IslamWord, words teaching the good Saturday, 04 from June 2011


            ‘O Lord!


            I beseech Thee for guidance, righteousness, chastity, and self-sufficiency.’ (Prayer of Muhammad)


            After many centuries of neglect and mistreatment of the planet by people who simply saw its resources as a free gift to be exploited to that they could get rich quick, it has become fashionable to be ‘green.’  This means that the wealthy industrial of the world are at last admitting the terrible damage their activities have caused to our environment, and are so concerned that they are belatedly considering what to do about it.


            Muslims, who have always regarded the earth as Allah’s gift to humanity, should be in the forefront of this movement, and not lagging behind.


            ‘Do you see that it is Allah whose praises all beings in the heavens and on earth celebrate, and the birds of the air with wings outspread? Each one has its own mode of prayer and praise.  Allah knows well all that they do.’(24:41)


            Allah has created every living thing from water; those that creep on their bellies, or have two legs or four; Allah creates what He will, and has power over all things. (24:45)


            Mulims believe that human being have an enormous responsibility, for Allah has handed the planet over to them to look after and cherish and protect.  Humans are to be Allah’s vicegerents, guardians of His creation not to damage or pollute or destroy it.  On the Day of Judgment, Muslims expect to be asked concerning their responsibility towards Allah’s earth and the creatures on it.  They will be examined as to whether they used or abused the natural resources (animal, vegetable and mineral) which Allah entrusted to them.


            ‘It is He who made you custodians (khalifahs), inheritors of the Earth.’(6:165)


            ‘It is Allah who has subjected the sea to you… and He has subjected to you that is in the Heavens and the Earth.’ (45:12-13)


            An example of the Prophet being concerned about even basic details was recorded by the uncle of Abu Rafi.b.Amr al-Ghifari: ‘When I was a boy, I used to throw stones at the palm – trees of the Ansar.  So I was brought to the Prophet who said: ‘I want to eat the dates.’ He said: ‘Do not throw stones, but eat what falls beneath them!’ (Abu Dawud 2616)


‘Allah has lifted the heavens up high, and has set up the Balance.’(55:7)


            That balance is very important.  Mulims believe it is the very key to our survival.  It used to be quite common for mathematically minded astronomers to point out that we could not possibly be unique in space.  By statistical probability, there must be literally millions of planets in other solar system with life on them, perhaps similar to out own.  However, despite all the advances in science, there is still no evidence whatsoever of any other rock in space with a living ecology like our own.  It is quite possible that we are, in fact, all alone in space.

            The Muslim keep an open mind as to whether or not there are other planets with life on them.  What is vital is that our planet does, and that we must cherish it.