The Green Economy in The Qur’an

The Green Economy in The Qur’an

In the chapter The Bee, God says:

“We have sent the Scripture down to you explaining everything, and as guidance and mercy and good news to those who devote themselves to God.” [Qur’an 16:89]

The scholars explain that this verse informs us that all affairs pertaining to godly practice and righteousness have been explicitly or implicitly referenced in the Qur’an. At times, God expounds the details of a matter, whereas at times, He pronounces a universal principle that can be applied in several scenarios. In other occasions, He captures universal lessons and codes of life through stories whilst on other occasions, He uses a word which has several meanings and interpretations for it to be applicable in multiple scenarios and contexts. In some instances, He describes His artistry and design, calling it ‘signs’.

One such sign that the Qur’an makes reference to is the environment. In multiple occasions, God has referred to various elements of the environment as ‘signs’ for reflection. One such as example is as follows:

“Verily, in the creation of the heavens and of the earth, and the succession of night and day; and in the ships that speed through the sea with what is useful to man: and in the waters which God sends down from the sky, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless, and causing all manner of living creatures to multiply thereon; and in the change of the winds, and the clouds that run their appointed courses between sky and earth: [in all this] there are signs [of Allah’s attributes etc.] indeed for people who use their reason.” [Qur’an 2:164]

Not only does God speak to us about the signs around us, but He takes oaths on these mega creations of His. He takes an oath on the olive tree, the fig, the moon, the stars, the night and day, the winds, the horses and more. Referencing the environment as signs and taking oaths on different elements of the environment clearly show that the environment is something we need to respect and sustain. In fact, God clearly tells us about the animals and their systems:

 “There is not an animal in the earth, nor a creature flying on two wings, but they are nations like you.” [Qur’an 6:38]

Although the following verse is in the context of being humble and having humility, the wider applications of humility and humbleness require that we consider the literal impact of our beings on those around us and the very ground that we walk upon:

“The servants of the All-Merciful are those who tread lightly on earth, and who, when the foolish address them, reply, ‘Peace’.” [Qur’an 25:63]

‘Treading lightly on earth’ and being humble can also extend to us reducing our carbon footprint, excess waste and disregard for life.

The word ‘Earth’ is mentioned approximately 446 times in the Qur’an. The word for Islamic law is Shari’ah, which literally means the path leading to a water place. The language of nature and the environment is embedded in the Qur’an.

We are told in the Qur’an that God has created everything and has set an order and system for that creation. The environment, the different kingdoms and their ecosystems all have some sort of order. Waste, pillage and spreading chaos have been categorically forbidden in the Qur’an. Chaos is the upsetting of order. Thus, bringing chaos in God’s creation, His design and artistry is arrogance and an act of self-harm for God has designed the Earth with its beauty for us.

It becomes clear that Islam does have policies and guidelines for ESG governance and has a philosophy around sustainable living and the reduction of pollution. We learn from the above that preserving the environment and adopting sustainable solutions is in essence preservation of the signs of God and recognition of God. Part of the reason why we are called Rizq is that our platform is a means by which the sustenance of God is distributed among the people. We want this distribution to be in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner, which is why we are leveraging technology to minimise unnecessary waste and pollution.

Mufti Faraz Adam
Mufti Faraz Adam is a well known UK-based Islamic finance & fintech consultant and heads the global Shariah advisory firm Amanah Advisors. He is the advisor to a number of well-known global Islamic financial institutions and serves across the Islamic economy in Islamic banking, SME financing, Zakat, Waqf and estate planning. He is on a number of global Shariah boards in countries such as Switzerland, Bahrain, Canada, Singapore, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Canada and the United States. He has published over a dozen research papers in contemporary Islamic Finance matters and has published many chapters in Islamic fintech. He holds a Masters Degree in Islamic Finance, Banking and Management from Newman University and has attained various finance-industry qualifications. Mufti Faraz completed a six-year Alimiyyah program in the UK after which he went on to complete the Iftaa course in South Africa. He holds a Master’s Degree in Islamic Finance, Banking and Management at Newman University, UK in 2017. He has attained various finance-industry qualifications such as the IFQ, CIFE and is a Certified Shariah Advisor and Auditor (CSAA). He has completed an MBA diploma and has completed a Fintech specialisation from the University of Michigan. He is currently an ACCA candidate and studying to become a qualified Independent Financial Advisor with the CISI.