From an Islamic perspective, environmental activism is grounded in honoring the relationship between oneself, Allah, and Allah’s creation.
Allah says in the Qur’an, It is He who has appointed you vicegerent on the Earth … (Qur’an, 6:165)
Doing their role to protect the environment, a group of volunteers from Fawkner Muslim Scouts have participated in a tree planting exercise at Hildene, south of Seymour.
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In the day organized by Sonia Sharkey from the South West Goulburn Landcare Network, on behalf of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, the young Muslim scouts planted 1000 plants in a two-hectare disused road reserve.
“These understorey shrubs will enhance the environment by attracting all the marsupial, bird and insect species that need the understorey in which to feed, breed and shelter,” Janice Mentiplay-Smith from Goulburn Broken CMA told County News.
Volunteers enjoyed the day, feeling they have achieved something substantial.
“In my mind I feel I’m giving something back. I have spent a lot of time taking and now it’s time to give back,” Haydar Hussein from the Fawkner Scouts Club said.
“In our religion, when the leaves rustle it means the plants are praying for us.”
Sharkey, from the South West Goulburn Landcare Network, said the day was advertised through a Muslim Facebook page.
“They seemed to really enjoy the day. So much so, we are planning more regular planting days,” she said.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for volunteers to gather, get their hands dirty and work outside in the environment.
Historically, Muslim scholars coupled their study of nature to their understanding of Allah (God).
The Qur’an articulates how eco-consciousness permeates every aspect of life and explains nature as a complete, complex, interconnected and interdependent system. It highlights the importance of recognizing and preserving the mizan, or balance.
Verily, We have created everything in equal proportion and measure … (Qur’an, 54:49).
Several Qur’anic chapters such as the “Bee,” “Fig” and “Sun” make the conversation between nature and scripture explicit. The Qur’an explains the Earth as a sacred responsibility entrusted by Allah on humans.