Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Nature's Raised Voice

"Polar ice caps" and "very far away" is what comes to mind when I think about the Antarctic. What I hadn't appreciated was that there are a few places on earth where there has never been any war, where the environment is protected and where scientific research has priority.

The Antarctic is the world's least explored continent, but it has come into increasing focus for many of us through the debates around global warming. It emerged yesterday that the UK is looking to claim sovereign rights over a vast area of the remote seabed off Antarctica. This claim is controversial for many reasons. Firstly, it seems to defy the spirit of the Antarctic Treaty drawn up in 1959 which stated that no new claims will be made over the continent. Secondly, neighbouring south American countries may well contest that their own proximity to the continent gives them equal if not prior entitlement to this area.

Of the many objectives of the treaty, that there should be no disputes over territorial sovereignty and the promotion of international scientific cooperation stand out as a remarkable reflection of countries working for a good greater than territorial gain or national pride. But with global warming opening up new previously unexplored waters for us, with oil reserves in decline in many parts of the world, the desire to tap into more of the earth's potential resources may well prove too tempting.

In the Qur'an the relationship between God, man and the earth's resources is a complex covenant. The notion of stewardship and the earth being left in trust to man is stated again and again, but though nature is a creature of God with its own dignity, nature is also a blessing for man. So, we mustn't feel guilty about using what has been created for us, we must not feel guilty about our impulse to probe further into the skies and deeper into the oceans; these are all signs of the divine. But this creativity must have a more noble purpose in which we need to rethink how to explore without exploiting, want without wasting and produce without polluting.

Though each of us may be accountable for our stay on this planet, the earth will tells it own stories. As the Qur'an states, "When the earth shall quake violently and the earth shall bring forth its burden and man shall say, 'what's happening', on that day it shall tell its stories." Nature is not some neutral field that will remains silent. For some, the recent tsunamis, floods and hurricanes are signs that nature has already raised its voice.

... BBC, Thought For The Day (18 Oct 2007), Prof Dr Mona Siddiqui


4 comments:

blue said...

Salam,

As a vicegerent of God Most High,it is certainly part of our duty to maintain and protect and not Abuse its resources.

Earth is exploited and is crying out loud for help,as what Shaykh Hisham has mentioned in his previous talk at S'pore Post during his recent visit.

its quite sad to see the Earth being 'bullied' but nevertheless, we all know that GOd is most Merciful. I think He is delaying the dreadful consequences of global warming upon His creations.

From the akhirah* point of view, the signs are obvious and He will call upon the Hour as He decree when it should be.

Thanks for sharing. We always need ustazs to remind us. Alhamdulillah.

saedah said...

Salam Hoopoe

Since I won't be around....I will do it now....

Selamat meneruskan pengorbanan. I am certain it has not gone to waste.I will testify to that. :-) Mohon maaf zahir dan batin. Say a prayer for all the kambing2 and lembu2... may it be a painless sacrfice for them.

TheHoopoe said...

blue,

Thanks for your entry. It is not only ustaz that remind - but the beauty in Islam is that we all remind each other.

"By (the Token of) Time (through the ages),
Verily Man is in loss,
Except those who believe and do good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience."

SubhanAllah!

TheHoopoe said...

saedah,

Everyone undergo "sacrifices" in life - and the spirit of 'Eid Adha reminds us of that yearly.

Apart from the piety that reaches God through our qurban, it is also the profound journey we make within ourselves that marks us. It is also significant that 'Eid Adha brings us historically to our historical roots - and there you are in Jordan, physically tracing those roots! Masya-Allah!

You are living it, sis! So, embrace every single steps you make. Each step is special :)