one should prohibit the

construction of such factories in residential areas. If the

factory produces goods whose waste products are harmful,

then the solution lies in how you handle and dispose these

waste products so as to preserve human life and the

environment. The solution is not found in prohibition of the

production or in the reduction of the amount. Factory owners

or the State who oversee the industry are responsible for

removing the harm.

41

Preservation of the Environment in the

Islamic State

The entire Muslim world is living in a terrible state of decline

in various aspects of life. The rulers have contributed in an

obvious manner to the preservation of this state of misery,

ever since they agreed to be tools in the hands of foreign

states, and since they denied Islam and its laws and refrained

from their implementation. Therefore, they have not achieved

any progress in the life of the Muslim nation. For this reason,

the Muslim nation needs infrastructure, industry, agriculture,

health, economic research and development, etc. The future

Khilafah State must therefore invest in the vital aspects of all

areas. However, though the task is difficult and seemingly

impossible, the truth is that Allah has bestowed the Muslim

world with all the natural resources and a young nation that

possesses the necessary skills in all areas of life: scientists,

researchers, doctors, engineers and others. As a result the

Khilafah State will take the necessary steps to becoming an

industrialized country, and will insure that the industry is

subject to Islam’s laws so that man and environment are not

caused damage.

To ensure its implementation the system of Islam relies on the

individual’s fear of Allah which the Islamic doctrine enroots in

42

the souls. Yet, the system of Islam has not left the matter to

the fear of Allah alone. The Islamic system has determined

practical mechanisms to achieve the implementation of its

laws. Thus, Islam has made the State responsible for

implementation, set penalties for violation of the law and

ordered the Muslim nation to account the individual and the

state if there is negligence. The judicial system plays an

important role in safeguarding the implementation of Islam in

general, and especially in taking into account the issue of the

environment and climate. The role of the judiciary in the

environmental issue can be summarized as follows:

Qadi al-Hisbah (Supervisory Judge)

Islam has permitted individuals to trade, produce and invest

under certain conditions. These conditions determine what

and how this individual can own, since Islam has forbidden

ownership of things such as alcohol and prohibited ways to

acquire property, such as fraud and monopolization. And to

ensure that everything proceeds according to

the evil occurring in public life is removed, Islam has

introduced a law regarding the presence of a judge, who

supervises markets, hospitals, factories, and corporatecompliance

with

duties. This judge is called the Judge of

companies exposing animals or the environment to damage

Shariah and thatShariah Acts and other matters related to hisHisbah. To prevent

43

falls under this judge’s powers. Therefore, the Judge of

Hisbah

will be among the inspectors, who inspect and supervise the

pollution and the waste that companies leave. Any violation

that the Judge of

for.

Hisbah discovers he immediately punishes

Qadi al-Khusamat (The Judge of Disputes)

One of the biggest problems caused by environmental

pollution is the damage that affects the workers and people

exposed to toxic waste and the like. Islam has a clear position

on the actions that damage people, which is the prohibition of

such acts. The Judge of Disputes is the one who determines

the matters raised by the victims. This judge gives judgment

according to the

cleared and accounts the person who caused the damage to

recompense for the consequences of the damage.

Shariah laws by ensuring that the damage is

Qadi al-Madhalim (The Judge of Unjust Acts)

The Judge of Unjust Acts has the task to resolve the conflicts

that arise between the ruler and people. In the area of

environmental cases, this judge works to eliminate the

environmental injustices the ruler commits, such as the harm

44

coming from the state-factories. This judge obliges the ruler to

implement the Shariah laws, which are related to the

environment, if there is any negligence on behalf of the ruler

in this area or if the ruler favors an issue at the expense of

another.

The Environmental Problem and its

Globalization

The globalization of the climate and environmental problem

implies that the solution to the problem must be global. This

shows that the western Capitalist countries are not serious

about the solution, because they are the ones that possess the

solution to this problem and not other countries. So why do

they invite the whole world in order to solve the

problem?! The agreements that have and will be concluded

(the presented solutions at the COP 15), confirm that the

western Capitalist states are not serious. International

agreements such as the Kyoto-agreement and others are not

even signed by the major countries, and they only comply with

those agreements to the extent that they ensure their own

interests. Hence, these agreements and conventions are a tool

in the hands of great powers to dominate smaller states.

Islam forbids the Islamic State to submit to other countries or

to accept their dominance.

45

Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) says:

 

 

”And never will Allah grant to the Unbelievers a way (to

triumph) over the Believers.” [TMQ. Al-Nisaa’ 4: 141]

This subjugation through the acceptance of these particular

agreements will lead Muslims to being prevented in

establishing real industries, just as it would harm the

environment and realize the West’s exploitation of the Muslim

world. The acceptance of any state to submit to agreements

and conventions that make the state a prey of western

colonialism is truly a great crime.

46

The Real Solution to the Global Problem

The problem lies in the ruthless behavior of Capitalist

countries in their pursuit of achieving material prosperity at

the expense of others and at any price. The reason for this

behavior is inhumane doctrine of the Capitalist ideology. The

Capitalist countries refuse to take any responsibility, not even

from a moralistic perspective for their and their companies’

behavior. The world is suffering under this doctrine and is

exploited in a manner which is contrary to the most basic of

human values.

The solution to the global environmental problems and

problems concerning poverty and other global issues is to

remove and discard the real reason, which has caused these

problems, i.e. by a global rejection of the inhumane Capitalist

doctrine, which still controls the destinies of nations, and by

looking for an alternative that ensures mankind’s happiness

and tranquility.

We, in Hizb ut-Tahrir, present the alternative to you, which is

Islam, with its idea and method. Islam is the solution to the

world’s problems. Islam’s political, economical, social,

environmental and other solutions are the only solutions

which will save the world from the injustice and darkness that

the Capitalist system has thrown it in. Islam is the alternative

47

that takes people from worshiping other people to the

worship of the Lord of mankind. And Islam takes people away

from the injustice of various doctrines and ways of life

(Capitalism, etc.) to the justice of Islam.

 

 

”We sent you, only as a mercy for all creatures.” [TMQ. Al-

Anbiyaa’ 21: 107]

48

Finally we direct this appeal to the

Muslims

Dear Muslims

For 13 centuries under the shade of Islam, mankind has

benefited from the safety and tranquility, where Muslims and

non-Muslims lived with security for their lives and

property. But today corruption has spread on the earth, in the

sea and in the skies and no man, animal or stone has been

spared, and this is due to the tyranny of Capitalism and the

lack of the presence of Islam.

The Messenger (pbuh) has told that this situation will not

continue forever and that mankind will once again come to

enjoy security and prosperity once Islam returns to life and

spreads in the world, as he (May Allah’s blessings and peace

be upon him) said in the narration that after the dictatorial

rule it will finally become a righteous rule:

”…then there will be Khilafah upon the method of theProphet.”

 

(Imam Ahmad).

49

This narration is a message of the return of Islam and the

seizure of injustice.

Dear Muslims

Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) has praised you and described

you as the best nation brought to mankind. Allah (the Glorified

and Exalted) says:

”You are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoiningwhat is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in

Allah.” [TMQ. Aal-’Imran 3: 110]

This quality,

towards your

without the presence of Islam in life.

We, in Hizb ut-Tahrir, invite you to work with us in order to

resume the Islamic way of life, through the establishment of

the righteous Khilafah-State, as this state is the only guarantee

“the best”, obliges you to bear the responsibilitydeen and mankind and this cannot be realized

50

 

This booklet is taken from a website of Hizb ut-Tahrir called Khilafah.com 

See on-line at: http://www.khilafah.com/images/images/PDF/Books/EnvEng.pdf

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The Cleanliness of the Environment in Islamic Heritage – The Muslim Brotherhood

March 23, 2010
نظافة البيئة في التراث الإسلامي
[24/02/2010][12:02 مكة المكرمة]

عُني الإسلام عنايةً خاصةً بنظافة البيئة باعتبارها المحل الذي يقيم فيه الإنسان ويحصل منه على احتياجاته ويمارس فيه عبادته وأعماله التي تعينه على مواجهة متطلبات الحياة، طهارة المكان فالنفس تنشرح للمكان النظيف وتنقبض لمنظر القذارة، ولذلك حث الرسول صلي الله عليه وسلم على نظافة البيوت فقال: “إن الله طيب يحب الطيب، جواد يحب الجواد، كريم يحب الكرم، نظيف يحب النظافة، فنظفوا أفنيتكم ولا تتشبهوا باليهود” (رواه الترمذي)، فاليهود كانوا يُفرِّطون في نظافة بيوتهم من القمامة والفضلات، وتستهدف دعوة الإسلام نظافة البيوت المحافظة على الصحة العامة؛ لأن تراكم الأوساخ في البيوت يعطي الحشرات والجراثيم مجالاًً رحبًا للانتشار والتكاثر فضلاًً عن انبعاث الروائح الكريهة التي تزكم الأنوف وتجعل البيوت مكانًا غير صالح للإقامة فيه(1).   ولذلك ارتبطت نظافة البيئة في الإسلام ارتباطًا مباشرًا بالطهارة سواء طهارة البدن وهو ما يؤكده انتشار الحمامات بالقاهرة ومنشآتها السكنية، أو طهارة المكان والتي تشمل الأسواق والمساجد وغيرها من الأماكن التي يقيم الإنسان فيها بصورة دائمة أو مؤقتة، فالمساجد هي البيوت المعدة لأداء الصلاة ولاجتماع المسلمين لطلب العلم والتفقه في الدين ولذلك الاعتناء بنظافتها وهو ما أكـده أيضًا الرسول عليه الصلاة والسلام بقوله: “البصاق في المسجد خطيئة وكفارتها دفنها” (أخرجه البخاري).   وقد أدى ذلك التوجيه الإسلامي إلى بساطة مسببات التلوث الهوائي قديمًا، كما أن الأطباء المسلمين كان لهم فضل السبق في الاهتمام بمشكلاته لما ينتج عنه من أمراض وأضرار على الصحة العامة للسكان، ويزخر التراث الإسلامي بمؤلفات عديدة حول البيئة وسلامتها من جوانب مختلفة ويؤكد ذلك ما احتوت عليه كتبهم من مؤلفات تتحدث عن المؤثرات الملوثة للهواء.   فنجد العلامة الكندي يضع رسالة بعنوان “رسالة في الأبخرة المُصلحة للجو من الأوباء”، “ورسالة في الأدوية المُشفية من الروائح المؤذية”، ووضع ابن المبرد كتابًا أسماه “فنون المنون في الوباء والطاعون”، وتكلم ابن سينا بالتفصيل في كتابه القانون عن تلوث المياه ووضع شروطًا تتعلق بطبيعة الماء والهواء المؤثرين في المكان عند اختيار موضع ما للسكنى.   أما الطبيب الرازي فقد نشد سلامة البيئة في كتابه “رسالة في تأثير فصل الربيع وتغير الهواء تبعًا لذلك”، بينما تحدث أبو مروان الأندلسي عن فساد الهواء الذي يهب من المُستنقعات والبرك ذات الماء الراكد في كتابه “التيسير في المداواة والتدبير”، كما أكد بن المطران الدمشقي في كتابه “بستان الأطباء وروضة الألباء” ضرورة مراعاة تأثير البيئة عند تشخيص المرض فقال: “… ينبغي للطبيب إذا أقدم على مداواة قوم في بلد، أن ينظر في وضع المدينة ومزاج الهواء المحيط بها، والمياه الجارية فيها، والتدبير الخاص الذي يستعمله قوم دون قوم، فإن هذه هي الأصول ثم بعدها النظر في سائر الشرائط…”(2).   وكتب ابن قيم الجوزية في كتابه الطب النبوي فصلاًً عن الأوبئة التي تنتشر بسبب التلوث الهوائي والاحتراس منها أن فساد الهواء جزء من أجزاء السبب التام والعلة الفاعلة للطاعون وأن فساد جوهر الهواء هو الموجب لحدوث الوباء وفساده يكون لاستحالة جوهره إلى الرداءة(3).   وصنف العلامة محمد بن أحمد بن سعيد التميمي المقدسي في القرن الرابع الهجري العاشر الميلادي كتابًا كاملاًً عن التلوث البيئي وأسبابه وآثاره وطرق مكافحته والوقاية منه وجعل عنوانه “مادة البقاء في إصلاح فساد الهواء والتحرز من ضرر الأوباء”، وألف التميمي هذا الكتاب لكي يهديه إلى الوزير الفاطمي يعقوب بن كلسي الذي عمل طبيبًا له، وساعده على التفرغ للبحث العلمي، ويعود سبب اختيار التميمي لموضوع كتابه إلى شيوع تلوث الهواء والماء في العديد من المدن الإسلامية في عصره، وما ترتب عليه من انتشار الأمراض، يُعَدُّ هذا الكتاب من النصوص النادرة في التراث العلمي العربي وموسوعة في الطب الوقائي، بل هو أقدم مصدر علمي عربي اهتم بموضوع التلوث البيئي ومعالجة مشكلاته والحماية منه في ذلك الزمن، ونبَّه الكتاب إلى خطورة التلوث الهوائي قبل ألف عام من الدعوة الغربية المعاصرة.   وعرض التميمي في كتابه أسباب تلوث الهواء وحددها في الانقلابات الفصلية باعتبارها أوقاتًا مناسبةً لنمو الجراثيم وظهور الأمراض، وخاصة أنها أوقات يحدث فيها تغيرات شديدة في درجات الحرارة والرطوبة، وكذلك وجود مصادر مياه قريبة من مكان الإقامة، وخاصة إذا كانت هذه المصادر مياهًا فاسدة أو راكدة، ونحن نعلم أن ارتفاع درجة الرطوبة من أهم العوامل المساعدة على نشاط الجراثيم في الهواء، فإن كانت الرطوبة ناتجة عن مياه راكدة، فسوف يكون بخار الماء المسبب لهذه الرطوبة موبوءًا أصلاًً بالجراثيم، فيكون ذلك سببًا أساسيًّا في تلوث الهواء.   ومن أسباب التلوث الهوائي أيضًا كما حددها التميمي التعرض لرياح معينة دون رياح أخرى، وذكر أن الرياح الملوثة في مصر تأتي من الجنوب من بحيرات النيل في إفريقية، لأنها رياح تحمل درجة عالية من الرطوبة، وذات حرارة عالية، وهي عوامل مناسبة لظهور التلوث الجرثومي.   ولم يستعرض التميمي في كتابه أسباب ملوثات الهواء فقط بل طرح حلولاًً لكيفية معالجة فساد الهواء، وذلك عن طريق إيقاد النيران وإحراق المواد ذات الروائح العطرية، فالنار تُولد تيارًا هوائيًّا يسمح بتبديل الهواء يصاحبه طرد الهواء الملوث وإيصال هواء جديد، والنار بدرجة الحرارة العالية التي تسببها في الجو كفيلة بقتل الجراثيم الموجودة في هذا الجو المحيط بها، ويرى أن من طرق الوقاية إعطاء الأصدقاء بعض الأدوية التي تقوي المناعة لمنع إصابتهم بالأمراض. واتخاذ تدابير خاصة بمراقبة أماكن انتقال العدوى كالحمامات العامة.   ويؤكد ذلك أيضًا أبن رضوان المصري في كتابه “دفع مضار الأبدان بأرض مصر”(4)، فقد نقل عنه المقريزي أن الهواء يتغير كيفيته على ضربين‏:‏ أحدهما تغيره الذي جرت به العادة وهذا لا يحث مرضًا وافدًا وليس تغيرًا ممرضًا‏.‏ والثاني‏:‏ التغير الخارج عن مجرى العادة وهذا هو الذي يحدث المرض الوافد‏، وخروج تغير الهواء عن عادته يكون‏:‏ إما بأن يسخن أكثر أو يبرد أو يرطب أو يجفف أو يخالطه حال عفنة والحالة العفنة إما أن تكون قريبة أو بعيدة”(5)‏.‏   وهذه رؤية متقدمة في علم الطب البيئي يؤكدها أيضًا رسالة اعتمد عليها التميمي ونقل عنها بعنوان “رسالة في إصلاح فساد الهواء” لابن الجزار، وهكذا يتضح أن التراث الإسلامي سبق في وضع تشريعات محكمة لرعاية البيئة وحمايتها من آفات التلوث والفساد ورسم منهجها في مبدأين هما درء المفاسد وجلب المصالح وبذل الجهود التي من شأنها أن تحقق ذلك(6).   ونستطيع أن نؤكد أيضًا أن النظام الإداري المتميز في المدينة الإسلامية ممثلاً  في نظام الحسبة والمحتسب قام بجهد كبير في المحافظة على البيئة باعتباره جهازًا يختص بالشئون الحضرية ومتابعة الجوانب التخطيطية للمدينة مثل المحافظة على الطرقات واتساعها، ونظافة الشوارع ومراقبة المباني وارتفاعها، وعدم الإطلال على الجار، وتفادي أخطار النشاط الحرفي على المارة هذا بالإضافة لمراقبة الأسواق، كل ذلك برعاية السلطة الحاكمة والمخططين والمعماريين، فكل حسب مسئوليته ووظيفته قاوم كل ما من شأنه أن يلوث الهواء بالقاهرة(7).   فقد تأكد لهم أن التحكم والسيطرة على عوامل تلوث البيئة الخارجية هو الأساس لتوفير هواء نقي للبيئة والفراغ الداخلي للمنشآت، لإدراكهم أنه في حالة عدم التمكن من السيطرة على الملوثات الخارجية فإنه سيترتب عليها زيادة في مشاكل البيئة الداخلية لمنشآت المدينة حتى ولو أن نظام التهوية مجهز ومصمم بأحدث الأنظمة كالملاقف والشخشيخة وتوزيع فتحات النوافذ، مما يؤدي إلى ارتفاع مستويات بعض الملوثات في الداخل أعلى منها في الخارج، وهو ما حدا بالسلطة الحاكمة للتصدي بقدر الإمكان للقضاء على كل ما هو ملوث للهواء الخارجي، ولذلك كان الأفراد أصحاء أقوياء ونوعية الأمراض من النوع البسيط الذي لا يفتك بالجسم(8)، باستثناء مرض الطاعون الذي كان يعقب جفاف النيل.   والتلـوث الهـوائي بدايةً يُقصد به التغيرات غير المـرغوبة في المُكَونات الطبيعية والكيمائية والبيولوجية للبيئة المحيطة بالإنسان، ومن المعروف علميًّاً أن تلوث الهواء يؤثر على بقية العناصر لأن هناك تفاعلاً دائمًا بين مكونات البيئة(9)، فالمناخ ونوع التربة والموقع الجغرافي كل ذلك يؤثر بطريقة غير مباشرة على مسببات المرض أو مقاومة الإنسان المُعَرض له، فالمناطق الحارة تنتشر فيها أمراض معينة، والتربة التي تنقصها بعض المعادن كاليود يصاب أهلها بتضخم الغدة الدرقية والمناطق الموجودة على السواحل أو المرتفعات تنتشر بها أمراض معينة(10) وبذلك نجد أن نظافة الموقع المقترح لإنشاء أي مدينة وطيب مناخه وخلوه من الحشرات والجراثيم يعتبر من أهم الشروط التي شرطها المخططون عند إنشاء مدينة جديدة(11). ———— حواشي البحث: (1) محمد السيد أرناؤوط، التلوث البيئي وأثره على صحة الإنسان، مكتبة الأسرة، سلسلة العلوم والتكنولوجيا، الهيئة المصرية العامة للكتاب، القاهرة 2007م ص 232: 233.   (2) أحمد فؤاد باشا، الطب الإسلامي أساس العلوم الطبية المعاصرة، مجلة تراثيات، العدد 3، مركز تحقيق التراث، دار الكتب المصرية، 2004م ص 43: 44.   (3) ابن قيم الجوزية (شمس الدين محمد بن أيوب الحنبلي ) ت 751ﻫـ /1291م، الطب النبوي، تحقيق سيد إسماعيل الطبعة الأولى، دار المنار، القاهرة 1992م، ص 40.   (4) أحمد فؤاد باشا، أساسيات العلوم المعاصرة في التراث الإسلامي دراسات تأصيلية، مكتبة الأسرة الهيئة المصرية العامة للكتاب، القاهرة 2007م، ص 218.   (5) المقريزي، الخطط، ج 1، ص 47.   (6) أحمد فؤاد باشا، أساسيات العلوم المعاصرة في التراث الإسلامي، ص 218.   (7) سيد عباس علي، أثر البعد البيئي على تخطيط المدن والعمارة الإسلامية، أعمال مؤتمر الأزهر الدولي التاسع، 12: 14 أبريل 2007م كلية الهندسة جامعة الأزهر، 2007م، ص 436.   (8) علي زين العابدين، محمد عبد المرضي، تلوث البيئة ثمن للمدنية، مكتبة الأسرة، الهيئة المصرية العامة للكتاب القاهرة 2007م، ص 12.   (9) انتصار عبد الله سليمان، السكان وتلوث البيئة، محاضرات مختارة عن قضايا البيئة في مصر مؤسسة فريدريش نومان، بالتعاون مع اتحاد الإذاعة والتليفزيون، القاهرة، ص 9.   (10) حسن أحمد عثمان، المخاطر الصحية للتعرضات البيئية، محاضرات مختارة عن قضايا البيئة في مصر، مؤسسة فريدريش نومان بالتعاون مع اتحاد الإذاعة والتليفزيون، القاهرة 1996م، ص 62.   (11) يحيى وزيري، التصميم المعماري الصديق للبيئة نحو عمارة خضراء، مكتبة الأسرة، الهيئة المصرية العامة للكتاب، القاهرة 2007م، ص 48.

This piece is taken from the formal website of the Muslim Brotherhood.

See on-line at: http://www.ikhwanonline.com/Mobile/MArticle.asp?ArtID=60911&SecID=293

The Environmental Problem: Reasons and Treatment in Islamic Perspective – Hizb al-Tahrir Denmark

March 22, 2010

In December 2009, Hizb al-Tahrir published and circulated throughout the Jihadi forums a booklet on the issue of the environment from its perspective. 

This booklet is the first or one of the first published by radical Islamic organizations on this issue. It is written in Arabic and it can be found in the website of Hizb al-Tahrir:

http://www.hizb-ut-tahrir.info/info/files/Environment.pdf

Ecology and Islamic Values – IV

March 21, 2010

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

Etiquette Towards Animals

March 21, 2010

Islamic guidelines:

A Muslim considers most animals to be deserving of a certain level of respect as creatures. He shows mercy to them due to the mercy of Allaah upon them. He also adheres to the following manners with respect to them, which are part of the etiquettes that Islam encourages Muslims to fulfill:

1. A Muslim feeds or gives water to an animal if he finds it hungry or thirsty. This is based on the Messenger’s statement: ”There is a reward (for serving) everything with a moist liver (that is, every living creature).” [Ahmad]

2. A Muslim should have compassion and mercy towards animals. The Prophet said: “Whoever does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

He said in other narration: “Have mercy toward those on the Earth and The One above the Heavens will have mercy on you.” [At-Tabaraani]

The Prophet himself set the best example in this regard. When he saw a group of people using a live animal for archery target practice, he said: “May Allaah curse the one who uses any creature with a soul as a target.” [Muslim]

Once a bird was distressed because someone had taken its young from her nest. Allaah’s Messenger then said: “Who has distressed this one because of its baby. Return its baby to her.” [Abu Daawood]

3. The Muslim must be kind to the animal, even when he is about to slaughter it. Allaah’s Messenger has said: “Verily, Allaah has prescribed excellence in all things. Thus, if you kill, kill in a kind manner. If you slaughter, slaughter in a kind manner. Each of you should sharpen his blade and spare suffering to the animal he is slaughtering.” [Muslim]

4. A Muslim should never torture an animal by any means of torture, such as beating it, making it carry more than it can handle, mutilating it or burning it by a fire. The Prophet also prohibited the tying down of animals until they die. Allaah’s Messenger once said: “A woman entered the Hell-fire because of a cat that she tied down. She neither fed it nor let it free to eat the insects of the earth until it died.” [Al-Bukhaari]

Allaah’s Messenger once passed by an anthill that had been burnt to the ground and he said: “It is not becoming that anyone should punish by fire except the Lord of the Fire.” [Abu Daawood]

However, it is permissible to kill the harmful animals, such as voracious dogs, wolves, snakes, scorpions, rats etc. This is based on the Prophet’s statement: “Five noxious or harmful animals are to be killed whether or not one is in the state of pilgrimage: the snake, the speckled raven that has whiteness either on its back or stomach, the rat, the voracious dog and the kite (a bird similar to a hawk).” [Muslim]

It is also confirmed from Allaah’s Messenger that he cursed the scorpion and killed it. [Al-Bayhaqi]

Other related matters:

1. It is allowed to brand grazing animals in their ears for some overriding need. The Prophet was seen branding, by his own hand, the camels given in charity. As for other than camels, sheep, goats and cows, it is not allowed to brand them. The Prophet saw a donkey branded on his face and said: “May Allaah curse the one who branded that (donkey) on its face.” [Muslim]

2. One must recognize the right of Allaah concerning his animals by paying the Zakaah due on them if they are from the animals concerning which one must pay Zakaah.

3. One must not become so preoccupied with animals or playing with them that one disobeys Allaah, or does not remember Allaah properly. Allaah has said, (what means): “O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allaah.” [Quran 63:9]

Allaah’s Messenger stated concerning horses: “A horse may be kept for one of three reasons. For one man, it may be a source of reward, for another it may be a source of living and yet for another it may be a sinful burden. As for the one for whom it is a source of reward, he is the one who keeps his horse for the sake of Jihaad in Allaah’s cause (i.e. fighting); he ties it with a long rope in a pasture or in a garden. So whatever its rope allows it to eat will be regarded as good, rewardable deeds (for its owner). And if it breaks off its rope and jumps over one or two hillocks, even its dung will be considered among his good deeds. A horse is a shelter for the one who keeps it so that he may earn his living honestly and takes it as a refuge to keep him from following forbidden means. (The third is) a horse is a sinful burden for him who keeps it out of pretense and show and with the intention of harming Muslims.” [Al-Bukhaari]

These are, in general, the etiquettes that a Muslim should adhere to with respect to animals, out of obedience to Allaah and His Messenger and in adherence to what the Islamic law has ordered him… the Sharee’ah of mercy… the Sharee’ah of general goodness for all creatures, be they human or animal.

Sunday : 21/06/2009

This piece is taken from the website IslamWeb.

See on-line at: http://english.islamweb.net/ver2/engblue/article.php?lang=E&id=67544

Ecology and Islamic Values – III

March 21, 2010

“Tawheed” and ‘Adl, “Unity” and ‘Justice”

 

 

 

Allah’s Tawheed or Unity is central to the Quranic message, and with that unity comes perfect justice. The idea that everything in this world, indeed everything in all of the many worlds that surround us in space and time, and perhaps other dimensions as well, stems from a single source, is a powerful message of unity. Since all of us, and everything around us, are creations of the one Creator – Allaah, we must respect the hidden unity that links the many to The One, and recognize that whatever we do to that which is outside of ourselves, we are ultimately doing to ourselves. If we abuse other people, we abuse ourselves—though the full effects of that abuse may not be apparent until the last day. Likewise, if we abuse nature, we also abuse ourselves, and the consequences of that abuse will in the end be fully felt, and perfect justice dispensed by Allaah when we return to Him. Those who reject this knowledge rationalize their behavior by saying, “Well, I’m not going to curb my wasteful lifestyle now, because this catastrophe you’re predicting probably won’t happen during my lifetime.” They do not believe that they will suffer the full consequences of their own actions. But the Quran stands as a clear warning that this is not the case, amplifying the inner voice of conscience Allaah built into our deepest nature: “Then each will see what he had done in the past; and they will turn to Allaah, their true Lord, and all the lies they had fabricated will be of no avail to them.” [Quran, 10:30]

 

Zuhd, “Renunciation, asceticism”

 

 

 

Zuhd is an especially hard word to translate into English because the closest cognate, asceticism, carries traces of Christian attempts to “mortify the flesh.” Mortification implies self-torture aimed at making us feel revulsion for our physical, earthbound existence. Islam, however, has no such tradition of self-torture. Instead, Zuhd describes a balanced, judicious approach to abstaining from excesses of ease, comfort and pleasure-seeking, in order to detach the soul from potential addictions and instead turn towards Allaah. The wise detachment of Zuhd is meant to be practiced not just by a few self-flagellating monks in hair shirts, but by each and every Muslim. That is why Ramadhaan is a universal requirement, not an option: Fasting is a perfect lesson in moderation and self-control, as well as compassion for the less-fortunate. This moderate, universal Zuhd could, Allaah willing, help us create a genuinely sustainable world, by healing the current order at both the spiritual and physical levels. (These two levels, of course, are intimately connected.) Zuhd teaches us that giving up our excesses is a blessing, not a curse—especially if we do it voluntarily, rather than waiting for Allaah-given natural limits to do it for us. In practicing Zuhd, we are following a very important Sunnah. Though the leader of a powerful, rapidly-expanding community, the Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) , lived and died in a small, hardly-furnished house, leaving behind virtually no material possessions. He was moderate in his consumption of food and drink, careful not to waste a drop of water when performing ablutions, fasted frequently, and prayed devoutly late into the night. Let us pray that humanity soon discovers the wisdom of his example.

 

 

 

Fardh, “Obligation”

 

 

 

Islam prescribes certain specific obligations: prayer, fasting, bearing witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allaah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allaah, paying alms giving, and performing pilgrimage are the best known. fardh has been viewed by some scholars as involving general as well as specific obligations, that is, obligations from Allaah that may not be specific enough to be enforceable by the community: being charitable, just, and merciful, remembering Allaah, putting ones family, community, and planet ahead of oneself, and so on could be viewed as obligations in the general sense. In the more common, specifically legal sense of fardgh, there are obligations incumbent on everyone (fardh al-‘ayn) and others that can be fulfilled for the whole community by some of its members (fardh al-kifaayah). Because these obligations are from Allaah, they demand to be taken seriously. Thus the Islamic world-view emphasizes the notion of obligation, in contrast to the Western preoccupation with individualism and rights at the expense of obligations and responsibilities. The notion of obligation is obviously essential to any serious attempt to save our environment. If we are governed by the principle of individual “rights” we will not want to infringe on anyone’s “right” to consume more and more material goods—and to cut down forests, dig mines, exterminate animals, spew pollutants, and ravage ecosystems in pursuit of those goods. An ethic built on obligations before rights, like the Islamic ethic, seems better suited to a world in which is more than six billion people pursuing their “right” to unlimited material consumption will spell doom for the planet as a whole. In particular, the obligation of the fortunate to care for the less fortunate must be universally acknowledged if we are to limit planetary consumption in a humane, rational manner. Clearly the Islamic ethic of obligation is well suited to saving the world by correcting the unbalanced Western, and especially American, ethic of “rights” whose bottom line is the right of the wealthy and powerful to unlimited consumption of the planet’s resources.

 

 

 

To Be Concluded

 

Tuesday : 13/09/2005

 

This piece is taken from the website IslamWeb.

See on-line at: http://english.islamweb.net/ver2/archive/article.php?lang=E&id=101578

Ecology and Islamic Values – II

March 21, 2010

Living with and loving Allaah’s Creation

 

 

 

Let us think about some of the ways that Islam’s spiritual orientation and its concrete rules for social and economic life, offer potential solutions to concrete problems that face us.

 

 

 

Islam asks us to submit to Allaah, to bend toward our creator as a reed bends in the wind. Put in another way, this suggests we should live with divinely-ordained nature, not opposed to it. We should not strive to create radically artificial environments, but instead adapt ourselves more flexibly to the natural environments we have. Allaah has made this easy for us in many ways: We have been given a lunar calendar to keep us in touch with the natural lunar rhythms, and a daily time-keeping system based on the sun, whose position is the key to the timing of the five daily. By orienting our time-frame around these divinely provided systems, we automatically move in harmony with the solar and lunar rhythms that are, according to the Quran, among the most powerful signs of Allaah.

 

 

 

At a more mundane level, we have to ask ourselves questions like: Does living in harmony with nature mean that we should give up air conditioning? Certainly if we attain gratitude and inner peace by the grace of Allaah, we will be less desperate to make every last detail of our physical existence as comfortable and luxurious as possible. Since air conditioning will always be a luxury that only a tiny percentage of the world’s population will ever be able to afford, perhaps we should at least be frugal (and grateful) in our use of it, and try to use our wealth to feed our hungry fellow human beings. Likewise, we should build modestly with local, natural materials, and eat modestly with locally-grown, natural foods. We should use mechanical transport with moderation, relying as much as possible on such healthy, pollution-free, non-fossil-fuel burning means as walking and bicycling, and as little as possible on private auto-mobiles.

 

 

 

Social and Political Activism

 

 

 

None of these individual actions, however, will save the planet if it continues to be dominated by ruthless exploiters. We need to become Islamic-environmental activists, organizing and agitating for both Islamic and environmental causes and showing how the two are closely linked. By demonstrating concern for our planet, and a commitment to finding solutions, we will be spreading a positive image of Islam to all. Together, the rising army of eco-warriors and the awakening Muslim Ummah will carry the green banners of Islam and environmentalism to every corner of the planet, creating the basis for the sustainable, balanced, harmonious society of the future.

 

 

 

Quranic Concepts: The Deepest, Purest Source of Environmental Wisdom

 

 

 

Meezaan “Balance”

 

 

 

Literally “the scale of balance.” The word Meezaan expresses the harmony of Allaah’s creation. It expresses the perfect equilibrium and absolute justice of creation, which humans, as successors are obliged to help maintain. Allaah Says (what means): “The sun and moon revolve to a reckoning/and the grasses and trees bow in adoration/He raised the sky and set the balance/so that none may transgress against the balance.” [Quran, 55:5-8] Humans must help maintain the cosmic balance by acting justly toward nature as well as toward each other. The built environment and the natural environment should be in perfect harmony, as suggested by the fact that Meezaan also means, “ground design” in architecture. Traditional Islamic architecture, especially masjid architecture, harmonizes building, landscape and sky in many marvelous ways. The most famous and influential 20th century architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, drew heavily on traditional Islamic architecture as he revolutionized Western architecture. Wright refused to build the usual rectangular boxes that squat like alien presences on the landscape. Instead, he used graceful Islamic-derived forms to harmonize and balance indoors with outdoors, building with landscape, and humanity with the rest of creation.

 

 

 

Ayah, “Sign”

 

 The word ayah means, “sign” as well as “Quranic verse.” The first way the early Muslims recognized that the Quran is the word of Allaah was due to the miraculous beauty of its verses. Likewise the Quran invites us to look at the beautiful world around us as a sign pointing to its Creator. We are meant to “read” these signs and gain ever-deeper knowledge and appreciation both of creation itself, and especially of the Creator Who set such signs before us. The Quranic revelation began with the command “iqra'”, “read!” This commanded Allaah’s last messenger, Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) , to begin reading/reciting the words of Allaah. It also commanded the people to whom the message was sent to become literate—and within a few generations Arabic, with the Quran as its central influence, had become the world’s leading written medium of expression. Finally, at the most general level, “iqra’!” commanded all humans to “read” the book of Allaah’s creation to decipher its truth and beauty, which always points beyond itself toward its Creator. If we look at the world around us as an ever-shifting panorama of signs of Allaah, rather than as a meaningless heap of dumb brute matter, we will contemplate it with awe and act as cautious and respectful stewards rather than hyperactive, transgressive exploiters.

 

 

 

Haraam, “Forbidden, Off-Limits”

 

 

 

The concept of Haraam, whose legal meaning is “forbidden,” suggests the necessity of setting limits that must not be transgressed. Traditionally the “Haraam” was the intimate part of the house which was off-limits to strangers and casual visitors. Westerners, colonialists, wishing to transgress whatever limits they found in the lands they invaded, projected their own fantasies upon the private areas of the Muslim home, turning this innocent word into the salacious English word “Haraam.” But the original word Haraam, with its implication that limits sometimes need to be drawn, is the word Western culture really needs to borrow from Islam. Among the places where limits need to be drawn, and spaces set aside, are the earth’s remaining natural areas. Nature parks, game preserves, wilderness areas, and so on are absolutely essential to the future of our planet. Yet when a secular government says, “Don’t transgress in this area because the law says so”, many people, driven by greed or desperation, will not listen. Under an Islamic system, when an area is declared Haraam, and Quranic precepts invoked to protect it, Muslims will be much more likely to sacrifice their immediate self-interest and respect the lines that must not be crossed. This is just one example of how sacred law, which touches our hearts and carries Allaah’s imprimatur, is more effective than secular law, which requires ever-greater armies of ever-more-corrupt police, soldiers, bureaucrats and prisons to try to enforce it. In the absence of Allaah’s guidance, man imagines himself self-sufficient and is driven to violate limits. Allaah Says (what means): “No! (But) indeed, man transgresses, because he sees himself self-sufficient. Indeed, to your Lord is the return.” [Quran, 96:6-8]. When humans understand that they are not self-sufficient, but utterly helpless and dependent on a marvelously beautiful and unimaginably complex natural world—a natural world which, like us, is utterly dependent on Allaah for the tiniest nanosecond or smallest subatomic particle of its existence—they will be overtaken by awe and accept the limits that sustain the balance (meezaan) of Allaah’s creation.

 

 

 

To Be Continued

 

Monday : 12/09/2005

 

This piece is taken from the website IslamWeb.

See on-line at: http://english.islamweb.net/ver2/archive/article.php?lang=E&id=101577

Ecology and Islamic Values – I

March 21, 2010

I could understand “do not drink the water.” Or even “no swimming—polluted water.” But “do not touch the water”!? Something about that sign, and the reality it pointed to seemed deeply, irrevocably wrong. The fact that it was the nearest campground to Disneyland somehow made the whole situation even creepier.

 

The memory of that toxic waste dump campground remained with me for years. I gradually realized that the place was not just the perfect anti-campground, but also an image of anti-paradise: a place where the flowing water is too filthy to be used to purify ourselves before prayer, and where the natural plants and creatures are poisoned and dying. The Quran tells us that the Paradise promised to believers, is a garden with rivers flowing beneath. It is filled with fruits and flowers and growing things, offering nectar better than the finest earthly wine, and beauties and pleasures beyond earthly imagination. While we can never create such a perfect paradise on earth, Muslim architects, land-use planners and artists have sometimes used this image as a model for their efforts to preserve and celebrate the natural beauty of creation. Why not? The Quran tells us that all of nature is a sign of Allaah, reflecting some of His mercy and magnificence.

 

Indeed, all of nature, in the Islamic view, is in a state of continuous worship. Trees and grasses, fish and animals, are all bending in a sweet, invisible breeze that wafts their worship back toward their creator. Human beings can learn from this process and seek harmony with it by joining creation in worship of the Lord of all worlds and creation. Or else, they can obstinately rebel, imagining themselves cut off and self-sufficient, and persist in transgressing the bounds that Allaah has set for them until the inevitable payment comes due.

 

In contrast to the prevailing view of nature in the West as a savage, fallen chaos that must be tamed by conquest, Islam insists that nature is respected and invites humans to learn from it and join it in harmonious coexistence.

 

The polluted-campground experience awakened me to the fact that something is very wrong with the way of life that produced such a place, and that Islam holds the keys to understanding the root causes and solutions of our current environmental dilemma. It convinced me that we Muslims should be putting Islamic environmental activism at the very top of our social and personal agenda. Our planet is in a state of environmental crisis, and as Muslims we are the custodians of Allaah’s last revelation, a revelation that gives humanity the knowledge and inspiration it needs to live in peace and harmony—in this life and the next.

 

The Quranic solution to the problem of environment is, in a word, holistic and comprehensive. Living a truly Islamic life requires avoiding the evils of extravagance and the insanity of materialism, and that we attain harmony with our surroundings and have compassion for other creatures.

 

It all begins, however, with the right orientation towards life: complete submission to Allaah, The One Creator of all, and that this submission should be marked by pious awe, loving gratitude, inner peace, the struggle to do good, and the constant awareness that Allaah is greater than any aspect of His creation. The Quranic orientation provides the key to restoring the lost balance between humans, nature, and The One who created both (i.e .Allaah)

 

Materialists and atheists say that nothing is sacred, which implies that there are no limits to what humans can do to gratify their material desires. Materialist culture, as my wise humanities professor once said, has two distinguishing characteristics: A tremendous drive to achieve more and more control over the natural world, and an equally energetic drive to re-make and perfect human society.

 

Humans as trustees and keepers of the Earth

 

Islam teaches that we are the successors and trustees of Allaah on this beautiful earth, not prisoners in a flawed world that needs to be radically re-made. As successors, our task is to preserve and appreciate the beauty and goodness we find, in grateful submission to its Creator. All of our planet’s scientists are needed for a more obvious and simple task: Taking care of the planet Allaah has given us, and taking care of our fellow human beings. This means finding ways to live, and live well, while expending far less physical energy, and making far less obtrusive changes to our physical environment, than is customary today. It means finding ways to redistribute the planet’s wealth more equitably, in the environment of zero economic growth or even negative growth that will surely be upon us in just a few short years, when oil production peaks and starts to decline.

 

“Allaah loves not the wasters”

 

So, too, is the Islamic injunction: “Waste not!” Both Quran and Sunnah make it absolutely clear that avoiding waste and prodigality is a matter of the highest importance. For example, Allaah Says (what means) : “Do not be extravagant, for Allaah does not love the wasteful” [Quran, 96:141]. And He Says (what means): “But waste not by excess, for Allaah loves not the wasters” [Quran, 7:31]. And (what means): “Squander not in the manner of a spendthrift. For wasters are the brothers of the Satan, and the Satan is to his Lord ungrateful” [Quran, 17:26-27]. Here we see that the root of wasting is ingratitude: those who respond to the marvelous beauty and bounty of Allaah with gratitude and amazement are happy with a little, while the ungrateful one is never satisfied no matter how much he has, so he abandons himself to an ever-increasing cycle of consumption and waste. If humanity is to survive, it will have to move from the spiritual state of ingratitude to gratitude and give up its wasteful ways, as the Quran urges.

 

Conserving food and water

 

Along with this Quranic teaching, the Sunnah (prophetic tradition) provides us with the best example of living in a state of gratitude and avoiding waste. The Prophet Muhammad was famous for his attention to conserving and avoiding waste. He was careful not to waste a crumb of food, licking the last morsel from the utensils so that nothing would go to waste. He urged believers to avoid using more water than necessary when performing an act of worship like ablution. If we must be careful not to waste a drop of water in our ablutions, how much more necessary must it be to avoid waste in less-important activities.

 

Unfortunately the dominant way of life among well-off people everywhere, especially in the West, is marked by unbelievable waste and extravagance. We eat more than what is good for us, buy things we do not really need, throw away things that either still work or could be repaired, buy over-sized large vehicles and drive short distances instead of walking or bicycling, build larger houses than we need and heat and cool them far beyond minimal comfort standards, waste huge amounts of water maintaining herbicide-sprinkled lawns and golf courses, and so on. In perhaps the single most absurd display of extravagance in all history, we are, at the USA, currently burning up fossil fuels at a rate that will ensure that our economy, our environment, or both will completely collapse in the near future. (See: peakoil.com for details.) This lunatic way of life, whose seductive pleasures and comforts disguise its utter madness, its complete lack of sustainability, was not developed by Muslims.

 

To be true to our religion, we must change our ways, and make an effort to conserve, educate, and build alternative institutions to mitigate and help cope with the coming economic and environmental meltdown, preserve and strengthen of our Islamic communities and institutions,and think about how they can be of service in the struggle to help humanity exercise responsible stewardship over our corner of creation.

 

Ecology and Islamic values -II

Ecology and Islamic values – III

 

Sunday : 19/07/2009

This piece is taken from the website IslamWeb.

See on-line at: http://english.islamweb.net/ver2/engblue/article.php?lang=E&id=101557

Abusing The Environment: An Islamic Perspective

March 21, 2010

Islam expresses great concern for the environment. A number of verses in the Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad have addressed this issue. Islam’s solution to environmental problems lies in man’s adaptation of its guidance. Allaah has stated that He made all the material objects on earth for man’s use, not for his abuse.

Allaah Almighty has not prevented humankind from enjoying a luxurious standard of living, but this should not be maintained by damaging and abusing natural resources. This is clearly stated in a number of verses in the Quran. Allaah says (what means): “But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and (yet), do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corruptors. ” [Quran 28:77]

The Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad contains instructions for Muslims to preserve the environment, which includes not cutting down trees unnecessarily. In this respect, Prophet Muhammad pointed out that there are benefits in planting trees, which will last until the Day of Judgment. This is illustrated in the saying of the Noble Prophet : “If the Hour is imminent and anyone of you has a palm shoot (to plant) in his hand and is able to plant it before the Hour strikes, then he should do so and he will be rewarded for that action.”

Allaah has ordained severe punishments for those who damage and abuse natural resources. He says (what means): “Eat and drink from the provision of Allaah, and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.” [Quran 2:60]

“Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by (reason of) what the hands of people have earned, so He (i.e. Allaah) may let them taste part of (the consequences of) what they have done that perhaps they will return (to righteousness).” [Quran 30:41]

Ibn Mas’ood reports, “While we were on a journey with Allaah’s Messenger he went a short distance from where we had encamped. There we saw a small bird with two of its chicks and caught them. The bird was fluttering when the Prophet came back, so he   asked, ‘Who has distressed it by taking its chicks ?’ Then he asked us to return the chicks. There we also saw an anthill and burnt it out. When the Prophet saw that, he asked, ‘Who has burnt it?’ When we informed him that we had done it, he said, ‘Only the Lord of fire has the right to punish with fire.’

Allaah says in the Quran (what means): “And  there is no creature on (or within) the earth or a bird that flies with its wings except that they are  nations (communities) like you.” [Quran 6:38]

We infer from the Prophet’s statement and this Qur’anic verse that all living things are partners to man in existence and they deserve our respect. We must be merciful toward animals and strive to ensure the preservation of different species.

Islam forbids wasting water and using it without benefit. The preservation of water for the nourishment of humankind, animal life, bird life and vegetation is a practice that gains Allaah’s pleasure.

In his article “Islam and the Environment,” Arafat El Ashi, director of the Muslim World League in Canada, [www.al-muslim.org] writes, “Human life is sacred in the sight of Islam. No one is permitted to take the life of another person except as life-for-life.”

Under Islam, El Ashi states, “It [is] incumbent on every Muslim to contribute his/her share in improving greenery. Muslims should be active in growing more trees for the benefit of all people.” Even during battle, Muslims are required to avoid cutting down trees that are useful to people.

Humankind’s stewardship of the earth entails a profound responsibility. Other living species, as mentioned above, are also considered by Allaah to be “communities”. Creation itself, in its boundless diversity and complexity, may be thought of as a vast universe of “signs” of Allaah’s Power, Wisdom, Beneficence and Majesty. The responsibility of humankind is to keep Allaah’s creation undistorted. The environment is a trust presented by Allaah to humankind and its abuse is a misuse of Allaah’s trust. 

Sunday : 31/01/2010

This piece is taken from the website of IslamWeb.

See on-line at: http://english.islamweb.net/ver2/engblue/article.php?lang=E&id=122912

Reward for Planting Trees and Houseplants

March 21, 2010
Title Reward for Planting Trees and Houseplants
  Question  

It says in a hadith that even if you sow a seed, you will get the reward. Do we get the reward of growing plants in a pot like houseplants? And if we take good care of them but they die, do we get the sin for that?

  Date 02/May/2006
  Name of Counsellor Dr. `Abdul-Wahhab ibn Nasir Al-Tariri
  Topic Environment
 
 
  Answer    
 
 

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Thank you for contacting us, we implore Allah earnestly to guide us all to the best both in this world and in the hereafter.

Muslims are required by Islam to keep the environment around them pure and clean. True Muslim are those who appreciate the beauty surrounding them. This may explain many of the Prophetic hadiths that talk about the merits of planting trees and other acts that benefit people.

Responding to the question, Sheikh Abdul-Wahhab ibn Nasir Al-Tariri, former professor of the Shari `ah at Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud University in Saudi Arabia, states the following:

The are a number of hadiths which refer to the issue mentioned in the question. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Whenever Muslims plant a tree, they will earn the reward of charity because of the food that comes from it; and likewise what is stolen from it, what the wild beasts eat out of it, what the birds eat out of it, and what people take from it is charity for them” (Muslim).

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is also reported to have said, “Muslims will always earn the reward of charity for planting a tree, sowing a crop and then birds, humans, and animals eat from it” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Allah knows best about how this might apply to potted houseplants which are merely kept in the home for decoration and household purposes. Houseplants do not provide the types of general benefit mentioned in the hadith as being the reasons for the reward. The hadith describes the reward for planting a tree to be that of charity. The hadith goes on to describe the charity as being gained through the food the tree provides for humans and animals.

We might extend the meaning of the hadith by analogy to other benefits that plants provide to people, animals and the environment. For instance, trees provide shade along the road and contribute to the beauty of the urban environment. These are important benefits that are enjoyed by the general public. Likewise, trees provide habitation and shelter for birds and many other animals.

However, similar benefits to the public can be likened to charity, but most people keep houseplants at home for beautification, fresh air, and other purely personal reasons. Therefore, we cannot easily extend the hadith’s of charity meaning to such plants. However, we cannot rule out a reward for taking care of such plants. If the houseplant dies without there being fault or negligence on the part of the owner, then there is, of course, no sin upon the owner for its death.

Taken, with some modifications, from www.islamtoday.com.

This piece is taken from the website IslamOnline.net

See on-line at: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1145175696530