Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
5 November 2021 / 29 Rabiulawal 1443H
Preserving the Environment
My brothers and sisters in Islam,
Let us continue our efforts to elevate our taqwa towards Allah (s.w.t.) by obeying all His commands, and by abstaining from all His prohibitions. Allah says:
Which means: “So fear Allah as much as you are able and listen…” (al-Taghabun: 16)
Taqwa also means that we should carry out the responsibilities given to us. Especially the responsibilities set by Allah.
Brothers and sisters,
The natural environment we are living in are not ours. These are part of the responsibilities that Allah has given to us. Based on Allah’s infinite knowledge, He is All-Knowing that we are capable of bearing this responsibility.
Let us ponder upon the Quran, specifically the first verse of Surah al-Hadid where Allah informs us about the creation of the heavens and earth. Allah then emphasises in verse 5:
Which means: “To Him (Allah) is the ownership of the heavens and earth. And to Allah are returned (all) matters.”
This means the natural environment that we are living in ultimately belongs to Allah. What is our role, then? This is where Allah emphasises in Surah al-Hadid in verse 7. Allah says:
Which means: “Believe in Allah and His Messenger and spend (in the way of goodness a portion of His blessings) in which He has made you successive inheritors. For those who believed among you and spent (a portion of that inheritance in the way of Allah), there will be a great reward.”
Humankind are the vicegerents on this earth. We are entrusted and delegated (mustakhlafin) with the responsibility to manage this world. Therefore, those who truly believe in Allah will do so in the best manner possible, and they will be greatly rewarded.
Brothers and sisters,
As this world is our responsibility, we must ensure it will be passed down to the next generation in a good state. As per the Qur’anic verse I have read earlier, we are commanded to have taqwa to the best of our abilities. It is our responsibility to manage this world in the best manner possible, before leaving it for the next generation to take over.
Today, this world is witnessing environmental crisis due to the greed of humankind. We are aware of the serious impact of climate change. Our generation might not experience the severe consequences, but if we are not committed to fulfil the responsibility of protecting the environment, we will then contribute to the destruction that will be faced by future generations. Is this what we wish to do? Do we want to pass on destruction to the next generation?
There are two things we can immediately work on.
First, to educate ourselves about the severity of climate change. What are the impact of climate change? What are the causes for the destruction of natural environment? How have we contributed towards the destruction of nature, without us realising? Do we not care about the environment, or are we just being selfish and only think about our personal comfort, ease, or even greed? We should put in the effort to know more about climate change and its consequences.
Second, we should study and learn what we can do to improve this situation. Regardless of how small and simple the steps we take to protect this world before passing it down in the best condition. This is our responsibility. This is a sign of taqwa and our faith, as emphasised in the previous verses.
We should not underestimate acts of goodness or ignore the harmful actions. While these may seem trivial, their actual impact may be bigger than we can imagine, especially when they contribute to the destruction of nature.
For example, food wastage leaves great burden on the environment. The plastic we use and throw carelessly has damaged the sea’s ecosystem. Energy sources such as electric that we use in a wasteful manner harms the environment as well. And there are many more that we may not even realise.
We should follow the development of climate change, its activities and impact. This includes efforts to increase awareness in ourselves, and among our families, friends and members of our community. Educate ourselves about the steps we can take to save and protect our environment and ecosystem.
Do not immerse ourselves in personal habits to fulfil our own satisfaction, but we forget about the importance of protecting our overall and collective well-being. In fact, when we strive to ensure and safeguard public welfare, it will not only benefit the current generation, but it will serve future generations in decades to come.
This is also a sign of our faith. It is a principle and objective of Shari’ah to preserve life. It is also an essence and spirit of religious practice and obligations. As we carry out this responsibility as vicegerents on this earth, we are fulfilling the responsibility bestowed upon us by our Creator, Allah (s.w.t.). Is there a responsibility greater than this? Especially when it comes from the Almighty and the Creator?
May Allah (s.w.t.) grant us taqwa and allow us to become servants that constantly contribute to environmental wellness. Amin. Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.
أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ لِي وَ لَكُمْ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْمُ
الحَمْدُ للهِ حَمْدًا كَثِيرًا كَمَا أَمَرَ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَن لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ الله، اِتَّقُوا اللهَ تَعَالَى فِيمَا أَمَرَ، وَانتَهُوا عَمَّا نَهَاكُم عَنْهُ وَزَجَرَ.
Brothers and sisters,
In our efforts to protect the environment, our responsibility to our fellow human beings should also be carried out. For this purpose, the Tabung Amal Aidilfitri, commonly known as TAA, is having a campaign to collect donations to assist those who are less fortunate and in need. There are many amongst them who are afflicted with heart and kidney diseases, as well as stroke and cancer.
Let us together give assistance to those who are in need. In hope that our contribution will help ease their affairs and give them a ray of hope. To facilitate the collecting of donations, TAA has set up an online platform that is www.TAA.sg for us to contribute.
May Allah (s.w.t.) reward us greatly for our good deeds. Amin.
أَلَا صَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى النَّبِيِّ الْمُصْطَفَى، فَقَدْ أَمَرَنَا اللهُ بِذَلِكَ حَيْثُ قَال فِي كِتَابِهِ العَزِيزِ: إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَـا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسلِيمًا. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَ بَارِكْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ.
وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ المَهْدِيِّينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيِّ، وَعَن بَقِيَّةِ الصَّحَابَةِ وَالقَرَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ، وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ، وَعَنَّا مَعَهُم وَفِيهِم بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالمُؤْمِنَاتِ، وَالمُسْلِمِينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتِ، الأَحْيَاءِ مِنهُم وَالأَمْوَاتِ. اللَّهُمَّ ادْفَعْ عَنَّا البَلَاءَ وَالوَبَاءَ وَالزَّلَازِلَ وَالمِحَنَ، مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، عَن بَلَدِنَا خَاصَّةً، وَسَائِرِ البُلْدَانِ عَامَّةً، يَارَبَّ العَالَمِينَ. رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنيَا حَسَنَةً، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً، وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ، وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي القُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ، فَاذكُرُوا اللهَ العَظِيمَ يَذْكُركُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوهُ مِن فَضلِهِ يُعطِكُم، وَلَذِكرُ اللهِ أَكبَرُ، وَاللهُ يَعلَمُ مَا تَصنَعُونَ.