Aspects of Environmental Ethics:An Islamic Perspective
In the final part of the Faiths in Creation series, Mohammad Shomali presents the Islamic texts that teach of the value of the natural world and the importance of our respect for it. He gives an Islamic perspective on how we should interact with the environment that surrounds us, and looks at the vices that we are most likely to succumb to.
One of the most important problems in today’s world is the environmental crisis. It seems that this problem started when modern man stopped understanding himself as the vicegerent and trustee of the All-Merciful God who must channel divine mercy to everything at his disposal or within his reach, and stopped understanding nature as a sacred sign and valuable trust from God. For the same reason, it seems that the best way to protect the environment from destruction and, indeed, to improve its condition is to revive these forgotten understandings by referring back to the teachings and instructions of divine religions and reviewing and readjusting our policies regarding the application of modern technology and in using natural resources appropriately. In this paper, I will try to briefly present some aspects of the Islamic perspective on environmental ethics in the light of Qur’anic verses and Islamic narrations (hadiths). The paper consists of four parts: nature; governing rules in Islamic environmental ethics; virtues related to human treatment of the environment; and vices related to human treatment of the environment.