Muslims are 1/3 of the world. How can they contribute to saving the earth? I am trying to focus on worldâ€™s one third population who are not paying attention about their claim in associating themselves with their beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) while He was the staunch advocator for the cause of environmental protection. According to Prophet (s) (hadith-by Al-Bukhari) â€œThere is none amongst the believers who plants a tree, or sows a seed, and then a bird, or a person, or an animal eats thereof, but it is regarded as having given a charitable giftâ€[for which there is great recompense].
On various occasions, itâ€™s been reported that the Prophet (s) had given plenty of importance toward cultivation of land…
See better treatment for animals; special concern for the preservation of water, plant and birds.
Importance of Planting a Tree in Islam
Citing the Prophetâ€™s (s) concern about plants, Qumruzzaman Azmi-Secretary General of the World Islamic Mission, Manchester(UK), said that Prophet (s) says, if a person is dying and he or she gets the chance to plant a tree then do it before dying. Azmi further quoted the Prophet (s) â€œif the people knew the importance and benefit of planting a tree, there wouldnâ€™t be a single place on earth left treeless.â€
According to a prominent Muslim scholar, Dr. Al-Qaradawi, Prophet (s) said â€œHe who cuts a lote-tree (without justification), God will send him to Hellfire.
(this is a much needed tree found in the desert area with scarce vegetation)
This Hadith gives value to even one tree so we can figure out that how much destructive it is in destroying millions of trees; spoiling the earthâ€™s resources; causing destruction for ozone layer etc.
Encouraging to Cultivate Wasteland
In order to protect the natural resources and preserve the balance existing between the diverse elements of nature in the environment, Al-Qaradawi further quotes the Prophet (s) who not only encouraged the sustainable use of fertile lands, He also told his followers of the benefits of making unused land productive: planting a tree, sowing a seed and irrigating dry land were all regarded as charitable deeds. â€œWhoever brings dead land to life, that is, cultivates wasteland, for him is a reward therein.â€
Essentially, it is prohibited by Islam to let the land set idle for a long time without working it out, quoted by Iqbual Nadvi from ICNA(Islamic Circle of North America).
For the purpose of saving water, the Prophet (s) strictly abstained His followers from wasting a single drop of water while making Wadu( a ritual of removing impurity) . He also recommended repeating each thing not more than three times while performing Wudu, even if they are sitting near lake, river or a flowing spring.
In fact, there are innumerable instances which substantiate the intimate relation of the Prophet with Earth, Water, Land and Animal.
In the context of treating birds, He says â€œIf anyone wrongfully kills even a sparrow, let alone anything greater, he will face Godâ€™s interrogationâ€ [Mishkat al Masabih].
Reducing Animal Cruelty
Prophet Muhammad (s) taught his followers to be gentle and cautious at the time of slaughtering animals. He advised to use sharp knives following a civilized method in slaughtering the animals so that it could minimize the risk of hurting and facilitating them to die quickly with little pain.
However, He forbade sharpening the knives and slaughtering any animal in the presence of other animals which, essentially, shows the dignity toward the animal. Prophet used to give special consideration to camel and horses as the most useful animal for journey and battle.
Addressing in Cairo, US President Barack Obama inspired the Muslim World by inculcating them:â€ As a student of history, I also know civilizationâ€™s debt to Islam. It was Islam â€“ at places like Al-Azhar University â€“ that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europeâ€™s Renaissance and Enlightenment.â€
The Qurâ€™an says, mankind holds a privileged position among Godâ€™s creations on earth: he is chosen as khalifa (vice-regent), and carries the responsibility of caring for Godâ€™s earthly creations. Each individual is given this task and privilege in the form of Godâ€™s trust. But the Qurâ€™an repeatedly warns believers against arrogance: they are no better than other creatures.
â€œNo creature is there on earth nor a bird flying with its wings but they are nations like you
â€œSurely the creation of the heavens and the earth is greater than the creation of man; but most people know not.â€
In the thesis, submitted into UNO, Professor Dr. Farooq Hassan-President
Pakistan Ecology Council, says: protecting the environment and eco-systems of the earth are a major concern of the Islamic Faith. If the situation of the environment keeps deteriorating at the present rate, there will ultimately be no life, no property and no religion left.
As we face the effects of pollution and water scarcity in some parts of the world and floods and violent storms elsewhere, now itâ€™s time for the world
community as a whole, Muslims, Christians and Jews, Hindus and Buddhists, atheists and agnostics, to take a leaf out of the Prophetâ€™s book and address the current environmental crisis seriously and wisely.