In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Kind
Respect for the Provisions Provided by Allah SWT, Through Nature and Lessons from Trees
Allah SWT created the Earth perfectly, with provisions for all of His creations, including humans and all other creatures. From the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat, to the clothes we wear, the homes we live in, and the vehicles we move around in, all the necessary materials have been provided by Allah. Sub’haan Allah! Allah SWT says:
“It is He who made the earth subservient to you (i.e. easy to walk, to live and to do agriculture on it); so walk in the path thereof and eat of His provision. And to Him will be the resurrection.” (Al-Mulk, 67:15)
Not only did Allah SWT provide these basic human needs through what we know as nature, but He also provided processes that replenish, purify, detoxify and cleanse them, and their sources. Water is purified through wetlands and rivers; bees are working to pollinate crops for food and to make valuable honey; birds and bats are working to disperse seeds for more fruit trees to grow. The list of human needs derived from nature is endless. Alhamdulillah!
All of these benefits to human beings are termed in scientific literature as ecosystem services or ecological infrastructure, but as a Muslim, these provisions are also known to me as blessings from Allah SWT.
Allah SWT reminds us of His blessings:
“It is He who sends down water (rain) from the sky, and with it, We bring forth vegetation of all kinds, and of it, We bring forth green stalks, from which We bring forth thick clustered grain. And out of the date-palm and its spathe come forth clusters of dates hanging low and near, and gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranates, each similar (in kind) yet different (in variety and taste). Look at their fruits when they begin to bear, and the ripeness thereof. Verily, in these things, there are signs for people who believe.” (Al An’am 6:99)
The processes behind the growth of these plants are perfectly guided and measured by Allah SWT – whereby with only the right temperature, amount of light and air, would a seed germinate and a plant grow! Sub’haan Allah! Everything was created in perfect balance. No human need has been left unaccounted for, the majority of which have been made freely available to us by Allah SWT, through nature. By just looking at the example of a tree, can we see so many blessing that Allah has bestowed upon us? Trees are absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, regulating the climate, while cleansing the air, removing pollutants, providing food and materials for furniture and shelter; and numerous trees have medicinal value. Allah hu Akbar!
Allah SWT says:
And the heaven He has raised it high, and He has set up the balance. In order that you may not transgress (due) balance. And observe the weight with equity (justice) and do not make the balance deficient. And the earth He has put down (laid) for the creatures. Therein are fruits, date-palms producing sheathed fruit stalks (enclosed dates). And also corn, with (its) leaves and stalk for fodder, and sweet-scented plants. Then which of the Blessings (favours) of your Lord will you both (jinn and men) deny? (Ar-Rahman 55: 7-13).
By appreciating and respecting the provisions provided to us as human beings through nature, we honour the blessings that Allah SWT so generously bestows upon us to make our lives liveable. Taking care of nature is a form of gratitude for Allah’s provisions. Maintaining balance in nature is incumbent upon every Muslim!
Sadly, humans have impacted nature in many ways and affected the ability of ecosystems to provide these services. Human impacts include pollution, environmental degradation, soil erosion, deforestation, wastage of water and other natural resources and climate change. As Muslims, we have a duty towards preserving the gifts bestowed on us by Allah SWT. We must turn the tide against environmental impacts and work towards the protection and enhancement of nature.
Allah SWT instructs us:
“And do not do mischief (corruption) on the earth on the earth, after it has been set in order, and invoke Him with fear and hope. Surely, Allah’s Mercy is (ever) near unto the doers of good.”(Al’Araf 7:56)
As Believers, we are hopeful in Allah’s Mercy and must strive towards pleasing Allah SWT in every way we can. Avoiding negative environmental impacts and undertaking acts that enhance the environment, will protect us from transgressing the commandments of Allah, and grant us opportunities to gain good deeds. For example, one very beneficial and easy actions we can do is to plant a tree
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.” (Bukhari).
Something even more beneficial, as taught to us by our beloved Nabi Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is to make thikr for the reward of trees in Jannah: Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) passed by me and asked: “O Abu Hurayrah what are you planting?” I replied: Saplings for myself.” He said: Shall I not tell you of better saplings than these?” I said: Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” He (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Say: Subhan-Allah (Glory be to Allah), Alhamdulillah (All praise be to Allah), La ilaha illallah (None is worthy of worship but Allah), and Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest); for each one of these words a tree will be planted for you in Paradise.” (Collected by Ibn Majah 3807. Al-Albani graded this hadith as being Saheeh in his checking of Ibn Majah)
There are endless opportunities to please Allah SWT and help the environment for our benefit! Let’s make a concerted effort to protect, respect and safeguard nature and all its provisions, after all, our lives on the Dunya and our rewards in the aakhirah depend on it!
And Allah SWT knows best.
Author: Rashieda Davids