We are calling on British Muslim communities and the UK government alike to take urgent action to protect our planet and save billions of lives. We believe that we need to address our high consumption of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and shift to clean, safe, and renewable sources of energy such as the sun, wind and sea.
“Did we not build the seven strong [heavens] above you, and make a blazing lamp” [Qur’an 78:12].
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Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
Allah in His Mercy has placed an amanat (trust) upon all of humanity to safeguard and nurture His creation. He has appointed humanity as guardians of His creation: “I am going to place in the earth a khalifa (steward)” [Quran 2:30].
This means we have a responsibility to take seriously the issue of climate change. We must preserve the mizan (balance) Allah has created of the natural habitats and ecosystems, forests, seas and wildlife, of this world for our children and future generations.
We are alarmed and dismayed by the role that we the human race are playing in damaging the natural environment. We recognise that the poorest people around the world are now paying a bigger price for the actions of the developed nations including the UK in the form of droughts, floods and other environmental disasters. In Pakistan flash flooding caused by climate change has affected over 5 million people, in the Sahel area of Africa, which includes countries like Mali and Chad, over 15 million are facing severe hunger as droughts affect food production, whilst over 8,000 people died and 3.5 million people were left homeless from one single super typhoon in the Philippines.
If we want justice for our brothers and sisters around the world, we must look to the negative impact we are making here at home. As British Muslims we acknowledge that as an industrialised nation, we are culpable of very high levels of carbon emissions due to our current reliance on fossil fuels to power our industries, transport systems and homes. Therefore we have a greater responsibility for stopping climate change and call on our government to end its use of dirty energy like coal and gas.
Allah has given us many clean, safe and renewable sources of energy from the sun, sea, wind and the earth which can provide for all our energy needs: “Did we not build the seven strong [heavens] above you, and make a blazing lamp” [Qur’an 78:12].
As Muslims we take seriously the link between economic and environmental justice. We must not over consume resources, when over a billion people go hungry every day and have no access to clean water or electricity. We reject the current values of greed and irresponsible growth that drive our economies and call for a shift to environmentally sustainable models of development based on equity and justice for all. This means speaking out against the public and private companies that are polluting our world and denying people access to their natural resources.
“Oh you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort justice or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do” [Qur’an 4:135].
As active members of Muslim communities living in the UK it is our duty to speak, act and collaborate with like-minded people to tackle the most dangerous threat to human life and our beautiful planet – climate change. Now is the time to call for change and to make changes in our own lives before it’s too late and the damage to the earth becomes irreversible.
The Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) was a role model, who showed us how to live sustainably and simply, respecting the earth and our fellow humanity. He taught us to consume moderately and avoid wasting precious natural resources such as water “even if on the banks of a flowing river” [Ibn Majah].
We call on Muslim communities living in the UK to make changes to the way that we use energy in our day to day lives:
- Reduce our energy use by switching off appliances, insulating our homes and walking or cycling instead of driving
- Support our mosques to become environmentally friendly and strengthen the UK network of Green Mosques
We call on the UK Government to make bold and measurable commitments at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris this December:
- Withdraw all financial and political support for dirty and unsustainable energy sources (fracking, coal and nuclear) and ensure 30% of UK energy comes from clean and renewable energy sources (wind, tidal and solar) by 2020 and 100% by 2030.
We believe that together we can achieve the transformative change necessary to protect our planet and save billions of lives.