According to Islam, Man is the vice-regent on Earth of the supreme creator. As such, he is mandated to build civilization, but at the same time is held responsible for protecting the environment. Muslims, in particular, are duty-bound to make every effort to achieve sustainable development for the care of the environment and for the general well-being of everybody on this planet. The environment is a gift from God that individuals and communities must take care of in order to ensure the rights of every human being to a clean and sound environment.
The Qu'ran and the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet) are rich in proverbs and precepts that speak to the Almighty's design for creation and humanity's responsibility for preserving it. Many of the verses bear a striking resemblance to passages in the Bible, portraying a similar vision of Creation. Examples are: Q.
Ch. 64: v.3 'He has created the heavens and the earth in just proportions, and has given you shape, and made your shapes beautiful'; Q. Ch. 17: v.44 'The seven heavens and the earth and all therein declare His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise'. These verses show that the Almighty created the world in a proportioned way that allows humans to live harmoniously and safely.
The interconnected aspects of the environmental crisis, including global warming, resource depletion, species extinction, pollution, population explosion and over-consumption, have been well documented. It is now clear that these environmental problems are both global in scope and local in impact. Islam teaches us that we should be cautious and on-guard against damages from pollution and global warming. From an Islamic point of view, protecting the environment and avoiding damaging climate change requires deepening awareness of the elements that affect life on our planet, ensuring the continuation of life by avoiding pollution, and using the power of religion to channel human activity into these productive areas. All these responses will be required in order to confront the challenge of climate change in a moral and responsible manner.
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