Penney_PoyzerPenney Poyzer has been finding out why The Qur’an could be the ultimate guide for green living.
I’ve been working with some Muslim women and it has been a revelation for me.
I was asked to give the ladies a talk on green household tips but for the first time, I was asked to link it with religious teachings.
This meant doing some research and all of a sudden I got really interested in theology ecology, or ecological theology (not sure which way round it is).
We covered why we should reduce waste in all its forms, but why the waste of water in particular is a very serious thing to do. The Qur’an (or Koran) teaches the man, animals and anything living was made from water. It also teaches that cleanliness and washing are central to religious practice. But wasting water – even when it is abundant is non-negotiable. Water is life.
Religious scholars of all denominations have been reading the scriptures and finding a message of deep ecology. It seems a lot has been forgotten in this respect in terms of teaching students.
We are all aware how easy it is for mistrust and prejudice to arise between cultures – particularly when the rich west is now telling emerging nations to put the breaks on development and to curb carbon emissions. That does seem a pretty big ask of nations whose natural resources have been plundered by us lot.
Mix up this deep mistrust with climate change events such as flooding, the loss of agricultural land, the lack of good potable water and you have a tinder bed at flash point.
It is easy to be diverted from the basics, that we share one planet and one set of dwindling resources. The more equitably we share resources the longer we can maket hem last.
The Qur’an teaches that Allah gave mankind dominion over all living things but the deal was this, that in Exchange for this bounty, every human being was to be a guardian of the planet, to care for it and to avoid waste of all kinds.
Access to drinking water is a basic human right but this right is being challenged by global shortages – and big time inverstors who are climbing over themselves to own the lion’s share in water companies – in the fierce race for ‘blue gold’.
A global water crisis is all but inevitable. It is likely to affect everyone on the planet. It will not recognise, race, colour or creed and if humanity is to survive we have to get over our prejudices and preconceptions and work together. The human race is in a race against time and dwindling water supplies.
We all need to think very, very carefully about the future management of water, it is a moral and for many a spiritual issue that water should be shared not bought as shares.
In The Qur’an, Allah calls the faithful to recognise the mischief we make on ‘land and sea’ and learn from our mistakes.
We should all hurry along with this learning curve.
The Qur’an is the holy book for well over one billion people. Three million Muslims live in the UK and it is the second largest religion in the world.
Just think, if a sixth of the world’s population were living consciously green what an extraordinary and positive impact that would have on everyone.
I’d like to end on this quote from The Qur’an followed by a comment from Frederick M. Denny, Professor Emeritus of Islamic Studies and History of Religions at the University of Colorado:
‘Do you not observe that God sends down rain from the sky, so that in the morning the earth becomes green?’ (Sura 22:63)
‘The colour green is the most blessed of all colours for Muslims and, together with a profound sense of the value of nature as God’s perfect and most fruitful plan, provides a charter for a green movement that could become the greatest exertion yet known in Islamic history’.

To find out more:
Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Science

(31.10.2006 –   Turkish Daily News)