01 September, 2011

Islam, Ecology and the Environment

Islam is Green. It preaches Green. But, many Muslims, if not most, are not consciously or in practice: Green. The protection of the environment and wildlife is not of importance to most Muslims. Few people here on Earth, have been as careless and destructive to their wildlife and environment as here in the Middle EastToday, most countries in the Middle East and North Africa are some of the worst performers when it comes to environmental rankings. And, even more disappointing - it is very hard to find Islamic or Muslim managed websites dedicated to Greenness.  Try searching over the Web for one, and you will hardly find any.
Our lives are becoming full of excesses and indulgences. We use fasting in Ramadhan to cap our eating, our drinking and our impulses, so why do we not use it to protect our planet? – Zaher Sahloul, chairperson of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
With the month of fasting having just closed, how true Dr. Zaher Sahloul's statement is. For most, Ramadhan has lost its real meaning for being a period for attaining spiritual wholeness. While in the true sense, Ramadhan should be a period for moderation and sustainability, most Muslims become excessive: excessive in expenses, excessive in eating, excessive in extravagance and excessive in producing garbage; and excessive in sleeping during the day. Being excessive, means using more and being wasteful. It translates into not protecting the Planet.

One of the very few Islamic websites that I could find that advises and helps with the protection of our Planet, is the UK based: Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences. It is very telling that, almost all of the best Islamic websites are not managed by people from countries with a Muslim majority. Almost all, are either European or American. As ecological and environmental consciousness and practice is very low in all Muslim countries, this is no surprise. What is surprising is: do we Muslims in Muslim countries, with our excesses and environmental negligence, truly understand Islam's Greenness