Sustainability in the Light of Islam

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Now that Sustainability has drawn to a close, we hear from QMISOC with some key messages about what sustainability means in the light of Islam and the importance of keeping the world balanced, by keeping our inner soul pure and clean with good intentions, sharing spiritual knowledge.

Introduction: 

Narrated by Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said “There is none amongst the Muslims who plant 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.” The importance of maintaining a safe environment and helping it grow into a strong and healthy environment will not only benefit the world itself but also us humans and the animals. Sustainability improves our standard of living, safeguards the environment, and conserves natural resources for coming generations.  

Now, why is it important according to Islam? Allah has created the world perfectly balanced on the basis of sustainability. We as Muslims should maintain this balance by maintaining justly, moderately and thoughtfully. Keeping it safe and healthy is one of the virtues of Islam which we as Muslims should keep. 

 

Why is Sustainability important in Islam? 

“The world is sweet and green, and verily Allah is going to install you as vicegerents in it, in order to see how you act.” A learning point we can take away from this is that the prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), was very concerned about the environment and sought to protect and care if it. He also reminds us that we all have a significant responsibility to serve Allah as vicegerents. With great power and status comes great responsibility.  

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Amr: Rasulullah (Peace be upon him) passed by Sa’d while he was performing ablution. The prophet said, “what is this extravagance?”  

Sa’d said, “is there extravagance with water in ablution?”  

The prophet said, “Yes, even if you were on the banks of a flowing river.”  

A key factor that we can learn from this is that, not only we should keep the environment clean and healthy, but to also keep yourself clean and healthy. If one cannot maintain themselves, how are they meant to maintain the world? This is why we as Muslims should keep ourselves clean and healthy and to fix ourselves before doing anything else. This way, we can have the right intentions in keeping the environment safe. The mention of not even wasting water whilst performing ablution, shows the importance that Islam places on not wasting, even whilst doing acts which are that of getting ready for worship. 

“While a man was walking along a path, he found a thorny branch of a tree on the way and removed it. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him.” The prophet emphasises the importance of removing whatever is deemed to be harmful when embarking on any path. As a result, Allah will thank and forgive the doer of good. 

Prophetic sense 

Maintaining the world, a safe place for others, is crucial to ensuring that people are not hurt by any negative dangers that a person may cause. As Muslims, we should follow the example set by the Prophet Muhammed (peace be Upon Him), throughout his lifetime. Islam encourages us to be kind to others and to avoid causing harm. Adhering to and putting into practise the teachings of the prophet can make us Muslims better individuals in general and have a positive effect on society.  

The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: Cleanliness is half of faith. The reward given by Allah for cleanliness and purification is so great that it could reach to a level in reward equal to half of that for having faith. Faith is made up of affirmation of the heart and outward submission to Allah in deeds. Purity implies the prayer, which is the greatest form of submission to the lord of the creator. This is why, we as Muslims, should keep ourselves away from filth and always purify ourselves, as that will eventually lead a positive impact on the environment, and it’ll provide a safer surrounding for the people and nature. 

How can we use these examples and act moving forward? 

There are many ways in which we could achieve by keeping ourselves and the environment cleaner and safer. Some practical steps include using the Miswak for cleaning the teeth and tongue, ablution (always being in a state of wudhu), cleaning ourselves after we eat such as recycling and ensuring to avoid litter, limit water wastage, planting a tree, and reducing carbon footprint. We have an obligation to respect Allah's creations as devout Muslims. We, along with the plants and animals, are kept happy and healthy when the environment is kept clean.  

Conclusion 

Maintaining a clean and safe environment is essential and everyone’s responsibility, even in spite of the rise in environmental risks, litter, and debris. This can be achieved by making it a priority for everyone, setting small goals for awareness, and leading by example. Ultimately, the space we maintain secure and hygienic, is mostly for our own benefit. The main learning point that we can take away from this is to keep the world balanced, by keeping our inner soul pure and clean with good intentions, sharing spiritual knowledge and following the straight path. 

Reference of hadith:  

Sahih Al-Bukhari 2320 

Sahih Muslim 70 

Musnad Ahmad  

Sahih Al-Bukhari  

Sunan Ibn Majah 355 – Cleanliness 

 

QMISOC  

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