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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
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 23, 2010

What a positive sustainable community initiative:

"A community centre established on the vision of church members in Levenshulme, South Manchester, will open this autumn following investment by a local mosque. Since making the headlines back in 2008 for being Manchester's first eco-mosque, with a £52,000 stake the Woodfold Avenue Bohra community has become one of the largest investors in the Levenshulme Inspire community hub."

For the full story, check 'Environment Network 4 Manchester - Faith in Community'.

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Posted: Jul 23, 2010 11:44am
Jul 22, 2010

Palestinian/ English journalist Arwa Aburawa (a green Muslima living in Manchester) has written a nice article on how to green your wedding (disclosure: she asked me for the tips) on Green Prophet:

"The sun is shining and the days are long right now in the Middle East, which can only mean one thing- it’s wedding season! Invitations are flooding in and every night there seems to be wedding party going on into the small hours. Fireworks, food, fancy clothes and fights is how I would usually sum up an average Muslim wedding in the Middle East but is this leaving behind a trail of waste and carbon emissions?"

How green is your wedding?!

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Posted: Jul 22, 2010 11:52am
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
Jul 11, 2010

A while ago I started collating resources on Islam & Environment as part of my involvement with IFEES. Reason I thought I'd mention it here today is following recent speech by HRH Prince Charles on Islam & the Environment that I've just added. The speech was the reason Radical Middle Way organised a Question Time event on the topic (to which I was kindly invited to participate in the panel) and it's inspiring me with my preparations for a talk I've been invited to give at this year's MOSAIC International Summit, set up by the Prince.

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Posted: Jul 11, 2010 10:45am
Jan 1, 2005

I wish all a happy, healthy, peaceful and sustainable 2011.

I like this quote as a resolution for 2011:

"The more our world functions like the natural world, the more likely we are to endure on this home that is ours, but not ours alone."
~ Janine Benyus

In peace, Rianne

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Posted: Jan 1, 2005 8:38am


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Rianne ten Veen
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Solihull, United Kingdom
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