The Almighty Allah (swt) has created a flawless universe. In this endless universe, He (swt) has fashioned the earth for His servants in the finest way. He (swt) has entrusted its improvement and enrichment to us, the Children of Adam (as), whom He descended from heaven to the earth and appointed as His vicegerent. He (swt) has commanded us to cherish, care for, preserve, and look out for our environment with the consciousness of rights and responsibilities. He (swt) has admonished us to refrain from wastefulness, overexploitation, and greediness in the usage of natural resources, as in every field.
For the last two centuries, human family has unfortunately failed to know the value of the earth that was entrusted to them. They have disturbed the natural order and exploited the environment irresponsibly. Through extravagant and improvident spending, they have overexploited all kinds of blessings as if they will never run out. As a consequence, humanity is now confronted with environmental problems of enormous proportions.
Our Lord (swt), Who has created the universe in an exact balance and entrusted the duty of protecting the nature and everything in it, states in the Holy Qur’an, “Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness].”[i]
What falls upon us today is to readopt the ethics for the nature that Islam has introduced to humanity. We should not let it slip out of our mind that we are not the owners of the earth, but mere attendants. We should not disturb the delicate balance that Allah the Almighty (swt) has set for the universe. We must behave responsibly so as to leave a more habitable planet behind. Let us not forget that the sensitivity towards the environment entails paying due attention to what our Lord (swt) has entrusted to us and observing the rights of future generations.
[i] Rum, 30/41.