Our responsibility to look after the environment
As Muslims, we have a responsibility to look after the environment. This may be something that is often overlooked, but we must strive to ensure that we, as believers, do our best to take care of the environment. We read in the Holy Qur’an:
“And it is He who has made you successors upon the earth…” (Qur’an 6:165)
The earth is something that Allah has blessed us with, so we have a duty to take care of it. We must be conscious of what we are doing to fulfil this duty.
There are so many small things we can be doing to take care of the environment. There have been ideas suggested such as walking or cycling to destinations instead of driving a car. We could also ensure that we are not creating excess waste in our homes, such as through using things that are reusable. We could be using reusable bottles and straws instead of the disposable versions.
Any items that we are not able to find the reusable versions of, we should ensure we are putting in the recycling waste areas. We must make ourselves aware of the effects that the overload of waste on the earth is having on nature and animals. It is our responsibility to look after animals and be considerate towards them. We read in the Holy Qur’an:
“And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you.” (Qur’an 6:38)
We must be grateful for the earth that Allah has blessed us with. If we are being wasteful or not taking due care of the environment, then we are not properly showing our gratitude to Allah for what He has blessed us with. We should not throw things away unnecessarily. If we think carefully and put in the effort to find other uses for things, we will create less waste. It is part of our duty as Muslims to avoid wastefulness. We read:
“And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.” (Qur’an 6:141)
It is also part of our religion to engage in reflection. If we do not reflect on the way that we are living our lives, we will become careless about our actions. Reflecting on how we live our lives will help us to improve our attitude to different things. When we stop and reflect, we will be able to understand properly what we are doing to help the environment and the part we are playing in establishing sustainability.
Our religion teaches us to strive to fulfil each of our responsibilities with Ihsan (excellence). This is not limited to just certain parts of our lives, such as reading Qur’an or raising children. This means that in everything we do, we must push ourselves to do the best we can and not be careless. Therefore, knowing that we have a duty to look after the earth, we must not be careless about this. We should be doing everything we can to look after the environment.
In taking care of the environment, we will also be setting an example to others. Therefore, we must remember that it is not just ourselves that will be gaining the rewards for this. Others who see us and begin to have the same attitude and put in the same effort will also gain rewards.