OUR UNDERSTANDING OF ENVIRONMENT
Prof. Dr. Halil Necatioglu
Islam, June 1996
Islam is a prescription from the Lord of the Universe to mankind; a prescription of happiness in this world and in the hereafter. It is a set of divine instructions to regulate the relationships between men and the other creatures; it is a heavenly decree to point out how man should make use of the earth, the vegetation and the animals. It is a great blessing from the creator to us, the servants. Praise to Allah for the blessing of Islam, the guidance of faith and the salvation by the Most Merciful.
In Islam, man is the most honorable, the most valuable and the highest creature; it is the jewel of the universe, the summary of all beings. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala has created this world and the hereafter for him, and He created man so man knows his Creature (Ma'rifetullah). Man makes use of every being; the heavens and the earth are given to his use. In return, he must follow the orders of Allah and be a good servant; he should never disobey Him, indulge in wrongdoings, injustice, oppression, or hypocrisy. What leads man to the right direction is Islam with Qur'an, the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and the Sharia of the Prophet (pbuh). May Allah bless the Prophet, his companions and those who follow their path.
We are aware that man has such a high status in the universe; we are the servants of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, yet the universe is given to our use. We love and value all the creatures because the Creator has created them with a purpose.
For us everything around us is beautiful, good and perfect!. Every atom is in constant remembrance of Allah! It is a mysterious, amazing phenomena. How great it is to be able to hear it.
The earth, the heavens, the moon, the sun and the stars, heaps of clouds, drops of rain, flakes of snow, blowing winds, soft breezes, endless oceans, little creeks, large rivers, beautiful lakes, springs with blossoms, hot summers, falls with harvest, cold winters, trees with all kinds of leaves and fruits, colorful butterflies, chirping birds, a myriad of insects, animals of large and small, all kinds of fish, all creatures of visible and invisible to naked eye, all creatures ... How nice, how lovely, how pleasant, how sweet it is! They also form nations and communities as we do. They are servants of Allah, too.
For this reason, we love the environment, nature and the creatures of Allah; we want to live in peace and harmony with them. We want to help them maintain their existence and protect them. With this purpose, we have established environmental and cultural associations in every locality and initiated work on the environment even before the Ministry of Environment in Turkey was established. We set up small forests, woods, cooperatives and districts.
We would like to save the mountains from erosion, the plains from becoming deserts, and fertile lands from drift. We will plant trees on the "naked" lands. The branches of the trees will be full of fruits, their shades will be full of people enjoying the nature, reciting Qur'an, singing hymns of praise and transcending in remembrance of Allah. Birds on the branches will join the festivities.
We are going to bring people who have forgotten their origins and traditions to the nature, the fresh air, green decorations, wide meadows, majestic mountains. We are going to save the youth from smoking and drugs as well as becoming the slaves of their egos, desires and Satan. We will have houses with beautiful yards and gardens; districts with plenty of clean air and sun; clean streets; healthy children; well mannered, well meaning, brave youth; loyal, conscientious, well educated, elegant ladies; white bearded, brilliant faced elderly; happy communities in our towns.
All will happen by the Will of Allah!