Saturday, December 13, 2003

Environment In The Eyes Of Islam

Islam is a religion that discusses everything a person could ever think of. This is a fact, from the most personal issues such as hygiene, relationships and behavior for example, till the most general issues of life, like universe and the environment.
Whatever the question is, Islam has the answer to it. Not only this, but it also provides certain predictions concerning humanity, civilization and the future, add to it all the historical details it gives about ancient civilizations.
This isn’t what Muslims only say, but also non-Muslims who studied Islam and got deep into its details.
I can go on forever if I wanted to talk about topics in Islam and how they’re looked at, as I find it really interesting. But I wanted to talk about environment in this post.
Islam urged people to appreciate what the environment offers to humanity. It provides oxygen, protects from sun rays and poisonous gases and it offers the ground to be planted with different kinds of fruits and vegetables as well as trees to decorate the world with its beauty, add to its color, purifie air, produce oxygen, strengthen the ground and hold it together, and assure the balance of the water circulation. A lot more about environment and its importance was mentioned in Quran and by the Prophet Mohammad. People are urged to study in order to understand nature so that they can be able to protect it.
In Islam, nature and the environment are a big responsibility that humanity should take.
From the point of view of Islam, the protection of the environment starts with the person himself. One should always be clean, smell clean, and wear clean clothes. One’s home should be clean and everything personal should not be misused.
In that way children will automatically grow up with an understanding of hygiene protection.
Next comes the importance of keeping the outside clean as well. Islam stresses the necessity of dealing with the streets, neighborhood, shopping centers and public places as if they were our own homes. So throwing garbage in the streets or allowing children to mess up the neighborhood is not accepted.
In Islam every sane adult person is responsible and should help save the environment from pollution. Tree leaves aren’t to be cut for example.
And here are some really interesting points that crossed my mind now:
- Encouraging Agriculture:
Prophet Mohammad said: “if you plant a tree, and then a human, animal or bird ate from it, you’ll be rewarded”.
Adding more green spaces is something very positive for both you and the environment. And one of the trees with a special value and which was specifically mentioned in Quran is the olive tree. Because of what it has to offer: its olives, the oil of its olives and its wood. Taking into consideration the fact that it doesn’t demand a lot of watering and can survive all weather conditions.

- War Rules Didn’t Forget The Environment:
Islam forbids the following in case of war:
1. Killing women, children or old people of the enemy. They should be kept safe, untouched and never be tortured. They should never be treated as slaves, for Islam doesn’t believe in slavery. All people are equal, all people are born free.
2. Cutting or burning trees. Islam forbids Muslims from harming any single tree in the country of the enemy. They should be protected.

- Be kind to animals:Environment is not only air, soil, water and plants. There is a very important element: Animals.
· Don’t torture animals. Prophet Mohammad has mentioned a story of a woman who had a cat in her home. This woman was a very nice person in her relations with others. She did all her religious responsibilities, but still, when she died God didn’t want her to be in heaven. She was to go to hell. People were shocked to know this, for she was ideal to them (religiously speaking). When they asked about the reason, they knew it was because of her cat. She didn’t treat it well. She let it starve from hunger and thirst. God wants us to be kind to animals. Children shouldn’t take them as toys, and adults shouldn’t torture them in any way. They should be cared for as much as possible.
· Animals should be respected even after death. If you hit an animal with your car by accident, you should remove its body from the way and bury it so that it won’t be crossed over by someone else like a piece of trash and so that no other animals would mess with its body. The body should be respected and be kept safe. On the other hand burrying the body prevents the bacteria from spreading by air, affecting other living beings and causing diseases. And even if it wasn’t you who hit the animal and you just found it dead, then you have to bury it.

Other than the mentioned above, it is known that one of the Prophet Mohammad’s companions raised a cat as a pet. Which means Islam isn’t against having pets. But one animal Islam avoids as a pet to be kept inside the home is the dog, for hygienic reasons. Reasons that were studied and proved by health scientists. For the dog saliva carries certain microbes that are easily transmitted to humans and that affect the health negatively. Other than that the dog has a certain smell, now that smell signifies that no matter how hard you’d try to clean it, 100% cleanliness is not guaranteed, not like cats or birds for example.
It’s true that a lot of people have dogs at their places and are living healthy and happy, but it was proven that they suffer from either breathing or skin problems, could be in early or late stages of life. If not then they must have spent a fortune on vaccinating their dogs and themselves.
Yet Islam considers dogs smart and useful, for instance it’s ok to use dogs in security matters or in guiding blind people as long as they’ll (the dogs) be kept in special places for dogs outside homes, where they’d be offered food, water, care and a clean environment. So point is, keep them outside. Clean yourself very well in case of contact with their saliva. By the way I’m not trying to convince those of you who have dogs to get rid of them, I'm just explaining some points as Islam see them and as science interpreted, you can make research and either keep or get rid of your dogs, it's up to you :) .

To sum it all up, environment in the eyes of Islam is as a preacious pearl taken from the bottom of the ocean, we should know how to protect it and we should remove the dust from it to make sure it’ll keep glowing and we’ll keep admiring it as it shines…