“The world is sweet and green (alluring) and verily Allah is going to install you as vicegerent in it in order to see how you act…”
~ Muslim 36:6606
Earth is our planet; it is where we are all born, where we all live and where we all will die. Its current population stands at a staggering 7.6 billion people of which more than half are told by their religion that humans are the stewards of the earth.
For Muslims, the Qur’an and Hadith make multiple references to the importance of the environment, the earth and all that it encompasses. It is an integral part of Islamic teachings. In fact, it is written that Muslims are entrusted by Allah (SWT) to look after the earth.
“It is He who has appointed you vicegerent on the earth…” ~ Quran 6:165
This may seem like a daunting task, after all how does one look after Earth? In recent times, nature has been one of the biggest destroyers of planet Earth with elements of weather hitting extreme heights, flattening countries with winds, flooding countries with rain and drying up countries with heat. How then, is a Muslim supposed to look after Earth?
In essence, it is by attributing oneness of Allah as the root of stewardship. It’s our responsibility to look after Earth for it is referred to as our mosque:
“Wherever you may be, at the time of salah, you may pray for it [the earth] is all a mosque.” ~ Fiqh-us-Sunnah 2.67
It goes on to say, do not be wasteful or excessive but be moderate and conservative. We should not be waiting for the media or celebrities to raise awareness about environmental issues that have already been prescribed for us.
We all know how hard it is to throw away food that our children waste. I am sure we find ourselves echoing words once spoken by our mothers, “you are not leaving the table until you finish your food
“…waste not by excess, For Allah loveth not the wasters.” Qur’an 7:31
How many of us are aware of how much water we use from a tap per day? Between doing the laundry, washing up, taking showers making ablution five times a day that’s a lot of water usage. Presently, there are people without access to water for basic bathing and toilet facilities, so those who have access to water from a tap should use it like the precious resource it really is.
Do not waste water even if performing ablution on the bank of a fast-flowing ( large) river.~ Al-Tirmidhi 427
Why not make your household into a complete recycling habitat. Clothing, toys and books that aren’t good enough to give away, reuse them in other projects.
Encourage your children to help divide the rubbish and let them know why they are doing it. Make your own compost heap with cut grass or fallen leaves to encourage the growth of plants in your garden.
How many of us have our own gardens in which we plant fruit trees? Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave great importance to trees of any size, shape or species from the time it is a seedling to a full grown tree.
It is said that whoever plants a tree will receive blessings throughout its lifetime. For every time it bears fruits, you will receive blessings and if any creatures eat from the tree again you receive blessings. Planting a tree is also beneficial to you even after you die. So, plant a seedling and protect it so that it may grow, and conserve it so that it would exist for a long time.
“Whoever plants trees, Allah will give him reward to the extent of their fruit.”~ Musnad, 415
Another way we can assist in being stewards of the earth is by remaining modest in the things we buy. While we would all like to enjoy the luxuries of life by upgrading what we already own to something better, we can still practice humility. Buy just what you need, not to satisfy greed or self gratification
We are stewards of the earth, responsible for the protection of the environment and at large the earth. So, do your duty and take responsibility for that which has been entrusted to us and future generations.
“And the servants of the Merciful are those who walk on the earth in humility….”
~ Qur’an 25:63