How important is sustainability in Islam? To answer this question, we must consider the effect that sustainability can have on both our lives as Muslims but also the wider population and planet Earth. How do our actions as individuals shape the world we live in?
The Quran teaches us that it is our responsibility as Muslims to protect our planet just as it has protected us. As muslims, we are taught that the Earth is an ‘Amana’or Trust which we have welcomed from Allah and therefore every Muslim is responsible for the safety of the planet in order to allow all living beings to thrive. By promoting sustainability we are fulfilling our service to the planet Earth, something Allah has entrusted us with.
In the holy Quran, Allah reminds us of our position in regards to the planet:
‘You will never split the Earth apart nor will you rival the mountains in stature’- Quran, 17:37.
‘The creation of heaven and Earth is greater than the creation of humankind’- Quran, 40:57.
This arguably suggests that, as the human race has developed, we must make sure we do not exploit the planet for our own benefit and should instead be mindful of its importance. Thus it is our duty to protect the planet whilst understanding our position in regards to its safety and one way of achieving this is through a greater level of sustainability in our every day lives.
It is highly likely you may have heard of the ‘Three R’s’: Reuse, Recycle and Reduce. This reminds us to be sustainable by reducing our waste and recycling our waste where possible. The Prophet s.a.w. practiced sustainability during his life, as mentioned in a hadith in which Aisyah r.a was asked what the prophet s.a.w. would do in the house and she replied ‘He mended sandals and patched garments and sewed.
Even the noble Prophet s.a.w. personally mended the items he used daily. This would highlight the fact that, as Muslims, although we may not have to use items till they no longer work, we should certainly be working towards sustainability and be more conscious of the items we buy and use. It is important for us to consider how we ourselves can practice sustainability in the way the Prophet s.a.w. did in order to better protect the planet we live in and how sustainability is an integral part of Islam.
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