Abstract

Islamic literature to date has focussed on the human role of vicegerent (caliph) on earth with the duty to look after the environment including other life forms. There is, however, a need to further develop this literature towards action and the broader concept of a just and ecologically sustainable peace. This chapter examines the three concepts of potential, value and interdependent purpose from an Islamic perspective to illustrate that the earth with all its inhabitants and its ecosystems is an intrinsic part of God’s plan. These three concepts apply to humans, animals and the broader environment from a theological perspective. This worldview generates affinity and empathy towards all of creation, whereby seeking its protection becomes a natural response. Creation displays the infinite creativity and beauty of God, and everything in the natural world worships God in a unique way. Furthermore, just like humankind, animal species along with the ecosystems they inhabit form communities and have a right to live peacefully within their communities. Hence, all forms of life on earth must be preserved and humans are charged with that responsibility. Ultimately, the Islamic concept of accountability in achieving justice and balance on earth charges human beings to establish a just and ecologically sustainable peace.

Introduction

The need for positive change in the world is becoming more topical each day. While various global issues are often dealt with independently, it is time to stop compartmentalising the various issues and start seeing the strong common currents that run through them all. Not only will this lead to synergy as we seek to address growing global problems, but it will also facilitate the establishment of a worldview which benefits every inhabitant that calls this earth its home.

The number of wars and conflicts in the world in the last century is of grave concern, with 108 million people being killed due to war in the twentieth century.1 With the advancement in technology, the ease of killing a mass number of people in a short period of time becomes easier than ever before. Conflicts are emerging frequently in almost all parts of the world, leaving negative effects for years and even decades after they emerged.

However, peace in itself is not sufficient. Justice is also needed whereby every individual enjoys the rights they deserve. While human rights are often spoken about at the local and global level, many atrocities take place around the world. Out of many statistics, two will suffice to highlight the extensive problems and inequalities that exist globally: 66% of the world’s population lives in poverty and 12 million women, men and children are enslaved around the world with 600,000–800,000 being trafficked each year.2

The need to protect the environment is also pressing. The main stimulus for a call for action in this area is the findings of climate science on the alarming harm human activity is causing on the planet to such an extent that geologists have named the present era the Anthropocene, an epoch where human activity has reached the scale of affecting the very geology of the planet.3 The level of environmental awareness is at its peak: growing attention on environmental and climate science and its findings is widely covered in the media, and included in the educational curriculum.

When global issues are collectively analysed through an Islamic theological lens, the need to change one’s worldview becomes apparent. It is not sufficient to simply attempt to ‘fix’ problems that have been created over the years, but to change the way one views every part of creation that exists on this earth. This would lead to justice and an ecologically sustainable peace. In the light of this, this chapter will discuss the notion of a God-centric worldview which aims to connect all of creation to the Creator. In this way, the potential, the value and the purpose of creation become elevated since everything is seen in the name of the Creator.

Potential

The potential embedded in all of creation is an important element of Islamic theology and spirituality. Everything is perceived through what it can be, not only through what it is. This perspective not only applies to human beings, it also encompasses all living things including the natural environment.

According to the Qur’an, the potential for human development is far reaching, ‘Verily We have created humankind in the fairest form (ahsan altaqwim), then sent him down to the lowest of the low, except for those who believe and do good deeds.’4 The verse underscores the variable nature of human beings and the possibility of attaining the ‘the fairest form’ (ahsan altaqwim) suggesting that humans have the potential to grow and attain perfection. The natural human disposition (fitra) has been created in such a way that it can move its way up from the ‘lowest of the low’ to express ‘the fairest form.’

The description of the fairest form has been understood in different ways by exegetical scholars. According to Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Ṭabari (d. 923), humankind has been created as having the best character and a beautiful form.5 Fakhr alDin alRazi (d. 925), has a similar understanding, describing the fairest form to be inner and outer beauty.6 Both these explanations stress the beauty found within human beings. Ismail Haqqi Bursawi (d. 1725) focusses more on the value of human beings rather than their beauty when commenting on this verse. He upholds the value of human beings to such a level that he asserts human beings have the highest intrinsic worth of all creation on earth.7

The fact that Muslim scholars have used the tree analogy to discuss the human potential has multiple implications. This analogous comparison is significant as it is a connecting point between human beings and the natural environment. The tree analogy is used by the theologian and mystic Ibn Arabi (d. 1240), where the tree denotes the universe.8 This perspective resonates with Qurtubi’s (d. 1273) exegesis of the Qur’anic verse which describes human beings as created in the fairest form. Qurtubi describes human beings as like a small universe in order to highlight the potential inherent within them.9 Twentieth-century Muslim scholar Said Nursi (d. 1960) uses the tree analogy to describe the potential found within human beings: ‘Yes, however many degrees there are from a seed to a huge tree, the abilities lodged in human nature are more numerous.’10 The tree analogy is useful to express the tremendous potential in human nature as the reader can appreciate the vast range of development involved from a seed to a fully grown majestic tree. The analogy, at the same time, highlights the tremendous development within a natural object like a tree and by extension in all created forms.

This inherent potential is understood to apply to all human beings. That is, every single individual on this earth is viewed as a seed which has the potential to become a ‘tree.’ This approach to human beings creates a platform where every person should have the opportunities it needs to grow and realise their potential. This is only possible in a peaceful environment where their human rights are also protected. Just as a seed cannot grow unless it has the right environment, no human being can grow unless they live in a peaceful and just environment.

The shared potential between humans and other living beings also creates a genuine connection between human beings and the environment since one identifies with a tree or other plant life in a way that fosters a sense of empathy. Every person would be devastated if their freedom to unleash their potential were to be prevented or, worse, destroyed. Similarly, seeing a tree, which has a similar potential, not realise its potential and flourish would be equally painful, as though one were seeing their own potential being impeded. Such powerful analogies, where the environment is seen as overlapping with the needs and desires of human beings, are a crucial part of the conversation needed in acting to protect the environment. Highlighting the great potential of human beings may appear to have limited ecological benefits, but when that potential is so intimately connected to the environment, it changes the way the environment is perceived.

An appreciation for the environment is not just effected through these powerful analogies. Just like human beings, all living things are understood to have a potential yearning to be fulfilled. As Nursi points out, all of creation goes through the process of ‘expanding from the potential to the actual, through great effort and exertion.’11 This principle of realising potential is visible throughout the entire universe and is referred to as the ‘divine practice’ (sunnatullah) where everything is given an opportunity to experience eagerness and pleasure in fulfilling its natural duty.12 The pleasure experienced by all beings, animate and inanimate, is due to the ability to perform their duty through the potential that has been instilled within them. It resembles a ‘wage’ given to all beings that makes them eager and motivated to fulfil their duties .13

Nursi explains that even seeds have a natural urge to realise their duty by sprouting and germinating: ‘Like someone imprisoned in a constricted place longs to go out into a garden or open space, such a longing, such a joyful state, is also apparent in seeds, in their duty of sprouting.’14 The personification of a seed is exceedingly powerful as it instils feelings not only towards human beings, but also towards all living beings. This is an approach that does not normally appear in works of theology, but when it is done, it makes a compelling case. It makes it much more difficult to violate the rights of any person or thing as they are all seen as entities yearning to realise their potential.

Discussion of the potential that exists in all life forms naturally raises the notion of the value inherent in all beings.

Value

In the Islamic tradition, attaining knowledge of God is seen as one of the most important aspects of faith. This is indicated by the Qur’anic verse: ‘I have not created the unseen beings and humankind but to (know and) worship Me (exclusively).’15 While worship is given as the prime purpose, the exegete Ali Unal (b. 1955) explains that knowledge of God and love of God is entailed in the bounds of worship.16 That is, quality worship of God is not truly possible if knowledge and love of God is not present preceding the act of worship. For this reason, there has been extensive literature written throughout Islamic history about how one can attain knowledge of God. In this goal, creation, particularly the natural environment, plays a critical role as it mirrors God’s names and attributes. All parts of the natural world have an instrumental value because they facilitate knowledge of God. This approach to creation, by which it is connected to the Creator , strongly influences, and perhaps completely changes, the way the environment is viewed.

In Islamic theology, God is not of the substance of this universe. He is unembodied and has an essence unlike any of His creation. In Qur’anic stipulation, ‘none is like Him.’17 A famous statement with regard to God’s nature has dominated Islamic theology for centuries: ‘Whatever comes to your mind about His nature, God is different to that.’18 A prominent Islamic theologian, Imam al-Tahawi (d. 935), states: ‘Imagination cannot attain Him, comprehensions cannot perceive Him, and creatures do not bear any similarity to Him.’19 The only aspect of God we are introduced to in the Qur’an is the names of God, ‘God – there is no deity save Him; His are the All-Beautiful Names (asma alhusna).’20 Thus, while it is God’s essence (dhat) that is unknowable, knowledge of God is possible through appreciating God’s names and attributes. ‘God’s relationship with the creation is mediated by “His beautiful names”…the pillars upon which the phenomenal world rests.’21

The names of God are an important means to conceive, conceptualise and understand an otherwise transcendent God, to garner an opportunity to relate to Him. Humankind is believed to have a particularly important role, as humankind was created in ‘God’s own image’ or, translated more literally, ‘upon His form.’22 Furthermore, the Qur’anic verse ‘Then He proportioned him, and He blew into him of His spirit’23 has been interpreted by exegetes to mean that the human being has the greatest potential to mirror the names of God. This concept of relating to God through divine names is also prevalent in the work of Ghazzali (d. 1111). Ghazzali states the path for conceptualising God is through understanding His names by their manifestation on humankind: ‘it is conceivable for man to be characterised (by these names) to the extent that they may be spoken of him.’24 Humans are given this great ability to perceive and understand the names of God by witnessing them but also by being the most comprehensive entity which can mirror the names of God.

This approach to humankind naturally leads to the idea that all human beings have utmost value since every single person was created ‘upon His form.’ Holding this worldview leads to a desire to fulfil the rights of all individuals and ensure social justice is implemented at its best.

Furthermore, the Qur’an conjoins the Beautiful Names of God as glorifications expressed in the cosmos and the earth: ‘He is God, the Creator, the All-Holy Maker, the All-Fashioning. To Him belong the All-Beautiful Names. Whatever is in the heavens and on the earth glorifies Him. He is the All-Glorious with irresistible might, the All-Wise.’25

The manifestations of God’s names occur in the form of detectable signs in the environment. Interestingly, the Qur’an uses the word ayat (signs) to refer to the actual verses of the Qur’an as well as the signs God has placed in the natural world for the reflecting human mind:

…And it is He who spread out the earth and set thereon mountains standing firm and (flowing) rivers: and fruit of every kind He made in pairs: He draws the night as a veil over the Day. Behold, verily in these things there are signs (ayāt) for those who think and reflect.26

The environment contains signs of God and the universe (particularly the natural environment), acts as the third element linking humanity and God. As stated by Ghazzali, God gave humankind an ‘abridged form that brings together every sort of thing found in the universe’27 so that the universe acts as a mirror, with all objects within it reflecting and manifesting God’s names and attributes.28 On this point, Nursi adds that a single living thing manifests or mirrors as many as twenty names of God.29 It is the natural world where the greatest creativity of God is displayed and witnessed by humans. This makes the earth, together with its inhabitants and ecological environment, the greatest mirror to God’s names and therefore is the most important source of attaining knowledge of God. This renders earth and its lifeforms extremely valuable within the divine plan of the universe and human capacity to relate to God .

In this context, life including the environment is an arena where God displays valuable works of art. By virtue of art being valuable, this theological perspective supports the protection of life as a show of respect towards the Artful Maker, God. In the words of Yunus Emre (d. 1321), a famous mystic and poet, ‘we love the created, for the Creator.’30 There is a natural human affinity towards all of creation as it has an intrinsic value as a result of being the creation of the Creator . This enhances the relationship between the Qur’an, the universe and humankind, making everything sacred because it is fulfilling the duty of mirroring31 or manifesting God’s names. When creation is viewed with this lens, what is witnessed is no longer an easily destroyable worthless thing so that peace becomes the natural state that one seeks to be in. A tree is no longer a ‘wooden skeleton but an artwork made by God,’32 and a flower is no longer a natural entity which can be destroyed but a beautiful creation reminding the observer of the Creator’s Beauty.

The value of all creation is further supported by the Qur’anic verse which states, ‘The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings, therein, declare His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise….’33 In other words, everyone and everything is praising God within the bounds of its own natural disposition, making them all valuable creations of God. The Hadith ‘God is beautiful and He loves beauty’ further reinforces this point. God describes Himself as loving beauty and therefore loving the cosmos. ‘Hence, there is nothing more beautiful than the cosmos.’34 Knowing that God loves the universe leads to a natural inclination for humankind to also love the universe and therefore value it. Since the creation (humankind, animals and plants) displays the creativity of God and is a mirror to reflect God’s names and attributes, it needs to be protected. When people are killed, animals become extinct and the environment is harmed, we deprive future generations of the opportunity to get to know God at a deeper level.

The concepts of potential and value are intrinsically linked to the idea that all of creation has an interdependent purpose. This supports a call to action that moves from protecting the environment to ensuring a just and ecologically sustainable peace.

Interdependent Purpose

In the Qur’anic cosmology purpose plays a crucial part and is linked to the potential and value of creation. The Qur’an declares, ‘And We did not create the heavens and earth and that between them in play and fun. We only created them for a purpose….’35 Everything has a purpose which it yearns to fulfil, and serving that purpose renders it valuable. In Islamic theology, God’s plan for creation elicits an interdependent design of life by establishing ecosystems of flora and fauna, much in the way that humans develop interdependent communities.

In the wake of Hossein Nasr’s (b. 1933) earlier work, one of the most important steps taken in Islamic environmental thinking has indeed been in the area of its teaching and attitudes with regard to animals.36 The Qur’an clearly talks about living beings existing in ecological systems: ‘No living creature is there moving on the earth, no bird flying on its two wings, but they are communities like you.’37 The comparison of animal species with human communities is significant. Since human societies are complex systems made up of numerous interdependent individuals, this comparison points to the modern concept of ecosystems. The phrase ‘communities like you’ positions ecosystems in the same league as human societies. The existence of plural ‘communities’ leads to the conclusion that there are many concurrently existing and independent ecosystems. Responsible treatment of ecosystems and exerting an effort to prevent their damage or destruction can be seen as part of the general Qur’anic prohibition against causing corruption on earth .

While Islam treats the life of all creatures as valuable and recognises ecosystems as communities worthy of protection, it allocates status of a higher degree to human life. Human beings have been ‘honoured with goodness’38 in that men and women are created with the innate capability to recognise goodness and to respect virtue. Human beings are created with a sound ‘natural disposition (fitrah) of God upon which He has modelled the humans.’39 Ultimately, human beings are created as a ‘vicegerent (khalifah) on earth’40 with the power and privilege of exercising command over earth’s life forms and utilising its resources. Not only are they charged with the responsibility of protecting the rights of others through peace and social justice but they also have the responsibility of protecting the natural world so that corruption is not caused on earth41 by destroying either its order or its beauty. Whenever the Qur’an puts responsibility onto humans, it comes with an obligation to follow through with the responsibility and the resultant accountability before God. Hence, humans should expect to be judged on how they treat other living creatures and the environment .

Linked with the discussion on potential and value, there is an acknowledgement that all of creation has an interdependent purpose which needs to be maintained in order for there to be ongoing harmony on earth. This is only possible with peace. What unites all three concepts is the Islamic notion of harmony and balance which transcends any one creation or entity. Balance is important in the Islamic worldview and is a key to providing a just and ecologically sustainable peace.

Towards an Islamic Just and Ecologically Sustainable Peace

A key part of understanding a just and ecologically sustainable peace is to understand justice in the Islamic context which can be defined as ‘putting a thing in its proper place’ 42 or as ‘balance, equilibrium balance; harmony and equilibration.’43 A Qur’anic verse which emphasises the importance of balance and maintaining balance is as follows:

And the heaven – He has made it high (above the earth), and He has set up the balance. So that you may not go beyond (the limits with respect to) the balance. And establish weight in justice and do not make deficient the balance.44

This verse brings together four elements of justice and balance and underscores human responsibility in ensuring that balance and justice is achieved and maintained in all domains of life. Bursawi quotes Prophet Muhammad when explaining this verse: ‘The Prophet said justice is a pillar of the earth and heaven’45 thereby highlighting the strong link between balance and justice when dealing with earth and its inhabitants. Qushayri interprets this Qur’anic verse to mean that justice must be implemented in all acts of life. He also understands it to mean that one must be sincere, truthful, in that one must have equality outwardly and inwardly.46 This is particularly important in social justice where the rights of all are fulfilled whether it be for individuals within one’s community or outside one’s community. Therefore, it is necessary to have a sincere desire to maintain the balance that exists within the universe, striving towards a peaceful world which offers justice for all.

Justice is a very strong theme in the Qur’an, so much so that it became customary to repeat the verse: ‘Behold, God enjoins justice, and devotion to doing good, and generosity towards relatives, and He forbids you indecency, wickedness and vile conduct. He exhorts you (repeatedly) so that you may reflect and be mindful!’,47 an exhortation which is said at the end of every Friday sermon in all mosques in the Muslim world. It would suffice to note within the scope of this chapter that the way humankind and animals are fairly dealt with has been the topic of Muslim scholars for centuries. A large part of Islamic law and jurisprudence deals with human transactions known as muamalat (dealings).48 The legal and ethical discussion of human rights and animal rights is based on hadith (narrations of Prophet Muhammad). One such example of protecting animals is when the Prophet’s companions took baby birds from a nest, to which Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Who has hurt the feelings of this bird by taking its young? Return them to her.’49

Such examples emphasise the great importance of justice, equilibrium and balance that exist on earth through ecosystems and the need to maintain them. Nursi notes that justice ‘is the principle by which the whole universe and all beings act’ and therefore if humankind acts against this justice, they become the ‘object of anger and disgust’50 of the universe. This equilibrium and balance can be found on earth at the micro- and macro-level where everything is ‘ordered and weighed with so sensitive a balance, so fine a measure, that the human mind can nowhere see any waste or futility.’51 Such balance and order is seen as a manifestation of God’s name All-Just.52 Therefore, destroying peace and justice in the human domain and destroying the ecosystem could be seen as distorting the manifestation of God’s name, All-Just which would be a profound violation towards God.

Furthermore, humans, as the most comprehensive mirrors of God, need to be able to manifest God’s name All-Just by being just in their treatment of everything that surrounds them so that the equilibrium set out on earth is not irreversibly tampered with.

When creation is viewed with its intrinsic value and potential, the way it is treated is positively affected. No longer can a single human life be discarded so easily since it has such great value in the eye of the Creator, as well as creation. The Qur’an verse ‘whoever kills a soul…it is as if he had slain humankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he has saved humankind entirely’53 reinforces this notion. In a way, this Qur’anic verse is suggesting that a single soul is equal to all of humankind, without any mention of the faith or ethnicity of the individual. This makes justice an essential part of one’s worldview where all human life is sacred .

Human life is not the only end. All of creation is seen to have a purpose, a value and a potential to be realised. All life is a way of expressing this value and potential. Such a theological understanding will provide the foundation needed to establish a just and ecologically sustainable peace for humans and all other living beings on earth.

Conclusion

An Islamic theological assessment examining three concepts of potential, value and interdependent purpose illustrates that the earth, with all its inhabitants and its ecosystems, is an intrinsic part of God’s plan for humans in realising their potential, garnering their value and achieving their purpose. While seeing the potential in all humankind leads to a desire to establish peace and justice, seeing the potential in the environment generates affinity and empathy towards the environment, so that seeking its protection becomes a natural response. Creation displays the infinite creativity of God; everything in the natural world worships God in a unique way. Furthermore, not only humankind but also animal species along with their ecosystems form communities and have a right to live peacefully within their communities.

Humans are endowed with intelligence and ingenuity to exert power over the rest of the creation. With this power comes accountability in the treatment of all living creatures and the environment. Hence, all forms of life on earth must be preserved as extremely valuable and humans are charged with that responsibility. Ultimately, the Islamic concept of accountability in achieving justice and balance on earth charges human beings to establish a just and ecologically sustainable peace.

Notes
  1. Chris Hedges, What Every Person Should Know About War (New York: Free Press, 2003), 1.
  2. Social Justice Resource Centrehttps://socialjusticeresourcecenter.org/facts-and-figures/ (accessed 1 September 2019).
  3. Jan Zalasiewicz et al., ‘The Anthropocene: A New Epoch of Geological Time?’ Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 369 (2011): 835–1111.
  4. Qur’an, 95:4–6.
  5. Muhammad ibn Jarir Tabari, ‘Tafsir al-Tabari’ [Tafsir of Tabari], http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=1&tTafsirNo=1&tSoraNo=95&tAyahNo=4&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=1 (accessed 15 July 2019).
  6. Abu ʿAbd Allah Muḥammad Razi, ‘Mafatih Al-Ghayb’ [The Keys to the Unseen], http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=1&tTafsirNo=4&tSoraNo=95&tAyahNo=4&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=1 (accessed 15 July 2019).
  7. Bursawi, ‘Ruhu’l-Bayan,’ https://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=3&tTafsirNo=36&tSoraNo=95&tAyahNo=4&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=1 (accessed 15 July 2019).
  8. Said Mentak, ‘The Tree,’ in Islamic Images and Ideas: Essays on Sacred Symbolism, ed. John A. Morrow (USA: McFarland & Inc. Company Publishers, 2014), 128.
  9. Qurtubi, ‘al-Jami’ li-Ahkam al-Qurʼan,’ http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=1&tTafsirNo=5&tSoraNo=95&tAyahNo=4&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=1 (accessed 15 July 2019).
  10. Said Nursi, The Flashes, trans. Şükran Vahide (Istanbul: Sözler, 1995), 104.
  11. Nursi, The Flashes, 171.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Cüneyt Şimsek, ‘The Problem of Animal Pain: An Introduction to Nursi’s Approach,’ in Justice and Theodicy in Modern Islamic Thought, ed. Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabiʻ (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), 121.
  14. Nursi, The Flashes, 171.
  15. Qur’an, 51:56.
  16. Ali Unal, The Qurʼan with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English (Somerset, NJ: The Light, 2006), 1062.
  17. Qur’an, 112:4.
  18. Oliver Leaman, The Qurʼan: An Encyclopedia (London: Routledge, 2006), 36.
  19. Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tahawi, The Creed of Imam alTahawi, trans. Hamza Yusuf (USA: Zaytuna Institute, 2007), 50.
  20. Qur’an, 20:8.
  21. Colin Turner, The Qur’an Revealed: A Critical Analysis of Said Nursi’s Epistles of Light (Berlin: Gerlach, 2013), 22.
  22. William Chittick, Sufism A Beginner’s Guide (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2008), 94.
  23. Qur’an, 32:9.
  24. Abu Hamid Ghazzali, NinetyNine Names of God in Islam, trans. Robert Charles Stade (Ibadan: Daystar Press, 1970), 39.
  25. Qur’an, 59:24.
  26. Qur’an, 13:3.
  27. Mishkat alAnwar, edited and translated by David Buchman as The Niche of Lights (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1998), 31.
  28. Said Nursi, The Words, trans. Şükran Vahide (Istanbul: Sözler, 1993), 221.
  29. Ibid., 655.
  30. Yunus Emre in Zekeriya Baskel, Yunus Emre: The Sufi Poet in Love (Lanham: Blue Dome Press, 2013), 56.
  31. According to Jami, everything is a coloured window by which everything mainfests itself depending on its colour, but the source of light is God Mirsad alIbad, ed. Muhammad A. Riyahi (Tehran: Bungah-i Tarjama wa Nashr-i Kitab, 1973).
  32. Salih Yucel, ‘Said Nursi’s Approach to the Environment: A Spiritual View on the Book of Universe,’ The Islamic Quarterly 55, no. 1 (2011): 3.
  33. Qur’an, 17:44.
  34. Chittick, Sufism A Beginner’s Guide, 79–80.
  35. Qur’an, 44:38–39.
  36. Richard Folz, Animals in Islamic Traditions and Muslim Cultures (London: Oneworld Publications: 2014); Al-Hafiz Basheer Ahmad Masri, Animal Welfare in Islam (Markfield: The Islamic Foundation, 2016); Sarra Tlili, Animals in the Qur’an (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
  37. Qur’an, 6:38.
  38. Qur’an, 17:70.
  39. Qur’an, 30:30.
  40. Qur’an, 2:30.
  41. Qur’an, 2:27, 5:32.
  42. Bilal Kuşpınar, ‘Justice and Balance in Creation,’ in Justice and Theodicy in Modern Islamic Thought, ed. Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabiʻ (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), 228.
  43. Nursi, The Flashes, 400.
  44. Qur’an, 55:6–9.
  45. Bursawi, ‘Ruhu’l-Bayan,’ http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=3&tTafsirNo=36&tSoraNo=55&tAyahNo=7&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=1 (accessed 15 July 2019).
  46. ‘Abd al-Karim Qushayri, ‘Laṭa’if al-Isharat’ [Subtleties of the Illusions], http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=3&tTafsirNo=31&tSoraNo=55&tAyahNo=7&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=1 (accessed 15 July 2019).
  47. Qur’an, 16:90.
  48. Refer to Mohammad Hashim Kamali’s ‘Chapter 13 Maslahah Mursalah (Considerations of Public Interest),’ in Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Cambridge: The Islamic Texts Society, 2011) for details.
  49. Abu Dawud, Book 18, Hadith 1610.
  50. Nursi, Flashes, 402.
  51. Ibid., 401.
  52. Al-Adl (The Just), ‘Questions on Islam,’ https://questionsonislam.com/article/al-adl-just (accessed 10 July 2019).
  53. Qur’an, 5:32.
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Author information

Charles Sturt University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Zuleyha Keskin & Mehmet Ozalp

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mehmet Ozalp .

Cite this chapter

Keskin, Z., Ozalp, M. (2020). An Islamic Approach to Environmental Protection and Ecologically Sustainable Peace in the Age of the Anthropocene. In: Camilleri, J., Guess, D. (eds) Towards a Just and Ecologically Sustainable Peace. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-5021-8_6

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