Qur'an and Environment

COMPILATIONS


The Qur'an and the Environment
Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change 2015


THE QUR'AN AND THE 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,
Most-Forgiving!

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

 



 

Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change

Declaration adopted at the
International Islamic Climate Change Symposium
Istanbul, Turkey, 17-18 August 2015


Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

PREAMBLE

1.1 God – Whom we know as Allah – has created the universe in all its diversity, richness and vitality: the stars, the sun and moon, the earth and all its communities of living beings. All these reflect and manifest the boundless glory and mercy of their Creator. All created beings by nature serve and glorify their Maker, all bow to their Lord’s will. We human beings are created to serve the Lord of all beings, to work the greatest good we can for all the species, individuals, and generations of God’s creatures.

1.2 Our planet has existed for billions of years and climate change in itself is not new. The earth’s climate has gone through phases wet and dry, cold and warm, in response to many natural factors. Most of these changes have been gradual, so that the forms and communities of life have adjusted accordingly. There have been catastrophic climate changes that brought about mass extinctions, but over time, life adjusted even to these impacts, flowering anew in the emergence of balanced ecosystems such as those we treasure today. Climate change in the past was also instrumental in laying down immense stores of fossil fuels from which we derive benefits today. Ironically, our unwise and short-sighted use of these resources is now resulting in the destruction of the very conditions that have made our life on earth possible.

1.3 The pace of Global climate change today is of a different order of magnitude from the gradual changes that previously occurred throughout the most recent era, the Cenozoic. Moreover, it is human-induced: we have now become a force dominating nature. The epoch in which we live has increasingly been described in geological terms as the Anthropocene, or “Age of Humans”. Our species, though selected to be a caretaker or steward (khalifah) on the earth, has been the cause of such corruption and devastation on it that we are in danger ending life as we know it on our planet. This current rate of climate change cannot be sustained, and the earth’s fine equilibrium (mīzān) may soon be lost. As we humans are woven into the fabric of the natural world, its gifts are for us to savour. But the same fossil fuels that helped us achieve most of the prosperity we see today are the main cause of climate change. Excessive pollution from fossil fuels threatens to destroy the gifts bestowed on us by God, whom we know as Allah – gifts such as a functioning climate, healthy air to breathe, regular seasons, and living oceans. But our attitude to these gifts has been short-sighted, and we have abused them. What will future generations say of us, who leave them a degraded planet as our legacy? How will we face our Lord and Creator?

1.4 We note that the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (UNEP, 2005) and backed by over 1300 scientists from 95 countries, found that “overall, people have made greater changes to ecosystems in the last half of the 20th century than at any time in human history… these changes have enhanced human well-being, but have been accompanied by ever increasing degradation (of our environment).”

“Human activity is putting such a strain on the natural functions of the earth that the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted.”

1.5 Nearly ten years later, and in spite of the numerous conferences that have taken place to try to agree on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the overall state of the Earth has steadily deteriorated. A study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) comprising representatives from over 100 nations published in March 2014 gave five reasons for concern. In summary, they are:

  • Ecosystems and human cultures are already at risk from climate change;
  • Risks resulting from climate change caused by extreme events such as heat waves, extreme precipitation and coastal flooding are on the rise;
  • These risks are unevenly distributed, and are generally greater for the poor and disadvantaged communities of every country, at all levels of development;
  • Foreseeable impacts will affect adversely Earth’s biodiversity, the goods and services provided by our ecosystems, and our overall global economy;
  • The Earth’s core physical systems themselves are at risk of abrupt and irreversible changes.

We are driven to conclude from these warnings that there are serious flaws in the way we have used natural resources – the sources of life on Earth. An urgent and radical reappraisal is called for. Humankind cannot afford the slow progress we have seen in all the COP (Conference of Parties – climate change negotiations) processes since the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was published in 2005, or the present deadlock.

1.6 In the brief period since the Industrial Revolution, humans have consumed much of the non-renewable resources which have taken the earth 250 million years to produce – all in the name of economic development and human progress. We note with alarm the combined impacts of rising per capita consumption combined with the rising human population. We also note with alarm the multi-national scramble now taking place for more fossil fuel deposits under the dissolving ice caps in the arctic regions. We are accelerating our own destruction through these processes.

1.7 Leading climate scientists now believe that a rise of two degrees centigrade in global temperature, which is considered to be the “tipping point”, is now very unlikely to be avoided if we continue with business-as-usual; other leading climate scientists consider 1.5 degrees centigrade to be a more likely “tipping point”. This is the point considered to be the threshold for catastrophic climate change, which will expose yet more millions of people and countless other creatures to drought, hunger and flooding. The brunt of this will continue to be borne by the poor, as the Earth experiences a drastic increase in levels of carbon in the atmosphere brought on in the period since the onset of the industrial revolution.

1.8 It is alarming that in spite of all the warnings and predictions, the successor to the Kyoto Protocol which should have been in place by 2012, has been delayed. It is essential that all countries, especially the more developed nations, increase their efforts and adopt the pro-active approach needed to halt and hopefully eventually reverse the damage being wrought.

 

WE AFFIRM

2.1 We affirm that Allah is the Lord and Sustainer (Rabb) of all beings

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Praise be to Allah, Lord and Sustainer of all beings
Qur’an 1: 1

He is the One Creator – He is al-Khāliq

هُوَ اللَّهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ

He is Allah – the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of Form
Qur’an 59: 24

الَّذِي أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ

He Who has perfected every thing He has created
Qur’an 32: 7

Nothing that He creates is without value: each thing is created bi ’l-haqq, in truth and for right.

وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا لَاعِبِينَ مَا خَلَقْنَاهُمَا إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ

And We did not create the heavens and earth and that between them in play. We have not created them but in truth
Qur’an 44: 38

2.2 We affirm that He encompasses all of His creation – He is al-Muhīt

وَلِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُّحِيطًا

All that is in the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah.
Allah encompasses all things

Qur’an 4: 125

2.3 We affirm that –

  • God created the Earth in perfect equilibrium (mīzān);
  • By His immense mercy we have been given fertile land, fresh air, clean water and all the good things on Earth that makes our lives here viable and delightful;
  • The Earth functions in natural seasonal rhythms and cycles: a climate in which living beings – including humans – thrive;
  • The present climate change catastrophe is a result of the human disruption of this balance –

وَالسَّمَاء رَفَعَهَا وَوَضَعَ الْمِيزَانَ
أَلاَّ تَطْغَوْا فِي الْمِيزَانِ
وَأَقِيمُوا الْوَزْنَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلا تُخْسِرُوا الْمِيزَانَ
وَالأَرْضَ وَضَعَهَا لِلْأَنَامِ

He raised the heaven and established the balance
So that you would not transgress the balance.
Give just weight – do not skimp in the balance.
He laid out the earth for all living creatures.

Qur’an 55: 7-10

2.4 We affirm the natural state (fitrah) of God’s creation –

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا
لا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لا يَعْلَمُونَ

So set your face firmly towards the (natural) Way
As a pure, natural believer
Allah’s natural pattern on which He made mankind
There is no changing Allah’s creation.
That is the true (natural) Way
But most people do not know it.

Quran 30: 30

2.5 We recognize the corruption (fasād) that humans have caused on the Earth due to our relentless pursuit of economic growth and consumption. Its consequences have been –

  • Global climate change, which is our present concern, in addition to:
  • Contamination and befoulment of the atmosphere, land, inland water systems, and seas;
  • Soil erosion, deforestation and desertification;
  • Damage to human health, including a host of modern-day diseases.

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

Corruption has appeared on land and sea
Because of what people’s own hands have wrought,
So that they may taste something of what they have done;
So that hopefully they will turn back.

Qur’an 30: 41

2.6 We recognize that we are but a miniscule part of the divine order, yet within that order, we are exceptionally powerful beings, and have the responsibility to establish good and avert evil in every way we can. We also recognize that –

  • We are but one of the multitude of living beings with whom we share the Earth;
  • We have no right to oppress the rest of creation or cause it harm;
  • Intelligence and conscience behoove us, as our faith commands, to treat all things with care and awe (taqwa) of their Creator, compassion (rahmah) and utmost good (ihsan).

وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلاَ طَائِرٍ يَطِيرُ بِجَنَاحَيْهِ إِلاَّ أُمَمٌ أَمْثَالُكُم

There is no animal on the earth, or any bird that wings its flight, but is a community like you.
Qur’an 6: 38

لَخَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لا يَعْلَمُونَ

The creation of the heavens and the earth
Is far greater than the creation of mankind,
But most of mankind do not know it

Qur’an 40: 57

2.7 We recognize that we are accountable for all our actions –

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

Then he who has done an atom’s weight of good, shall see it;
and he who has done an atom’s weight of evil, shall see it.

Qur’an 99:6-8

2.8 In view of these considerations we affirm that our responsibility as Muslims is to act according to the example of the Prophet Muhammad (God’s peace and blessings be upon him) who –

  • Declared and protected the rights of all living beings, outlawed the custom of burying infant girls alive, prohibited killing living beings for sport, guided his companions to conserve water even in washing for prayer, forbade the felling of trees in the desert, ordered a man who had taken some nestlings from their nest to return them to their mother, and when he came upon a man who had lit a fire on an anthill, commanded, “Put it out, put it out!”;
  • Established inviolable zones (harams) around Makkah and Al-Madinah, within which native plants may not be felled or cut and wild animals may not be hunted or disturbed;
  • Established protected areas (himas) for the conservation and sustainable use of rangelands, plant cover and wildlife.
  • Lived a frugal life, free of excess, waste, and ostentation;
  • Renewed and recycled his meagre possessions by repairing or giving them away;
  • Ate simple, healthy food, which only occasionally included meat;
  • Took delight in the created world; and
  • Was, in the words of the Qur’an, “a mercy to all beings.”

 

WE CALL

 

3.1 We call upon the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Kyoto Protocol taking place in Paris this December, 2015 to bring their discussions to an equitable and binding conclusion, bearing in mind –

  • The scientific consensus on climate change, which is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate systems;
  • The need to set clear targets and monitoring systems;
  • The dire consequences to planet earth if we do not do so;
  • The enormous responsibility the COP shoulders on behalf of the rest of humanity, including leading the rest of us to a new way of relating to God’s Earth.

3.2 We particularly call on the well-off nations and oil-producing states to –

  • Lead the way in phasing out their greenhouse gas emissions as early as possible and no later than the middle of the century;
  • Provide generous financial and technical support to the less well-off to achieve a phase-out of greenhouse gases as early as possible;
  • Recognize the moral obligation to reduce consumption so that the poor may benefit from what is left of the earth’s non-renewable resources;
  • Stay within the ‘2 degree’ limit, or, preferably, within the ‘1.5 degree’ limit, bearing in mind that two-thirds of the earth’s proven fossil fuel reserves remain in the ground;
  • Re-focus their concerns from unethical profit from the environment, to that of preserving it and elevating the condition of the world’s poor.
  • Invest in the creation of a green economy.

3.3 We call on the people of all nations and their leaders to –

  • Aim to phase out greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible in order to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere;
  • Commit themselves to 100 % renewable energy and/or a zero emissions strategy as early as possible, to mitigate the environmental impact of their activities;
  • Invest in decentralized renewable energy, which is the best way to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development;
  • Realize that to chase after unlimited economic growth in a planet that is finite and already overloaded is not viable. Growth must be pursued wisely and in moderation; placing a priority on increasing the resilience of all, and especially the most vulnerable, to the climate change impacts already underway and expected to continue for many years to come.
  • Set in motion a fresh model of wellbeing, based on an alternative to the current financial model which depletes resources, degrades the environment, and deepens inequality.
  • Prioritise adaptation efforts with appropriate support to the vulnerable countries with the least capacity to adapt. And to vulnerable groups, including indigenous peoples, women and children.

3.4 We call upon corporations, finance, and the business sector to –

  • Shoulder the consequences of their profit-making activities, and take a visibly more active role in reducing their carbon footprint and other forms of impact upon the natural environment;
  • In order to mitigate the environmental impact of their activities, commit themselves to 100 % renewable energy and/or a zero emissions strategy as early as possible and shift investments into renewable energy;
  • Change from the current business model which is based on an unsustainable escalating economy, and to adopt a circular economy that is wholly sustainable;
  • Pay more heed to social and ecological responsibilities, particularly to the extent that they extract and utilize scarce resources;
  • Assist in the divestment from the fossil fuel driven economy and the scaling up of renewable energy and other ecological alternatives.

3.5 We call on all groups to join us in collaboration, co-operation and friendly competition in this endeavour and we welcome the significant contributions taken by other faiths, as we can all be winners in this race

وَلَكِن لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُم فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ

He (God) wanted to test you regarding what has
come to you. So compete with each other
in doing good deeds.

Qur’an 5: 48

If we each offer the best of our respective traditions, we may yet see a way through our difficulties.

3.6 Finally, we call on all Muslims wherever they may be –

Heads of state
Political leaders
Business community
UNFCCC delegates
Religious leaders and scholars
Mosque congregations
Islamic endowments (awqaf)
Educators and educational institutions
Community leaders
Civil society activists
Non-governmental organisations
Communications and media

وَلاَ تَمْشِ فِي الأَرْضِ مَرَحًا إِنَّكَ لَن تَخْرِقَ الأَرْضَ وَلَن تَبْلُغَ الْجِبَالَ طُولاً

Do not strut arrogantly on the earth.
You will never split the earth apart
nor will you ever rival the mountains’ stature
.
Qur’an 17: 37

 

We bear in mind the words of our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him):

The world is sweet and verdant, and verily Allah has made you stewards in it, and He sees how you acquit yourselves.
Hadīth related by Muslim from Abu Sa‘īd Al-Khudrī)


Source: International Islamic Climate Change Symposium
© 2015 International Islamic Climate Change Symposium - Islamic Relief Worldwide


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Last updated 30 August 2015