Qur'an and Environment


(translation of Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

All the religions teach respect for nature and environmental responsibility.
Environmental degradation is a sign that the world is not living in accordance with the Divine will.

Oneness and unity of God and the creation

59:22-24 Hashr - The Gathering
God is He, than Whom
There is no other god; -
Who knows (all things)
Both secret and open;
He, Most Gracious,
Most Merciful.

God is He, than Whom
There is no other god; -
The Sovereign, the Holy One,
The Source of Peace (and Perfection),
The Guardian of Faith,
The Preserver of Safety,
The Exalted in Might,
The Irresistible, the Supreme:
Glory to God!
(High is He)
Above the partners
They attribute to Him.

He is God, the Creator,
The Evolver,
The Bestower of Forms (or Colours).
To Him belong
The Most Beautiful Names:
Whatever is in
The heavens and on earth,
Doth declare
His Praises and Glory:
And He is the Exalted
In Might, the Wise.

37:4-5 As-Saffat - Those Ranged in Ranks
Verily, verily, your God
Is One! -
Lord of the heavens
And of the earth,
And all between them,
And Lord of every point
At the rising of the sun!

38:65-66 Sad
Say: "Truly am I
A Warner: no god
Is there but the One
God, Supreme and Irresistible,-
The Lord of the heavens
And the earth, and all
Between, – Exalted in Might,
Able to enforce His Will,
Forgiving again and again."

God is all encompassing, including our environment

2:115 Al-Baqarah - The Cow
To God belong the East
And the West: whithersoever
Ye turn, there is the Presence
Of God. For God is All pervading
All Knowing.

4:126 An-Nisa`- The Women
But to God belong all things
In the heavens and on earth:
And He it is that
Encompasseth all things.

41:53-54 Fussilat
Soon will We show them
Our signs in the (furthest)
Regions (of the earth), and
In their own souls, until
It becomes manifest to them
That this is Truth.
Is it not enough that
Thy Lord doth witness
All things?
Ah indeed!  are they
In doubt concerning
The Meeting with their Lord?
Ah indeed!  it is He
That doth encompass
All things!

Everything is created by God and glorifies Him

2:107 Al-Baqarah - The Cow
Knowest Thou not
That to God belongeth
The dominion of the heavens
And the earth?
And besides Him ye have
Neither patron nor helper.

2:117 Al-Baqarah - The Cow
To Him is due
The Primal origin
Of the heavens and the earth:
When He decreeth a matter,
He saith to it: ‘Be,’
And it is.

6:73 Al-An‘am - Cattle
It is He Who created
The heavens and the earth
In true proportions:
The day he saith, ‘Be’
Behold! It is. His Word
Is the truth.  His will be
The dominion the day
The trumpet will be blown.
He knoweth the Unseen
As well as that which is
Open.  For He
Is the Wise, well acquainted
(With all things).

22:64 Al-Hajj - The Pilgrimage
To Him belongs all that is
In the heavens and on earth:
For verily God, -  He is
Free of all wants,
Worthy of all Praise.

36:83 Ya Sin
So Glory to Him
In Whose hands is
The dominion of all things:
And to Him will ye
Be all brought back.

59:24 Al-Hashr - The Gathering
He is God, the Creator,
The Evolver,
The Bestower of Forms (or Colours).
To Him belong
The Most Beautiful Names:
Whatever is in
The heavens and on earth,
Doth declare
His Praises and Glory:
And He is the Exalted
In Might, the Wise.

The Creator established laws for the Creation

7:54 Al-A‘raf - The Heights
Your Guardian-Lord
Is God, Who created
The heavens and the earth
In six Days, and is firmly
Established on the Throne
(Of authority): He draweth
The night as a veil
O’er the day, each seeking
The other in rapid succession:
He created the sun,
The moon, and the stars,
(All) governed by laws
Under His Command.
Is it not His to create
And to govern?  Blessed
Be God, the Cherisher
And Sustainer of the Worlds!

The Signs of God in the Creation

2:164 Al-Baqarah - The Cow
Behold! In the creation
Of the heavens and the earth;
In the alternation
Of the Night and the Day;
In the sailing of the ships
Through the ocean
For the profit of mankind;
In the rain which God
Sends down from the skies,
And the life which He gives therewith
To an earth that is dead;
In the beasts of all kinds
That He scatters
Through the earth;
In the change of the winds
And the clouds which they
Trail like their slaves
Between the sky and the earth; –
(Here) indeed are Signs
For a people that are wise.

The whole Creation praises God

57:1-3 Al-Hadid - Iron
Whatever is in
The heavens and on earth, –
Let it declare
The Praises and Glory of God:
For He is the Exalted
In Might, the Wise.
To Him belongs the dominion
Of the heavens and the earth:
It is He who gives
Life and Death: and He
Has Power over all things.
He is the First
And the Last,
The Evident
And the Immanent [Hidden]:
And He has full knowledge
Of all things.

Purpose in Creation

3:190-191 Al ‘Imran - The Family of 'Imran
Behold! In the creation
Of the heavens and the earth,
And the alternation
Of Night and Day, –
There are indeed Signs
For men of understanding, -
Men who celebrate
The praises of God,
Standing, sitting,
And lying down on their sides,
And contemplate
The (wonders of) creation
In the heavens and the earth,
(With the thought):
"Our Lord! not for naught
Hast Thou created (all) this!
Glory to Thee! Give us
Salvation from the Penalty
Of the Fire.’

21:16 Al-Anbiya’ - The Prophets
Not for (idle) sport did We
Create the heavens and the earth
And all that is between!

38:27 Sad
Not without purpose did We
Create heaven and earth
And all between! That
Were the thought of Unbelievers!
But woe to the Unbelievers
Because of the Fire (of Hell)!

There is pattern and order in Creation which must not be changed

27:88 An-Naml - The Ants
Thou seest the mountains
And thinkest them firmly fixed:
But they shall pass away
As the clouds pass away:
(Such is) the artistry of God,
Who disposes of all things
In perfect order: for He is
Well acquainted with all that ye do.

30:30 Ar-Rum - The Roman Empire
So set thou thy face
Steadily and truly to the Faith:
(Establish) God’s handiwork according
To the pattern on which
He has made mankind:
No change (let there be)
In the work (wrought)
By God: that is
The standard Religion:
But most among mankind
Understand not.

God created balance and justice between humanity and nature

3:108-9 Al- ‘Imran - The Family of 'Imran
These are the Signs
Of God: We rehearse them
To thee in Truth:
And God means
No injustice to any
Of his creatures.
To God belongs all
That is in the heavens
And on earth: To Him
Do all questions
Go back (for decision).

15:19 Al-Hijr - The Rocky Tract
And the earth We have spread out
(Like a carpet); set thereon
Mountains firm and immovable;
And produced therein all kinds
Of things in due balance.

20:50 Ta Ha
(Moses) said: "Our Lord is
He Who gave to each
(Created) thing its form
And nature, and further,
Gave (it) guidance.

42:17 Ash-Shura - Consultation
It is God Who has
Sent down the Book in truth
And the Balance
(By which to weigh conduct).
And what will make thee
Realise that perhaps the Hour
Is close at hand?

54:49 Al-Qamar - The Moon
Verily, all things
Have We created
In proportion and measure.

101:1-9 Al-Qari‘ah - The Day of Noise and Clamour
The (Day) of
Noise and Clamour:
What is the (Day)
Of Noise and Clamour?
And what will explain
To thee what the (Day)
Of Noise and Clamour is?
(It is) a Day whereon
Men will be like moths
Scattered about,
And the mountains
Will be like carded wool.
Then, he whose
Balance (of good deeds)
Will be (found) heavy,
Will be in a life
Of good pleasure and satisfaction.
But he whose
Balance (of good deeds)
Will be (found) light, -
Will have his home
In a (bottomless) Pit.

55:1-13 Rahman - (God) Most Gracious
God, Most Gracious!
It is He Who has
Taught the Qur'an.
He has created man:
He has taught him speech (and intelligence).
The sun and the moon
Follow courses (exactly) computed;
And the herbs and the trees -
Both (alike) bow in adoration.
And the Firmament has He
Raised high, and He has set up
The Balance (of Justice),
In order that ye may
Not transgress (due) balance.
So establish weight with justice
And fall not short
In the balance.
It is He Who has
Spread out the earth
For (His) creatures:
Therein is fruit
And date palms, producing
Spathes (enclosing dates);
Also corn, with (its)
Leaves and stalk for fodder,
And sweet-smelling plants.
Then which of the favours
Of your Lord will ye deny?

Human responsibility as trustees or stewards to maintain justice and balance and avoid destruction

2:30 Al-Baqarah - The Cow
Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create
A vicegerent on earth."

38:26 Sad
O David! We did indeed
Make the a vicegerent
On Earth

11:85 Hud - The Prophet Hud
And O my people! give
Just measure and weight,
Nor withhold from the people
The things that are their due:
Commit not evil in the land
With intent to do mischief.

16:90 An-Nahl - The Bee
God commands justice, the doing
Of good, and liberality to kith
And kin, and He forbids
All shameful deeds, and injustice
And rebellion: He instructs you,
That ye may receive admonition.

30:41 Rum - The Roman Empire
Mischief has appeared
On land and sea because
Of (the meed) that the hands
Of men have earned,
That (God) may give them
A taste of some of their
Deeds: in order that they
May turn back (from Evil).

Water is to be shared, not wasted or polluted

21:30 Anbiyaa - The Prophets
We made from water
Every living thing.

54:28 Qamar - The Moon
And tell them that
The water is to be
Divided between them.

Animal communities praise God, so destroying them destroys those who praise God

6:38 Al-An‘am - Cattle
There is not an animal
(That lives) on the earth,
Nor a being that flies
On its wings, but (forms
Part of) communities like you.
Nothing have we omitted
From the Book, and they (all)
Shall be gathered to their Lord
In the end.

17:44 Bani Isra’il - The Children of Israel
The seven heavens and the earth,
And all beings therein,
Declare His glory:
There is not a thing
But celebrates His praise;
And yet ye understand not
How they declare His glory!
Verily He is Oft-Forbearing,

21:19-20 Al-Anbiya’ - The Prophets
To Him belong all (creatures)
In the heavens and on earth:
Even those who are in His
(Very) Presence are not
Too proud to serve Him,
Nor are they ( ever) weary
(Of His service):
They celebrate His praises
Night and day, nor do they
Ever flag or intermit.

24:41-42 An-Nur - Light
Seest thou not that it is
God Whose praises all beings
In the heavens and on earth
Do celebrate, and the birds
(Of the air) with wings
outspread? Each one knows
Its own (mode of) prayer
And praise. And God
Knows well all that they do.
Yea to God belongs
The dominion of the heavens
And the earth; and to God
Is the final goal (of all).

62:1 Al-Jumu‘ah - The Assembly (Friday) Prayer
Whatever is
In the heavens and
On earth, doth declare
The Praises and Glory
Of God, - the Sovereign,
The Holy One, the Exalted
In Mighty, the Wise.

People must worship only the Creator

2:21-22 Al-Baqarah - The Cow
O ye people!
Adore your Guardian-Lord,
Who created you
And those who came before you,
That ye may have the chance
To learn righteousness;
Who has made the earth your couch,
And the heavens your canopy;
And sent down rain from the heavens;
And brought forth therewith
Fruits for your sustenance;
Then set not up rivals unto God
When ye know [the truth].

50:6-8 Qaf
Do they not look
At the sky above them?-
How We have made it
And adorned it,
And there are no
Flaws in it?
And the earth -
We have spread it out,
And set thereon mountains
Standing firm, and produced
Therein every kind of
Beautiful growth (in pairs)-
To be observed
And commemorated
By every devotee
Turning (to God).

Human lifestyles

2:204-207 Al-Baqarah - The Cow
There is the type of man
Whose speech
About this world’s life
May dazzle thee,
And he calls God to witness
About what is in his heart;
Yet is he the most contentious
Of enemies.
When he turns his back,
His aim everywhere
Is to spread mischief
Through the earth and destroy
Crops and cattle
But God loveth not mischief.
When it is said to him,
"Fear God,"
He is led by arrogance
To (more) crime.
Enough for him is Hell; –
An evil bed indeed
(To lie on)!
And there is the type of man
Who gives his life
To earn the pleasure of God;
And God is full of kindness
To (His) devotees.

6:165 Al-An‘am - Cattle
It is He Who hath made
You (His) agents, inheritors
Of the earth: He hath raised
You in ranks, some above
Others: that He may try you
In the gifts He hath given you:
For thy Lord is quick
In punishment: yet He
Is indeed Oft-forgiving,
Most Merciful.

40:57 Al-Mu’min - The Believer
Assuredly the creation
Of the heavens
And the earth
Is a greater (matter)
Than the creation of men:
Yet most men understand not.

Nobody should waste what God gives

17:26 Bani Isra'il - The Children of Israel
But squander not (your wealth)
In the manner of a spendthrift.

4:29 An-Nisa’ - The Women
O ye who believe!
Eat not up your property –
Among yourselves in vanities:
But let there be amongst you
Traffic and trade
By mutual goodwill:
Nor kill (or destroy)
Yourselves: for verily
God hath been to you
Most Merciful!

6:141 Al-An‘am - Cattle
It is He who produceth
Gardens, with trellises
And without, and dates,
And tilth with produce
Of all kinds, and olives
And pomegranates,
Similar (in kind)
And different (in variety):
Eat of their fruit
In their season, but render
The dues that are proper
On the day that the harvest
Is gathered.  But waste not
By excess: for God
Loveth not the wasters.

7:31 Al-A‘raf - The Heights
O Children of Adam!
Wear your beautiful apparel
At every time and place
Of prayer: eat and drink:
But waste not by excess,
For God loveth not the wasters.

People will be accountable for their actions on the Day

6:3-6 Al-Na‘am - Cattle
And He is God
In the heavens
And on earth.
He knoweth what ye
Hide, and what ye reveal,
And He knoweth
The (recompense) which
Ye earn (by your deeds).
But never did a single
One of the Signs
Of their Lord reach them,
But they turned
Away therefrom.
And now they reject
The truth when it reaches
Them: but soon shall they
Learn the reality of what
They used to mock at.
See they not how many
Of those before them
We did destroy? –
Generations We had established
On the earth, in strength
Such as We have not given
To you - for whom
We poured out rain
From the skies in abundance,
And gave (fertile) streams
Flowing beneath their (feet):
Yet for their sins
We destroyed them,
And raised in their wake
Fresh generations
(To succeed them).

13:2 Ar-Ra‘d - Thunder
God is He Who raised
The heavens without any pillars
That ye can see; is firmly
Established on the Throne (of Authority);
He has subjected the sun
And the moon (to His Law)!
Each one runs (its course)
For a term appointed.
He doth regulate all affairs,
Explaining the Signs in detail,
That ye may believe with certainty
In the meeting with your Lord.

83:1-6 Al-Mutatfifin - Dealing in Fraud
Woe to those
That deal in fraud, -
Those who, when they
Have to receive by measure
From men, exact full measure,
But when they have
To give by measure
Or weight to men,
Give less than due.
Do they not think
That they will be called
To account?-
On a Mighty Day,
A Day when (all) mankind
Will stand before
The Lord of the Worlds?

99:6-8 Zilzal - The Convulsion
On that Day will men
Proceed in companies sorted out,
To be shown the Deeds
That they (had done).
Then shall anyone who
Has done an atom’s weight
Of good, see it!
And anyone who
Has done an atom’s weight
Of evil, shall see it.

Based partly on a compilation by Margaret Barker
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Last updated 12 May 2010