Saturday, August 17, 2013

THE EGO & THE ENVIRONMENT - Islam and our accountability for Earth and all its inhabitants

Borrowed Blessings
We are living on borrowed blessings,
Upon the thousands of years past
When somewhere far in time,
An ancestor of ours said,
"No... let's not do that.
Let us do the right thing"
When a forefather with tears in his eyes,
Raised his hands to the darkening skies,
And said, "Oh Lord... Please keep safe
My children and my children's children,
For what I could have done for them I have,
And now I leave them in Your hands."

The Ego & The Environment. Oh my beloved friends, I am a little worried. For I fear the day when we shall account for all our deeds done to our environment, all our actions and omissions. For all the times we could have acted to do the right thing but did not. My lazy ego often tells me... 'Naaw... you don't need to think too much about the environment and sustainable development and consumption... that is the problem for the politicians, the experts, the university professors, the... (ad infinitum)." According to our lazy ego, it is everyone else's problem but ours.

But Marshall Mcluhan, a Canadian philosopher in a statement referencing the Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1967), clarifies most succinctly, 

"There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew."

Crew and Viceregents. So there is indeed no escaping our responsibility for this beautiful Earth, which is not ours, but in truth, God's grant to humanity. But the Angels of God, in their wisdom and foresight raised the query of our fitness to crew the Spaceship Earth, or in the words of the Holy Quran, to be the Khalifah (viceregents of God) upon this Earth...
Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." 
They said: "Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein 
and shed blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?" 
He said: "I know what ye know not."
(Quran 2:30, Yusuf Ali)

We are full of mischief, the Angels alleged. And as history unveils itself through time, indeed, we brought a lot of mischief and oppression to the Earth. But closely parallel to the evil, is the goodness inherent in Man, made manifest and clear by the Prophets and Saints of God, authorised by God to advise, admonish and encourage Man towards good and to reject all evil and all falsehood. 

So we are the Khalifahs (viceregents) on Earth. So what is new? But today is different from any other day in the past, you see. For our economy, our industries and apparent insatiable appetite for consumption has led to a point when Man can actually physically and permanently do harm to the Earth.

Back to the Basics. The way forward for us as a community, is the same way as revealed by the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) in verse 2:30 above, that is to find the answer from and through God Almighty. After all, did He not say unto the Angels, 

"I know what ye know not."

We are asking continuing support and guidance from the Flag of Guidance, Sayyidina Alamul Huda Muhammad (s.a.w.s), lest we be branded by our children as the generation that took a paradise from Allah the Most Compassionate, and passed on to them a dying planet.

May Allah the Ever Generous save us from our most selfish and wicked desires!

Pray for humanity, sunshine. And pray for Spaceship Earth.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

No comments: