AND THE ENVIRONMENT (1997) A.R.AGWAN (Ed.) Institute Of Objective Studies, New Delhi.Pp.XV+204. Price Rs.175
Dr. Md. Zafar Mahfooz Nomani
Faculty of Law
Aligarh Muslim University
The Book under review Islam and Environment is an erudite collection of penetrating essays on eco- theology. The Assi Declaration of Religion and Nature, 1986, World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987; Agenda 21 on UNCED, 1992 have evolved principles which have already ingrained in religious ethos of Islam. The WCED assertion that ‘humanity has ability to make development sustainable by ensuring that it meets the need of present without compromising the need of and future generations’ is the replication of Qur’anic principles of ‘balance’ (mizan) and equity (a’dl). The verse from Holy Qur’an bears testimony to this effect as it says, “Behold, everything have We created in due measure and proportion”. The profundity of sustainable development in the Qur’anic scheme of things can be gauged fro the verse “How many a population have we destroyed that was wanton with its means of livelihood. There are dwelling places, underwent in after them, all except for a few; and we are the inheritor”.
Syed Hossain Nasr in his paper ‘Islam and Environment Crisis’ rightly observes that ‘destruction of environment is the result of modern man’s attempt to view the natural environment as an ontologically independent order of reality, divorced from the divine environment without whose liberating grace it becomes stifled and dead’.
The kernel of the work finds expression in Abd-Al-Hamid’s paper “Exploring the Islamic Environment al Ethics”. The author laments that the contemporary Muslim scholars have typically espoused the exploitative attitude toward the environment in order to emulate conventional western model of economic growth.
Abibakar Ahmad Bakdar’s paper on “Islamic Principles for the Conservation of the Natural Resources” in poignant manner put forth pragmatic strategies. In Islam all acts are evaluated in terms of their consequences as social goods and benefits (masalih) and social detriments and evils (mafasid), an individual is entitled from a common resource to the extent of his need.
“Resources, Environment, Ecology, and Islam” by Salahuddin Qureshi presents western ecological notions and compares in the light of Islamic principles.
M Rafiq and Mohammad Ajmal’s article covers aspects of creation, significance of balance, and protection of flora and fauna in the light of Islam
Mohd.Kaleemur Rahman points out about “Environmental Awareness in slam” and explains the role of Shari’ah in the redressal of environmental crises.
The paper of Mawil AL-Samarai entiled “The Human Appointment and Creation” elaborates the concept of creation in the conservation of nature.
Sultan Ismail’s paper on “Environment and Islamic Perspective” seems out of tune of the volume. The Editor A. R. Agwan’s two papers, one in the prologue and one in the epilogue tilt the balance of punditry on the subjects. “Towards Ecological Consciousness” and “Epistemological Dimension of Ecology” kindles hope for ecological paradigms on the altars of Islam.
The publishers deserves deep appreciation for the bringing this volume with impressive printing and get up. The editor deserves kudos for the excellent effort for bringing religious dimensions of environment to the readers.