Islamic Leaders Call For Phasing Out Global Fossil Fuels
August 20, 2015
Jack Jenkins / ThinkProgress & Muhammad Fathi / On Islam.net
Islamic leaders from 20 countries have unveiled a sweeping new declaration on climate change, calling on their fellow Muslims to care for the planet and asking world leaders to phase out their use of fossil fuels.Attendees at International Islamic Climate Change Symposium concluded their two-day summit in Istanbul by issuing a formal declaration on global environmental issues. The declaration -- which was clear to stipulate that climate change is both real and "human induced" -- was equal parts theological and scientific.
Islamic Leaders Call For Phasing Out Global Fossil Fuels
Jack Jenkins / ThinkProgress
What will future generations say of us, who leave them a degraded planet as our legacy? How will we face our Lord and Creator?
(August 18, 2015) -- Islamic leaders from 20 countries have unveiled a sweeping new declaration on climate change, calling on their fellow Muslims to care for the planet and asking world leaders to phase out their use of fossil fuels.
On Tuesday, attendees at International Islamic Climate Change Symposium concluded their two-day summit in Istanbul, Turkey by issuing a formal declaration on global environmental issues. The declaration -- which was clear to stipulate that climate change is both real and "human induced" -- was equal parts theological and scientific, using an Islamic moral lens to insist that world leaders take immediate action to assist our warming planet.
"Our species, though selected to be a caretaker or steward (khalifah) on the earth, has been the cause of such corruption and devastation on it that we are in danger ending life as we know it on our planet," the statement read. "Excessive pollution from fossil fuels threatens to destroy the gifts bestowed on us by God, whom we know as Allah -- gifts such as a functioning climate, healthy air to breathe, regular seasons, and living oceans."
"What will future generations say of us, who leave them a degraded planet as our legacy? How will we face our Lord and Creator?" the authors added.
The statement also made specific recommendations for world leaders who plan to attend the much-anticipated talks on climate change in Paris this December, hosted by the United Nations. The authors demanded that wealthy nations phase out their use of fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy systems, as well as lend aid to impoverished communities currently suffering from the harsh impacts of climate change -- including parts of the world densely populated by Muslims.
"We call upon [leaders participating in the Paris talks] . . . to bring their discussions to an equitable and binding conclusion, bearing in mind . . . the enormous responsibility the [conference] shoulders on behalf of the rest of humanity, including leading the rest of us to a new way of relating to God's Earth," the document read.
The declaration was signed by the assembly's 60 participants, including prominent Muslim voices such as Shaban Ramadha Mubajje, the grand mufti of Uganda, and Mohamed Ashmawey, head of Islamic Relief Worldwide. In addition, organizers of the conference -- Islamic Relief Worldwide, the Islamic Forum for Ecology and Environmental Sciences, and GreenFaith -- noted in a press release that the declaration was endorsed by other leaders not at the convening, such as the grand mufti of Lebanon.
"On behalf of the Indonesian Council of Ulema and 210 million Muslims we welcome this Declaration and we are committed to to implementing all recommendations," Din Syamsuddin, Chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulema (a body of Muslims scholars), said in a statement.
Organizers also made reference to Pope Francis' recent encyclical on the environment, a nod to the fast-growing multi-faith movement to address climate change. Religious groups from all sides of the theological spectrum have been mobilizing to address environmental issues this year, partly due to the pope's advocacy, and partly due to longstanding support for the environment among people of faith.
"It is with great joy and in a spirit of solidarity that I express to you the promise of the Catholic Church to pray for the success of your initiative and her desire to work with you in the future to care for our common home and thus to glorify the God who created us," Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said of the Islamic declaration.
But while the symposium's statement was geared towards high-level world leaders, it also included a clarion call for Muslims of all walks of life to tackle climate change in their daily lives.
"We call on all Muslims wherever they may be . . . to tackle habits, mindsets, and the root causes of climate change, environmental degradation and the loss of biodiversity in their particular spheres of influence, following the example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and bring about a resolution to the challenges that now face us," the document read.
10 Green Hadiths
Even if the world is ending, plant a tree'
Muhammad Fathi / On Islam.net
(April 20, 2015) -- Did the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) say anything about saving our planet? Did he promote any ideas or practices relevant to the world's growing concern about the future of the earth and its resources?
Today, with the increasing awareness of the dangers facing our planet and the great interest in green ideas, a reflection on the guidance of the Prophet in this area proves helpful and relevant. What is distinctive about the Prophet's approach to environmental issues is the connection he establishes between green practices and the Hereafter reward, which represents for Muslims an incentive greater than any worldly gain or reward and, as a result, prompts a greater care for the earth and more effort to conserve its resources.
Below is a collection of the Prophet's hadiths that, although said 14 centuries ago, are so relevant today. The green ideas are not novel, they are as old and well established as the religion of Islam is.
1. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "If the Hour (the day of Resurrection) is about to be established and one of you was holding a palm shoot, let him take advantage of even one second before the Hour is established to plant it." (Authenticated by Al-Albani)
2. Anas also reported that the Prophet said, "If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him." (Bukhari)
3. Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-'Aas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet passed one day by Sa'd ibn Abi Waqas (May Allah be pleased with him) while he was performing wudu' (ritual cleaning of body parts in preparation for prayer). The prophet asked Sa'd, "Why is this wastage?" Sa'd replied "Is there wastage in wudu also?" The Prophet said, "Yes, even if you are at a flowing river." (Ahmad and authenticated Ahmad Shakir)
4. Mu'adh (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet warned, "Beware of the three acts that cause you to be cursed: relieving yourselves in shaded places (that people utilize), in a walkway or in a watering place." (Ranked sound, hasan, by Al-Albani)
5. Abu Zarr Al-Ghafari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Removing harmful things from the road is an act of charity (sadaqah)." (Authenticated by Al-Albani)
6. Abdullah ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet said, "The believer is not he who eats his fill while his neighbor is hungry." (Authenticated by Al-Albani)
7. Asked about what the Prophet used to do in his house, the Prophet's wife, 'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), said that he used to repair his shoes, sow his clothes and used to do all such household works done by an average person. (Authenticated by Al-Albani)
8. The Prophet said, "Whoever kills a sparrow or anything bigger than that without a just cause, Allah will hold him accountable on the Day of Judgment." The listeners asked, "O Messenger of Allah, what is a just cause?" He replied, "That he will kill it to eat, not simply to chop off its head and then throw it away." (An-Nasa'i)
9. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said, "A man felt very thirsty while he was on the way, there he came across a well. He went down the well, quenched his thirst and came out. Meanwhile he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. He said to himself, "This dog is suffering from thirst as I did." So, he went down the well again, filled his shoe with water, held it with his mouth and watered the dog. Allah appreciated him for that deed and forgave him."
The Companions said, "O Allah's Messenger! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?" He replied: "There is a reward for serving any living being." (Bukhari)
10. Abdullah ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said, "A woman entered the (Hell) Fire because of a cat which she had tied, neither giving it food nor setting it free to eat from the vermin of the earth." (Bukhari)
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.