What plants would do if they were able to

The Rights of Plants and Animals in Islam – Islamic Ecology

There is a Chapter in the Quran Entitled: The Spider.

Recap of the Previous two weeks:
First week: Islam’s attitude towards the Environment: 

  • balance
  • purpose
  • relationship:meditation, sustainable, utilization, care and nurture
  • Stewardship ( خلافة)

Second week: Conservation in Islam

  • Ecology: Water, Air, Land and Soil.
  • Conserve: DON’T waste – Allah says: “In deed those who are wasteful are the brethren of devils”
  • Justice and goodliness: DON’T harm – Allah says: “Do not cause ruin in the Earth after it has been developed”‘What may lead to a prohibition is prohibited itself’

This week: Animals and Plants in the Ecology of Islam.

  • Living resources of enormous benefit.
  • All with a purpose and in balance.
  • Part of a balanced ecosystem.

Plants:

“Then let man consider his nourishment: that We pour down the rain in showers, and We split the earth in fragments, and therein make the grain to grow, and vines and herbs, and olives and palms, and gardens of dense foliage, and fruits and fodder- provision for you and your cattle.”

  • Sustenance and nourishment for animals, and humans.
  • Plants enrich the soil and protect it from erosion
  • They conserve the water by impeding its runoff.
  • Habitat for other living things.
  • They moderate the climate and produce the oxygen, and store CO2.
  • Medicines (Periwinkle childhood leukemia, yew tree à anticancer), oils, perfumes, waxes, fibres, timber, and fuel.

The prophet Mohammed peace be upon him said: “If on the day of resurrection, and there is in the hand of one of you a sapling, then let him or her plant it”

It is forbidden to cut down trees even in the time of war.

“The is nothing in this Earth except that it exalts Allah with His Grace, but we do not comprehend their praise (of Him)” – Al-Issra’ 44

“See you not that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad-Dawab (moving living creatures, beasts, animals etc.), and many of mankind? But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honour him. Verily! Allah does what He wills”. Al –Hajj 18

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ وَكَثِيرٌ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَذَابُ وَمَن يُهِنِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِن مُّكْرِمٍ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاء

Al Hajj – 18

Animals:

  • Provide sustenance for plants (fertilizers), for one another, and for man.
  • Pollination, and distribution of plants.
  • Provide food for one another and provide mankind with leather and wool, medicines and perfumes, and means of transportation, as well as milk, and honey and other by-products.
  • aesthetic functions of these creatures
  • ECOLOGICAL balance – keystone species,
  • Worshiping Allah – Spiritual INTRINSIC VALUE – WHALES Singing

“The is nothing in this Earth except that it exalts Allah with His Grace, but we do not comprehend their praise (of Him)” – Al-Issra’ 44

“There is not an animal on the earth, nor any being that wings its flight, but is a people like unto you.” – Al- An’aam 38

  • Absolute destruction of any species of animals or plant is unjustified; harvesting rates should not excess the rate or its natural regeneration.
  • This applies to hunting and fishing, forestry and wood-cutting for timber and fuel, grazing, and all other utilization of living resources.
  • It is imperative that the genetic diversity of living beings be preserved–both for their own sake and for the good of mankind and all other creatures.

The prophet Mohammed peace be upon him said: “The merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful. Show mercy to those on earth, and He Who is in heaven will show mercy unto you.”

  • Taught mercy to animals:
    • The woman who was sent to Hell for torturing a cat to death.
    • The prostitute who was granted forgiveness and paradise for giving water to a dog.
    • The practice of sharpening and hiding the blade when slaughtering and being quick to ease the animal.
    • Forbidding killing for sport. Cursed who ever used living things as a practice target.
    • Not to startle a mother bird by taking its young
    • Forbidding the killing of livestock in the time of war.
    • Animals have a sacredness of life similar to that of humans.

“The rights of livestock and animals with regard to their treatment by man: These are that he spend on them the provision that their kinds require, even if they have aged or sickened such that no benefit comes from them; that he not burden them beyond what they can bear; that he not put them together with anything by which they would be injured, whether of their own kind or other species, and whether by breaking their bones or butting or wounding; that he slaughter them with kindness if he slaughters them, and neither flay their skins nor break their bones until their bodies have become cold and their lives have passed away; that he not slaughter their young within their sight; that he set them apart individually; that he make comfortable their resting places and watering places; that he put their males and females together during their mating seasons; that he not discard those which he takes in hunting; and neither shoot them with anything that breaks their bones nor bring about their destruction by any means that renders their meat unlawful to eat.”

في كل كبد رطب أجر The Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him said: “and in doing good to any living thing there is a reward”

Islam looks upon these created beings, both animals and plants, in two ways:

1. As living beings in their own right, glorifying God and attesting to His power and wisdom;

2. As creatures subjected in the service of man and other created beings, fulfilling vital roles in the development of this world.

Hence the binding obligation to conserve and develop them both for their own sake and for their value as unique and irreplaceable living resources for the benefit of one another and of mankind.

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ 

وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ وَكَثِيرٌ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَذَابُ وَمَن يُهِنِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِن مُّكْرِمٍ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاء – al Hajj 18

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