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Jan 15, 2011

On 12 January both NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced, based on independent analyses of global weather station data, that 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year on this planet since annual records began in the late 19th century. This is despite the UK having the coldest December in 30 years. Thst's it with 'global warming', the warming is at global level, but locally it's more 'climate change' or even 'climate chaos'.

As climate scientists have confirmed this IS due to our human behaviour (notwithstanding oil-backed and others trying to deny this bad news), how long will this continue before we reflect more on our faith teachings and live more within our planetary means and duties? The Quran says much about this, as humans we are caretaker/ guardian of Creation [6:165] (where we are species just like others [6:38], but only species with free will and guardianship duty is to test us to see if we deserve paradies in the next life [2:214].

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Posted: Jan 15, 2011 1:53am
Nov 6, 2010

Some time ago I exchanged some messages with Arwa on Islam and vegetarianism, some of which ended on her website. Finally managed to put up my 2p response on the website, copied hereunder:

Re: "I see the problems of stating that Islam promotes vegetarianism as it simply does not" - I agree the Quran doesn't state 'thou shalt be an exclusive vegetarian'; however, there are at least 4 verses in the Quran which positively encourage the non-animal food blessings...:

6:99 - "(God) is the One Who sent water down from the sky. Therewith We brought forth plants of all kinds and from them the verdure and We brought forth from it the clustered grains, and from the palm-tree its spathes with bunches of dates (hanging) low, the gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranates similar and different. Look at their fruit, when they bear it, and their ripening. Verily, in that there are signs for people who believe."
16:10-11 - "(God) is the One Who sends water down from the sky. For you this is a drink and out of it (grow) shrubs in which you let (cattle) graze freely. Therewith for you He makes sown fields, olives, palm-trees, vineyards and all kinds of fruit grow." [the cattle here could be ploughing animals]
50:9-11 - "We caused to grow gardens, grains for harvest, tall palm-trees with their spathes, piled one above the other-sustenance for (Our) servants."
6:141 - "It is He Who produces gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in variety): eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: for Allah loveth not the wasters."

... and none that encourage meat ... just that certain animals are definitely haram/ forbidden and that if you want to eat those which are not haram, then kill it properly, e.g....:

6:142 - "Of the cattle are some for burden and some for meat: eat what Allah hath provided for you, and follow not the footsteps of Satan: for he is to you and avowed enemy." - Satan mentioned in same sentence as meat eating... so eating too much of it can be easily done, and things like factory farming (where vast majority of meat nowadays available in many countries now comes from!) should be a definite no-no!
22:36 - "The sacrificial camels we have made for you as among the symbols from Allah: in them is (much) good for you: then pronounce the name of Allah over them as they line up (for sacrifice): when they are down on their sides (after slaughter), eat thereof, and feed such as (beg not but) live in contentment, and such as beg with due humility: thus have We made animals subject to you, that you may be grateful. "

My 2p. In peace, Rianne

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Posted: Nov 6, 2010 1:28pm
Oct 23, 2010
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB ) study is "a major international initiative to draw attention to the global economic benefits of biodiversity, to highlight the growing costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and to draw together expertise from the fields of science, economics and policy to enable practical actions moving forward."

And as a key author fof the report states: "TEEB has documented not only the multi-trillion dollar importance to the global economy of the natural world, but the kinds of policy-shifts and smart market mechanisms that can embed fresh thinking in a world beset by a rising raft of multiple challenges. The good news is that many communities and countries are already seeing the potential of incorporating the value of nature into decision-making," said Mr. Sukhdev, a banker who heads up the Green Economy Initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Is this the way forward where nature can 'finally' be integrated and included in our current economic system and thus hope for conservation (with the billions put as value - if they may still seem small with the trillions and more that banks deal with in 'fancy financial products'), or is it sad that only things that have a value that can be expressed in $ or £ gets our attention?
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Posted: Oct 23, 2010 2:04am
Oct 10, 2010

Me writing some words here will not solve the climate crisis we collectively got ourselves into (if the rich/ West did most of the polluting and the poor are feeling most of the consequences - and many have yet to come), but if thousands from across the world do the same thing, we reflect on our guardianship duty today in church, during our prayers etc and then collectively ACT on it, we could achieve some really positive things.... CHANGE THE WORLD!|Start Petition
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Posted: Oct 10, 2010 1:56am
Aug 7, 2010

Unless we realise and radically change the way in which we treat the environment we are heading towards unprecedented disaster from which no technology can protect us.... that was the premise of recent 'Islam & Environment' event organised by the Radical Middle Way. If you've missed the event, watch it here: 

Islam & Environment Question Time

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Posted: Aug 7, 2010 4:11am
Jul 15, 2010

Interesting, if not easily accessible for all, is an article starting page 66 in the 2nd issue of Constellations, by IMASE (International Muslim Association of Scientists and Engineers): Islamic Legal Perspectives on Genetically Modified Food (GMF), Dr Anke Iman Bouzenita, Assistant Professor, Department of Fiqh and Usul al-Fiqh, International Islamic University Malaysia

"Genetically modified food (GMF) is part of our realities as consumers worldwide. The techniques and possibilities involved do require an Islamic legal (fiqh) study as to assess GMF with regard to its consumption, production and related research. The paper focuses on placing the study of GMF within a holistic context, under consideration of the societal background and rationale it has been developed under. It investigates into the possibility of transferring fiqh devices such as istihalah (chemical transformation), istihlak (extreme dilution) and others to GMF combining genetic material from permissible and non-permissible sources. It raises a number of deliberations and concerns with regard to the usage of the ‘maqasidic’ scheme and discusses the permissibility of GMF under the aspects of changing creation or harnessing nature."

The author ends the abstract with a quote from the Quran:
“God cursed him, but he (Iblis) said: ‘I will take of Your servants a portion marked off, I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires. I will order them and they will surely slit the ears of cattle, and I will verily command them, and they will certainly change the creation of God.’ And whoever takes Satan as a patron instead of God has indeed suffered a great loss.” (Quran, An-Nisa/ The Women, 118-119)

And for those who don't have time to read (those who want to be taken on the journey first: look away now!), the key conclusion: "Considering the impact of GM food holistically with regard to its consumption, production and research, we may conclude that the entire conceptualisation of GMOs for human (or animal) consumption follows a rationale that is not in agreement with the Islamic way of life. As the rationale for bringing about GM food for animal or human consumption is in contradiction with Islamic concepts, my conclusion is that Muslims should seriously re-evaluate their participation in this field."

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Posted: Jul 15, 2010 1:32pm
Jun 18, 2010
Found an interesting article on on 'The Environment, The Quran and the burden of Scholars: "It happened in the moque of Madinah, the Mosque of the Messenger of God, peace be upon him. Those who made the sunset time prayer there would mostly come together to listen to the weekly lecture in tafseer from well-known commentator on the Quran and major scholar of Islam, the late Shaykh Muhammad al-Ameen Ash-Shinqiti (d.1973). He recited the verse he was going to explain, verse 56 of Chapter The Heights. As he read "Nor shall you spread corruption in the earth after it has been set aright (by God)" the Shaykh choked up and began to sob. He tried to continue, but could not utter a word. To the astonishment of those present, for he was not one known for emotional display, he went on crying inconsolably- until it was time for the night time prayer, as a matter of fact. He was never seen experiencing anything like this before or after." See the article to read the rest of the article.
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Posted: Jun 18, 2010 2:03pm
Jun 15, 2010

HRH Prince Charles on 9 June gave a speech on 'Islam & the Environment' at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, yet another dose of food for thought:

"In short, when we hear talk of an “environmental crisis” or even of a “financial crisis,” I would suggest that this is actually describing the outward consequences of a deep, inner crisis of the soul. It is a crisis in our relationship with – and our perception of – Nature, and it is born of Western culture being dominated for at least two hundred years by a mechanistic and reductionist approach to our scientific understanding of the world around us. So I would like you to consider very seriously today whether a big part of the solution to all of our worldwide “crises” does not lie simply in more and better technology, but in the recovery of the soul to the mainstream of our thinking. Our science and technology cannot do this. Only sacred traditions have the capacity to help this happen."

How many more doses until we collectively get the message?!

As the Merciful (al-Rahman) and the Creator (al-Khaliq), God has created every creature which has a relationship with God independent of us. This right (haq) that creatures possess has implications on our behaviour towards them. The Quran speaks of communities other than our own:

There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end. (Quran 6:38)

As humans, we're the only species that have a free will plus assignment (NOT honorary title) of being God's guardian (e.g. 6:165), so fair that we get guidance (part manual?) to help us tackle the challenges in this life.
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Posted: Jun 15, 2010 2:08pm


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Rianne ten Veen
, 3
Solihull, United Kingdom
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