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May 31, 2010

I recently received an invitation to an event I would have definitely have lied to attend, but unfortunately wasn't able to due to other commitments. Having received the speaker's notes, I would like to share one comment regarding something which I hear quite often: "All religions preach the superiority of human life". From my Muslim knowledge (and may be true for other religions): Islam may SEEM anthropocentric (human centric/ putting man first), but that's because, as most Scriptures, it's addressed to humans, because humans are only species with free will and thus only just to come with 'instruction manual/ guidelines' (having no free will means no guidance is necessary as you just do what you've been programmed to do, like tree providing shade). The human species has the duty of 'guardian of Creation' (e.g. Qur'an 35:39), a duty offered to different species before, but they all declined, and humans arrogantly accepted. Being guardian doesn't mean we're on top, as when neglecting our duty of guardian "Then We reduce him (to the status of) the lowest of the low" (Qur'an 95:4,5).

For more info:

Animals in Islam - part 1

Animals in Islam - part 2

Animals in Islam - part 3

Animals in Islam - part 4

Animals in Islam - part 5

(nb: links to above site doesn't mean I agree with everything published on the site!)

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Posted: May 31, 2010 4:55am
May 21, 2009

As Muslims we can rightly get obsessed whether our food is halal (notwithstanding that ALL our actions are covered by the need to be halal and even in case of meat, it's not enough for animal to be killed in halal way, there are stringent rules as to what kind of animal etc can be used - battery farm animal doesn't qualify, see e.g. Islamic Guidelines on Animal Transport), but what about 'tayyeb' (wholesome, as ALWAYS followed after halal in Quran and Sunnah):

- for example drinking (too much) fizzy drinks with disastrous consequences (see article in UK's The Independent): it may be halal, but do we really want to fill ourselves and our kids with this?

- using fossil fuels may be halal, but is it tayyeb (if consequence is that communities get displaced - see momentous if underreported news and this reminder from Sweden on rich to keep promise to poor)?

As individuals we can't change the world, but that's also not what we're asked to do, as khilafa (guardians of God's Creation) we're asked to do our BEST, each to his/ her own capacity ("ranked some of you above others" - living in the UK we can do more than subsistence farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin-America).

I pray I'll always remember to do what I CAN, not focus on what I can't, or be distracted by whispers from the devil that it's OK to continue as we are. The Prophet PBUH said it's better to do something small and regular than nothing at all. Come on, reduce/ reuse/ recycle, think halal AND tayyeb, and please God!

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Posted: May 21, 2009 5:06am


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Rianne ten Veen
, 3
Solihull, United Kingdom
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