Islam and the Environment

From the barren lands of Arabia rose a voice that called upon righteousness and the worship of one God. The single voice of the most perfect man to have graced the surface of this earth transformed the inhabitants of this spiritually desolate land from bloodthirsty animals into Godly humans and raised them to the lofty station of ‘رضي الله عنهم‘ (Those whom Allah is pleased with). Allah the Almighty, on account of the purity of the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" heart, revealed the Holy Qur’an in these physically and spiritually barren lands and made this His final and complete word for mankind until the day of judgement. Now, it only makes sense to think that such a perfect law revealed on such a perfectly pure heart for the whole of mankind should address all problems pertaining to the struggles of human life of all times. As Muslims, we firmly believe that Islam is in fact a universal religion and so it contains the answers to all the problems that humanity is facing today; be it global poverty, or the gap between the rich and the poor to the intricacies of human behaviour such as how one should walk and speak. It is through the lens of this perfect teaching that I will attempt to explain what the environmental crisis is, what we should do for the protection of the environment and what implications this crisis has for the welfare of humankind.

Before we delve further into this topic it is important to have, at the very least, a rough sketch of what problems our environment is facing today. The environment we live in is experiencing unprecedented changes due to human activity. Climate change and global warming are terms used interchangeably to explain some of these changes but fundamentally they have two different meanings. Ever since the industrial revolution, humans have been burning fossil fuels for energy which is harnessed for powering things such as our homes, vehicles and machinery. The industrial revolution is often seen as a ground-breaking moment in the history of mankind because it led to a drastic change in the way that humans started to produce goods and trade. Businesses and industries had previously been relying solely on workers and manual labour for their output but now, with the production of energy, they could get one or two machines to do the job of hundreds of workers in a much shorter time span. Where this has had far-reaching social, economic and political implications on the majority of the world population it is also the point at which the story of our damage to the environment truly begins.

We extract crude oil, coal and gas from the earth and burn them to obtain this energy with one of the by-products of this process being Carbon Dioxide (CO2 ). This is a greenhouse gas which, when in the atmosphere, traps some of the heat energy provided by the sun. Greenhouse gases such as CO2 are already present in the atmosphere due to natural processes but now human activity at this level, which has been stable for thousands of years, is steadily rising. This is because the extra CO2 that we are pumping into the atmosphere cannot be removed by natural processes, therefore the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is surging and leading to an increased amount of heat being trapped by the earth’s atmosphere.

This heating effect is known as the Greenhouse Effect and causes global warming (i.e. the rise of the average atmospheric temperature). As a result of this, the earth’s climate is changing. Rising temperatures are causing ice caps and glaciers at the poles to melt and the resulting water that has been trapped in those ice caps for many years is now flowing into the earth’s oceans, causing sea levels to rise and thus also leading to the flooding of low-lying and coastal areas. A hotter atmosphere results in more evaporation, causing more intense droughts. The fact that there is more water in the earth’s oceans and more water in its atmosphere (due to increased evaporation) leads to an increase in the severity of storms. All these adverse effects (and many more) are known as climate change. The graph below illustrates that this chain of cause and effect coincides with the start of the industrial revolution. Fluctuations in the concentration of CO2 are a normal part of the earth’s climate history, but our current situation is alarming precisely for the reason that this is the highest reading we have ever seen after accumulating data from the past hundreds of thousands of years.

Whilst there is speculation that this theory could be wrong and that the change in climate may be due to other circumstances, there is a lot of corroborating evidence from ice caps and fossils to suggest that it is indeed a human activity that is directly causing abrupt changes in our climate and environment. If truth be told, this explanation of climate change is accepted by the overwhelming majority of scientists and officially endorsed by the scientific community. It is in these circumstances scientific data alarmingly points out that we currently stand at the foot of a crossroads: we can either choose to continue as we are in damaging our environment and ruining the world for our children, or we can adapt our energy using habits and help the environment recover from the consequences of our malpractices.

It may seem that these ideas are far-fetched, exaggerated or maybe even false because most of us have not been at the direct receiving end of these consequences, but the ramifications of climate change have started to manifest themselves. Extreme weather patterns are affecting many parts of the globe.

Take, for example, the case of Bangladesh. A densely populated and low lying country which relies heavily on agriculture for its sustenance now has to brace itself for increased flooding, destruction of crops and increased smog in urban areas leading to an increase in health complications for its citizens.

Approximately 25% of the population is settled in coastal areas where the majority of people are affected by flooding in one way or another . 80% of its land (with the exception of the northern areas) is prone to flooding and an increase in annual rainfall has caused the severity of this flooding to multiply manifold. Recent indications of Bangladesh’s economy are extremely positive and it is projected that by 2024 it will graduate from the ‘least developed countries’ list to a ‘developing country’, but this projection does not tell the truth about what is happening to its poorest people.

A rise in sea level is causing coastal areas to be submerged underwater. People living in these rural areas are forced to migrate, their crops and land is being engulfed by the rising water and even their drinking water is turning saline.

Extreme flooding causes many deaths every year and damages urban infrastructure. Bangladesh is only one of a selection of economically deprived countries to be affected by climate change.

According to a report by Germanwatch (an organisation that has been monitoring the adverse effects of climate change on different parts of the world since 1998) out of the top 10 most affected countries by climate change, 8 are developing countries.

An article published by Time magazine also reveals that the countries most affected by climate change are mostly those that are behind in economic development. It is, therefore, one of the harsh realities of climate change that the poorest nations bear the brunt of its consequences due to the actions of a handful of developed countries. In essence, the environmental problems of the world are reminiscent of the injustice that sadly runs rampant on our planet.

The teachings of Islam therefore shine forth in this era where darkness has inundated the world and we will come on to how these teachings can help eliminate the environmental crisis later as we progress further.

Climate change also holds serious repercussions for wildlife. Many animal species are finding it increasingly difficult to adjust to extreme weather patterns and thus are critically endangered. There are a range of species at direct risk of extinction due to climate change: from many species of birds to iconic animals such as the koala and polar bear.

Sea turtles are perhaps one of the worst affected by the warming of the planet. The temperature of turtle nesting sites is a commanding factor in determining the gender of sea turtle offspring. Due to increasingly hot sand, most turtle hatchlings are skewing dangerously female. Experts have estimated that at the current rate there may be no male turtles left by the end of this century. What this means is that a 200-million-year-old species that has outlived the dinosaurs is now under severe threat of extinction due to climate change – a testament to the urgency of the matter at hand. Deforestation for the purpose of obtaining resources continues to cost many rare species their habitat, meaning that for many of them their survival now hangs in the balance. Deforestation has two fundamental connections to climate change. The first one is that the machinery used for cutting down trees is powered by the burning of fossil fuels and thus leads to CO2 emissions. The second and more notable connection is that the earth’s forests play a fundamental and vital role in the carbon cycle. It was briefly mentioned earlier that the earth has naturally maintained its level of atmospheric CO2 for many thousands of years.

It is indeed the vegetation on our planet that, through the process of photosynthesis, removes excess CO2 from the atmosphere and thus has been controlling the climate on our planet. Through large scale deforestation we are reducing the ability of our earth to remove excess CO2 from the atmosphere and resulting in both the destruction of wildlife and a worsening global climate. It has been observed at times that, because of extensive media coverage of the issue, environmental problems are almost exclusively attributed to global warming and climate change but there are also several other ways in which we are damaging our environment. Oil spillages are a somewhat regular occurrence and disrupt marine ecosystems and wildlife. Our disposal of general waste also paints no pleasant picture. Plastic is stuffed in landfill sites even though these sites are meant to host biodegradable substances. This plastic contributes to the worsening of the soil and inflicts damage to wildlife and ecosystems. In addition to this it is created through extensive use of fossil fuels.

There are alternatives to the use of fossil fuels for energy, with nuclear energy perhaps being the most viable option but there are legitimate concerns about how dangerous and carcinogenic nuclear waste is managed.

Currently such waste is sealed in containers and buried underground in geologically stable sites but this is no easy process and often proves costly. The soil around nuclear sites is often contaminated thus having an adverse effect on the environment around it.

In the midst of such a problematic environmental situation and one with a lot of urgency about it, it is necessary to seek guidance from the religion of Islam which serves as the perfect and final teaching for the guidance of mankind. The Holy Qur’an encapsulates our present situation in the following verse: ا

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُمْ بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

“Corruption has appeared on land and sea because of what men’s hands have wrought, that He may make them taste the fruit of some of their doings, so that they may turn back from evil. ”

The Holy Qur’an (30:42)

This verse has many connotations in terms of spirituality but there is a link that can be established to the environmental crisis.

To begin with we must realise that this crisis stems from our own actions and that, as mankind, we are collectively responsible for the current situation.

Therefore if we are to address this issue, we must bring about changes in our practices or this ‘corruption’ will continue to exist.

In our ruthless quest for material success, we have forsaken the care and consideration that we are obliged to show to our environment and the people and organisms around us. This is the underlying reason behind our current plight.

The Holy Qur’an reminds man that all creation glorifies Allah the Almighty in its own way and that He has created a system of justice and equilibrium in life which men should not tamper with. Allah the Almighty, in this regard, states:

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيرٌ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَكَثِيرٌ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَذَابُ وَمَنْ يُهِنِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ مُكْرِمٍ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاءُ

“Hast thou not seen that to Allah submits whosoever is in the heavens and whoso – ever is in the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and the beasts, and many of mankind? But there are many who become deserving of punishment. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can raise him to honour. Verily, Allah does what He pleases. ”

The Holy Qur’an (22:19)

At another instance He also states:

وَالسَّمَاءَ رَفَعَهَا وَوَضَعَ الْمِيزَانَ
أَلَّا تَطْغَوْا فِي الْمِيزَانِ
وَأَقِيمُوا الْوَزْنَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلَا تُخْسِرُوا الْمِيزَانَ

“And the heaven He has raised high and set up a measure, That you may not transgress the measure. So weigh all things in justice and fall not short of the measure.”

The Holy Qur’an (55:8-10)

Allah the Almighty, in His infinite wisdom, has created a balance and order in creation; a harmony everpresent in His creation ensures that all the component parts of it function to perform their duties in the best manner and hence protect the life on our planet.

A slight change in this balance is bound to produce unfavourable results for us and our environment. When we exploit these natural resources improperly, we tamper with this perfect balance that Allah the Almighty has created.

To further open up this topic I would like to include an extract from the commentary of the verse “That you may not transgress the measure” in particular. It reads as follows:

“As there is an all-comprehensive harmony in the whole universe, so is man – the crown and object of creation – enjoined to maintain a just balance and to treat with equity and justice his fellow beings, giving everyone his due, and to avoid extremes and follow the golden mean in the discharge of his duties towards his Creator. ”

The Holy Qur’an, English short commentary by Malik Ghuram Farid (2016), page 1542

What we can take from this is that the Allah the Almighty recommends a path of moderation and justice in human affairs and these principles are also reflected in His creation. Therefore if we are to overcome our present situation we must be just in our dealings regarding the environment, irresponsible deforestation and a brute force use of fossil fuels violates this principle.

The formula for our escape from the environmental crisis looming over our heads is to be found intrinsically in one word: justice. If we were to use natural resources in a sustainable manner, using only what is just for our needs and abstaining from extravagance, we would not be faced with ever-increasing difficulties in our quest against environmental problems. The Arabic word used by the Qur’an for ‘measure’ is Mizan which encompasses both meanings of the principles as well as the instruments used to establish and measure justice.

Allah the Almighty has proclaimed in these verses that all of His creation is governed by this principle because His creation contains a perfect balance and symmetry. It is for this very reason that Allah the Almighty challenges the world to find any imperfection in His creation with the assurance that this task is of an impossible nature.

Allah the Almighty has given us some control over this earth, after all it is our temporary abode, and has given us the faculties to distinguish between right and wrong. When we irresponsibly spew millions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, we tamper with the balance that has been established in the atmosphere through Allah the Almighty’s law of justice.

This is why it is currently incumbent upon us to witness its harmful effects. “Corruption has appeared on land and sea because of what men’s hands have wrought” describes this situation perfectly. It was always going to be inevitable that we utilise the earth’s resources for our benefit, that is why they are there for us. But we are transgressing as humankind in our use of these resources by using them wastefully and thus undermining the system of justice established by God. After all what is ‘Corruption’ or ‘فساد‘? It holds meanings of ‘becoming bad’, ‘depraved’ and ‘perversion’ and all of these words can undoubtedly be attributed to a lack of justice.

After all, today’s environmental crisis epitomises global injustice. The stark disparity between nations who emit the most CO2 into the atmosphere versus the most affected countries by climate change, a point made earlier, bears witness to this statement. Even if adverse effects of climate change were to be experienced by rich countries, richer countries will always be better prepared to tackle such challenges.

As far as combating climate change is concerned, we mostly see developed nations taking the lead in this matter but it is clear that they lack the sincerity required to deal with the situation and that their efforts are marred by duplicity.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V abaabbreviation for "May Allah be his helper" very beautifully alluded to this notion in his keynote address at the 2018 National Peace Symposium in which he said:

“At the beginning, I mentioned that a major focus of the international community is climate change and a desire to keep the air that we breathe clean. Is there anyone who thinks that heavy bombardment has no effect on the atmosphere? Furthermore, if peace ever does prevail in the war-torn countries, their towns and cities will have to be rebuilt from scratch, and this in itself will be a huge industry that will cause an increase in harmful emissions and pollution. Thus, on the one hand, we are trying to save the planet, yet with our other hand, we are senselessly destroying it.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, keynote address at the Peace Symposium 2018

The hypocrisy of powerful nations in this regard is astounding. Powerful countries are doing the global environmental situation no favour by protecting and growing their arms industries to secure their means of income whilst committing to combating climate change on the other hand.

It is, therefore, not far-fetched at all to think that the environmental crisis is merely a pawn in the wider game of perpetuation of global injustice.

His Holiness continued by stating:

“In light of all of this, I firmly believe that world powers are being blinded by shortsightedness and tunnel-vision.”

In other words, if we are to truly overcome the crisis at hand, we need to rewire the way we think about it. Currently, we have almost intuitively connected the matter to greenhouse gas emissions, as is common with social problems enveloping the globe, however this problem has as much to do with the individual as it does with world governments. We require changes in people’s personal lives and in the way that world governments deal with each other.

Islam provides us with the solution at both these levels. Islam places great responsibility on the individual in regards to the establishment of a peaceful and just society.

Islam teaches Muslims to be absolutely just in their dealings and look after the environment in a personal capacity. Several Ahadith and incidents from the life of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" bear witness to this. The Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" always exhibited the highest standards of care for the environment and for all living organisms.

One example of this is the fact that he exhorted Muslims to plant trees. It is narrated by Hazrat Anas bin Malik raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them" that the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" said:

“There is none amongst the Muslims who plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, but is regarded as a charitable gift for him.”

Bukhari

The Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" also taught Muslims to look after animals. Hazrat Abu Huraira raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them" narrates that the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" said:

“A person suffered from intense thirst while on a journey, when he found a well. He climbed down into it and drank (water) and then came out and saw a dog lolling its tongue on account of thirst and eating the moistened earth. The person said: ‘This dog has suffered from thirst as I had suffered from it’. He climbed down into the well, filled his shoe with water, then caught it in his mouth until he climbed up and made the dog drink it. So Allah appreciated this act of his and pardoned him. Then (the Companions around him) said: ‘Allah’s Messenger, is there for us a reward even for (serving) such animals?’ He said: ‘Yes, there is a reward for service to every living animal.’”

Bukhari

The Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" forbade the killing of honey bees and disapproved of putting animals under any unreasonable discomfort. Hence Muslims must always be wary of what consequences their actions will have on the living organisms around them.

The Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" is also reported to have said that removing a harmful thing from the path is a form of charity.

It had earlier been explained that Islam is a religion that pertains to the minutest details of human life, this narration precisely serves an example for this. Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad rhabbreviation for "May Allah have mercy on him/her/them" has commented on this narration in great detail.

He argues that failing to abide by this teaching is a violation of the principle of justice in Allah the Almighty’s creation in the following words:

“At this level of the day to day conduct of a believer, the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" admonishes him to develop the habit of removing all potential dangers to man. Elaborating this point further he mentions many such articles on pathways and roads that could in any way be injurious to passers-by. According to the Prophet’s (sa) warning, if a believer does not remove for instance, a nail, a thorn or any other similar article which could hurt any unwary passer-by, he would be deficient by that much in his faith”

Absolute Justice, Kindness & Kinship The Creative Principles by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, p.114

He continues by saying:

“The Holy Prophet (sa) said that faith is divided into seventy tiers, the lowest of them being the habit of cleaning pathways of all obstructions. How on earth could this be a constituent of faith, one may wonder? A second glance at the same, however, can easily make someone understand the wisdom underlying this statement. True faith in God requires that security and protection which one receives from God, should also be extended to His other creatures. Hence, if someone is remiss in discharging his responsibility of extending security and protection to others, he would have faltered in his faith.”

Ibid. page 115

It is apparent like daylight that environmental protection is intrinsic to Islam and revolves around the principle of justice. Islam shows that an action as small as removing a branch from someone’s path can have far-reaching implications for a person’s personal faith and also for the betterment of society. Huzoor rhabbreviation for "May Allah have mercy on him/her/them" goes on to say:

“Thus the essence of the message is that a Muslim society should not ignore the dictates of justice even at its lowest level.”

Ibid, page 117

This is the beauty of Islam, a religion that relates an act as small as cleaning streets to global environmental problems. This also highlights that Islam is a perfect religion; its teachings have the power to uproot global problems by stressing the importance of small acts of virtue. If humanity had adopted these teachings at the start of the industrial revolution, it would be unthinkable for environmental problems to reach the epidemic proportions that they have today.

Hence, Islam is clear about the importance of the individual at creating a just society that respects its environment. There are several efforts, in light of Islam’s teachings of moderation and establishing justice, that can be made at a rudimentary level and can better our environmental plight. Ordinary human beings like us can begin by being less extravagant, using only how many products and resources we need. There are many examples of this in our average daily lives. One such example is the use of electricity. It is common for many people not to be too bothered about this because electricity is distributed widely and mostly at a cheap cost. However something as simple as switching off unused lights can contribute towards positive change. As people cut down their use of electricity, its demand means that power stations would only develop electricity according to demand. If the demand decreases, the number of fossil fuels burned to meet the demand will also reduce leading to fewer CO2 emissions by power stations.

We can apply this basic principle of supply and demand to other commodities as well. Take for example paper. Even with a growing digital market, it cannot be said that paper is not utilised with profligacy. If we cut down the amount of paper usage to only what is needed, we can cause a decrease in the amount of demand for it and this can lead to fewer trees being cut down for its production. We can also apply this principle to the transport sector, plastics and many more. Islam is a religion that connects to human nature, meaning that it provides tangible solutions to our problems. It deems it illogical to completely ban the use of electricity or paper because it recognises that this would significantly impede our technological progress and thus instructs us to be moderate. If the overwhelming majority of individuals of a society choose to be moderate in their use of natural resources, it will automatically send a message to world governments to act in a similar manner and will force them to re-evaluate their failing and futile strategies. That being said, there are many things that world governments (especially powerful ones) can do to help our current situation. As has been established, to rid ourselves from this crisis, the establishment of just relations between nations is of paramount importance. Therefore the first action that can be taken is that nations establish relations between themselves that adhere to the principle of justice, as opposed to securing a reliable mode of income – regardless of the cost to human populations and the environment.

The Holy Qur’an provides us with direct guidance in this regard by stating:

“And if two parties of believers fi ght against each other, make peace between them; then if after that one of them transgresses against the other, fi ght the party that transgresses until it returns to the command of Allah. Th en if it returns, make peace between them with equity, and act justly. Verily, Allah loves the just.”

The Holy Qur’an (49:10)

Many a time, we have witnessed world powers venturing into wars with the slogan of establishing peace but their attempts have almost always failed because they have undermined this golden principle laid out by the word of God.

Often the motivation behind modern wars has been hidden vested interests like the prospect of having influence over an area of strategic importance or the abundance of raw materials in that region. If world powers had united for a good cause with sincerity then our current wars in regions like Syria and Iraq would have terminated a long time ago. This is also why there is a lack of peace around the world, without justice how can peace be remotely possible?

Reverting to the matter under discussion, we must firmly establish the connection that war has with environmental damage. Our Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad abaabbreviation for "May Allah be his helper" very beautifully presented this matter to the world in his address at the 2018 National Peace Symposium and this has been quoted earlier. This point, made by the true representative of the living God on this planet, is now being attested to by sections of society with calls for a complete shift in our current thinking regarding the environmental emergency. Murtaza Hussain in an article for The Intercept writes:

“In the era of climate crisis, the relationship between environmental destruction and the destruction of human life… has become perhaps the central issue of our time.”

He continues by revealing that:

“The U.S. Department of Defence has a larger annual carbon footprint than most countries on Earth.”

He also notes that countries where superpowers have fought have had to see the worst effects of pollution and environmental destruction.

This is a truly shocking reality of our time. Global injustice and wars have a huge role to play in our climate emergency and this notion, which has been ignored for some time, is finally starting to gain traction in civil quarters. Unjust wars have not only caused the merciless killing of millions of innocent people but have also perpetrated heavy costs to the environment. The US is not the only guilty power in this regard.

Britain very happily marched in to the Iraq War in recent history, the USSR was directly involved in almost a decade of occupation of Afghanistan and as of recent it is reported that the Americans, Russians and Chinese are eyeing a potential new battleground in the arctic, which is currently melting due to climate change! One is amazed to see the complete disregard that these powers have for the environment. To top it all off , we have already mentioned that the most affected countries by climate change and extreme weather are developing countries and it is also no surprise that the most affected countries by these wars are also poor countries. Therefore poorer nations suffer the harrowing consequences of war and are also most affected by the adverse effects of environmental damage, whilst the rich continue to fill their pockets.

Unfortunately we are living in an era of grave injustice! Hence, we can never reverse our environmental situation in the current circumstances. Powerful governments must therefore, under the guidance of the Holy Qur’an, revamp their policies in this regard if we are to even have a chance of overturning our situation.

As we have mentioned, the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" gave great importance to the protection of animals, in fact showing kindness to animals was one distinct feature of his character. In this regard, governments can also work towards protecting wildlife by encouraging wildlife conservation. This task is already being undertaken by some governments which is a welcome sign but a more organised and concerted effort can bring about better results. Every animal has its own function in Allah’s system of perfect balance, one of these is its position on the food chain. The extinction of a species therefore triggers a knock on effect and disrupts the ecosystem. In some cases it can also lead to the extinction of another species that heavily relies on it. Governments can also ensure that their methods of obtaining raw materials are humane. For instance, measures can be put in place to ensure sensible deforestation where areas with endangered species are not targeted. This could also be made sustainable by replanting trees from where they have been cut. Educating the masses about reducing energy usage and investment in sustainability is also crucial.

Conclusion

By the grace of Allah, Ahmadi Muslims, the group of Muslims presenting the true teachings of Islam to the world, recognise the dire situation of this world and also actively take part in initiatives that are environmentally friendly. Apart from hosting nationwide tree-planting efforts and street clean up events, the relocation of the Markaz to Islamabad is a fresh example of consideration towards the environment. The construction of the Mubarak Mosque has been carried out in an environmentally friendly and energy-saving design. A portion of the whole site’s energy is provided by solar panels dotted on the roofs of various administrative and residential buildings. In this way the mosque and site not only work to protect worshippers,they also protect the environment around it and serve as symbols of Islam’s commitment to environmental stability. Thus it is Ahmadi Muslims by the grace of Allah that fully comply to the teachings of Islam and are at the forefront of protecting the environment.

Mubarak Mosque, Tilford

In short, environmental protection is given great importance in Islam. The brilliance and clarity with which the Holy Qur’an, the character and sayings of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" and the Caliphs of the Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" have explained this topic is not to be found even in the remotest form in any other religion or ideology. Islam’s solution to our deplorable environmental situation is the establishment of justice. As Allah the Almighty’s creation is governed by the principle of justice, we as humans should strive to mirror it in our everyday dealings, be it on a small individual scale or the grand scale of international relations. If we are successful in doing so we can become the generation that, through the beautiful teachings of Islam, saved the world from catastrophe. But if we do not take heed and listen to this message our legacy could be one of disgrace, where our children would look at us with contempt and curse us for our lack of restraint, recklessness and indulgence. May Allah the Almighty help us in this regard.

Disclaimer

This article was originally published in the Annual Printed Edition of Majallatul Jamia

Sarfraz Ahmad

Sarfraz Ahmad

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