University platform for research on Islam

Initiated by
the Federation
of European

Supported by
the International
of Catholic

Référence :

Lagoonscapes. The Venice Journal of Environmental Humanities – Edizioni Ca’ Foscari



Environmentalism and sustainability as an expression of Islamic moral orientation

Abstract :
The essay emphasizes cultural specificities, starting with the terminology currently used to describe sustainability, and investigates the lack of homogeneity of the semantic fields belonging respectively to sustainability and istidāma, the first focused on weight and burden, especially material (cf. the Latin sustinēre), and the other instead on duration (the synonyms proposed by medieval lexicologists are in fact: baqiya, thabata, imtadda, intaẓara e raqaba). Drawing on the works of a number of contemporary Arab Muslim intellectuals, my contribution aims to present the environmental sustainability (al-istidāma al-bīʾiyya) from an Islamic perspective, and to address the urgent moral imperative – to ensure the well-being of the present generation without compromising the well-being of future generations – as part of the ethical heritage of the Islamic religion; the authors consulted rely both on the notion of khilāfa, and a revisionist exegesis of the Qur’anic expression fasād fī l-arḍ or “corruption on earth”, which precisely reads the Qur’anic opposition fasād /iṣlāḥ in an ecological key. Other major themes explored in contemporary Islamic environmentalist Arabic literature, through Qur’anic verses and Traditions of the Prophet, include: the role of the sharīʿa in producing environmental awareness (al-waʿī al-bīʾī); and its ability to provide all the guidance necessary to maintain the status quo, with the different methods of conservation and care (ḥifāẓ, riʿāya) of the world, including through the application of general principles of Islamic law (al-qawāʿid al-fiqhiyya).

Titre original : “Environmentalism and sustainability as an expression of Islamic moral orientation”

Résumé non disponible en français.


Resource of the author(s) on PLURIEL Website

Resources related toEcology