Aspects of Environmental Ethics: An Islamic Approach

environmental ethics

Religion Islam is not only focused on how to eat, how to drink, how to live, how to make your life a successful life, how to behave with people and society but also focused on environment, its conservation, protection and rehabilitation. Environmental Protection or protection of environment is an important aspect of Islam.

What is environmental ethics? It is philosophical discipline that deals with the behavior of human beings with environment.Environmental ethics covers the following questions which comes to your mind : What is the interaction between environment and human being? How they interact with each other morally?  What are the moral statues and values of environment? Environmental ethics also covers up approaches of conservation, protection and rehabilitation. Environmental friendly behavior is also part of environmental ethics.

“There is no joy in life unless three things are available: clean fresh air, abundant pure water, and fertile land”, said by Imam Sadiq.  Just think about this quote and focus on “Clean Fresh Water, Pure Water & Fertile Land”. Clean fresh water is necessary for breathing. Pure water means water without any impurity and clear crystal in nature. It is necessary because water is life and without water living organisms cannot live. The third necessary thing is fertile land. Question rises why fertile land is necessary for life. If clean fresh water and abundant pure water is available it is the sign of living or life. For cultivation and to fulfill need of food, fertile land is necessary.

Allah Almighty nominated human beings as stewards of planet earth. It is stated as in Quran,

“It is He who has appointed you viceroys in the earth … that He may try you in what He has given you.” (Surah 6:165)

It is not only duty of every Muslim but also every human being to care of his/her environment in a good way and use every resource with balance because in every creation of Allah Almighty, there is no mistakes, no un balance and fault. It is stated in Quran as,

“You will not find in any fault in the universe of Rehman. Look at it do you find any fault look at it again and again and your sight will be disappointed”.(Sura Rehman).

In Holy Book of Quran, it is repeated again and again man should not do such activities which have negative effect on environment and destroyed it.  Islam always encouraged the actions and those practices which are good for environment and which makes environment better and make it a healthy environment.

Islam always teaches a lesson to use water, food and natural resources with balance & don’t waste anything. It is stated as,

“O children of Adam! … eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.” (Surah 7:31)

 Just observe this world with keenly, we find a lot of beautiful things like flying colorful butterflies, mountains, dark green forests, running water, beautiful birds, flowing lakes, standing water, rivers, oceans,, waterfalls. In-short this planet earth has many beautiful things which attracts everybody towards its self. It is stated as,

“He Who has spread out the earth for you and threaded roads for you therein and has sent down water from the sky: With it have We brought forth diverse kinds of vegetation.  Eat and pasture your cattle; verily, in this are signs for men endued with understanding.” (Quran 20:53-54)

The religion Islam where focused on protection and conservation of environment, is also focused rehabilitation and planting trees. Islam is against of unnecessary cuttings of trees and plants but encouraged planting of trees and cultivation of foods.

Narrated by Anas bin Malik (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) 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).

Today, the one of the biggest problem that we are facing are environmental problem. From pollution to global warming and climate change, we are facing a lot of environmental problems. Just think who are responsible for that, these problems are destroying our planet earth badly. The answer is only we humans are responsible and our activities which are non environmental friendly are responsible. We are destroying beauty of our planet with our own hands. By polluting our environment, we are not destroying our environment only but also killing our selves. Our behaviors from home to emissions from industries are responsible.

Being a steward of this planet, all human beings should adopt environmental friendly behavior because Allah love who’s who use resource wisely.

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