environment in islam

Environment in Islam

environment in islam

Contributed by Ahlulbayt TV

(31 mins)

Understanding Islam with Dr. Chris Hewer – Season 3 Episode 6

The situation affecting our planet in terms of sustainability, preserving the environment and ecology is well known. Of the 510m square kilometres surface of the earth, 149m square kilometres are dry land, which represents about 29 per cent, but only about 70 per cent of this is suitable for agriculture.

The human population now exceeds seven billion, with a forecast that this will reach between eight and nine billion by mid-century. This will put pressures on the earth’s ability to feed all these people if we continue to consume and waste as we do and if we maintain the meat- based diet of much of the developed world. Whilst Islam accepts the right of human beings to eat meat, Muslim scientists are aware of the fact that it requires forty hectares to provide meat for twenty people.

The same amount of land can produce sufficient maize for 100 people, or wheat for 240 people, or beans for 610 people. They are also aware that fodder for animals in the developed world is grown in the developing world where local people starve. The shift towards producing fuel from plant crops further exacerbates this situation. 361 square kilometres of the earth’s surface or 71 per cent is covered by water but of this 98 per cent is salt water, one per cent is ice and only one per cent is fresh water.

An increasing amount of this water is becoming polluted through sewerage, industrial effluent and the products of intensive farming so that hundreds of millions of people have to cook, drink and wash with this polluted water. This is exacerbated by the drift of populations from rural areas to live in cities with the strain that this puts on water transportation and the appropriate disposal of sewerage.

Our atmosphere is becoming increasingly polluted by the “greenhouse gasses” of carbon dioxide and methane, thus leading to global warming and the increased desertification of the land. The forests of the earth are being cleared at the rate of millions of hectares per year, often to provide for additional grazing and fodder for animals for human consumption.

Many of our medicines have been developed from the rain forests and thus their loss is a double blow for the future. The importance of trees was known in the time of Prophet Muhammad, who is reported to have said: Whoever plants a tree and looks after it with care until it matures and becomes productive will be rewarded in the hereafter. And If anyone plants a tree or sows a field and men, beasts or birds eat from it, he should consider it as an act of charity on his part.

A respect for trees was written into the Muslim rules of engagement in war from the beginning, in which it was forbidden to cut down a tree or kill an animal except such as was needed for food.

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