Senario remaja dan belia kita hari ini kian membimbangkan, malah amat menakutkan. Kebimbangan ini bukan lagi di alami sendiri oleh ibu bapa di rumah, malah turut dikongsi bersama dengan masyarakat di luar sana. Golongan kedua yang hampir dengan remaja hari ini ialah para pendidik di sekolah atau di universiti. Mereka adalah agen perubahan sekunder bagi kehidupan seorang remaja/ belia.
Mereka turut mengalami kebimbangan dan tanggungan tanggungjawab yang berganda untuk membina remaja/ belia hari ini. Pelbagai jenis program, ceramah, seminar, lawatan mahupun sesi kaunseling, belum mampu mengubah cara berfikir atau mindsetting mereka. Adakah mereka ini dikira gagal? Jawapannya tidak sama sekali! Perubahan harus melalui satu proses yang panjang. Manusia tidak akan berubah dengan sekelip mata. Tetapi perubahan akan berlaku jika ada titik permulaannya.
- Meningkatkan pengetahuan dan kesedaran remaja/ belia akan pendidikan reproduktif berdasarkan Islam dan akhlak
- Menanamkan sikap positif di dalam diri remaja/ belia supaya menghindari tingkahlaku/ tabiat/ kelakuan negatif yang boleh menjejaskan kesihatan diri, fiazikal, intelek, emosi dan spirituil.
- Menggalakkan remaja mengamalkan cara hidup yang baik berlandaskan nilai Islamserta berusaha mempengaruhi remaja/ belia lain kea rah cara hidup yang sihat dan lebih berakhlak mulia.
- Membentuk sekumpulan agen perubah di kalangan remaja bagi menggerakkan sebarang aktiviti/ program bagi mempengaruhi/ membimbing rakan-rakan lain.
- Mind and Heart Setting
- Kembali pada Fitrah.
- Psikologi Remaja & Cinta
- Kesihatan Reproduktif Remaja
- Belenggu Remaja
- Inilah jalan KAMI !
- Motivasi Yess !!
- Explorace GO !
- Jungle Tracking
Konsep program ini ialah konsep “Mesra, Motivasi, Membina”. Antara pendekatan program ini adalah :
Ceramah / Diskusi
Slot ini adalah merangkumi elemen pengisian multimedia, tayangan, permainan dan sesi perkongsian peserta. Peserta akan belajar komunikasi dua hala, penghayatan rohani, kesedaran diri, membina potensi akal, rohani dan fizikal.
Slot ini membina kefahaman peserta secara lebih dekat dan mudah tentang perkara asas dalam kehidupan peserta sebagai muslim. Pendekatan ini diterapkan sepanjang program ini berjalan, dari bangun tidur sehingga tidur semula, merangkumi akhlak makan minum, kebersihan diri, hormati sesama muslim dan lain-lain. Secara ringkasnya, ini adalah praktikal “Islam sebagai Cara Hidup”.
Latihan dan bimbingan
Di dalam program ini, peserta akan diberikan latihan untuk membina matlamat hidup, cara untuk urusan jadual harian, cara untuk membaiki diri dan lain-lain. Peserta juga akan dibimbing untuk menerapkan nilai-nilai Islam dalam diri dan cara untuk mengekalkan motivasi dan perubahan diri selepas program.
Pertanyaan / Maklumat lanjut:
Us Yusri : 013-629 5605
Us Saiful: 013-370 6442
Sebelum 21 Mei : RM 120 (Alumni Faqih) & RM 150 (Biasa)
Selepas 21 Mei : RM 180 (Alumni Faqih) & RM 220 (Biasa)
Untuk pembayaran : bank in ke No. Akaun : FAQIH SYNERGIES TRAINING & CONSULTANCY, CIMB Islamic 1422-0000089-10-8
*Sijil penyertaan akan diberikan
HOME FAQIH LEARNING merupakan kelas bimbingan Islam atau tuisyen Islam di rumah secara individual dan berkumpulan yang diasaskan khas untuk membantu sesiapa sahaja yang ingin pelajari dan memahami Islam dari segi belajar membaca al-Quran, pelajari fardhu ain dan memahami asas-asas Islam yang perlu diketahui dan yang perlu diapilikasikan sebagai seorang muslim.
Pembelajaran yang kami tawarkan seiring sejalan dengan pembangunan rohani sebagai misi utama kami.
Sesiapa yang ingin dibantu atau diberikan perhatian atau bimbingan atau pelajari, sama ada dewasa, belia, remaja, kanak -kanak atau keluarga, insyaallah, kami akan bantu.
- Iqra atau asas al-Quran / huruf
- Panduan Bacaan Al-Quran
-Tajwid / hukum al-Quran
FAQIH FARDHU AIN
-Asas Fardhu Ain
-Panduan Solat & Azan
-Panduan Solat Berjemaah.
-Panduan Solat Sakit dan Darurat.
-Panduan Solat dan Urus Jenazah
-Panduan Puasa & Zakat
*teori dan praktikal
FAQIH ASAS ISLAM
- Asas Aqidah
- Konsep Ibadah
- Islam Sebagai Cara Hidup
- Akhlak Muslim Super
- Etika Pemakaian dan Aurat
- Fiqh Halal Haram
- Matematik Tambahan
**slot motivasi dan bimbingan akan diberikan.
Pertanyaan lanjut, sila hubungi :
Us Yusri : 013-629 5605
Ustazah Erneza : 013-318 8267
Kami juga menawarkan program motivasi, kepimpinan, kerohanian, ibadah, teamwork dan lain-lain. Kami berpengalaman berprogram di sekolah, Rumah kebajikan, IPT, rukun tetangga, persatuan kakitangan Islam, surau, masjid, NGO, badan kerajaan.
Kami menyediakan :
- penceramah / motivator
- aturcara program / aktiviti
- latihan dan bimbingan
FAQIH SYNERGIES TRAINING & CONSULTANCY
No.16 Jalan Pekaka 8/4, Seksyen 8 Kota Damansara,
46700 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
By Dr. A. Bagader, Dr. A. El-Sabbagh, Dr. M. Al-Glayand, and Dr. M. Samarrai (edited by IslamReligion.com)
A General Introduction
God has created everything in this universe in due proportion and measure both quantitatively and qualitatively. God has declared in the Quran:
“Verily, all things have We created by measure” (Quran 54:49)
“…Everything to Him is measured.” (Quran 13:8)
“And We have produced therein everything in balance.” (Quran 55:7)
In the universe there is enormous diversity and variety of form and function. The universe and its various elements fulfill human welfare and are evidence of the Creator’s greatness; He it is Who determines and ordains all things, and there is not a thing He has created but celebrates and declares His praise.
“Have you not seen that God is glorified by all in the heavens and on the earth - such as the birds with wings outspread? Each knows its worship and glorification, and God is aware of what they do.” (Quran 24:41)
Each thing that God has created is a wondrous sign, full of meaning; pointing beyond itself to the glory and greatness of its Creator, His wisdom and His purposes for it.
“He Who has spread out the earth for you and threaded roads for you therein and has sent down water from the sky: With it have We brought forth diverse kinds of vegetation. Eat and pasture your cattle; verily, in this are signs for men endued with understanding.” (Quran 20:53-54)
God has not created anything in this universe in vain, without wisdom, value and purpose. God says:
“We have not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them carelessly. We have not created them but for truth.” (Quran 44:38-39)
Thus, the Islamic vision revealed in the Quran is of a universe imbued with value. All things in the universe are created to serve the One Lord Who sustains them all by means of one another, and Who controls the miraculous cycles of life and death:
“God it is that splits the seed and the date stone, brings the living from the dead and the dead from the living: That is your God - how are you turned away?” (Quran 6:95)
Life and death are created by God so that He might be served by means of good works.
“Blessed is He in Whose Hand is dominion, and He has power over every thing: He Who has created death and life to try you, which of you work the most good.” (Quran 67:1-2)
All created beings are created to serve the Lord of all beings and, in performing their ordained roles in a cohesively designed society, they best benefit themselves and each other in this world and the next. This leads to a cosmic symbiosis (takaful). The universal common good is a principle that pervades the universe, and an important implication of God’s Oneness, for one can serve the Lord of all beings only by working for the common good of all.
Man is part of this universe, the elements of which are complementary to one another in an integrated whole indeed, man is a distinct part of the universe and it has a special position among its other parts. The relation between man and the universe, as defined and clarified in the Glorious Quran and the Prophetic teachings, is as follows:
· A relationship of meditation, consideration, and contemplation of the universe and what it contains.
· A relationship of sustainable utilization, development, and employment for man’s benefit and for the fulfillment of his interests.
· A relationship of care and nurture for man’s good works are not limited to the benefit of the human species, but rather extend to the benefit of all created beings; and “there is a reward in doing good to every living thing.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
God’s wisdom has ordained stewardship (khilafa) on the earth to human beings. Therefore, in addition to being part of the earth and part of the universe, man is also the executor of God’s injunctions and commands. He is only a manager of the earth and not a proprietor; a beneficiary and not a disposer or ordainer. Heaven and earth and all that they contain belong to God alone. Man has been granted stewardship to manage the earth in accordance with the purposes intended by its Creator; to utilize it for his own benefit and the benefit of other created beings, and for the fulfillment of his interests and of theirs. He is thus entrusted with its maintenance and care, and must use it as a trustee, within the limits dictated by his trust. The Prophet declared,
“The world is beautiful and verdant, and verily God, be He exalted, has made you His stewards in it, and He sees how you acquit yourselves.” (Saheeh Muslim)
All of the resources upon which life depends have been created by God as a trust in our care. He has ordained sustenance for all people and for all living beings.
“ And He has set within it mountains standing firm, and blessed it, and ordained in it its diverse sustenance in four days, alike for all that seek.” (Quran 41:10)
Thus, in Islam the utilization of these resources is the right and privilege of all people and all species. Hence, man should take every precaution to ensure the interests and rights of all others since they are equal partners on earth. Similarly, he should not regard such as restricted to one generation above all other generations. It is, rather, a joint responsibility in which each generation uses and makes the best use of nature, according to its need, without disrupting or adversely affecting the interests of future generations. Therefore, man should not abuse, misuse, or distort the natural resources as each generation is entitled to benefit from them but is not entitled to “own” them in an absolute sense.
The right to utilize and harness natural resources, which God has granted man, necessarily involves an obligation on man’s part to conserve them both quantitatively and qualitatively. God has created all the sources of life for man and all resources of nature that he requires, so that he may realize objectives such as contemplation and worship, inhabitation and construction, sustainable utilization, and enjoyment and appreciation of beauty. It follows that man has no right to cause the degradation of the environment and distort its intrinsic suitability for human life and settlement. Nor has he the right to exploit or use natural resources unwisely in such a way as to spoil the food bases and other sources of subsistence for living beings, or expose them to destruction and defilement.
While the attitude of Islam to the environment, the sources of life, and the resources of nature is based in part on prohibition of abuse, it is also based on construction and sustainable development. This integration of the development and conservation of natural resources is clear in the idea of bringing life to the land and causing it to flourish through agriculture, cultivation, and construction. God says:
“…It is He Who has produced you from the earth and settled you therein...” (Quran 11:61)
The Prophet declared:
“If any Muslim plants a tree or sows a field, and a human, bird or animal eats from it, it shall be reckoned as charity from him.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)
“If anyone plants a tree, neither human being nor any of God’s creatures will eat from it without its being reckoned as charity from him.”
“If the day of resurrection comes upon anyone of you while he has a seedling in hand, let him plant it.”
The approach of Islam toward the use and development of the earth’s resources was put thus by Ali ibn Abi-Talib, the fourth Caliph, to a man who had developed and reclaimed abandoned land:
“Partake of it gladly, so long as you are a benefactor, not a despoiler; a cultivator, not a destroyer.”
This positive attitude involves taking measures to improve all aspects of life: health, nutrition, and the psychological and spiritual dimensions, for man’s benefit and the maintenance of his welfare, as well as for the betterment of life for all future generations. As is shown in the Prophetic declarations above, the aim of both the conservation and development of the environment in Islam is for the universal good of all created beings.
 Sound report related by Imam Ahmad in the Musnad and by Tabarani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabir.
 Sound report reported by Imam Ahmad in Musnad, by Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad, and by Abu Dawud at-Tayalisi in his Musnad.
 Related by Yahya ibn Adam al-Qurashi in Kitab al-Kharaj on the authority of Sa’id ad-Dabbi.
|Next: Environmental Protection in Islam (part 2 of 7): Conservation of Basic Natural Resources|
Oleh: Al Imam Yusuf Al Qaradhawi
Apa erti alam sekitar?
Alam sekitar ialah meliputi keseluruhan kawasan yang didiami oleh manusia.
Alam sekitar terbahagi kepada dua:
1. Kaku ( ciptaan Allah semulajadi ) seperti daratan, bintang dan langit. Dua ciri utama alam kaku ialah:
- Berfungsi untuk kegunaan dan memenuhi kehendak manusia. Contohnya Allah menjadikan tanah yang sesuai untuk tanaman. Sekiranya Allah menjadikan semua tanah gurun atau pasir ataupun semua emas, sudah pasti manusia tidak boleh bercucuk tanam dengannya.
- Semua alam sekitar ini saling lengkap melengkapi mengikut ketentuan Allah seperti matahari member cahaya dan kepanasannya yang sesuai kepada manusia sepertimana air mengalir memberi sumber kehidupan kepada manusia.
2. Hidup (buatan manusia) seperti lubang yang digali sebagai sungai, pokok-pokok yang ditanam, bangunan-bangunan yang dibina dan sebangainya. Manusia, haiwan dan pokok termasuk juga dalam alam sekitar yang hidup.
PENYELESAIAN ISLAM TERHADAP ALAM SEKITAR
1. Penghijauan dan tanaman. Faedah dua cara ini ialah:
- Manfaat. Melalui tanaman, hasilnya sudah pasti dapat dinikmati dan dirasai.
- Cantik. Tanaman yang menghijau, menjadikan sesuatu kawasan nampak cantik dan indah.
2. Memakmurkan dunia dengan menghidupkan tanah yang terbiar dengan tanaman dan menjaga sumber alam.
3. Kebersihan dan pembersihan. Islam memandang tinggi kepada kebersihan pada diri dengan memberi pahala sunat mandi sebelum jumaat, kebersihan mulut dengan sunat bersiwak dan sebagainya.
4. Penjagaan sumber alam. Islam menegah manusia daripada merosakkan atau mencemarkan sumber-sumber alam yang terdapat dalam bumi, daratan ataupun dalam laut.
5. Penjagaan kesihatan manusia. Sekiranya Islam mementingkan penjagaan sumber alam, maka penjagaan sumber manusia adalah terlebih penting. Orang mukmin yang kuat lebih baik daripada mukmin yang lemah. Islam juga menyeru kepada manusia untuk berubat sekiranya sakit. Kanak-kanak juga tidak terkecuali daripada penjagaan kesihatan kerana mereka adalah pemimpin dan orang dewasa pada masa depan.
6. Ihsan dengan alam sekitar. Ihsan bererti bersungguh-sungguh dan berlemah lembut. Selayaknya bagi manusia bersifat ihsan dengan kedua-dua makna di atas terhadap manusia sendiri, haiwan, pokok bahkan semua alam baik yang hidup mahupun yang kaku dan kekal seperti tanah,ait dan sebaginya.
7. Penjagaan alam sekitar daipada kerosakan. Islam meletakkan orang yang melakukan kerosakan di atas muka bumi sebagai perbuatan haram dan mungkar sama ada kerosakan itu kerana sengaja, marah, tanpa sebab dan sebagainya.
8. Keseimbangan alam sekitar. Perkara yang paling penting dalam penjagaan alam sekitar ialah penjagaan keseimbangannya. Manusia mestilah besikap adil, tidak terlalu melampau dan tidak terlalu bermudah –mudah sehingga dengan dua sikap ini menyaksikan alam sekitar rosak tanpa pembelaan.
PERKARA YANG MERBAHAYA KEPADA ALAM SEKITAR
Allah menciptakan alam sekitar dengan fungsinya yang tertentu untuk kesejahteraan manusia. Sekiranya manusia berjalan tanpa hidayah dan pentunjuk daripada Allah, sudah pasti di sana berlaku kerosakan-kerosakan yang mendatangkan bahaya kepada alam sekitar:
1. Pencemaran. Apabila manusia tidak beriman dan bertaqwa serta tidak berjalan di jalan yang lurus, maka akan berlaku banyak pencemaran dalam semua perkara. Antaranya:
- Air. Pencemaran bermula dengan pencemaran laut atau sungai. Contoh lain kurangnya oksigen dalam kandungan air, bahan kimia yang berlebihan serta bakteria yang membiak dalamnya.
- Udara. Pencemaran berlaku dengan radio aktif, fog, debu dan sebagainya
2. Kehabisan sumber asli. Sumber asli akan habis pada amasa akan dating bukan dengan sebab Allah menjadikan ianya hanya sedikit tetapi mausia yang zalim pada dirinya dan tidak bersyukur yang menyebabkan sumber asli habis dan kering seperti menggunakannya bukan pada tempatnya, membazir,cuai sehingga meyebabkan sumber rosak dan sebagainya.
3. Ketidakseimbangan sistem alam.
PUNCA ROSAKNYA ALAM SEKITAR
1. Menukar ciptaan Allah. Ataupun dengan ibarat yang lain, menukar fitrah yang ditetapkan oleh Allah kepada manusia seperti menghalalkan perkara yang haram dan sebaliknya serta membunuh anak lelaki.
2. Zalim. Sama ada zalim itu kepada diri sendiri atau zalim kepada saudaranya ataupun zalim kepada alam sekitar.
3. Meninggi diri. Perlakuan bongkak dan takabbur contohnya fir’aun.
4. Mengikut hawa nafsu. Menjadikan manusia daripada seorang yang matang kepada haiwan yang sentiasa mengikut hawa nafsu, tidak ada baginya akal mahupun hati dan perasaan.
5. Penyelewengan daripada keseimbangan alam. Perlakuan manusia yang terlalu melampau dan terlalu bermudah-mudah.
6. Kufur dengan nikmat Allah. Manusia tidak menghayati nikmat yang diberikan, tidak mensyukurinya sepertimana yang sepatutnya.
CARA ISLAM TERKINI DALAM MENJAGA ALAM SEKITAR
1. Pendidikan yang berterusan dalam setiap peringkat. Cara terbaik ialah dengan pendidikan pada peringkat perkembangan manusia daripada tadika, sekolah sehingga ke peringkat universiti. Adalah menjadi satu kewajipan menanam fikrah pentingnya menjaga dan merawat alam sekitar.
2. Kesedaran dan pengetahuan kepada orang dewasa. Memberikan kesedaran tentang kepentingan menjaga alam sekitar kepada orang dewasa dan masyarakat secara umum.
3. Penjagaan sebagai tanggungjawab umum. Menjaga alam sekitar termasuk dalam daerah amar ma’ruf, manakala mencemarkannya termasuk dalam nahi mungkar. Maka setiap muslim bertanggungjawab terhadap alam sekitar dengan menyuruh kepada kebaikan dan melarang kemungkaran.
4. Perlaksanaan denda. Memasukkan ke dalam undang-undang dengan mengenakan denda kepada sesiapa yang tidak mematuhi peraturan menjaga alam sekitar.
5. Bekerjasama dengan pihak yang bertanggungjawab. Bekerjasama dengan badan-badan atau pertubuhan-pertubuhan yang khusus dalam penjagaan alam sekitar.
Many people celebrate Valentine’s Day, which falls on the fourteenth of February every year; they do so by exchanging red rosesand gifts. They also dress up in red clothingand congratulate one another on this occasion. Certain bakeries and confectioners produce special sweets for the occasion which are red in color and have heartsupon them. Other shops advertise goods that are sold exclusively for this event.
The questions that therefore arise are: What are the Islamic rulings regarding:
1) Celebrating this day?
2) Buying from the shops that have these special items which are sold for this event?
3) Shop owners who are not celebrating this event selling items that can be used as gifts by those who are celebrating it?
The Standing Committee for Scholarly Research and Legal Rulings studied this matter thoroughly and ruled as follows:
"The clear evidence from the Quran and Sunnah, and this is agreed upon by consensus of the early Muslim generations, confirms that there are only two 'Eeds(days of celebration) in Islam: 'Eed al-Fitr(after the fast of Ramadhaan) and 'Eed al-Adh-haa(after the standing at ‘Arafah for pilgrimage).
Every other 'Eed, whether related to a person, group, incident or any other occasion, is an innovated 'Eed. It is not permissible for Muslims to participate in it, approve of it, make any show of happiness on its occasion, or assist others to do so, in any way; to do so would be to transgress the bounds of Allaah Who Says what means: "…And whoever transgresses the limits of Allaah has certainly wronged himself… " [Quran: 65:1]
If we add to this that the fabricated 'Eedin question is in fact one of the 'Eedsof the disbelievers, then it becomes a case of sin piled upon sin. This is because its celebration entails imitation of the disbelievers and thereby showing them a form of loyalty. In the Quran, Allaah has emphatically prohibited the believers from imitating, loving or being loyal to the disbelievers, in any way. It is also confirmed from the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam (may Allaah exalt his mention) that he said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”
Valentine’s Day comes under the category of what has been mentioned here, since it is a pagan and polytheistic holiday. Hence it is not permissible for any Muslim who claims to believe in Allaah and the Last Day to participate in it, approve of it, or congratulate anyone on its occasion. Moreover, it is obligatory to abandon it and distance oneself from it in response to the command of Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam so that one may thereby be distanced from the anger of Allaah and His punishment.
Additionally, it is forbidden for a Muslim to assist or helpin this 'Eed, or any other forbidden or illicit celebration, in any way whatsoever, whether by eating or drinking, selling or buying, production, gift-giving, correspondence, announcements, or any other means. All of these things are considered cooperating in sin and transgression and disobedience to Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. Allaah the Glorious and Most High Says what means: “…And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah; Indeed Allaah is severe in penalty."[Quran: 5:2]
Also, it is obligatory for every Muslim to adhere strictly to the Quran and Sunnah in every situation and at all times, especially in times of temptation and corruption. It is incumbent that he or she understand, be aware and be cautioned from falling into the deviations of those whom Allaah is angry with (i.e., the Jews) and those who are astray (i.e., the Christians) and other immoral people who have no fear of punishment or hope of reward from Allaah, and who give no recognition at all to Islam.
It is necessary for the Muslim to flee to Allaah, the Most High, seeking His firm guidance upon the true path. Indeed there is no Guide except Allaah, and none can grant firmness except Him, and Success is from Him.
Source: The Standing Committee for Scholarly Research and Legal Rulings
Prof. Datuk Dr. Zaini Ujang
Gurmit Singh – tokoh pencinta alam yang selalu berbasikal, mengusaha
pertanian organik, pengamal kitar semula barang terpakai dan mempromosi
penggunaan tenaga suria - dipilih sebagai pemenang Anugerah Pengguna
Lestari sempena Hari Pengguna Malaysia pada 26 Julai lalu, anjuran
Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna. Gurmit
dipilih kerana komitmennya terhadap gaya hidup dan kepenggunaan lestari,
selari dengan tema kesederhanaan menjamin kesejahteraan dan slogan
"Amalkan Penggunaan Lestari".
Selain kepentingannya, kepenggunaan lestari dipilih sebagai slogan sesuai
dengan keadaan semasa dengan peningkatan kadar inflasi, kenaikan harga
barang serta perkhidmatan. Menurut jangkaan laporan ekonomi terkini, kadar
inflasi 7.7 peratus di Malaysia pada Jun 2008 diramal akan terus meningkat.
Peningkatan ini dipengaruhi pelbagai faktor ekonomi, termasuklah kenaikan
tambang kenderaan awam sebelum Hari Raya Aidilfitri, sebagaimana yang
diumumkan Datuk Noh Omar, Menteri Pembangunan Usahawan dan
Ketika memberi ucaputama Seminar Gaya Hidup Lestari anjuran FOMCA
pada 24 Julai lalu, saya mengemukakan kepentingan dan rational gaya hidup
lestari untuk mencapai kesejahteraan. Pada asasnya, gaya hidup lestari
mempunyai tiga nilai utama, iaitu
• amalan bersederhana dalam kehidupan harian
• berbelanja menurut kemampuan dan keperluan, bukan gaya dan
• pelestarian alam sekitar.
Amalan hidup sederhana merupakan ajaran agama bukan sahaja Islam,
bahkan semua agama. Sederhana maksudnya tidak keterlaluan dan
berlebihan dari segala segi, khususnya yang melibatkan perbelanjaan dan
gaya hidup. Sederhana bermakna kita perlu mengkaji buruk baik sebelum
melakukan setiap tindakan agar mencapai matlamat dengan efisien dan
efektif dengan biaya optimum.
Sebagai contoh, sederhana dalam berpakaian mestilah sesuai dengan
keperluan kerja atau santai dengan matlamat untuk menurut aurat. Apalah
gunanya kita berbelanja besar tetapi aurat masih terbuka. Dengan matlamat
jelas maka gaya hidup akan lebih terarah, tanpa perlu membazirkan wang
berbelanja membeli pakaian mahal sehingga ada kalanya terpaksa pula
berhutang. Jika demikian maka kita berbelanja tidak menurut kemampuan
dan terkeluar dari definisi kesederhanaan.
Selain itu, kepengunaan lestari juga mementingkan alam sekitar. Ketika ini
banyak barang dan perkhidmatan mesra alam yang mematuhi pelbagai
piawaian alam sekitar. Hal ini memudahkan pengguna memilih supaya dapat
membantu melestarikan alam sekitar. Dari segi kuantum, pengguna barang
dan perkhidmatan mesra alam di Amerika Syarikat dan United Kingdom sahaja membelanjakan 500 billion dollar setahun. Trend ini dijangka akan
terus meningkat dan melangkaui sempadan negara-negara maju. Paling
ketara ialah kereta hibrid dengan pertumbuhan 2,296 peratus sejak mula
diperkenalkan pada tahun 2000.
Namun demikian, tidak semua barang dan perkhidmatan ”mesra alam” benar-
benar menepati standard diharapkan. Menurut satu laporan dikeluarkan di
Eropah tidak sampai 10 peratus barang ”mesra alam” menepati ciri dan
keperluan pelestarian alam sekitar menggunakan kaedah analisis tapak
Paling ketara ialah biofuel yang dihasilkan menerusi komoditi berasaskan
makanan seperti jagung dan minyak sayuran. Ketika ini, dua faktor utama
dalam analisis tapak ekologi membuktikan bahawa biofuel tersebut dianggap
tidak mesra alam. Pertama, penggunaan komoditi berasaskan makanan telah
menyebabkan suasana panik dalam pasaran komoditi sehingga harga
makanan dunia melambung sekaligus menjejaskan penduduk negara miskin.
Kedua, jumlah karbon dihasilkan menerusi penanaman, penuaian, penjanaan
dan pengangkutan bahan jauh lebih tinggi berbanding karbon dihasilkan
dalam proses pembakaran enjin. Hal ini tidak rasional kerana tujuan
menggunakan biofuel ialah untuk mengurangkan pelepasan karbon dalam
pembakaran enjin kenderaan ke ruang atmosfera.
Itulah sebabnya pasaran Eropah tidak lagi menggunakan biofuel dihasilkan
menerusi komoditi makanan pada tahun 2014. Tanaman lain seperti jatropa
dijangka akan mengambil komoditi makanan sebagai sumber biofuel sedikit
Dengan kata lain, pengguna lestari perlu memastikan setiap barang dan
perkhidmatan yang dibeli mematuhi konsep mesra alam dari pelbagai sudut,
khususnya dari segi pelepasan karbon. Seperti saya coretkan dalam ruangan
ini beberapa minggu lalu, konsep pembangunan masa depan dijangka lebih
fokus kepada model ekonomi karbon neutral, iaitu penjanaan dan
penyerapan karbon dirangka terlebih dahulu menerusi pelbagai aktiviti
pembangunan. Sehubungan itu, dakwaan pengeluar dan penjual menerusi
pelbagai promosi dan iklan semata-mata tentang ciri ”mesra alam” perlu
Kadangkala sebagai pengguna, kita mudah terpengaruh dan akhirnya akur
dengan gaya dan model terkini yang seringkali dipamerkan menerusi media
massa. Golongan selebriti pula dipergunakan dengan penampilan menolok
yang mengoda! Kononnya kita perlu berpakaian jenama mahal dan berkereta
canggih untuk tampak bergaya dan berprestij. Kononnya kita juga perlu
memakai barang kemas dari kacamata, pena, jam tangan, cincin, kasut dan
beg trend terkini, biarpun terpaksa berhutang untuk barang bukan keperluan
Begitu juga dengan peralatan, perkakasan, perabut dan urusan lain dalam
kehidupan. Penawaran pasaran menjadi semakin canggih, beraneka, rencam,
menjerat tetapi tampak semakin mesra pelanggan. Dari satu segi, kerencaman dan kecanggihan itu banyak manfaatnya. Urusan dan cara hidup
menjadi lebih cepat, mudah dan bergaya walaupun mahal dan kadangkala
Dari perspektif ekonomi, keadaan ini dianggap baik dan membantu ke arah
merangsang pertumbuhan ekonomi. Kononnnya, kepenggunaan sedemikian
menyumbang ke arah peningkatan gaya hidup lebih ”kompetitif”. Tandanya
masyarakat semakin ”makmur”, ”maju” dan ”mewah”. Persoalannya, apakah
gaya hidup sedemikian mencerminkan kesederhanaan dan kelestarian?
Gaya hidup lestari mestilah berasaskan prinsip pengurusan lestari alam
sekitar supaya pengguna membeli mengikut keperluan dan tidak berlebihan.
Ini penting kerana penghasilan semua barang atau perkhidmatan
memerlukan sumber asli yang semakin sedikit iaitu bahan mentah, galian, air,
bahan api fosil, pokok dan sebagainya. Selain itu, semua proses dalam kitar
hayat sesuatu barang menghasilkan karbon yang tidak sedikit daripada
penjanaan sumber asli, pemprosesan, pengangkutan, penggunaan dan
Konsep kepengunaan lestari mengajar kita untuk lebih prihatin, saintifik dan
cuba memahami falsafah dan menghayati cara hidup hakiki. Kita juga perlu
lebih banyak berfikir dan tidak terikut-ikut dengan trend semasa. Pengguna
lestari – sebagaimana Gurmit - arif dan bestari. Bagi mereka matlamat
mengatasi bentuk dan perupaan. Sebagai contoh, jam bernilai bukan kerana
harga, jenama, negara pengeluar, bahan buatan dan kemasannya, tetapi
adalah alat penting yang diperlukan untuk menepati masa!
Prof. Datuk Ir. Dr. Zaini Ujang ialah Timbalan Naib Canselor
(Penyelidikan dan Inovasi) Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
ASMA HASSAN & ZEINOUL ABEDIEN CAJEE
Islam and Sustainable Development?
That is not a combination one often comes across. What is sustainable development and what does it have to do with Muslims?
Well, the answer could be found at the recent World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Muslim governments, organisations and individuals participated in varying degrees to promote the Islamic perspective on sustainable development.
What is sustainable development?
Sustainable development was defined by the Brundtland Report Our Common Future (1987) based on the findings of World Commission on Environment and Development (1983). According to the Brundtland Report sustainable development entails:
meeting the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.
This concept was further developed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992, also known as the Earth Summit. The Earth Summit produced Agenda 21, a blueprint for sustainable development in the 21st century, aimed at providing a high quality environment and healthy economy for all the peoples of the world. Sustainable development thus requires the integration of the environmental, social and economic dimensions, and is not just about environmental issues, as is commonly believed.
Since then, the term sustainable development (and all that it implies) has come to be more widely known. However, implementation of the outcomes of the Rio Summit was seen as inadequate. Also, the world had changed much since 1992, posing new challenges for poverty eradication and environmental sustainability.
The United Nations General thus decided to hold a ten-year review of the Earth Summit to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September 2002. The United Nations' Commission on Sustainable Development was tasked with preparing, coordinating and facilitating the Summit.
Muslim governments, business representatives and civil society organisations joined in the preparations. The extent of their preparation depended on how well informed, organised and resourced they were. They had the challenge of demonstrating the links between Islam and SD firstly to their own constituencies, and then to the wider society.
Islam and SD?
SD should not be a new concept to Muslims. In fact, SD is not really a new concept. Governments and civil society may have recently adopted the concept but the principles, which underpin it, have existed for centuries.
The Qur'an and the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) provide the framework for the spiritual and physical well being of humanity. There are over 500 verses in the Qur'an giving us guidance on matters relating to the environment and how to deal with it. In addition, there are numerous examples from the Prophet's life and his sayings, which provide a model for justice and equity.
Sadly, most of us are not aware of this rich legacy of environmental consciousness and socio-economic justice in Islam and how these relate to contemporary issues.
Islam at the WSSD
One of the organisations that took on the task of promoting the Islamic perspective on Sustainable Development in preparation for the Summit was the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), entrusted by the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) with the preparation of a working programme representing the Arab Islamic perception of environmental development for submission to the WSSD ii.
ISESCO held jointly with the OIC a number of activities in this regard, e.g. a conference of governmental experts of the Islamic countries on sustainable development (Tunis, March 2001), the First Preparatory Meeting of the Environment Ministers of the Muslim World (Rabat, January, 2002) and the First Islamic Conference for Ministers of the Environment (Jeddah, June, 2002).
These activities generated several reports and declarations, such as:
• Report on ISESCO's efforts and Future Vision in the Field of Management of Water Resources in the Islamic World
• Report on ISESCO efforts in Environmental, Health and Population Education
• Study on Sustainable Development from the Perspective of Islamic values and Specificities of the Muslim World
• The Islamic World and the Challenges of Sustainable Development
• Study on Environment and Sustainable Development in the Islamic Countries (Sustainable Development from an Islamic Perspective)
• General Framework for Islamic Agenda for Sustainable Development
• Islamic Declaration on Sustainable Development.
ISESCO presented this Declaration at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Sandton, Johannesburg. Sandton was the venue for the official United Nations where governments and accredited organisations from business and civil society were gathered.
Meanwhile civil society representatives met at NASREC, south of Johannesburg where Muslim organisations were fairly prominent. There were several local South African and international Muslim organisations and institutes that held exhibitions and attended proceedings at the Global People's Forum.
Among the international Muslim organisations were the Muslim World League and the International Islamic Council for Da'wa and Relief. South African organisations present at NASREC included the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa, the Jamiatul Ulama (Council of Muslim Theologians), the South African National Zakah Fund, the Waqful Waqifeen (Gift of the Givers Foundation), the Islamic Relief Forum, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, Islamic Careline, the Muslim Aids Programme and the Islamic Medical Association iii.
A meeting of South African and international Muslim organisations was held on 25 August 2002, in order to coordinate Muslim participation at the Summit. It was proposed that Muslims should support those agreements and commitments that do not violate any Islamic injunctions and are beneficial to all humanity, and should lobby and negotiate around those decisions that may undermine Muslim countries or values.
Although the proposal was supported, it has proved difficult to develop a joint Muslim position incorporating Muslim countries and Muslim minorities living in other parts of the globe. One of the reasons may be the lack of analyses of sustainable development from an Islamic perspective, or poor dissemination of what little material there was available. The lesson we have all learned from Johannesburg 2002 is the need to share information and coordinate our activities on an ongoing basis, recognising, of course, the differences that may exist between the various Muslim groupings.
The representatives of the various Muslim organisations took seriously their mission of promoting the Islamic perspectives on sustainable development and engaged in discussion with other delegates and the media on the Islamic viewpoints on the themes of the Summit. Islamic literature, much of it especially developed for the summit, was widely distributed. Many non-Muslim delegates, for example, were astounded to hear of the systems of zakah or waqf to benefit the less fortunate, or that Islam forbids riba, or interest, and is thus opposed to the debt slavery that many countries currently find themselves in. The Palestinian cause also received much support, especially from the South African public who have endured similar struggles as the Palestinians.
This broad spectrum of South African Muslim participation at the Summit was a first for a global gathering of this nature. In the last few months leading to the Summit the local Muslim community embarked on a campaign to mobilise Muslim organisations and individuals to be active in the Summit and commit to continuing that effort after the Summit. This included providing logistical support to the Summit process-accommodation, transport, food and salaah facilities- as well as contributing to the policy discussions on sustainable development.
One of the organisations that played a leading coordinating role was the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (AWQAF SA). AWQAF SA arranged a series of public meetings at which the purpose of the Summit was explained and a volunteer network of professionals, students and women was established. The Muslim radio stations in South Africa were important partners in this regard, publicising the various meetings and holding special Summit features. Muslim schools and ulama were also part of this exciting initiative.
The 1st Muslim Convention on Sustainable Development
One of the activities organised by AWQAF SA was the 1st Muslim Convention on Sustainable Development, known by many as 'the Muslim Summit', held in Erasmia, Pretoria on 1 September 2002 iv.
The 900 odd participants and delegates included leaders, members of parliament, representatives of community organisations, professionals, academics, activists, ulama, and social workers, from all parts of South Africa and the World.
Highlights of the convention included a mix of cultural items rendered by different schools and madressas from Gauteng and the talks given by an array of Muslim academics and activists - Prof Yusuf Dadoo, Prof Suleman Dangor, Shamshaad Sayed, Moulana Ashraf Dockrat, Asma Hassan, Saliem Fakir, Dr Ismail Munshi, and Zeinoul Abedien Cajee.
International speakers included Haji Fazlun Khalid, the Director of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences and Shaykh Hassan Cisse of the African-American Islamic Institute in Senegal. The South African Minister of Water Affairs & Forestry, Mr Ronnie Kasrils addressed the participants and praised the Community for their involvement in organising the event. A tree-planting ceremony, linking villages in Palestine to South Africa, was held. One of the trees was dedicated by AWQAF SA to Saartjie van den Kaap, a slave woman who made the first waqf in South Africa, and on which stands Masjid al Awwal (Cape Town) the first mosque in South Africa.
The outcome of the Convention was the adoption of the "Draft Principles on Sustainable Living and Development", which will now be circulated and comments called for to enable it to become a document that everyone across the community accepts and adopts.
"There's just no excuse for not getting on with it now. The Summit gave us a clear mandate for what we have to do…The Summit also sent a message to stop the chatter and get on with implementation." JoAnne DiSano, Director of the UN's Division for Sustainable Development v.
The message to Muslims is also clear. Those organisations that were involved in the Summit, in whatever capacity, have the responsibility of communicating the outcomes with the wider Muslim community, and developing critical commentaries on them from an Islamic perspective (something we have not yet seen but are in the process of formulating). Muslim governments, civil society organisations and other stakeholders have the task of establishing the systems, processes and capacity for implementation and ongoing monitoring and evaluation.
Some of the simple and practical measures that have been proposed (at least in South Africa) are to include environmental education in the madressa syllabus, to establish recycling centres at masajid, to encourage Muslim youth to consider careers in the various fields associated with sustainable development, and to develop a Muslim political lobby that engages in policy and research work at the local, national and international levels. The need to contribute to poverty eradication in South and Southern Africa was also recognised.
Already, some of these measures are being developed, and we are confident, inshallah, that we will achieve some of our goals, and ensure the positive legacy of the Joburg Summit. We look forward to working with the international Muslim community in this endeavour.
i) Asma Hassan is the WSSD Project Convenor for the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (AWQAF SA). Asma is an independent consultant based in Johannesburg, and has spent the last year working with South African civil society in preparing for the Summit. Her areas of interest and expertise are land rights and food security. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Zeinoul Abedien Cajee practises as a consultant, is a senior lecturer at Vista Unviversity, Soweto, Johannesburg, and a member of the Steering Committee of AWQAF SA. Zeinoul, together with other team members, developed a policy paper on waqf as a sustainable development institution for the purposes of the Summit.
ii) Information in this and the next two paragraphs extracted from The Islamic World and the Sustainable Development (Specificities, Challenges and Commitments), ISESCO, 1423H/2002. I am grateful to Mr Ebrahim Patel of the Minara Chamber of Commerce in Durban, South Africa, for alerting me to this publication. See also the ISESCO website http://www.isesco.org.ma
iii) I am including the website addresses of some these organisations: The National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (http://www.islam.co.za/awqafsa), the Jamiatul Ulama (Council of Muslim Theologians) (http://www.islamsa.org.za), the South African National Zakah Fund ( http://www.sanzaf.org.za ), and the Waqful Waqifeen (Gift of the Givers Foundation) (http://www.giftofthegivers.co.za). To contact any other organisations please approach the writers who will gladly assist.
iv) Additional information available at AWQAF SA website http://www.islam.co.za/awqafsa/wssd
v) 'UN taking first steps toward implementing Johannesburg outcome', United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Johannesburg Summit 2002 website http://www.johannesburgsummit.org 23 September 2002.
Dr. Iyad Abumoghli
A huge number of verses in Qura’n and several sayings of the Prophet Muhammad indicate the great importance that has been given to environmental concerns and the responsibility of man to the environment. The concept of sustainable development in Islam can be defined as “The balanced and simultaneous realization of consumer welfare, economic efficiency, attainment of social justice, and ecological balance in the framework of a evolutionary knowledge-based, socially interactive model defining the Shuratic process”. The Shuratic process is the consultation or participatory ruling principle of Islam.
The over arching principle in the use of nature is derived from the prophetic declaration that states: "There shall be no damage and no infliction of damage". The right to benefit from the essential environmental elements and resources such as water, minerals, land, forests, fish and wildlife, arable soil, air and sunlight is in Islam, a right held in common by all members of society. Each individual is entitled to benefit from a common resource subject to establishing the degree of need, (needs have to be distinguished from wants) and the impact on the environment.
Earth is mentioned 61 times in the Qura’n. According to Islam, the universe has been created by Allah (God) with a specific purpose and for a limited time. The utilization of natural resources (ni‘matullah - the gifts of Allah) is a sacred trust invested in mankind; he is a mere manager and not an owner, a beneficiary and not a disposer. Side by side, the Islamic nation has been termed as) ummatan wasatan) the moderate nation in the Qur’an, a nation that avoids excesses in all things. Thus, Muslims in particular have to utilize the earth responsibly for their benefit, honestly maintain and preserve it, use it considerately and moderately, and pass it on to future generations in an excellent condition. This includes the appreciation of its beauty and handing it over in a way that realizes the worship of Allah.
The utilization of all natural resources – land, water, air, fire (energy), forests, oceans – are considered the right and the joint property of the entire humankind. Since Man is Khalifatullah (the vicegerent of Allah) on earth, he should take every precaution to ensure the interests and rights of others, and regard his mastery over his allotted piece of land as a joint ownership with the next generation.
Prophet Muhammad said, "Whosoever brings dead land to life, for him is a reward in it, and whatever any creature seeking food eats of it shall be reckoned as charity from him". The Prophet in another occasion said, "There is no Muslim who plants a tree or sows a field for a human, bird, or animal eats from it, but it shall be reckoned as charity from him"; and, "If anyone plants a tree, no human nor any of the creatures of Allah will eat from it without it being reckoned as charity from him". This testifies the importance the Prophet in the early days of Islam has given to reclamation of land and the equal rights of all God’s creatures to benefit from the resources of earth.
The Qura’n has also stressed the importance of water for agriculture and land reclamation. “It is “He” who sends out the winds, bringing advance news of “His” mercy. And “We” send down from heaven pure water so that it can bring a dead land to life and give drink to many of the animals and people “We” created, (Al Furqân 25:48-49). “A Sign for them is the dead land which “We” bring to life and from which “We” bring forth grain of which they eat. “We” place in it gardens of dates and grapes, and cause springs to gush out in it” (Yasin 36:33-34).
Wildlife and natural resources are protected under Shariah (Rules of Islam) by zoning around areas called “hima”. In such places, industrial development, habitation, extensive grazing, are not allowed. The Prophet himself, followed by the Caliphs of Islam, established such “hima” zones as public property or common lands managed and protected by public authority for conservation of natural resources.
The First Biosphere Reserve in Islam:
“I declare Madina to be sacred throughout the area between its two mountain paths, so that leaves may not be eaten off except for fodder”. The game in Madina is not to be molested not its fresh herbage cut”. This declaration, fifteen centauries ago, is a testimony of the importance of biosphere reserves in Islam, Prophet Mohammad recognized that Abraham established the first reserve in Mecca.
In the Shariah, there is a responsibility placed on upstream farms to be considerate of downstream users. A farm beside a stream is forbidden to monopolize its water. After withholding a reasonable amount of water for his crops, the farmer must release the rest to those downstream. Furthermore, if the water is insufficient for all of the farms along the stream, the needs of the older farms are to be satisfied before the newer farm is permitted to irrigate. This reflects the sustainable utilization of water based on its safe yield. According to jurists such as Malik and Ibn Qudamah, these same principles apply to the extraction of groundwater. A person has no right to adversely affect his neighbor’s well by lowering the water table or polluting the aquifer.
The Shura is taken here to mean the evolving decision making process at all levels of the Islamic society. It applies universally to the decision making on ecological matters as on political ones. Such a treatment of Shura is closer to its meaning in the Qur'an: “Wa amruhom shura baynahum” (Lead by consultation).
Balance of Natural Resources:
The Qur'ân advises us to maintain the balance as the world was created in balance. “We did not create heaven and earth and everything in between them as a game. If we had desired to have some amusement, “We” would have derived it from “Our” presence, but “We” did not do that”, (Al-Anbiyâ 21:16-17). “He created man and taught him clear expression. The sun and the moon both run with precision. The stars and the trees bow down in prostration. He erected heaven and established the balance, so that you would not transgress the balance. Give just weight do not skimp the balance. “He” laid out the earth for all living creatures”, (Ar Rahman 55:3-9).
Knowledge and Education:
The teachings of Islam have an ethical notion that guides Muslims to care about the environment; knowledge that helps them perfects their duties. “He taught Adam the names of all things. Then “He” arrayed them before and said, tell “Me” the names of these if you are telling the truth”, (Al Baqarah 2:31). This verse describes how and why humankind was given the ability to know the names of creation. It is an important symbol of knowledge given only to the human race from among all the other creatures including angles.
Therefore, using religious education to convey the messages of Sustainable Development is an excellent tool as religious values are more accepted for Muslims than sophisticated jargon of new scientific terms.
The rights to benefit from nature are linked to accountability and maintenance or conservation of the resource. The fundamental legal principle established by the Prophet Muhammad is that "The benefit of a thing is in return for the liability attached to it.” Much environmental degradation is due to people's ignorance of what their Creator requires of them. People should be made to realize that the conservation of the environment is a religious duty demanded by God. God has said. “And do good as Allâh has been good to you. And do not seek to cause corruption in the earth. Allâh does not love the corrupters”, (Al Qasas 28:77.(
Islam calls for the efficient use of natural resources and waste minimization. God says in Qura’n: “Eat and drink, but waste not by excess; “He” loves not the excessive”, (Al-A'raf 7:31). "And do not follow the bidding of the excessive, who cause corruption in the earth and do not work good”, (Ash-Shu'ara 26: 151-152). “And do not cause corruption in the earth, when it has been set in order”, (Al-A'râf 7:56).
Importance of Water:
The word water occurs 66 times in the Qura’n which contains many such verses that speak of the life-giving properties of water: “Do you not see that Allah sends down water from the sky and then in the morning the earth is covered in green? Allah is All-Subtle, All-Aware”, (Al Hajj 22:63). Water is the most important molecule in the life of an organism. That life originated from water is a fact mentioned in the Qura’n: “We made from water every living thing”, (Al-Anbiya’ 21:30). “Allah created every animal from water. Some of them go on their bellies, some of them on two legs, and some on four. Allah creates whatever “He” wills. Allah has power over all things”, (An Nur 24:45). Thus water is an important commodity that has to be conserved and sustainably utilized.
Water also plays another socio-religious function: cleaning of the body and clothes from all dirt, impurities, and purification so that mankind can be presentable at all times. Only after cleaning with pure (colorless, odorless and tasteless) water, Muslims are allowed to pray. One can only pray at a place that has been cleaned. In light of these facts, Islam stresses on preventing pollution of water resources. Urinating in water (discharging wastewater into water stream) and washing or having a bath in stagnant water are forbidden acts in Islam. The Prophet said: "No one should bathe in still water, when he is unclean”.
Efficient use and Conservation of water:
The teachings of Prophet Muhammad emphasize the proper use of water without wasting it. The Prophet said: “Don’t waste water even if you are on a running river”. He also said: “Whoever increases (more than three), he does injustice and wrong”.
Sustainable Use of Biodiversity
God has created biodiversity for the benefit of mankind who is requested to protect it from degradation and pollution and is responsible for its sustainable use. God says in the Qura’n: “We sent down a measured amount of water from heaven and lodged it firmly in the earth; and “We” are able to remove it. By means of it “We” produce gardens of dates and grapes for you, in which there are many fruits for you and from which you eat, and a tree springing forth from Mount Sinai yielding oil and a seasoning to those who eat. And there is certainly a lesson for you in your livestock. “We” give you to drink from what is in their bellies and there are many ways in which you benefit from them, and some of them you eat; and you are conveyed on them and on ships as well”, (Al Muminun 23:18-22). “He Who has spread out the earth for you and threaded roads for you therein and has sent down water from the sky, with it “We” brought forth diverse kinds of vegetation. Eat and pasture your cattle; in this are signs for men endued with understanding”.
“It is Allâh who sends the winds which raise the clouds which “We” then drive to a dead land and by them bring the earth to life after it was dead. That is how the resurrection will be”, ( Al Fatir 35:9). The Prophet discouraged or prohibited activities that result in offensive smells and odors, from taking place in certain public places. He said: "He who eats garlic or onion should stay away from us". The period that one should stay away is limited to the duration of the smell. By analogy, anything that pollutes the air and is detrimental to the health should be prohibited.
Islamic legislation on the preservation of trees and plants finds its roots in Qura’nic teachings of Prophet. They include the following: “Whoever plants a tree and looks after it with care, until it matures and becomes productive, will be rewarded in the Hereafter” and “If anyone plants a tree or sows a field and men, beasts or birds eat from it, he should consider it as a charity on his part.
He is also reported to have encouraged tree planting as a constructive practice, saying that even if one hour remained before the final hour and one has a palm-shoot in his hand, he should plant it. Even at times of war, Muslim leaders, such as Abu Baker, advised their troops not to chop down trees and destroy agriculture or kill an animal.
There are a number of terms describing poverty and poor people in Islam. Faqir (poorest of the poor) and Miskin (whose legitimate needs exceed his means]) are the two basic classifications of poor in Islam. The Islamic way of poverty alleviation focuses on developing human resource and providing relevant job opportunity. The institutions identified for financial assistance to the poor are assistance (kifalah) by: the nearest kin; the neighbors under neighborhood rights; others in the form of mandatory charity like (Zakat), obligatory contribution; and through temporary and permanent endowments. Moreover, an Islamic State is bound to provide sustenance to its citizens irrespective of their religion. The State meets this responsibility by collection of Zakat, other emergent charities and raising taxes. The extent of such relief to the poor under Islam cannot be disputed. Zakât and Bait-ul-Mal (public treasury) are the two institutions, which, if used properly, can address the problem of poverty to a great extent. The institution of Bait-ul-Mal has tremendous potential for reaching the poor and helping them to escape poverty. Other systems like “Mudaraba” (partnership in labor and capital) and sharing profits “Musharaka” (partnership in capital and sharing profits) are Public Private Partnership tools used in Islam to alleviate poverty by providing income-generating activities for the poor in a partnership scheme.
The Qur’anic term “fasad” includes destruction of both the environment as well as man’s own destruction. What Muslims understand by development is providing self-esteem, freedom and physical security to every individual with a certain minimum quota of food, clothing, shelter, education and health facilities. Representing the concept of Good Governance, God said in the Qura’n: “Do not do mischief on earth after it has been set in order”, (7:85). Corruption is a serious matter in Islam where it represents the mismanagement and destruction of the balanced system God created. The Prophet has requested Justice, as part of a good governance system, in several occasions: “If you rule people, rule in justice”.
Cultural and Ethnic Values:
The spiritual, racial, cultural and ethnic diversity of the human family should be recognized as being the will of the Almighty and as such, as something to be cherished rather than as a cause for hostility. God says in the Qura’n: “We created you peoples and tribes to meet, the best of you to God is the most devoted to God”. Devotion here means not only paying religious dues, but also responding to all teachings of Islam.
Environment Impact Assessment and Mitigation
The interests of the Islamic nation and the society as a whole take priority over the interests of individuals and various groups when they cannot be reconciled. Some juristic principles of Islamic law are: “Priority is given to preserving the universal interest over particular interests”, and “The general welfare takes priority over individual welfare”. From this basis is derived the principle that: “A private injury is accepted to avert a general injury to the public”. Similarly, sacrificing private interest for the purpose of achieving and protecting the common interest of the public is related to the juristic principles that “The lesser of two evils shall be chosen”. Severe damage shall be removed by means of lighter damage”. If one of two opposing detriments is unavoidable, the more injurious is averted by the commission of the less injurious”. Social goods or interests are to be assessed according to their importance and urgency. The above represent the basic principles of Environmental Impact Assessment and mitigation of adverse impacts by selecting the less harmful option if an action is unavoidable. In Islam, necessities (daruriyat) which are absolutely indispensable needs to preserve religion, life, reason, and property; and needs (hajiyat) which if unfulfilled will lead to real hardship and distress; and supplementary benefits (tahsiniyat) which involve the refinement of an option are more or less the same concepts of EIA.
Responsibilities toward Disabled and Poor (Unprivileged Communities)
Consideration is to be given to the abilities of various groups to secure their welfare. The governing authorities are obliged to protect and care for the disadvantaged and less influential groups in accordance with the juristic principles that: “The averting of harm from the poor takes priority over the averting of harm from the wealthy”.
Sustainable Development Institutions:
Among the prerequisites for effective conservation of the natural environment are appropriate institutional arrangements. A number of resource management institutions have been created in Islam including; Hisbah, Haram, Hema, Waqf, and Ihya.
(a) Land reclamation or revival (ihya'): Normally, in Islamic law, any person who brings life to un-owned land by undertaking its cultivation or reclamation or otherwise putting it to beneficial use acquires it as his private property. Only those actions that bring new life to the land confer ownership. Ihya' gives people a powerful incentive to invest in the sustainable use of the land to provide for their welfare and the welfare of their families and descendents.
(b) Reservs: Lands in which development would be injurious to the general welfare are not acquired through ihya'. The governing authorities have the right and obligation to prevent the development of vacant land wherever such development would result in environmental damage, or remove an indispensable resource from public access. This includes all lands which are set aside as reserves (hima) for the general good.
(c) Zoning and land use planning (haram): Involves protecting water resources and other utilities, communal pasturelands and woodlands pertaining to villages, and lands containing resources that are indispensable to the welfare of the community.
(d) Public Lands (Iqta’): The governing authorities have the right to make grants (iqta') of un-owned land for purposes of reclamation such as agriculture, horticulture, building, and other kinds of development, so as to channel such developments to suitable locations and away from unsuitable locations.
(e) Leased Lands (ijarah): The governing authorities have the right to institute the lease (ijarah) of state- owned lands or to grant their use or reclamation (iqta' manfa'at al-ard or iqta' al- istighlal) and to specify the kinds of improvements to be undertaken or the crops to be grown, and the management practices and techniques of fanning, building, and so forth, to be employed.
(f) Sustainable Development (Charitable) endowments (waqf): Islam encourages individual Muslims to participate in the conservation and sustainable development of natural resources through various gifts, inheritance, and loans. The most important institution of Islamic law in this regard is the charitable endowment (waqf), which constitutes the major avenue for private contribution to the public good. The waqf may take the form of a land trust dedicated in perpetuity to charitable purposes such as agricultural and range research, wildlife propagation and habitat development, a village woodlot, or a public cistern, well, or garden; or it may take the form of a fund or endowment for the financing of such projects. The governing authorities may set provisions and standards for such waqf lands and funds, and for the qualifications of their managers, so that the benevolent objectives of such projects may be effectively fulfilled.
The Mandate of the Governing Authorities:
The primary duty of the ruler and his assistants, whether they are administrative, municipal, or judicial authorities, is to secure the common welfare and to avert and eliminate injuries to the society as a whole. This includes protection and conservation of the environment and natural resources. Historically, many of the responsibilities of environmental protection and conservation have come under the jurisdiction of the office of the hisbah, a governmental agency that was charged specifically with the establishment of good and eradication of harms. The muhtasib, who headed this office, was required to be a jurist thoroughly familiar with the rulings of Islamic law that pertained to his position. He was responsible for the inspection of markets, roads, buildings, watercourses, reserves (hima) and so forth. Among his duties were supervision and enforcement of regulations and standards pertaining to safety, hygiene, and cleanliness; the removal and disposal of wastes and pollutants; the prevention and elimination of hazards and nuisances; the protection of reserves (hima) from violation and trespass; and the prevention of abuse and treatment of animals. He was responsible for assessing damages and imposing fines and other penalties. In addition, he had wide discretionary authority to take necessary measures to ensure the public welfare.
The Mandate of the Individual:
The protection, conservation, and development of the environment and natural resources is a mandatory religious duty to which every Muslim should be committed. This commitment emanates from the individual's responsibility before God to protect himself and his community. God has said, "Do good, even as God has done you good, and do not pursue corruption in the earth. God does not love corrupters”.
The ethical system that governs socio-economic policies in Islam is hinged around four main principles. They are: 1) Unity (Tawhid) in which individual actions must conform to an integrated whole; 2) Equilibrium (Al’adl wal ihsan) in which individuals have the freedom to act, but must do so with bearing the general well-being of the present and future generations; 3) Free will (Ikhtiyar) by which individual freedom is guided by a broader framework of duty to community or societ; and 4) Responsibility (Fardh) by which individuals and society have the responsibility to use and dispose of possessions and wealth in a responsible way. The above ensure that individuals and communities have a social responsibility towards others. To institutionalize the social responsibility, Islam has created zakat, sadaqa, and the inheritance system. The Baitul-mal (treasury), as a State institution would then redistribute the collection of zakat to two categories of poor, the fuqara (poor from Muslim communities) and masakin (poor from non-Muslim societies).
AWQAF Foundation of South Africa. The notion of public goods, sustainable development and Islam.
Asma Hassan & Zeinoul Abedien Cajee, 2002. Islam, Muslims and Sustainable Development: The Message from Johannesburg.
Islamic Institutions for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of Natural Resources. Environmental Protection in Islam.
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN). Council of Muslim Theologians. Islamic Perspective on Sustainable Development.
Saliem Fakir, 2002. AWQAF Seminar on Islam and Sustainable Development.
Safei-Eldin A. Hamed Islam. And Ecology Abstract. Towards Environmentally Sustainable Development: An Islamic Approach to Capacity Building
The Canadian Learned Societies Conference, University of Prince Edward Island, 1992. The Study Of Deep Ecology. Extracted from a more detailed article entitled, "A Model of Sustainable Development in Comparative Islamic Framework", presented at the Canadian Economic Association Meetings.
Fortunately, this difference can be resolved if we refer the question to both the Bible and the Quran, because, both the Bible and the Quran teach that Jesus is not God.
It is clear enough to everyone that the Quran denies the divinity of Jesus, so we do not need to spend much time explaining that.
On the other hand, many people misunderstand the Bible; they feel that the belief in Jesus as God is so widespread that it must have come from the Bible. This article shows quite conclusively that the Bible does not teach that.
The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is not God. In the Bible God is always someone else other than Jesus.
Some will say that something Jesus said or something he did while on the earth proves that he is God. We will show that the disciples never came to the conclusion that Jesus is God. And those are people who lived and walked with Jesus and thus knew first hand what he said and did. Furthermore, we are told in the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible that the disciples were being guided by the Holy Spirit.
If Jesus is God, surely they should have known it. But they did not. They kept worshipping the one true God who was worshipped by Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (see Acts 3:13).
All of the writers of the Bible believed that God was not Jesus. The idea that Jesus is God did not become part of Christian belief until after the Bible was written, and took many centuries to become part of the faith of Christians.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke, authors of the first three Gospels, believed that Jesus was not God (see Mark 10:18 and Matthew 19:17). They believed that he was the son of God in the sense of a righteous person. Many others too, are similarly called sons of God (see Matthew 23:1-9).
Paul, believed to be the author of some thirteen or fourteen letters in the Bible, also believed that Jesus is not God. For Paul, God first created Jesus, then used Jesus as the agent by which to create the rest of creation (see Colossians 1:15 and 1 Corinthians 8:6). Similar ideas are found in the letter to the Hebrews, and also in the Gospel and Letters of John composed some seventy years after Jesus. In all of these writings, however, Jesus is still a creature of God and is therefore forever subservient to God (see 1 Corinthians 15:28).
Now, because Paul, John, and the author of Hebrews believed that Jesus was God’s first creature, some of what they wrote clearly show that Jesus was a pre-existent powerful being. This is often misunderstood to mean that he must have been God. But to say that Jesus was God is to go against what these very authors wrote.
Although these authors had this later belief that Jesus is greater than all creatures, they also believed that he was still lesser than God. In fact, John quotes Jesus as saying: “...the Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28). And Paul declares that the head of every woman is her husband, the head of every man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God (see 1 Corinthians 11:3).
Therefore, to find something in these writings and claim that these teach that Jesus is God is to misuse and misquote what those authors are saying. What they wrote must be understood in the context of their belief that Jesus is a creature of God as they have already clearly said.
So we see then, that some of the later writers had a higher view of Jesus, but none of the writers of the Bible believed that Jesus is God. The Bible clearly teaches that there is only one true God, the one whom Jesus worshipped (see John 17: 3).
In the rest of this article we will explore the Bible in more depth, and deal with the passages which are most often misquoted as proofs of Jesus’ divinity. We will show, with God’s help, that these do not mean what they are so often used to prove.
Evidence From the Acts of the Apostles:
Jesus performed many miraculous wonders, and he without doubt said a lot of wonderful things about himself. Some people use what he said and did as a proof that he was God. But his original disciples who lived and walked with him, and were eyewitnesses to what he said and did, never reached this conclusion.
The Acts of the Apostles in the Bible details the activity of the disciples over a period of thirty years after Jesus was lifted up to heaven. Throughout this period they never refer to Jesus as God. They continually and consistently use the title God to refer to someone else other than Jesus.
Peter stood up with the eleven disciples and addressed the crowd saying: “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.” (Acts 2:22).
It was God, therefore, who did the miracles through Jesus to convince people that Jesus was backed by God. Peter did not see the miracles as proof that Jesus is God.
In fact, the way Peter refers to God and to Jesus makes it clear that Jesus is not God. For he always turns the title God away from Jesus. Take the following references for example:
“God has raised this Jesus...” (Acts 2:32)
“God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36)
In both passages, the title God is turned away from Jesus. So why he did this, if Jesus was God?
For Peter, Jesus was a servant of God. Peter said: “God raised up his servant...” (Acts 3:26). The title servant refers to Jesus. This is clear from a previous passage where Peter declared: “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus.” (Acts 3:13).
Peter must have known that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob never spoke of a Triune God. They always spoke of God as the only God. Here, as in Matthew 12:18, Jesus is the servant of God. Matthew tells us that Jesus was the same servant of God spoken of in Isaiah 42:1. So, according to Matthew and Peter, Jesus is not God, but God’s servant. The Old Testament repeatedly says that God is alone (e.g. Isaiah 45:5).
All of the disciples of Jesus held this view. In Acts 4:24 we are told that the believers prayed to God saying: “...they raised their voices together in prayer to God. ‘Sovereign Lord,’ they said, ‘you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.’” It is clear that the one they were praying to was not Jesus, because, two verses later, they referred to Jesus as “...your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.” (Acts 4:27).
If Jesus was God, his disciples should have said this clearly. Instead, they kept preaching that Jesus was God’s Christ. We are told in Acts: “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.” (Acts 5:42).
The Greek word “Christ” is a human title. It means “Anointed.” If Jesus was God, why would the disciples continually refer to him with human titles like servant and Christ of God, and consistently use the title God for the one who raised Jesus? Did they fear men? No! They boldly preached the truth fearing neither imprisonment nor death. When they faced opposition from the authorities, Peter declared: “We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus...” (Acts 5:29-30).
Were they lacking the Holy Spirit? No! They were supported by the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:3, 4:8, and 5:32). They were simply teaching what they had learnt from Jesus — that Jesus was not God but, rather, God’s servant and Christ.
The Quran confirms that Jesus was the Messiah (Christ), and that he was God’s servant (see the Holy Quran 3:45 and 19:30).
Jesus is Not All-Powerful, and Not All-Knowing:
Christians and Muslims agree that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. The Gospels show that Jesus was not all-powerful, and not all-knowing, since he had some limitations.
Mark tells us in his gospel that Jesus was unable to do any powerful work in his hometown except few things: “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” (Mark 6:5). Mark also tells us that when Jesus tried to heal a certain blind man, the man was not healed after the first attempt, and Jesus had to try a second time (see Mark 8:22-26).
Therefore, although we hold a great love and respect for Jesus, we need to understand that he is not the all-powerful God.
Mark’s Gospel also reveals that Jesus had limitations in his knowledge. In Mark 13:32, Jesus declared that he himself does not know when the last day will occur, but the Father alone knows that (see also Matthew 24:36).
Therefore, Jesus could not have been the all-knowing God. Some will say that Jesus knew when the last day will occur, but he chose not to tell. But that complicates matters further. Jesus could have said that he knows but he does not wish to tell. Instead, he said that he does not know. We must believe him. Jesus does not lie at all.
The Gospel of Luke also reveals that Jesus had limited knowledge. Luke says that Jesus increased in wisdom (Luke 2:52). In Hebrews too (Hebrews 5:8) we read that Jesus learned obedience. But God’s knowledge and wisdom is always perfect, and God does not learn new things. He knows everything always. So, if Jesus learned something new, that proves that he did not know everything before that, and thus he was not God.
Another example for the limited knowledge of Jesus is the fig tree episode in the Gospels. Mark tells us as follows: “The next day as they were leaving Bethany , Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.” (Mark 11:12-13).
It is clear from these verses that the knowledge of Jesus was limited on two counts. First, he did not know that the tree had no fruit until he came to it. Second, he did not know that it was not the right season to expect figs on trees.
Can he become God later? No! Because there is only one God, and He is God from everlasting to everlasting (see Psalms 90:2).
Someone may say that Jesus was God but he took the form of a servant and therefore became limited. Well, that would mean that God changed. But God does not change. God said so according to Malachi 3:6.
Jesus never was God, and never will be. In the Bible, God declares: “Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.” (Isaiah 43:10).
The Bible clearly shows that Jesus was not all-powerful and all-knowing as the true God should be.
The Greatest Commandment in the Bible and the Quran:
Some will say that this whole discussion over the divinity of Jesus is unnecessary. They say, the important thing is to accept Jesus as your personal savior. On the contrary, the Bible’s writers stressed that, in order to be saved, it is necessary to understand who exactly is God. Failure to understand this would be to violate the first and greatest of all the commandments in the Bible. This commandment was emphasized by Jesus, on whom be peace, when a teacher of the Law of Moses asked him: “‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: Hear, O Israel , the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” (Mark 12:28-30).
Notice that Jesus was quoting the first commandment from the book of Deuteronomy 6:4-5. Jesus confirmed not only that this commandment is still valid, but also that it is the most important of all the commandments. If Jesus thought that he himself is God, why did not he say so? Instead, he stressed that God is one. The man who questioned Jesus understood this, and what the man says next makes it clear that God is not Jesus, for he said to Jesus: “‘Well said, teacher,’ the man replied. ‘You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.’” (Mark 12:32).
Now if Jesus was God, he would have told the man so. Instead, he let the man refer to God as someone other than Jesus, and he even saw that the man had spoken wisely: “When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God .’” (Mark 12:34). If Jesus knew that God is a trinity, why did not he say so? Why did he not say that God is one in three, or three in one? Instead, he declared that God is one. True imitators of Jesus will imitate him also in this declaration of God’s oneness. They will not add the word three where Jesus never said it.
Does salvation depend on this commandment? Yes, says the Bible! Jesus made this clear when another man approached Jesus to learn from him (see Mark 10:17-29). The man fell on his knees and said to Jesus: “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied: “Why do you call me good? No one is good — except God alone.” (Mark 10:17-18).
By so saying, Jesus made a clear distinction between himself and God. Then he proceeded with the answer to the man’s question about how to get salvation. Jesus told him: “If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” (Matthew 19:17, also see Mark 10:19).
Remember that the most important of all the commandments, according to Jesus, is to know God as the only God. Jesus further emphasized this in the Gospel According to John. In John 17:1, Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven and prayed, addressing God as Father. Then in verse three, he said to God as follows: “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3).
This proves beyond doubt that if people want to get eternal life they must know that the One, whom Jesus was praying to, is the only true God, and they must know that Jesus was sent by the true God. Some say that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. But Jesus said that the Father alone is the only true God.
True followers of Jesus will follow him in this too. Jesus had said that his true followers are those who hold to his teachings. He said: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.” (John 8:31). His teaching is that people must continue to keep the commandments, especially the first commandment which emphasizes that God is alone, and that God should be loved with all our hearts and all our strengths.
We love Jesus, but we must not love him as God. Today many love Jesus more than they love God. This is because they see God as a vengeful person who wanted to exact a penalty from them, and they see Jesus as the savior who rescued them from the wrath of God. Yet God is our only savior. According to Isaiah 43:11, God said: “I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.” Also God said according to Isaiah 45:21-22: “Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.”
The Quran confirms the first commandment and addresses it to all humankind (see the Holy Quran 2:163). And God declares that true believers love Him more than anyone else or anything else (Quran 2:165).
Paul Believed That Jesus is not God:
Many people use Paul’s writings as proof that Jesus is God. But this is not fair to Paul, because Paul clearly believed that Jesus is not God. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul wrote: “I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions. ..” (1 Timothy 5:21).
It is clear from this that the title God applies not to Christ Jesus, but to someone else. In the following chapter, he again differentiates between God and Jesus when he says: “In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession.. .” (1 Timothy 6:13).
Paul then went on to speak of the second appearance of Jesus: “the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time.” (1 Timothy 6:14-15).
Again, the title God is deliberately turned away from Jesus. Incidentally, many people think that when Jesus is called “Lord” in the Bible that this means “God.” But in the Bible this title means master or teacher, and it can be used for addressing humans (see 1 Peter 3:6).
What is more important, however, is to notice what Paul said about God in the following passage, which clearly shows that Jesus is not God: “God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever.” (1 Timothy 6:15-16).
Paul said that God alone is immortal. Immortal means he does not die. Check any dictionary. Now, anyone who believes that Jesus died cannot believe that Jesus is God. Such a belief would contradict what Paul said here. Furthermore, to say that God died is a blasphemy against God. Who would run the world if God died? Paul believed that God does not die.
Paul also said in that passage that God dwells in unapproachable light — that no one has seen God or can see him. Paul knew that many thousands of people had seen Jesus. Yet Paul said that no one has seen God, because Paul was sure that Jesus is not God. This is why Paul went on teaching that Jesus was not God, but that he was the Christ (see Acts 9:22 and 18:5).
When he was in Athens , Paul spoke of God as “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.” (Acts 17:24). Then he identified Jesus as “the man he (i.e. God) has appointed.” (Acts 17:31).
Clearly, for Paul, Jesus was not God, and he would be shocked to see his writings used for proving the opposite of what he believed. Paul even testified in court saying: “I admit that I worship the God of our fathers...” (Acts 24:14).
He also said that Jesus is the servant of that God, for we read in Acts: “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus.” (Acts 3:13).
For Paul, the Father alone is God. Paul said that there is “one God and Father of all...” (Ephesians 4:6). Paul said again: “...for us there is but one God, the Father . . . and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ...” (1 Corinthians 8:6).
Paul’s letter to the Philippians (Philippians 2:6-11) is often quoted as a proof that Jesus is God. But the very passage shows that Jesus is not God. This passage has to agree with Isaiah 45:22-24 where God said that every knee should bow to God, and every tongue should confess that righteousness and strength are in God alone. Paul was aware of this passage, for he quoted it in Romans 14:11. Knowing this, Paul declared: “I kneel before the Father.” (Ephesians 3:14).
The letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 1:6) says that the angels of God should worship the Son. But this passage depends on Deuteronomy 32:43, in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament. This phrase cannot be found in the Old Testament used by Christians today, and the Septuagint version is no longer considered valid by Christians. However, even the Septuagint version, does not say worship the Son. It says let the Angels of God worship God. The Bible insists that God alone is to be worshipped: “When the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: ‘Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. But the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.’” (2 Kings 17:35-39).
Jesus, on whom be peace, believed in this, for he also stressed it in Luke 4:8. And Jesus too fell on his face and worshipped God (see Matthew 26:39). Paul knew that Jesus worshipped God (see Hebrews 5:7). Paul taught that Jesus will remain forever subservient to God (see 1 Corinthians 15:28).
Evidence from the Gospel of John:
The Gospel of John, the fourth Gospel, was completed to its present form some seventy years after Jesus was raised up to heaven. This Gospel in its final form says one more thing about Jesus that was unknown from the previous three Gospels — that Jesus was the Word of God. John means that Jesus was God’s agent through whom God created everything else. This is often misunderstood to mean that Jesus was God Himself. But John was saying, as Paul had already said, that Jesus was God’s first creature. In the Book of Revelation in the Bible, we find that Jesus is: “the beginning of God’s creation” (Revelation 3:14, also see 1 Corinthians 8:6 and Colossians 1:15).
Anyone who says that the Word of God is a person distinct from God must also admit that the Word was created, for the Word speaks in the Bible saying: “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works...” (Proverbs 8:22).
This Gospel, nevertheless, clearly teaches that Jesus is not God. If it did not continue this teaching, then it would contradict the other three Gospels and also the letters of Paul from which it is clearly established that Jesus is not God. We find here that Jesus was not co-equal with the Father, for Jesus said: “...the Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28).
People forget this and they say that Jesus is equal to the Father. Whom should we believe — Jesus or the people? Muslims and Christians agree that God is self-existent. This means that He does not derive his existence from anyone. Yet John tells us that Jesus’ existence is caused by the Father. Jesus said in this Gospel: “...I live because of the Father...” (John 6:57).
John tells us that Jesus cannot do anything by his own when he quotes Jesus as saying: “By myself I can do nothing...” (John 5:30). This agrees with what we learn about Jesus from other Gospels. In Mark, for example, we learn that Jesus performed miracles by a power which was not within his control. This is especially clear from an episode in which a woman is healed of her incurable bleeding. The woman came up behind him and touched his cloak, and she was immediately healed. But Jesus had no idea who touched him. Mark describes Jesus’ actions thus: “At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’” (Mark 5:30). His disciples could not provide a satisfactory answer, so Mark tells us: “Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.” (Mark 5:32). This shows that the power that healed the woman was not within Jesus’ control. He knew that the power had gone out of him, but he did not know where it went. Some other intelligent being had to guide that power to the woman who needed to be healed. God was that intelligent being.
It is no wonder, then, that in Acts of the Apostles we read that it was God who did the miracles through Jesus (Acts 2:22).
God did extraordinary miracles through others too, but that does not make the others God (see Acts 19:11). Why, then, is Jesus taken for God? Even when Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, he had to ask God to do it. Lazarus’ sister, Martha, knew this, for she said to Jesus: “I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” (John 11:22).
Martha knew that Jesus was not God, and John who reported this with approval knew it also. Jesus had a God, for when he was about to ascend to heaven, he said: “I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” (John 20:17).
John was sure that no one had seen God, although he knew that many people had seen Jesus (see John 1:18 and 1 John 4:12). In fact Jesus himself told the crowds, that they have never seen the Father, nor have they heard the Father’s voice (John 5:37). Notice that if Jesus was the Father, his statement here would be false. Who is the only God in John’s Gospel? The Father alone.
Jesus testified this when he declared that the God of the Jews is the Father (John 8:54). Jesus too confirmed that the Father alone is the only true God (see John 17:1-3). And Jesus said to his enemies: “...you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God.” (John 8:40). According to John, therefore, Jesus was not God, and nothing John wrote should be taken as proof that he was God — unless one wishes to disagree with John.
God and Jesus Are Two Separate Beings:
Many people use certain verses of the Bible as proof that Jesus is God. However, all of these verses, when understood in context, prove the opposite!
For example, in Matthew 9:2, Jesus said to a certain man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Because of this, some say that Jesus must be God since only God can forgive sins. However, if you are willing to read just a few verses further, you will find that the people “...praised God, who had given such authority to men.” (Matthew 9:8). This shows that the people knew, and Matthew agrees, that Jesus is not the only man to receive such authority from God.
Jesus himself emphasized that he does not speak on his own authority (John 14:10) and he does nothing on his own authority, but he speaks only what the Father has taught him (John 8:28). What Jesus did here was as follows. Jesus announced to the man the knowledge Jesus received from God that God had forgiven the man.
Notice that Jesus did not say, “I forgive your sins,” but rather, “your sins are forgiven,” implying, as this would to his Jewish listeners, that God had forgiven the man. Jesus, then, did not have the power to forgive sins, and in that very episode he called himself “the Son of Man” (Matthew 9:6).
John 10:30 is often used as proof that Jesus is God because Jesus said, “I and the father are one.” But, if you read the next six verses, you will find Jesus explaining that his enemies were wrong to think that he was claiming to be God. What Jesus obviously means here is that he is one with the Father in purpose. Jesus also prayed that his disciples should be one just as Jesus and the Father are one. Obviously, he was not praying that all his disciples should somehow merge into one individual (see John 17:11 and 22). And when Luke reports that the disciples were all one, Luke does not mean that they became one single human being, but that they shared a common purpose although they were separate beings (see Acts 4:32). In terms of essence, Jesus and the Father are two, for Jesus said they are two witnesses (John 8:14-18). They have to be two, since one is greater than the other (see John 14:28). When Jesus prayed to be saved from the cross, he said: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42).
This shows that they had two separate wills, although Jesus submitted his will to the will of the Father. Two wills mean two separate individuals.
Furthermore, Jesus is reported to have said: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). If one of them forsook the other, then they must be two separate entities.
Again, Jesus is reported to have said: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46). If the spirit of one can be placed into the hands of another, they must be two separate beings.
In all of these instances, Jesus is clearly subordinate to the Father. When Jesus knelt down and prayed he obviously was not praying to himself (see Luke 22:41). He was praying to his God.
Throughout the New Testament, the Father alone is called God. In fact, the titles “Father” and “God” are used to designate one individual, not three, and never Jesus. This is also clear from the fact that Matthew substituted the title “Father” in the place of the title “God” in at least two places in his Gospel (compare Matthew 10:29 with Luke 12:6, and Matthew 12:50 with Mark 3:35). If Matthew is right in doing so, then the Father alone is God.
Was Jesus the Father? No! Because Jesus said: “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9). So Jesus is not the Father, since Jesus was standing on the earth when he said this.
The Quran seeks to bring people back to the true faith that was taught by Jesus, and by his true disciples who continued in his teaching. That teaching emphasized a continued commitment to the first commandment that God is alone. In the Quran, God directs Muslims to call readers of the Bible back to that true faith. God have said in the Quran:
Say: “O people of the Book (Christians and Jews)! Come to a word that is just between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords beside God.” (Quran, 3:64)