On Questions of Environmental Protection in Christianity and Islam

  1. Lemma
  2. О вопросах охраны окружающей среды в Христианстве и Исламе
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ecology and the environment
  6. 12-07-2018
  7. Бибалаева, Л. Н. [Author]. О вопросах охраны окружающей среды в христианстве и исламе
  8. Ученые записки Казанской государственной академии ветеринарной медицины им. Н.Э. Баумана
  9. Russian Orthodox Church - Islam - environmental protection - environment - pollution - ecological consciousness - Russian Orthodoxy
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Бибалаева, Л. Н. (2012). О вопросах охраны окружающей среды в христианстве и исламе. <em>Ученые записки Казанской государственной академии ветеринарной медицины им. Н.Э. Баумана</em>, 212 (4), 459-463.</p>
    1. The article posits that virtually all belief systems speak about the universal harmony of the world, the unity of man and nature, and deify nature as a whole. They maintain that the world is not just a “resource warehouse,” but a wonderful organism in which everything is interconnected. Different religious traditions define and perceive ecological norms as moral norms and urge protection against the ruin of natural resources: crimes against nature are not seen as less sinful than crimes against man.

      The Russian Orthodox Church, for example, regularly raises environmental problems, highlighting the issues of environmental protection, drawing public attention, and influencing the secular authorities of the country. Its position on environmental issues is defined in its Social Concept. The Russian Orthodox Church believes that a complete overcoming of the ecological crisis in conditions of spiritual crisis is unthinkable. This does not mean that the church calls for the curtailment of environmental activities. However, it links the hope for a positive change in the relationship between man and nature with the desire for societal spiritual regeneration. In its view, "a person can transform the whole earth into paradise only when he carries a paradise within himself."

      Islam has also developed its attitude to environmental issues. Islam recognizes the sacred character of nature and man – creations of Allah. The human is perceived as the centre of the universe, as its owner, but at the same time the guardian and patron of nature. Islam urges true believers not to interfere in natural processes and observe protective norms (hunting rules, slaughter regulation, food prohibitions, etc.). Like Christianity, Islam believes that the pollution of the natural environment is the result of contamination of the human soul. 

      Islam offers a holistic approach to solving the environmental problem. The conceptual structure of Islamic law is rooted in the Quranic verses and the hadith (narratives) of the prophet. Approximately 750 verses reflect on natural phenomena and study the relationship between biological organisms and the environment. Over the centuries, Muslim scholars have used them to define regulations related to animals, the aquatic environment, green spaces, wildlife, the use of land, urbanism, etc. Islamic laws limit human interference in nature, protecting forests and ecosystems from destruction, and sources of drinking water and air from pollution. They encourage the protection of flora and fauna, viewed as vitally important for humanity; any damage caused to them is viewed as an assault on the human race. Human attitude to the environment is an integral part of Muslim culture. Islam views the world not just as a source of existence, but as a "living being" for which humanity is responsible. Man's desires thus do not justify the violation of the legitimate needs of other species.

      The article concludes by pointing out the importance of universal human values, including religious ones, for the development of ecological consciousness.