29 March Khutbah- Graciousness in Environmental Preservation

BismillahirRahmaanirRaheem

Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura

Friday Sermon

29 March 2013 / 17 Jamadilawal 1434

Graciousness in Environmental Preservation

Dear Friday Jemaah,

Taqwa (God-Awareness) is our fortress, which prevents us from committing sins, and helps us to steer clear from things that could lead to nuisance and destruction in this world and the hereafter. But taqwa is something that needs to be nurtured, and this is done by striving to heed Allah’s commands and avoid what He has prohibited upon us. By developing this sense of taqwa, it gives rise to exemplary adab (etiquettes) and ethics in our relationship with Allah and all His creations.

Dear brothers,

Allah s.w.t. has made it easy for humankind to reap the benefits of the earth’s natural resources, as well as enable humankind to gain control over Allah’s creations such as animals and plants. These are blessings or nikmat from Allah to enable humankind in fulfilling their responsibility to radiate goodness on Allah’s earth. Let us reflect upon verse 20, surah Luqman:

óOs9r& (#÷rts? ¨br& ©!$# t¤‚y™ Nä3s9 $¨B ’Îû ÏNºuq»yJ¡¡9$# $tBur ’Îû ÇÚö‘F{$# x÷t7ó™r&ur öNä3ø‹n=tæ ¼çmyJyèÏR ZotÎg»sß ZpuZÏÛ$t/ur 3 z`ÏBur Ĩ$¨Z9$# `tB ãAω»pgä† †Îû «!$# ΎötóÎ/ 5Où=Ïæ Ÿwur “W‰èd Ÿwur 5=»tGÏ. 9ŽÏZ•B ÇËÉÈ

Which means: Do you not see that Allah has made subject to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth and amply bestowed upon you His favors, [both] apparent and unapparent? But of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening Book [from Him].

This provision, a gift from Allah, has helped developed civilisations and enabled humankind to build beautiful cities and travel around the earth to gain inspiration from the excellence of the Islamic civilisation. Even though there are many species of animals and plants, but it is humankind that controls them. As much as we are expected to use these resources wisely and for good purposes, we are also the ones who may destroy and harm nature. As Allah says in surah Ar-Rum verse  41:

tygsß ßŠ$|¡xÿø9$# ’Îû ÎhŽy9ø9$# ̍óst7ø9$#ur $yJÎ/ ôMt6|¡x. “ω÷ƒr& Ĩ$¨Z9$# Nßgs)ƒÉ‹ã‹Ï9 uÙ÷èt/ “Ï%©!$# (#qè=ÏHxå öNßg¯=yès9 tbqãèÅ_ötƒ ÇÍÊÈ

Which means: “Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness].

These verses in the Quran remind us that we are given the advantage of our intellect and wisdom to gain benefits from these creations, but it does not in any way allow us to misuse our gifts and take from nature arbitrarily. Instead, we are required to be responsibly and manage the resources Allah has made available to us.

There may be those who are wondering, what is the relationship between faith (iman) and caring for nature? Why does one need to think about the natural resources and how will that enable him or her to gain Allah’s pleasure and a place in heaven?

My dear brothers,

The first question has been answered by the verses from the Quran which I read earlier. In these verses, Allah s.w.t has commanded us to act responsibly in using the earth’s resources and to protect nature.

A believer who loves Allah will not want to disobey Allah’s commands. Thus, as a form of respect and adab (good manners) towards Allah’s commands, a believer will ensure that he or she does not waste the nikmat (blessing) Allah has bestowed upon him or her, in the form of this beautiful earth, which is a gift from Allah for humankind, and for the benefit of all humankind.

.

Secondly, let us ponder upon the teachings of Rasulullah s.a.w.

First, the need to conserve and preserve our natural resources. Rasulullah s.a.w. often reminded the Companions of the rewards of doing so.  Rasulullah s.a.w. said, which means: “There is none amongst the Muslims who plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, but is regarded as a charitable gift for him”. [Bukhari and Muslim]

Dear jemaah,

Some people, due to their selfishness, take advantage of the earth’s resources without caring for nature. When was the last time we thought about the need to preserve and protect the trees and plants around us? Do we make a conscious effort to sort our trash by separating items that can be recycled and those that can be thrown away?

Indeed, this is part of our faith. We do so out of our deep gratitude towards Allah, who has granted us with the bountiful of natural resources. Thus, we must try to ensure that we continue to conserve and preserve these natural resources, so that our future generations can also gain from it.

Second, to ensure that we use natural resources in a responsible manner, taking only what we need without wasting them. Studies have forecasted that by 2050, when the population of this earth has increased rapidly, the source of drinking water available for us will also decrease significantly.

Hence, the habit of conserving natural resources and not wasting what we have today must become a culture. In fact, Rasulullah s.a.w. taught us not to waste water when we perform our ablution, and this was taught to us more than 1,400 years ago! It is telling of how water will become a more valuable resource in the future, as if Rasulullah s.a.w. wanted to warn us that we must value water.

Third, we must ensure that we keep our surroundings clean, without needing anyone else to maintain its cleanliness for us. We should take it upon ourselves to keep our environment clean and not depend on others.

My brothers, our observance of cleanliness on ourselves and our surroundings, are indeed measures of the purity of our spirituality. A person who is spiritually cleansed, pure and noble, will be motivated to ensure that his surrounding is kept clean. That is why Nabi s.a.w. said:

اَلطَّهُوْرُ شَطْرُ اْلِإيْمَانِ

 “Cleanliness is part of faith”. [Muslim]

And instead, if we fail to maintain the cleanliness of our environment and we require others to keep our surroundings clean for us, it reflects a problem not just with our behaviour but one that is related to our spirituality, or rather the lack of it.

May Allah s.w.t. grant us with noble hearts and the strength to protect the nikmat (blessing) of this earth that He has given to us. And hopefully, by doing so, Allah s.w.t. will in turn protect us from any destructions in this world and the hereafter. Amin.

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Categories: Khutbah | 1 Comment

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One thought on “29 March Khutbah- Graciousness in Environmental Preservation

  1. We have enough examples from the history of Prophet (PBUH) and Swahabas on preserving nature and its resources. We are the followers of Prophet, whose eyes fraught with tears, seeing a baby sparrow separated from its mother. Thanks for sharing this Khutba. You can read a related article in our website http://feelislam.com/2011/12/strew-at-least-a-flower-seed/

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