A scientific article by Dr. Mohammad Yasir Essar, a researcher at Kateb Research Center, entitled “The contribution of Islam to planetary health” was published in an ISI journal of “The Lancet Planetary Health”, part of Q1 journals, with the impact factor of 4.8.
The human ecosystem interface, embodied by the planetary health paradigm, is deeply embedded in all the world’s religions and indigenous traditions.
Yet, the ongoing planetary health discourse remains predominantly Western-orientated. As calls to decolonise health ensues, there is a need to explore and acknowledge other non-Western perspectives, such as those originating from the Islamic faith.
Preserving nature is a key value repeatedly emphasised in the Quran, the central religious text of Islam. With the word Earth mentioned 485 times, the Quran teaches that the attainment of harmony between humanity and ecosystems is an integral component of one’s faith in God. Not only does Islam prohibit the exploitation and destruction of natural resources, but Islamic teachings also emphasise the important role of humans as stewards of the planet with an ethical and moral obligation to preserve and restore the environment.
The Islamic law, maqasid al-shariah, invokes the aim to serve the public’s interest and to protect all forms of life from harm, governed by the principles and concepts of mercy and guidance.
Instead of profit maximisation and natural resource exploitation, the law advocates for small-scale and people-centred development that meets essential needs and diminishes humanity’s ecological footprint.
As an ecoeducational resource, the Quran provides a comprehensive description of how nature works and calls for the responsible and ethical use of natural resources, marked by moderation and concern for equity and devoid of waste, as shown in the following passage: “It is He who has brought into being gardens, the cultivated and the wild, and date-palms, and fields with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in-kind) and variegated. Eat of their fruit in season, but give (the poor) their due on harvest day. And do not waste, for God does not love the wasteful.” (Quran 6:141).
Interested people can find the article here.