How the environment should be treated according to Islam

The environment is very important to take care of. It has been stated in many verses in the Quran and also said by the prophet SAW. Allah SWT has made all things on earth for man’s use but not for them to abuse it. He SWT does not prevent mankind from enjoying these resources but it also should not be damaged or abused. Allah SWT says:

“But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and (yet), do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corruptors.” [Quran 28:77]

The Prophet Muhammad SAW being an example to mankind has set down fundamental manners and instructions which Muslims should follow to preserve the environment and this includes not cutting down trees unnecessarily. Prophet Muhammad SAW pointed out that there are benefits in planting trees, which will last until the Day of Judgment. This is illustrated in the saying of the Prophet SAW:

“If the Last Hour is imminent while one of you has a palm seedling in his hand (which he can plant before it happens), then let him plant it.” [Reported by Ahmad and Al-Bukhari]

Allah SWT has destined severe retributions for those who damage and abuse natural resources. Allah Says:

“Eat and drink from the provision of Allah, and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.” [Quran 2:60] “Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by (reason of) what the hands of people have earned, so He (i.e. Allah) may let them taste part of (the consequences of) what they have done that perhaps they will return (to righteousness).” [Quran 30:41]

Ibn Mas’ood (May Allah be pleased with him) reports:

“While we were on a journey with Allah’s Messenger SAW he went a short distance from where we had encamped. There we saw a small bird with two of its chicks and caught them. The bird was fluttering when the Prophet SAW came back, so he SAW asked, ‘Who has distressed it by taking its chicks?’ Then he SAW asked us to return the chicks. There we also saw an anthill and burnt it out. When the Prophet SAW that, he asked, ‘Who has burnt it?’ When we informed him that we had done it, he said, “Only the Lord of fire has the right to punish with fire.”

Allah says in the Quran:

“And there is no creature on (or within) the earth or a bird that flies with its wings except that they are nations (communities) like you.” [Quran 6:38] We infer from the Prophet’s statement and this Quranic verse that all living things are partners to man in existence and they deserve our respect. We must be merciful towards animals and strive to ensure the preservation of different species. Islam forbids wasting water and using it without benefit. The preservation of water for the nourishment of humankind, animal life, bird life and vegetation is a practice that gains Allah’s pleasure.


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