On the ethics of man's interaction with the environment: An islamic approach

Environmental Ethics 3 (1):35-47 (1981)
Abstract
I argue that Islam provides very efficient ethical principles for dealing with the present ecological crisis, a crisis rooted in moral deprivation. I reject the maximization of benefits from natural resources without giving due consideration to the adverse environmental impact of such actions, and argue that this practice is based on injustices generated by factors like greed, extravagance, and ignorance, among others. So far, Western solutions of such problems have generally been based purely on materialistic approaches which place emphasis on secular technological models without any linkage with metaphysical doctrines. Islam recognizes that man by virtue of his creation is a superior being, one for the service of whom the Earth was created; but at the same time man has been made responsible for any departure inhis behavior from the ways laid down by Almighty Allah. Man’s activities, according to Islam, must be based on the idea that this world is a transitory abode, and that man has to gain God’s favor in order to be able to find a better place in the other world. Hence, man's actions, as manifestations of his faith, must be properly and effectively administered, requiring justice, Taqwa (piety), and appropriate knowledge and understanding of environmental problems
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