The Environmental Protection in Islam

حماية البيئة في الإسلام

Islam is keen to protect the environment with all its components by creating a complete conception of life and its system and what it requires of  development according to fixed rules that do not change with the change of time and place. This is what gives Islamic environmental principles the status of validity that achieves happiness and prosperity for its members in this world and the hereafter. Islamic principles of the environment is not a fantasy nor a myth from the myths of the Greeks and Romans, but rather it is part of instinct which God has put in humans, a sincere approach to the creator, the one who created everything. The Almighty said: {So be steadfast in faith in all uprightness ˹O Prophet˺—the natural Way of Allah which He has instilled in ˹all˺ people. Let there be no change in this creation of Allah. That is the Straight Way, but most people do not know.} Ar-Rum verse 30.

Nature, including the resources that Allah has gifted to His servants, such as water, soil, sun, and air, is the responsibility of man in this society to preserve -if possible- these natural resources that Allah Almighty has brought forth. However, modern civilization, despite its undeniable services and achievements, has had a negative impact on the human body, from work-related injuries to environmental pollution.

The environment includes home and what surrounds the individual or society and affects them. They are simply categorized into natural (ecological) environment, social environment, and political environment. What is meant here is the first – the nature- which is the subject of our conversation. The Pollution, on the other hand, means dirt, and the pollution of water or air and the likes, takes place only when they are mixed with harmful foreign substances.

Islam has established the importance of making the environment safe for people use from any act of corruption. The Prophet, peace be upon him, also confirmed these meanings, with his call to purify the environment from the evils that pollute it, including:

Prohibition of urinating in stagnant water: Water is a blessing from Allah the Almighty who created it for people to drink from, wash and supply it to their animals and crops, the Almighty said: {And We made from water every living thing} Al-Anbiya 30

This blessing that Allah gifted in – water – may turn into pure harm the moment people hand tampers with it and pollute it. Imagine how many diseases arise from polluted swamp water. For this reason, the Prophet, peace be upon him, forbade polluting water, especially stagnant water, as Jabir bin Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated, That he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, forbade urinating in stagnant water, because the flowing water changes and the cause of harm – pollution – on living creatures is avoided, unlike stagnant water.

– Purification of mosques: The teachings of Islam combine care for cleanliness, gentleness and forgiveness. Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated “a desert Arab came and stood up and began to urinate in the mosque. The Companions of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: Stop, stop, but the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Don’t interrupt him; leave him alone. They left him alone, and when he finished urinating, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) called him and said to him: These mosques are not the places meant for urine and filth, but are only for the remembrance of Allah, prayer and the recitation of the Qur’an, or Allah’s Messenger said something like that. He (the narrator) said that he (the Holy Prophet) then gave orders to one of the people who brought a bucket of water and poured It over.”

There is no doubt that this Bedouin, a new revert, did not value the environment, and did not know the teachings of Islam yet, so he urinated in the purest place and the most honorable environment after the Sacred House of Allah, so the Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, explained to him that Mosques are not worthy of this matter, and since the Prophet’s Mosque was furnished with pebbles, pouring some water on urine is sufficient.

Also he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, forbade polluting the mosque with slugs and the like, and on the authority of Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, he said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:  “The deeds of my people, good and bad, were presented before me, and I found the removal of something objectionable from the road among their good deeds, and mucus left unburied in the mosque among their evil deeds.” Rather, he commanded the mosques to be cleaned and perfumed. Aisha, May Allah be pleased with her, narrated and said: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) ordered that the mosques be built in residential districts and that it be cleaned and perfumed.  

The cleanliness of roads and public facilities: The places most frequently visited by people are public roads, water resources, and places of sitting, such as shade and the likes. Therefore, Islam warns against polluting them in particular, because that would harm people on the one hand, because they are places that are indispensable to them, and bring curses on the doer on the other hand. On the authority of Muadh bin Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him, he said: The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: “Beware of three things which provoke cursing – relieving oneself in watering-places, in the middle of the road, and in the shade.”

There is no doubt that polluting these places is more harmful than others, as many people are found here and the harm will afflict more people, so the warning was repulsive, describing the act as a fortified place to curse and insult people, because a normal healthy behavior repels that, in addition to polluting the environment. This can be compared to someone who smokes in public halls and buses and public places, because it creates harm and damage in places frequently visited by people, spoiling the environment and causing oneself to be cursed.

Avoid blocking the wind from the neighbor: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, made it clear that the fresh air is a person’s right to smell, and it is not permissible to block it from him under any circumstances. He said, addressing the neighbor: “Do not shelter him in the building, so the wind will be veiled from him except with his permission.” This hadith is a guide to the neighbor, and an indication that the air is a human right and it is not permissible to withhold it from him except with his permission, and the sun’s rays are attached to that because it is more important in some countries, places and seasons. Air and the sun are among the elements of the natural environment, and it is not permissible to neglect them, and if blocking the wind from the neighbor is rejected, It is more appropriate that he does not put  trash in front of his house, or raise the volume of the radio, the recorder and the television, to annoy him with noise, and not open the smoke vents of the bathrooms and kitchens in his house. All of these fall under his saying, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him: “There is no injury nor return of injury.”

– Modern environmental pollutants: Environmental pollutants in the past were naïve and easy, and have expanded in the modern era as a result of the industrial revolution. Some of them affect hearing, such as noise, or pollute the air, such as smoke and gases, and others distort the bodies, such as radiation, and some of them emit unpleasant odors and transmit germs, which are pollutants, in terms of human waste such as garbage and others.

Noise and its effect on hearing: There is a noise that distorts the environment and disturbs its peace and weakens the ears, exposing it to deafness sometimes, such as: the hum of planes, the sounds of cars, factory engines, the buzzing of fans and air conditioners, and the whistling of the radio and television. Skin, muscle contraction, and “adrenaline” rushes into the bloodstream, where severe tension occurs.

Pollution by smoke and gases: The smoke of factories, trains, automobile exhaust gas, burning of forests, and the shrinkage of green trees is a serious blow to the human body, but this pollution can be reduced by working to expand green areas, by planting trees.

Radioactive pollution: The waste is a scourge for humanity and a great danger to the human body. It distorts it if it does not destroy it, if it is neglected and it cannot be disposed of. Therefore, it must be placed in containers that do not corrode or rust where there are no living creatures, and where geological phenomena such as earthquakes do not reveal them, so they are returned. to exist.

Pollution with human waste: It is known that garbage has a bad effect on the environment, from it emits unpleasant odors and various germs that transmit diseases, and all of this reaches the human body through air and others. Pollution can be eliminated by burning it in the boilers of factories, thus getting rid of it on one hand, and it is used as energy on the other.

Also, water sewers – cesspools – pose a danger no less than the danger of garbage, if not more, as it spoils the environment very badly if it is not properly sealed and disposed of.

These are some of the basic pollutants of the environment: noise, smoke, toxic gases, atomic radiation, human excrement and many others, but the study was limited to these types because they are more comprehensive and more dangerous to the human body than others. There is pollution with oil waste, as a result of washing and cleaning oil tankers in the seas. Likewise, the mineral and chemical pollution resulting from the dumping of waste from chemical and petrochemical factories, and steel factories on the coasts, which are also dumped in sea waters. We should not miss the danger of modern weapons that pollute the atmosphere and disfigure bodies, as they are sometimes suffocating, and sometimes deadly, and whose danger does not stop at the borders of military armies. Rather, it extends beyond them to the general public, and the effects of nuclear distortion memory remain among the Japanese as a result of the atomic bomb in 1945 AD on Hiroshima. These weapons include:

Nuclear weapons, such as atomic, hydrogen and nitrogen bombs.

Chemical weapons, such as war gases and incendiary materials such as napalm and smoke.

Biological weapons, which are used in the form of liquid or dry biological preparations of mineral microbes, or the use of disease-carrying insects as a means of transmitting microbes.

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