Human society is weakening Earth’s environment, its only home. In 2015, nations agreed on a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide restoring and sustaining the wellbeing of peoples everywhere. If the SDGs are to succeed, all cultural and religious communities will need to urgently implement them. Islam offers a holistic view of God’s creation and the Qur’an clearly sets forth duties to care for the Earth. In the past, most people have ignored the world-wide trends of environmental degradation which scientist have reported. There is a pressing need to expand education and public awareness about the threats to the environment. Islamic principles mandate both such education and stewardship of the environment. At present, however, these spiritual values are not fully observed, as can be seen in case studies of countries such as Jordan, Morocco, or Pakistan. Sacred duties to protect the purity of water are insufficiently observed. Because the daily lives of Muslims are not guided by legislation, environmental treaties, or SDGs, but rather by the Qur’an, SDGs will be successfully implemented if the harmony between Islam and the SDGs is clear and celebrated. Understanding the spiritual knowledge of the Qur’an can motivate the people in Islamic nations, and everywhere, to design resilient practices that restore the environment and sustain it for future generations.
Norah bin Hamad, Foundations for Sustainable Development: Harmonizing Islam, Nature and Law (July 2017) (SJD dissertation, Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawdissertations/20/.