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Faith for Earth: An Islamic approach to protecting the planet

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Mangrove seedlings are pictured in a nursery at the Qurm natural reserve in the Qurm neighbohood in the Omani capital Muscat on October 3, 2023. / Photo: AFP

Unveiled at the UN Environment Assembly, Al Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth is a document that outlines an Islamic perspective on ecological responsibility and urges collective action to combat the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and pollution.

A group of distinguished Islamic scholars from around the world has collaborated to produce a landmark document that presents a comprehensive Islamic viewpoint on environmental moral responsibility, known to be deeply embedded within the faith.

The document, Al Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth, was unveiled at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6), the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya on February 27.

It is based on theological and ethical principles, such as compassion, justice, and interconnectedness, which together serve as a guide to a more sustainable future. It also hopes to encourage collective action to address climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution while emphasising the urgent need to protect our planet.

“Al Mizan is more than a document; it’s a catalyst for change. It provides a framework for individuals, communities, and institutions to translate Islamic values into concrete actions,” said the Director of UNEP’s Faith for Earth Coalition Iyad Abumoghli.

“While grounded in Islamic principles, Al Mizan extends its message to people of all faiths and backgrounds. It underscores the urgent need for collective action across the globe, recognising that environmental challenges transcend religious and cultural boundaries,” he added.

An Islamic equivalent to Pope Francis’s Laudato Si — which was launched in 2015 and seen as the most comprehensive Vatican document centring the environment, ethics, and the Christian faith — Al Mizan is the work of an international ensemble of Muslim eco theologians and scholars of diverse Islamic backgrounds who have extensive practical experience in faith-based environmental and climate work.

The initiative is led by the UK-based Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES) and facilitated by UNEP’s Faith for Earth Coalition. Other key partners include the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), Uskudar University, Hamad University, Quranic Botanic Garden and Anaq el Ard.

According to Fazlun Khalid, founder director of IFEES: “Al Mizan as a guiding light, inspired by faith and fueled by responsibility, to build a more sustainable future for ourselves and generations to come”.

A member of the drafting team, Dr. Ibrahim Ozdemir, said the document “represents a powerful voice, reminding us that the Islamic faith calls for active environmental stewardship”.

Al Mizan is endorsed by the Muslim Council of Elders and has been reviewed by more than 300 Islamic and international organisations. The document will be bolstered by initiatives such as the Al Mizan Academy, youth council and summit, as well as bi-annual conferences, a global award for achievements, and more.

Source: TRTWORLD

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