Islam: God commands people to care for the natural world
In Islam, Muslims believe that God the Almighty has created the natural world to help us worship him and follow his commands.
“And the earth, We have spread it out, and made in it mountains standing firm, and grown in it everything in balance. And We have provided in it sustenance for you, and for those whom you do not support” (Quran 15:19-20).
One of God’s commands includes taking care of the natural environment. God states in the Holy Quran that it is forbidden to destroy and spread corruption on Earth: “And when he turns away, he hastens through the land to cause corruption therein and to destroy the crops and cattle: And God loves not corruption” (Quran 2:205).
An act of worshipping God is to protect everything around us.
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, used to show mercy to all living things around him and encouraged Muslims to do the same.
He said, “The merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful. Show mercy to those on earth, and He Who is above the heavens will show mercy unto you.” He also said: “If any Muslim plants a tree or sows a field, and a human, bird or animal eats from it; it shall be reckoned as charity from him” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim).
The relationship between man and the universe, as defined in the Quran and the Prophetic teachings, is as follows:
A relationship of meditation, consideration and contemplation of the universe and what it contains.
A relationship of sustainable utilization, development and employment for man’s benefit and for the fulfillment of his interests.
A relationship of care and nurture for man’s good works are not limited to the benefit of the human species but rather extend to the benefit of all created beings.
Plus, “There is a reward in doing good to every living thing” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari).
Muslim, anesthesia resident at MUSC