More often than not, topics like climate change and sustainability only appear to us through a white-washed, western lens which can make us feel like we’re just not part of these types of important conversations. And this, in turn, gives us the impression that we don’t need to act, but I assure you, as a Muslim and a fellow human being who wants to help our planet as much as she can, we need to. If we’re not being included in these conversations, we need to be at least creating our own.
And if you don’t want to take it from me, then take it from the word of God.
All the way throughout the Quran, there are multiple lines concerning or referring to the environment – almost 200 in fact. These sections also give us instruction on how to look after our planet and utilise it in a way that isn’t wasteful and will help create a better world for future generations to come.
Take section 2:60 for example. The quote “eat and drink of Allah’s provisions, and do not go about spreading corruption in the land,” is clear. It can be interpreted in a way that suggests we should not ruin what was intricately designed to benefit us and by doing so, we’re getting involved in “corruption.”
Or how about the verse in which He refers to the ozone layer? Section 21:32 is translated to: “And We have made the sky a well-protected canopy, still they turn away from its signs,” which scholars and translators have confirmed is in reference to the ozone layer. The layer absorbs harmful UV rays from the Sun but throughout the years, we’ve damaged it, which is only going to cause us more harm in the years to come.
And one more. Here’s section, 6:38 which states: “And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you. We have not neglected in the Register a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered.” This verse, in particular, refers to treating animals with dignity and respect, as they are, just like we are, God’s creations.
According to The Eco Muslim, the word “communities”, which is translated to Ummah in Arabic form, used here is important, as it is also the word to describe Muslims meaning there is no hierarchy in terms of which deserves more respect. It is equal. The only thing that differs is our purpose on this planet.
Those are just a few of the verses, but there are many more that refer back to our planet. Even though it is important to have the issue debated in the mainstream, there is still a lot of work to do in certain communities to get us all up to speed. Of course, we’re all already a little bit behind considering the awful state we’re currently in, but hey, better late than never, right?
Let’s make sure we’re being more mindful about our wastage, as well as more considerate about how our actions will impact our planet. Because you know they’re completely right when they say that there’s no Planet B.