Civil Society, Climate Action, Road to COP21

How Islamic Faith Supports Pope Francis’ Climate Change Encyclical

This article is written by Neeshad Vs.

Viewing “Laudato Si” (“Praised Be”) Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment as an important opportunity to expand the conversation about the relationship between religion and environment, I am writing this post to highlight the Islamic perspective on the issue. Last week encyclical from Pope Francis has been widely hailed for its urgent call to action on climate change. As we have reached the tipping point of the issue climate change, we have no choice but to return back to the riches of spirituality to create new paradigms and new solutions to environmental exploitation and degradation. As the encyclical states, ‘We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing and its human roots, concern and affect us all’.

Every religion has its traditions to protect the environment. The degree to which they are observed only varies. Islam too considers human beings responsible for environmental damage done to Earth. The religion believes that environmental protection is the only way to maintain the balance of life. It integrates the concept of environmental conservation into the philosophy of life for every Muslim believer. By doing so, the people can lessen their actions that damage the environment to guarantee the right for future generations to benefit from natural resources.

On reading the Qur’an, every Muslim understands that we humans will be held accountable for our successes and failures as stewards and hence, we must all strive to improve our roles as stewards. As reported in Muslim hadith[1], the Prophet Muhammad, God’s peace and blessings be upon him, quotes :

“The world is a green and pleasant thing. God has made you stewards of it, and looks at how you behave.”

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

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