Guest Blog by Sofia Ahsanuddin: Sacred Earth, Sacred Self

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Cover of "The Animals' Lawsuit Against Humanity"

The Animals’ Lawsuit Against Humanity is a 1,000-year-old Islamic tale that examines the conception of Promethean Man and his domination and destruction of the natural world. Embedded within the 22nd Rasa’il (Epistle) of the Ikhwan al-Safa’ (otherwise known to medieval Europeans as the “Brethren of Purity”), this 10th century Islamic fable chronicles a series of fictitious debates in a court of law between various animal species and representatives of the Bani Adam (Children of Adam), that had colonized and settled the island on which the animals lived. Animals such as the jackal and the nightingale bear testimony against the human settlers before the king of the jinn because of their mistreatment at the hands of Bani Adam. While the tale was later translated into Hebrew by a Jewish scholar at the request of Charles of Anjou (a medieval Christian king), the original Arabic version is strikingly beautiful. The language forges poignant connections between the animal welfare concerns of 10th-century Basra, Iraq and the crises of the modern world, namely those related to human-caused global climate change and its grave implications for endangered species and their threatened habitats.

Indeed, as Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr notes in his doctoral dissertation entitled, An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines, the timeliness and contemporary relevance of this didactic tale lies in its reflection on the universal “lower self” of man and his potential for ruthless destruction irrespective of time. Man, in his hubris and egocentrism, oppresses all that which exists in the natural world with the justification of fulfilling “human needs,” all the while making his “rights over other creatures absolute.”1 Dr. Nasr argues that this hubris has always existed but became particularly emphasized and popularized with the rise of Renaissance humanism and the “idealization of Promethean man” in the contemporary era. What is interesting about The Animals’ Lawsuit Against Humanity is that the animals successfully counter each of the arguments the human settlers present to excuse their actions; however, the “possibility of a number among men to attain sanctity and therefore to be able to act as the channel of grace for the rest of God’s creation” serves as the ultimate reason for the jinn king’s refusal to punish all of Bani Adam for their transgressions against nature. But this divine pardon rests on one condition: man must strive to fulfill his God-given responsibility of being a viceregent on Earth (khilafat Allah fi’l-ard), a major mortal function described extensively in the Qur’an, by first overcoming the “self-aggrandizement” and hubris that compelled him to disregard the well-being of the animals in the first place.

Ramadan Greeting: Ramadan KareemAs observant Muslims worldwide prepare for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan 1436 AH, we are reminded of our collective responsibility to protect and cherish the amana, or trust, of the Earth given to us by God in addition to caring for our fellow human beings. During the “month of mercy,” all able-bodied adult Muslims abstain from food, drink, and marital relations from dawn to dusk in a sincere effort to increase piety and taqwa, or God-consciousness. Many nights are spent in deep meditation and prayer. It is tradition for observant Muslims to complete and reflect on at least one reading of the Qur’an (“The Recitation”), which Muslims believe is the final and unaltered revelation from God to the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace and blessings) in a long series of divinely-inspired books revealed to other honorable messengers like Moses, Jesus, and Abraham (peace be upon all of them) as divine guidance for their respective peoples. As God declares in Surat Al-Baqarah (Chapter Two) of the Qur’an:

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous – [Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] – then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess – it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.2

This Ramadan will be the longest and hottest in my lifetime – in New York City, Muslims will fast for approximately seventeen hours during some of the hottest days of the year. While there are some health benefits involved in the actual act of intermittent fasting (detoxification is just one), the self-discipline involved in going about one’s ordinary day without any food or water is also important. It relates to the idea of conquering one’s ego for the sake of improving one’s character and relationship with God and with others. The purpose of fasting is two-fold; we are taught to become “righteous” people by learning empathy for the less fortunate and we are also taught to subdue the self, which has tremendous implications not only for the way we treat other people but also for how we treat the Earth and other sentient beings like the animals discussed in the fable earlier.Eco Islam

We are reminded of the importance of being just and kind to all and that there is the potential for both great good and great evil in each of us. Moreover, we are taught to appreciate all that we do have – as the Qur’an relates the story of the Children of Israel, God states: “And [recall] when We took your covenant, [O Children of Israel, to abide by the Torah] and We raised over you the mount, [saying], “Take what We have given you with determination and remember what is in it that perhaps you may become righteous.”3 In the same Surah, God declares: “O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to God if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.”4 Essentially, fasting becomes an obligation for those who believe in the finality and authenticity of the message of Islam so that they may increase in their remembrance of God and appreciate the mercy He has bestowed upon the human race. Just as fasting allows one to cleanse one’s physical body of impurities it also allows one to reflect on the act of “cleansing” one’s spiritual state. One such avenue to spiritual purification is to refrain from actions that would potentially lead to corruption, such as the “pollution of the environment, depletion of natural resources, and wasteful consumption.”5 In Surat Al-‘A’rāf of the Qur’an, God instructs man to eat and drink in moderation but to not indulge in wastefulness – He states, “O children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: but waste not by excess for God does not love those who waste.”6

In Shari’ah, or Islamic Law, the juristic principle, “there shall be no damage and no infliction of damage”7 is extensively applied to “almost every conduct in dealing with the environment (e.g. matters of land, water use, building construction, waste disposal, and so on)”8 so that the human being remains vigilant of his obligation to care for the Earth, its resources, and wildlife. In other words, this aversion to harm takes precedence over any “acquisition of benefits” and is considered better than the need for remediation after such corruption has occurred.7 This is because the Shari’ah is based on the principle that everything belongs to God and God alone. “People do not in fact own things, for the only real owner of things is their Creator, be He glorified and exalted. Indeed, people do not own anything but their usufruct in the manner permitted by the revealed Law.”9 As such, the right to use private property or environmental resources is a temporary trust given to man with the condition that he makes use of this trust in accordance with its “divinely ordained purposes.”7 And while the attitude of Islam to the “environment, the sources of life, and the resources of nature” is based partially on the prohibition of abuse and selfish exploitation, it is also based on “construction and sustainable development.” It is narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace and blessings) said, “If any Muslim plants a tree or sows a field, and a human, bird or animal eats from it, it shall be reckoned as charity from him.”10 The fourth caliph of Islam, ‘Ali ibn Abi-Talib, once said to a man who had cultivated and reclaimed abandoned land, “Partake of it gladly, so long as you are a benefactor, not a despoiler; a cultivator, not a destroyer.”11 These statements all demonstrate that the aim of preservation and use of the natural environment in Islam is for the “universal good of all created beings,” not just the human being.7

As one of the most famous tales in the Islamic world, The Animals’ Lawsuit against Humanity brings up several issues of great contemporary relevance, especially concerning the current environmental crisis: What are our rights over other creatures and what are the limits to those rights? Do animals have any rights over us? What is the purpose of human life and how can we go about knowing that purpose without trampling on the rights of the rest of God’s creation? Within an Islamic framework, the preservation of the natural environment is known as hifz al-Ard and is considered a primary responsibility of the human being as a khalifa, or steward and caretaker placed upon the Earth by God. Surat Al-Baqarah in the Qur’an mentioned earlier relates the creation of man through a metaphorical conversation between God and the angels. God revealed:

And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, ‘Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.’ They said, ‘Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?’ God said, ‘Indeed, I know that which you do not know.’12

And just as the Qur’an is comprised of ayat, or verses, which literally translates into English as “signs, revelations, evidence, lessons, and proofs” of the existence of God and His divine attributes, the natural environment is also thought to contain a multitude of ayat, that point to the existence and the oneness of God.8

The Qur’an warns man against sowing corruption on the Earth and of transgressing against the Divine Law. If man does not observe this warning and deliberately enters a state of ghafla, or heedlessness, he essentially chooses to go against his aboriginal nature of submission to God and commits injustices against his own soul, sins that he will be held accountable for on the Day of Judgment. God’s wrath is incurred as a result of man’s deliberate transgression and concealment of truth. However, God’s mercy is always greater than his wrath. In Surat Al-‘An-‘am, God states,

“And it is He who has made you successors upon the Earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees [of rank] that He may try you through what He has given you. Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is forgiving and merciful.”13

This particular verse is quite striking because it expounds on the transcendence and imminence of God.

While full conceptualization of God is beyond human intellectual capacity, the Islamic tradition holds that human beings can know of God’s existence and His divine attributes through the physical world around us, which is a rahma, or mercy, unto itself. All of creation was formed to “serve the Lord of all beings by performing their ordained roles so as to best benefit each other,” thus leading to a “cosmic symbiosis” (takaful) of sorts.7 Moreover, the Islamic worldview stipulates that God created all things in the universe in due proportion and measure; there is wisdom, value, and purpose in all of creation. As God explains in the Qur’an,

“Verily, all things have We created by measure”14 and “We have not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them carelessly. We have not created them but for truth.”15 “Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and the day, and the [great] ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what God has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing every [kind of] moving creature, and [His] directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven and the earth are signs for a people who use reason.”16

If man is to recognize his central purpose in life, then it becomes incumbent upon him to conserve and nurture that which allows him to reach the objective truth in the first place – the natural environment and the sentient beings with whom he interacts. These are all ayat, or signs, for “men endued with understanding.”17

For more information on environmental protection in Islam, I highly recommend reading the IUCN (The World Conservation Union) Environmental Policy and Law Paper No. 20 and Syed Iskandar Ariffin’s “Islamic Perspectives and Malay Notions of Heritage Conservation.” If you would like to read the adapted version of The Animals’ Lawsuit Against Humanity, please click here. For a wonderful video lecture on this same topic, please consider watching Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson’s “Sacred Earth: Sacred Self” here.



  1. Nasr, xiii. “The Animals Lawsuit Against Humanity – A Modern Adaptation of an Ancient Animal Rights Tale Told Originally by a 10th Century Muslim Iraqi.” The Animals Lawsuit Against Humanity – A Modern Adaptation of an Ancient Animal Rights Tale Told Originally by a 10th Century Muslim Iraqi. Trans. Anson Laytner and Dan Bridge. Ed. Matthew Kaufmann. Fons Vitae, 2005. Web.
  2. Qur’an, Surat Al-Baqarah (2), ayah 183-184.
  3. Qur’an, Surat Al-Baqarah (2), ayah 63.
  4. Qur’an, Surat Al-Baqarah (2), ayah 172.
  5. Raouf, Mohammad A. “Of Ramadan, Our Bodies and the Environment.” Of Ramadan, Our Bodies and the Environment. Gulf News, 30 June 2014. Web. 8 June 2015.
  6. Qur’an, Surat Al-‘Ar’āf (7), ayah 31.
  7. Bagader, Abubakr Ahmed, Abdullatif Tawfik El-Chirazi El-Sabbagh, Mohamad As-Sayyid Al-Glayand, Mawil Yousuf Izzi-Deen Samarrai, and Othman Abd-ar-Rahman Llewellyn. Environmental Protection in Islam. 2nd ed. Vol. 20. Gland: IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, 1994. Web.
  8. Ariffin, Syed Iskandar. “Islamic Perspectives and Malay Notions of Heritage Conservation.” Asian Heritage Management: Contexts, Concerns, and Prospects. By Kapila D. Silva and Neel Kamal. Chapagain. London: Routledge, 2013. 65+. Print.
  9. Abu ‘l-Farak ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Rajab, in al-Qawa ‘id.
  10. Hadith of sound authority, related by al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Anas.
  11. Athar related by Yahya ibn Adam al-Qurashi in Kitab al-Kharaj, on the authority of Sa’id ab-Dabbi.
  12. Qur’an, Surat Al-Baqarah (2), ayah 30.
  13. Qur’an, Surat Al-‘An’am (6), ayah 165.
  14. Qur’an, Surat Al-Qamar (54), ayah 49.
  15. Qur’an, Surat Ad-Dukhan (44), ayahs 38-39.
  16. Qur’an, Surat Al-Baqarah (2), ayah 164.
  17. Qur’an, Surat Ta Ha (20), ayah 54.

Sofia Ahsanuddin is a rising senior at the Coordinated BA/MD Program and the Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College. A political science major and chemistry minor, Sofia intends to obtain an MD/MPH. Sofia is a Horace W. Goldsmith Scholar and a Rosen Fellow and is interested in learning more about the intersection between state surveillance, governance, health, and human rights. She hopes to specialize in global health and ophthalmology as a physician. In her spare time, Sofia enjoys reading about comparative religion, philosophy, and international affairs.

About climatechangefork

Micha Tomkiewicz, Ph.D., is a professor of physics in the Department of Physics, Brooklyn College, the City University of New York. He is also a professor of physics and chemistry in the School for Graduate Studies of the City University of New York. In addition, he is the founding-director of the Environmental Studies Program at Brooklyn College as well as director of the Electrochemistry Institute at that same institution.
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2 Responses to Guest Blog by Sofia Ahsanuddin: Sacred Earth, Sacred Self

  1. Sofia Ahsanuddin says:

    Thanks very much, Denis! I highly appreciate your feedback. I wish you an easy fast for Yom Kippur.

  2. Denis Ladyzhensky says:

    In response to the excellent blog by fellow student Sofia Ahsanuddin I hope to include some rather stunning and mesmerizing jewels I was lucky enough to uncover from the Islamic world. As an observant, orthodox Jew who grew up in Brooklyn and attended Brooklyn College I am fascinated by Muslim culture, history and society. I’ve been fortunate enough to have met a few observant Moslems in Brooklyn College and hope to continue meeting and learning from them in the future.
    I want to share some great findings from various Islamic sources: (
    Muhammad Ibn Attiah has reported on the authority of Imam Sadeq : “God Almighty likes farming and shepherdism for His messengers so that they will not dislike rainfall.”عَن مُحَمَّدِ بنِ عَطيةِ قالَ : سَمِعتُ أَبا عبدِ اللّهِ عليهِ السَّلامُ يَقُولُ : إِنَّ اللّه عزَّ وَجلَّ أَحَبَّ لأَنبِيائه عَلَيهمُ السَّلامُ مِنَ الأَعمالِ الْحَرْثَ وَالرَّعيَ لِئلا يَكرَهوا شَيْئًا مِنْ قِطرِ السَّماء
    His Sixteen Pieces Of AdviceFrom the words of Sheth, son of Adam: A believer must have sixteen qualities:
    1- Getting to know God, His angels and people of obedience2- Getting to know good and evil, that is, interest in good and keeping away from evil.3- Listening to and obeying a merciful King whom God has made vicegerent on the earth giving him the affair of cities and servants.4- Being kind to the parents.5- Doing good to the extent of one’s ability.6- Helping the poor.7- Being kind to the homeless.8- Being brave in obeying Allah.9- Keeping away from debauchery.10- Patience with faith and certainty.11- Truthfulness.12- Justice.13- Detachment from the world.14- Making a sacrifice as a sing of thanks to God who has bestowed blessings upon His creatures.15- Forbearance and thankfulness to God during calamities in the world without showing impatience.16- Modesty and little disputation.
    وَمِن كَلامِ شيْثِ بْنَ آدَمَ عَلَيهِ السَّلامُ: يَجِبُ أَنْ يَكُونَ في المؤمِنِ سِتَّ عَشَرَ خُصْلَةَ،[الأَوَّل]: المَعْرِفَةُ باللَّهِ ومَلائِكتِهِ وأَهْلِ طاعَتِه،[الثاني] مَعْرِفَةُ الْخَيْر وَالشَّرّ، أَمّا الْخَيْرُ فَلْيَرْغَبْ فيهِ وَأَمَّا الشَّرُّ فَلْيحْذَرْ مِنْهُ [الثالث] السَّمْعُ وَالطَّاعَةُ لِلْمَلِكِ الرَّحيم الَّذي اسْتَخْلَفَهُ اللَّهُ في الأَرضِ وَمَلَّكَهُ أَمْرَ الْبلادِ وَالْعِبادِ، [الرابع] بِرُّ الْوَالِدَيْنِ [الخامس] اصْطِناعُ الْمَعْرُوفِ بِقَدرِ الطّاعةِ[السادس] الْمُوَاساةُ لِلْفُقَراءِ [السابع] التَّعَصُّبُ للْغُرَباءِ [الثامن] الشُّجاعَةُ في طاعَةِ اللَّهِ، [التاسع] العِصْمَةُ عَنِ الفُجُورِ [العاشر] الصَّبْرُ بِالأَيمانِ وَالْيقين، [الحادي عشر] صِدقُ اللَّهْجَةِ، [الثاني عشر] الْعَدْلُ، [الثالث عشر] التَّورُّعُ في الدُّنيا، [الرابع عشر] الضَّحايا وَالقَرابينَ شُكْرًا لله تَعالى عَلى ما أَولى مِنَ النِّعَمِ لِخَلقِه [الخامس عشر] الْحُلُمُ وَحَمْدُ اللَّه تَعالى عَلى مَصائِبِ الدُّنْيا بِغَيْرِ تَمَلُّل [السادس عشر] الْحَياءُ وَقلَّة المُماراةِ.
    Gold And Mud Brick Equal To Jesus Christ
    Jesus was asked: How do you walk on water? He said: With faith and certainty. They said: We have believed in the same way you have believed and reached certainty as you have. He said: Walk on water. But when they walked on water, they started going down. Jesus said: What happened to you? They said: We feared the waves. Jesus said: Fear not the God of waves. Then, he rescued them, putting his hands on the earth, took a handful of soil. When he opened his fist, they saw that he had gold in one hand and pebble in another. Jesus asked: Which one is sweeter to you? They said: Gold. Jesus said: But they are equal to me.قيلَ لِعيسى ابنِ مَريَمَ يا عيسى بأيِّ شَيءٍ تَمشي عَلى الماءِ؟ قَالَ: بِالإِيمانِ وَاليَقينِ، قَالوا: فَإِنّا آمنّا كَما آمَنتَ وَأيقَنّا كَما أيقَنتَ، قَالَ: فَامشُوا إِذًا فَمَشَوا مَعَهُ في المَوجِ فَغرِقوا فَقالَ لَهُم عيسى: مالَكُم فَقالوا: خِفنا المَوجَ قالَ: الا خِفتمُ رَبَّ المَوجِ قالَ: فَأخرَجَهُم، ثُمَّ ضَرَبَ بِيدِه إِلى الأرضِ فَقَبَضَ بِها ثُمَّ بَسَطَها فَإِذا في إِحْدى يَدَيهِ ذَهَبٌ وَفي الأُخرى مَدَرٌ أو حَصى، فَقالَ: أَيُّهُما أَحْلَى في قُلُوبِكُم؟ قَالوا: هذا الذَّهَبُ: قَالَ فإِنَّهُما عِندي سَواءٌ
    Daily Praise And Thanks
    The Messenger of Allah used to thank God 360 times that is the number of blood vessels saying: All praise is due to the Lord of the worlds.كانَ رَسولُ اللَّه صَلّى اللَّه عَليهِ وَآلِه يَحمَدُ اللَّه في كُلِّ يَومٍ ثَلاثَ مِئةٍ وَسِتّينَ مَرَّةً عَدَدَ عُرُوقِ الجَسَدِ، يَقولُ: الحَمدُ للَّه رَبِّ العالَمينَ كَثيرًا عَلى كُلِّ حالٍ
    Pollution of Environment
    Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said that we should not pollute our environment otherwise it would become impossible to live on this planet. Definitely he had our times in mind when he made those remarks. Pollution was not a problem in his time. There was not a single factory in existence and metals were smelted in small furnaces by burning wood. This was not a theory but a scientific fact which cannot be refuted. It is estimated that if air pollution increases at the present rate for 50 years more, 50% of plankton will die and the quantity of oxygen in the air would be reduced by the same proportion.
    The rich nation of Japan ignored the advice of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) and polluted its environment and suffered the consequences. After World War II, in which Japan was defeated, the average yearly income of a Japanese worker was only US$ 30. Today it is US$500. In the production of ships, radios, TVs, tape-recorders, computers, rayon cloth etc, it has given birth to numerous diseases which were never known to have been existed. A new and dangerous disease has appeared recently in Japan.
    IV. Translation of Qunut
    La ilaha illallahul Halimul Karim (There is none worth worshipping but Allah Who is Forbearing and Generous).La ilaha illallahul ‘Aliyyul ‘Azim (There is none worth worshipping but Allah Who is Eminent and Great).Subhanallahi Rabbis samawatis sab’ wa Rabbil arazinas sab’ (Glory be to Allah, Who is the Sustainer of the seven heavens and of the seven earth).Wama fi hinna wama bayna hunna, wa Rabbil ‘arshil ‘azim (And Who is the Sustainer of all the things in them, and between them, and Who is the Lord of the great ‘Arsh (Divine Power). Wal hamdu lillahi Rabbil Aalamin (And all praise for Allah, the Sustainer of the worlds).
    In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent The Merciful
    Muhammad Ibn Sanan relates that Mufaddhal Ibn Umar narrated to him thus: The Earth
    Consider the four fundamental components created by the Almighty Allah to fulfil the purpose of their creation adequately. Among them is the earth and its expanse. How could it have sufficed for the human needs of housing, agriculture, meadows, forests, jungles, precious herbs and valuable minerals, if it were not so vast? A person may dislike and condemn such treeless prairies and fearful desolateness and question their utility. This is the abode of the beasts, their dwelling and feeding field. Men have a vast expanse to migrate if they are so disposed. Many a desolate plain has been converted into blossoming gardens and palatial buildings by permanent human settlement. If the earth were not so vast, men would have found themselves, as if walled in by narrow fortresses, for they would have been unable to leave their homes even if pressed by circumstances. Next, consider the disposition granted to the earth, in that it is so finely balanced as to serve as a fit habitat for all creation. Man is enabled thereby to move about, get rest and comfort, engage in agriculture and business with perfect firmness. If it were to tilt and incline it would have been impossible to rear up structures and to carry on trade and industry etc. Under such circumstances of constant quaking, their lives would have been far from peasant. Just realise this from the earthquakes which last only a while and yet people affected by them fly from their homes. How could they, then, have got rest and comfort, in case the earth were to quake all the time? If a critic questions as to why an earthquake occurs, he shall be replied that an earthquake and similar other calamities are in the nature of admonition and warnings for men to take heed against evil-doings. Similarly the calamitous troubles that befall their physical bodies and their properties have the same purpose in view, to wit, their amelioration and betterment. If they become virtuous, the reward they would get in the Hereafter would exceed all earthly possessions in value, It sometimes happens that there is an immediate award in this world, if such award is in the interests of the generality of people. The earth in its essence is cool and dry, and so are the stones. Can you visualise that if the earth had been given a little more dry nature to harden like a stone, could it have produced any vegetation on which depends animal life? Could any agriculture have been possible or any kind of building been feasible? Don’t you see that it possesses less cohesion than a stone? Pliability and softness from its essence are for the sake of reliability. Another feature of the earth’s constitution as ordained by Almighty Allah; Glorious is His Omnipotence, is its gradual slope from the north to the south. Why has Almighty Allah, Glory be to Him, Ordained it? Surely to allow the surplus water after irrigating the land, to flow to the sea, just as roof is made sloping from one side to other to prevent water collecting and to allow its easy passage. The land is made to slope for that reason. If it were not so, the whole earth might have been swamped with stagnant water with resultant hindrance in business and road communications.
    These verses, prayers and ethical teachings all spoke to me, inspiring me to share them as examples of Islamic scholarship on environmental impact, gratitude and humility. There is obviously a tremendous amount of emphasis put on accepting the will of Allah but also on individual responsibility. Individual responsibility means prayer, fasting and abstaining from worldly possessions and pleasures but it also means protecting the well being of the planet so that it could continue to provide for other generations to do the same thing. Therefore I believe whatever can be done to alleviate the stress on the planet from anthropological climate change must be done and it must be done by us, in this generation.

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