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DR Adi Setia THE INNER DIMENSION OF GOING GREEN: ARTICULATING AN ISLAMIC DEEP-ECOLOGY

DR Adi Setia THE INNER DIMENSION OF GOING GREEN: ARTICULATING AN ISLAMIC DEEP-ECOLOGY

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 Ad
i
Setia is
 Assistant Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, Depart-ment of General Studies, International Islamic University Malaysia. Email: adi_setia@iiu.edu.my. This is an amended and extended version of a paper originallypresented at the International Conference on the Role of Islamic States in a Glo-balized World, July 17-18, organized by the Institute for Islamic Understand-ing (IKIM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For an extensive bibliography on variousaspects of this topic, see Richard Foltz, et al, Islam and Ecology Bibliography,<http://environment.harvard.edu/religion/religion/islam/bibliography.html>.See also the many relevant articles by various authors in Richard C. Foltz et al(eds.),
 Islam and Ecology: A Bestowed Trust
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press,2003).
 Islam
Science
,
 
 Vol. 5 (Winter 2007) No. 2©
2007
by the Center for Islam and Science
ISSN 1703-7603
(Print);
ISSN 1703-7602X
(Online)117
T
HE
I
NNER 
D
IMENSION
 
OF
G
OING
G
REEN
: A 
RTICULATING
 
 AN
I
SLAMIC
D
EEP
-E
COLOGY
 Adi Setia
Our interaction with nature is clearly constrained anddirected by such foundational ethical precepts as mer-cy, moderation, and gratitude, which, when system-atically understood and applied, result in ecologicalhealth. But ethical precepts refer ultimately to humannature, and therefore ecological health is rooted inpsychological health. From this deep-level perspective,environmental degradation is less a resource-problemthan an attitude-problem. This psycho-ecological ap-proach toward preserving and enhancing environmen-tal health is explored by considering some pertinentaspects of Islamic socio-intellectual history and theirrelevance for re-articulating and re-applying authenticIslamic environmental ethical values in today’s world.
Keywords:
Deep-ecology; psychology; human nature; resource-problem; attitude-problem; greed as growth; prodigalconsumption; stewardship of nature;
 Ą
 im
 Ā
;
 Ą
 ar
 ą 
 m
;mercy; gratitude; moderation; contentment.
 
118
 
 
 Islam
Science
 
 Vol. 5 (Winter 2007) No. 2
Introduction: Resource-problem or attitude-problem?
Muslims’ interaction with nature (
 mu
ĂĀ
 malah
ĂĀ
lam al-
ć
 ab
 ąĂ
 ah
)
1
is clear-ly constrained and directed by such foundational religio-ethical pre-cepts
2
as
 ra
 Ą
 mah
(mercy/kindness/compassion),
3
 
 m
 ą 
 z
 Ā
 n/taw
 Ā
 zun
(balance/moderation/equilibrium/harmony)
4
and
 shukr
(gratitude/thankfulness/appreciation).
5
These precepts and the operative principles derivable from
1. Here it is proposed that the ethico-juridical principles in
 fiqh al- mu
ĂĀ
 malah
governing transactions between humans, such as the con-cept of 
l
 Ā
 
 ă
 ar
 Ā
 r wa l
 Ā
 
 ă
 ir
 Ā
 r
(no harming and no reciprocating harm)be extended to govern human politicoeconomic and technoscientificinteractions with nature. For a preliminary outline of a contempo-rary
 fiqh
of the environment, see Mustafa Abu Sway, “
 Fiqh al-B
 ąā
 ah
:Towards an Islamic Juriprudence of the Environment,” lecture pre-sented at Belfast mosque, February 1998, <http://www.iol.ie/~afifi/ Articles/environment.htm>; and Sheikh Muhammad RidwanGallant, “The Objective (
 Maq
 Ā
 sid
) of the
Shar
 ąĂ
 ah
in the Protectionof the Environment” in
 Proceedings of the International Conference on Maqasid al-Shari
Ă
 ah and Its Realization in Contemporary Societies
(KualaLumpur:
IIUM
, 2006), English Papers, 416-440. S. Waqar AhmedHusaini,
 Islamic Sciences
(New Delhi: Goodword, 2002), has writtenon the importance of applying the systematic axiology of 
 fiqh
, espe-cially as encapsulated in the theory of the objectives of the DivineLaw (
 Maq
 ĀĆ
 id
of the
Shar
 ąĂ
 ah
) to technoscientific interaction with theenvironmnent. His thought is critically well articulated with manyuseful insights, albeit with a palpable modernist slant. For some con-temporary studies of the systematic axiology of fiqh, see Ahmad al-Raysuni,
 Imam al-Shatibi’s Theory of the Higher Objectives and Intentsof Islamic Law
, trans. Nancy Roberts (Kuala Lumpir: Islamic BookTrust, 2006); Muhammad Khalid Masud,
Sh
 Āć
 ib
 ą 
’s Philosophy of  Islamic Law
(Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Book Trust, 2000); Muhammadal-Tahir Ibn Ashur,
Treatise on Maq
 ĀĆ
 id al-Shari
Ă
 ah
, trans. Mohamedal-Taher al-Messawi (Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Book Trust, 2006).2. Toshihiko Izutsu,
 Ethico-Religious Concepts of the Qur’an
(repr. KualaLumpur: IBT, 2004).3.
 al-Anbiy
 Āā
: 107. For a beautiful exposition of the cosmic mercy of theProphet,
 Ć
 allallahu
Ă
 alayhi wassalam
, see Umar Faruq Abdullah,“Mercy, the Stamp of Creation,” Nawawi Foundation Paper, <www.nawawi.org/downloads/article1.pdf>.4.
 al-Ra
 Ą
 m
 Ā
 n
: 7-9, and the commentary of Fakhr al-D
ą
n al-R 
Ā
z
ą
thereof (
 Maf 
 Ā
t
 ąĄ
al-Ghayb
, 10: 342 ff) in which he relates the balance to jus-tice (
Ă
 adl, i
Ă
tid
 Ā
l
); references are to the Beirut: D
Ā
r I
Ą
 y
Āā
al-Tur
Ā
thal-
Ă
 Arab
ą
, 1997 edition.5. On the meaning of gratitude see Ab
Ĉ
al-Q
Ā
sim
Ă
 Abd al-Kar
ą
m ibn
ď
al
Ą
ah al-Qushayr
ą
,
 Principles of Sufism
, trans. B. R. von Schlegell
 
 Adi Setia
 
119
them, when systematically understood and implemented through the ethi-co-juridical discipline of 
 fiqh al-b
 ąā
 ah
(jurisprudence of the environment),
6
 result in ecological health of the socio-natural environment. But ethicalprecepts refer ultimately to human nature (
ć
 ab
 ąĂ
 at al-nafs
as opposed to
ć
 ab
 ąĂ
 at al-kawn
) and therefore ecological health is ultimately rooted in thepsychological health of the human soul.
7
From this deep-ecological per-spective, environmental degradation is less a resource-problem than anattitude-problem. This attitude-problem results from the general failureof the human ego (
 al-nafs al-amm
 Ā
 rah bi al-s
 Ĉā
=
the evil-commandingsoul)
8
to forgo short-term gratification for long-term prosperity, henceits short-sighted inclination for the proximate and the fleeting at the ex-pense of the ultimate and lasting:
 Nay, but you covet what is immediate and abandon what is later to come
,
9
and hence forget
to prepare and send forth pro-vision for the morrow
.
10
This psycho-ecological approach
11
toward preserv-
(Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Book Trust, 2004), 109-113. On gratititudein relation to scientific appreciation of nature, see Adi Setia, “
Taskh
 ą 
 r
,fine-tuning, intelligent design and the scientific appreation of na-ture,”
 Islam
Science
(Summer 2004), 7-32.6. Mustafa Abu-Sway, “Toward an Islamic Jurisprudence of theEnvironment.”7. Al-Attas,
The Nature of Man and the Psychology of the Human Soul
(KualaLumpur:
ISTAC
, 1990); idem,
The Meaning and Experience of Happiness in Islam
(Kuala Lumpur:
ISTAC
, 1993).8. Ego or
 nafs
, understood in Ghazalian spiritual psychology as the evil-commanding soul; see also T. J. Winter, trans. and intro. with notes,
 Al-Ghaz
 Ā
l
 ą 
on Disciplining the Soul
(Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society,2001); Yasein Mohamed,
The Path to Virtue: The Ethical Philosophy of  al-R
 Ā
 ghib al-Isfah
 Ā
 n
 ą 
(Kuala Lumpur:
ISTAC
, 2006); idem.,
 Human Nature in Islam
(Kuala Lumpur: A. S. Noordeen, 1998); idem.,
 Fitrah:The Islamic Concept of Human Nature
(London: Ta Ha, 1996); Hamza Yusuf,
 Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms, and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart
, translation and commentary of Im
Ā
m al-Mawl
Ĉ
d’s
 Matharat al-Qul
 Ĉ
b
(Starlatch Press, 2004).9.
 al-Qiy
 Ā
 mah
: 20.10.
 al-Baqarah
: 110, 223;
 al-
 Č 
 ashr
: 18;
 al-Muzammil
: 20. Cf. Fazlur Rahman,
 Major Themes of the Qur’an
(Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Book Trust, 1999),especially the psychological Chapter Two on “Man as Individual,”37ff.; see also Toshihiko Izutsu,
God and Man in the Qur’an: Semanticsof the Qur’anic Weltanschauung
(Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Book Trust,2002).11. Alternative terms include ecopsychology, organic psychology, human-istic psychology pertaining to alternative trends in modern psychol-ogy that seek achieve a holistic understanding of human nature with

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