Islamic creation care: Muslim approaches to environmental protection

We’ve heard quite a bit about the Christian Evangelical “creation care” movement in the past few years; members of the Jewish community have also weighed in on the relationship of their faith to the environment. But what about Islam?

Yesterday, The American Muslim published an interview with sociologist Sigrid Nökel on Islamic notions of environmental protection. Nökel discussed theological concepts that define human relationship with the environment, as well as cultural practices dating back to the religion’s founding that demonstrate a keen understanding of resource conservation. Among the articles of faith she reviews:

  • fitra — the concept of “creation as an original natural order”
  • tahwid — “…the unity of creation, which tells us that all things in the world are related to one another and because they are all equal signs of God, all are equally important, valuable and worthy of preservation…”
  • khilafa — “…the role of mankind as the trustee of creation. It is the duty of mankind to maintain the order of creation.”

Nökel also delves into the work of eco-theologist Seyyid Hussein Nasr, and the efforts of the British Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences. A fascinating, illuminating read!

Image credit: agoolapulapu at Flickr under a Creative Commons license