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(NEW YORK, NY, April 22, 2014) – To honor the earth and demonstrate its commitment to protecting the environment, the Islamic Circle of North America joins in the global observation of Earth Day.
The necessity for a sustainable and clean environment becomes more apparent every day as the disastrous effects of climate change spread.
وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَكُمْ خَلاَئِفَ الأَرْضِ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَكُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ سَرِيعُ الْعِقَابِ وَإِنَّهُ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“It is He who has made you successors upon the earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees [of rank] that He may try you through what He has given you. ….” [Quran, 6:165]
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ encouraged the maintenance of a clean and thriving environment, “Whosoever plants a tree, or grow crops, and a man, bird or an animal or a beast of prey eat its fruits, it is a charity for him”. He ﷺ added “Removing a harmful and dangerous thing from the way is also charity.” [Bukhari]
To further emphasize the importance of caring for the earth, the Prophet ﷺ said that even if the world was ending, one should plant a tree regardless.
This year’s Earth Day seeks to highlight the Green Cities Campaign, an initiative that aims to help cities around the world implement sustainable policies in construction, energy and transportation.
Abu Musa, governor of the bustling city of Basrah, said in his first public address that he was sent not only to teach the Quran and the Sunnah, but also “to clean your streets” – indicating the importance of environmental sustainability.
As a greater percentage of the world’s population shifts to cities, the carbon output of urban centers skyrockets and the climate and environment suffer.
“The earth has a right over us to care for it,” said Naeem Baig, president of ICNA. “And our future generations have the right to be left a clean and healthy planet.”