What kind of world do we want our children to inherit?
“It is the One who has appointed you vicegerent on the earth…” (Quran 6:165).
“Preserve the Earth, because it is like your mother” – Prophet Muhammad in Nahj-al-Fasahah, No. 1130.
Khalifa fil’-al-ardh or stewardship of the earth, is the principle that humans are the custodian of nature, and must work in harmony with all living things. In Islam, nature is seen as a pure creation of Allah which is a reflection of God’s beauty and unity, or Tawhid. As stewards, we have been entrusted to respect, nurture, and care for the environment as part of our love for God. The Arabic word for Paradise, Jannat, also translates as garden, and the Quran has many verdant descriptions of paradise, which is seen as a place where our souls live in harmony with nature:
“Paradise, which the righteous are promised, wherein are rivers of water unaltered, rivers of milk the taste of which never changes, rivers of wine delicious to those who drink, and rivers of purified honey, in which they will have from all [kinds of] fruits and forgiveness from their Lord….” [Quran, 47: 15]
At the same time, we have to see the reality of today. Which is that human actions on the face of the earth are taking us in the opposite direction of this ideal. Our desires to do more and gain more without thinking about the consequences is destructive and harmful
As a Muslim, I believe we will be taken to account for all that we do in this life. Both for all we do to harm the health of our planet, and for every harm that we abstain from doing, and enjoin others to abstain from as well.