Rafed English

The Government and Environment Protection

Islam terms government as a political power respon -sible for the protection of its citizen's welfare, as well as, planning and executing their affairs.

This guidance or protection is comprised of all their different endeavours, politically, financially, socially and health wise...etc., in order to preserve the system of life, which includes wealth, personality, mind and body.

The Islamic scholars summarized this concept as a major component in the Islamic social system, and it has a more extensive and universal principle, which is this: Islam came in order to protect man's interests and repel corruption on earth. Likewise, these principles work toward the orgainizing of natural laws, the law of "la dharara wa la dhirara", which is a Prophetic text, that works in man's legislative life.

Therefore, there are intellectual, as well as, legislative rules or principles which empower the government, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, oblige it toward environmental protection, and these are:

1. "la dharara wa la dhirara"
2. Islam came in order to protect man's interests and repel corruption on the earth.
3. The Islamic government is responsible for the protection of its citizen's welfare and their general interests, as the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said: "The leader is a sheperd and is responsible for his flock."

According to these principles, a government, in the Islamic point of view, is responsible for preserving the environment, as well as, protecting nature, because the preservation of man's environment and, likewise, the animal's, plant's and natural environment is the most clear aspect of man's interests, preservation and the repelling of corruption in man's material life.

Thus, these intellectual and legislative rules empower the Islamic government to prohibit the cutting down of forests, or destroying fruit trees, or hunting animals and fishes in their reproductive season, or hunting animals where their number is less, so as to preserve their existence...etc.

It is also responsible for preventing or prohibiting any act which is harmful to the environment, like using poisonous and toxic substances, or which carry dangerous and contagious microbes, or like building industries which cause pollution inside the city and deposite human and animal waste products near human habitations and communities.

Because all these are harmful and destructive of the life system and spread corruption on the earth after it was well planned and built, the Holy Qur'an prohibits this, in its statement:

" "And do no mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order,..." Holy Qur'an (A`raf 7:56)

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Adapted from: "Environmental Protection in Islamic Shari`a" by: "Al-Balagh Foundation"

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