Insisting on an immediate move to 100% renewable energy, yesterday's release of The Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change urged the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to take a stand for the environment by reimagining the way we approach global climate discussions. Among the contributing scholars and religious leaders was Nana Firman, an active climate advocate and Green Faith fellow.
Remaining an active member of the Southern California Muslim community, Firman has developed local and global level initiatives that empower leaders through projects such as the Green Masjid. Green Masjid (Green Mosque) maintains 4 key practices that are imperative for every Muslim to carry out.
- Raise awareness of issues of conservation and Islam’s strong support for the principles of being stewards (khalifah) in the earth and Islam’s call for us to be an eco-friendly community,
- Develop standards for transforming existing masjids into green masjids and then work to make more of our masjids eco-friendly,
- Develop standards for building masjids that meet the goal of being a green masjid, and finally
- Promote the practice of a green Ramadan
Learn more about Nana Firman at Green Faith's website.
All that is in the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah. Allah encompasses all things.
Qur’an 4: 125
وَلِلّٰهِ مَا فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَمَا فِى الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ مُّحِيۡـطًا
In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate
God – Whom we know as Allah – has created the universe in all its diversity, richness and vitality: the stars, the sun and moon, the earth and all its communities of living beings. All these reflect and manifest the boundless glory and mercy of their Creator. All created beings by nature serve and glorify their Maker, all bow to their Lord’s will. We human beings are created to serve the Lord of all beings, to work the greatest good we can for all the species, individuals, and generations of God’s creatures.
Our planet has existed for billions of years and climate change in itself is not new. The earth’s climate has gone through phases wet and dry, cold and warm, in response to many natural factors. Most of these changes have been gradual, so that the forms and communities of life have adjusted accordingly. There have been catastrophic climate changes that brought about mass extinctions, but over time, life adjusted even to these impacts, flowering anew in the emergence of balanced ecosystems such as those we treasure today. Climate change in the past was also instrumental in laying down immense stores of fossil fuels from which we derive benefits today. Ironically, our unwise and short-sighted use of these resources is now resulting in the destruction of the very conditions that have made our life on earth possible.
The pace of Global climate change today is of a different order of magnitude from the gradual changes that previously occurred throughout the most recent era, the Cenozoic. Moreover, it is human-induced: we have now become a force dominating nature. The epoch in which we live has increasingly been described in geological terms as the Anthropocene, or “Age of Humans”. Our species, though selected to be a caretaker or steward (khalifah) on the earth, has been the cause of such corruption and devastation on it that we are in danger ending life as we know it on our planet. This current rate of climate change cannot be sustained, and the earth’s fine equilibrium (mīzān) may soon be lost. As we humans are woven into the fabric of the natural world, its gifts are for us to savour. But the same fossil fuels that helped us achieve most of the prosperity we see today are the main cause of climate change. Excessive pollution from fossil fuels threatens to destroy the gifts bestowed on us by God, whom we know as Allah – gifts such as a functioning climate, healthy air to breathe, regular seasons, and living oceans. But our attitude to these gifts has been short-sighted, and we have abused them. What will future generations say of us, who leave them a degraded planet as our legacy? How will we face our Lord and Creator?
We note that the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (UNEP, 2005) and backed by over 1300 scientists from 95 countries, found that “overall, people have made greater changes to ecosystems in the last half of the 20th century than at any time in human history… these changes have enhanced human well-being, but have been accompanied by ever increasing degradation (of our environment).”