Is it that we have inherited the earth from our ancestors or we have borowed it from our grand children? Today marks the International recognition of earth day, where remarkably 170 countries join hands with 200 million humans to make this planet a better world. Yet, the sluggish response of my faith community warrants acknowledgment and a quick wake up call.
Eistein once remarked that should bees seize to exist then the human race will fall off the face of existence within four years. Was he in any way referring to the Quranic truth that bees provide an intricate ecosystem that humans depend on? The food chain includes organisms that we can barely see and bodies larger than mountains. So as believers we must realise that this life on earth is not only to pray and hope for Heaven but to execute our Kahlifa or trusteeship, where we leave mother earth in a better shape for her next dwellers. 2:30 Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a trustee on earth." Imagine earth has been referred to as a masjid- the most sacred place of worship- so to take care of it and protect it from destroyers is to be highly regarded and rewarded, isn't it?
So congratulations to those who have initiated small steps or huge projects to make life easier and the world greener. The reward is a perpetual charity- called sadaqa jariya- as the Prophet of Islam did state removing a harmful object from one's path is part of Iman/Faith. Nowadays, that can be spelt out as reducing carbon emissions and avoiding dumping toxic wastes in Third World oceans. As a matter of fact with the rising of ocean acidification, by 2030, we'll need two more earths to take care of homo sapiens! It's time, undoubtiably, to reflect on those teachings of Islam that speaks of fiscal responsibilty, as we cannot spend the earth as if there is no tommorrow and then hope for a bailout when the bill arrives in the next generation.
It's time to also call upon religious institutions and spiritual tourism agencies to do some serious house cleaning by employing energy retrofit, including less water usage, turning off computers and electronic appliances and using recyclables in their regular events. Do you see green domes everywhere, well how about green boxes somewhere?
To qoute Yusuf Islam, once Cat Stevens, I found a religion that blended scientific reason with spiritual reality in a unifying faith far removed from the headlines of violence, destruction and terrorism. So in whatever way we choose to leave a cleaner footprint behind, remember it's not about inheritance, vulnerable to sqaundering but borrowing subjected to perfect return.