Environmental Protection in Islam

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Islamic Medicine
Staff member
Praise be to God, Creator of all; The Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds. BIessings I and Peace be upon Muhammad, God's Prophet and Apostle.

The preparation of this paper was first mooted during the process ofestablishing a central administration for the protection of the environment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the responsibilities of which included the development and submission of recommendations to the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pertaining to laws and regulations for the protection of the environment.

In this context, several colleagues were consulted amongst whom was Dr. Wolfgang Burhenne, Chairman of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Policy, Law and Administration, who was enthusiastic for the paper and persevered at all times to its completion.

In view of Saudi Arabia's position as the cradle of Islam, it was natural that the subject of this paper took on international dimensions. The preparation of the paper was first discussed at international level during the adhoc meeting of senior government official experts in environmental law , held in Montevideo (Uruguay) in 1981, where the ; proposal was very well received. "

One of the most important reasons motivating the preparation of this paper was based on the belief of both my colleagues and in the importance of the concept of environmental management in the process of conservation of nature and sustainable development.

The implementation of environmental management depends on the existence of appropriate legislation, and legislation becomes more effective and usellll when it emanates from a nation's creed and when it represents its cultural and intellectual heritage. This strong relationship between the effectiveness of legislation and the strength of its cultural roots appears to me to be all the more necessary when dealing with environmental issues, especially in Islamic societies. For Islam prespresents a way of life that encompasses an overall view of the universe, life, man and the inter-relationships existing between them and also combines conviction, belief, legislation and enforement of this legislation.

It is also appropriate to refer to the existence of other reasons for the preparation of this paper.

  1. The ever-increasing need to devise and formulate legislation for the protection of the environment, especially in view of the rapidly increasing technological and industrial progress in all fields and aspects of development.
  2. The insufficiency of the present legislation now applied in contemporary societies and its inadequacy to achieve the required protection of the natural environment.
  3. The urgent need, particularly in Islamic countries, to formulate a clear method and plan that would help all responsible authorities and individuals alike in these countries to define, determine and lay down the necessary procedures and measures for the conservation and protection of the environment as well as for putting these procedures into effect.
The present work aims at presenting a preliminary paper in this field and it is hoped that this will motivate more comprehensive and specialized research in the future. It objectively defines the Islamic concept of the environment, the relationship ofman with the environment, and the interaction ofboth with regard to man's sustainable utilization and development of natural resources.

Many colleagues have participated in both enhancing and achieving this work. Previously, I have mentioned Dr. Wolfgang Burhenne and I now mention Dr:. Hamad AI Erainan, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, for his kind support; also I would mention Mr. Omar Bakhashab who prepared a preliminary report on the subject in 1981; Dr. Abdul Elah Banaja, Dean of the Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah; Dr. Mustafa A. AI Deghaither, Director General of Environmental Protection Division (MEPA); Dr. Nizar Ibrahim Tawfiq, the Director General of the National Meteorological and Environmental Protection Centre (MEPA); and Dr. Zaki Mustafa, Secretary General of the Saudi-Sudanese Commission for the Development of the Red Sea Resources.

In regard to the Authors, it is my belief that in achieving this work they have placed a basic milestone on the path of connecting Islam with one of the most complicated and useful branches of the applied sciences.

May Allah guide us to the right aim.

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