The global climate change and need for Islamic response
The Muslim community has always been proud of their values derived from Islam. These values include justice for the oppressed, human rights, and admiration for the creation of Allah. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) gave the message of Allah to all mankind. The first step of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was to eliminate and condemn the cruel practice of female infanticide. Furthermore, Islam safeguards the rights of women.
Islam and dignity of animals
From the establishment of larger communities to the rights of individuals, Islam also guides us to admire the natural world. The rules regarding the proper slaughter of livestock and consumption of animals were to consider zabihah halal (the ritual slaughter of meat). It points out a value system in which animals live safely in their natural world and to be treated with respect. Quran praises the complexity of life and biodiversity of the natural world,
“As ripe as our faith’s history and texts maybe with respect for the natural world and for the rights of each other as human beings, we are currently failing to truly live up to the values we claim to be representative of our worldview.”
Islam and global warming
Global warming is an alarming issue that is rapidly destroying the earth. It causes due to man-made activities such as fossil fuels that produce greenhouse gases. These harmful gases negatively affect our environment.
Due to global warming, the climate becomes warmer due to which the dry areas become drier and wet areas become wetter. Due to higher temperatures, many harmful disasters occur including heatwaves, storms, floods, droughts, and food shortages.
Though in several verses the Quran guides us to take care and respect the earth as a part of our obedience to Allah. We are destroying the life of mankind with our harmful activities and pushing others indirectly towards the political extreme.
“We must respond with an eco-justice approach that treats these complex yet interconnected issues holistically in the same manner that our faith itself is a holistic approach to life”.
What measures can we take for a balanced climate?
It needs to hold conversations in larger communities and within our mosques. This will make people aware that how we can embrace a “greener lifestyle” and shift to renewable energy sources.
We have to reassess what truly halal living means. We can make immediate and real changes in the food we eat. The largest factor contributing to climate change is the single meat industry (and that locally includes halal meals).
According to scientists, if we do not respond to climate change it will become difficult in the future to reverse it. Considering the instability of earth we can see our future that our government and societies will no more remain secure.
Devastating and dry weather compel more people to leave their native land. Just because of climate change and conflicts we can only see a rise in refugees. As Muslims, we need to raise our voice for the protection of the natural world as the extension of humanity.
(Written by freelance journalist Sadaf Riaz)