Islam and the Environment
Khalifa – trusteeship
Muslims believe that Allah created humans to take care of His creation. In other words, nature is not ours to do with as we wish. Rather, Allah has entrusted us with its safekeeping.
“The world is green and beautiful, and Allah has appointed you his guardian over it.” –Prophet Muhammad
Tawheed – unity
Islam’s central concept is tawheed, or unity. Allah is unity, and this is reflected in the unity of humanity and nature. We must therefore maintain the integrity of Earth, its flora and fauna, its wildlife and environment. Our responsibility is to keep balance and harmony in Allah’s creation.
Akrah – accountability
Islam teaches that one day Allah will judge us on how we have carried out our responsibilities. Have we been good trustees? Have we kept nature in harmony? The day of reckoning will come.
The Qur’an says that Allah invites us to enjoy the earth’s fruits, but to avoid excess leading to waste, “for Allah does not love wasters.”
All these principles translate into practical directions for living, embodied in Shariah, the Islamic law. For example, Shariah law protects animals from cruelty, conserves forests, and limits urban growth.