Imagine walking in a park shaded by tall trees, breathing in the fresh air and listening to the birds chirping. Have you ever thought how amazing is He who has created all these creations? Surely, the open book of nature contains precious spiritual messages for mankind’s constant reflection, so that they could come to know better their Author-Creator and thereby, get closer to Him.
Allah created humans as vicegerent on Earth. Allah is not in need of us to serve Him. Therefore, we serve Him by serving His creations, i.e. nature. Nature was created to serve humans in their servitude to Allah, but this does not mean that humans have complete freedom to exploit nature. Islam teaches us to use nature in accordance to the laws that Allah has laid down in the Qur’ān. However, human race is overexploiting and degrading nature beyond repair. We know that our environment is highly vulnerable to destruction, but what’s often ignored is the impact of environmental change on the intertwined ecosystems, the environment, and human societies. The biophysical environment, which supports both human and non-human activities, is constantly threatened by the slew of environmental problems that humans have introduced throughout much of the modern world.
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said, “If the Hour (the day of Resurrection) is about to be established and one of you is holding a palm shoot, let him take advantage of even one second before the Hour is established to plant it.” Hence, even though the future of the environment may seem bleak, we should still strive to carry out our part as a responsible servant of Allah towards the environment.
Firstly, reform our ‘Ibadah such aswudhu’. Muslims generally use water for wudhu’ five times a day. One can imagine the amount of water wasted (and multiply that by the number of days, months, and years) if he does not conserve water during wudhu’. The amount of water wasted would surely be staggering!
Secondly, choose environment-friendly products, such as biodegradable utensils. This will ultimately reduce the amount of waste in general and, at the same time, reduce the rate of pollution during the production and waste-disposal processes.
Thirdly, ‘green-ify’ your daily lifestyle. How about bringing reusable water bottle and food container everywhere you go? Besides bringing your own drink, you could ask the salesgirl to fill the bubble tea in your own bottle and pack the food you bought in the container. This could certainly save the amount of utensils and plastics used.
Lastly, be an ambassador. Spread the message of environment-friendliness to the people around! It could simply be an action or a message – such as encouraging others to finish their food, introducing ways to reduce water consumption during wudhu’, or switching off electrical appliances when not in use.
Clearly, we have the responsibility to take care of Earth. Words can easily be said but actions are tough. I hope that this article would inspire you to be a responsible servant of Allah who spreads mercy to the rest of His creations on Earth. Collectively, our simple actions could go a long way in protecting the only Earth that we have.
Author: Dhania Raihana binte Saheid
Ibrahim Abdul-Matin. (2010). Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet. 235 Montgometry Street, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.
Islam, M. S. (2012). Old Philosophy, New Movement: The Rise of the Islamic Ecological Paradigm in the Discourse of Environmentalism. Nature and Culture, 7(1), 72-94.
Islam, M. S. (2013). Development, Power, and the Environment: Neoliberal Paradox in the Age of Vulnerability (1st ed.). New York: Routledge.
Mohd Zaidi. (2008). The Cosmos as the Created Book and its Implications for the Orientation of Science. Islam & Science, 6(1).
Nasr, S. (1997). Man and Nature: The Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man. Chicago: ABC International Group.
Osman Bakar. (2007). Environmental Wisdom for Planet Earth: The Islamic Heritage. Kuala Lumpur: Centre for Civilizational Dialogue, University of Malaya.
Shaykh Alaeddin Albakri. (2016, May 7). Earth in Crisis: A Solution Rooted in Faith. Speech presented at Islam and Environment in Singapore, Singapore.
One-Minute Dawah is an iniative by Darul Arqam. It is a campaign that aims to promote effective but simple acts and deeds that can be achieved withing a minute showing the true values as taught by Islam.
Our own FiTree member wrote an article and was featured in the campaign. Dhania Raihana is an NTU undergraduate, majoring in Public Policy and Global Affairs. Check out the article, https://oneminutedawah.com/2016/04/26/be-responsible/ .