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Environment in Islamic Management

Muhammad Mokhter Ahmad Associate Professor IIUC-Dhaka Campus +8801712540089

Environment in Islamic Management

Environment and the Corporate Culture: The Concept of the Environment in Islam The External Environment of an Organization General Environment for Managers Technological Environment Socio-Cultural Environment Economic Environment Task Environment for Managers

Environment and the Corporate Culture:

The Concept of the Environment in Islam:
1. Humans and Environment are closer: Islam guides one
to live righteously in every aspect of his or her life, which also implies coexisting righteously with the most common encounter of everyones daythe air, the ground, and food. The Quran declares that the environment of the Earth around us and all of its inhabitants are equally worthy of respect & justice and should not be subject to abuse. Islamic teachings also show why climate change causes such huge moral and ethical stress, since its effects are widespread, hurting the earth and all the species that dwell on it, including humans. There is not an animal (That lives) on the earth, Nor a being that flies On its wings, but (forms Part of) communities like you. Nothing have we omitted From the Book, and they (all) Shall be gathered to their Lord In the end. (6:38) This verse shows that animals are close to human beings. Thus those should not be hurt in any way.

2. All Creatures glorify Allah: The key importance of

these verses is that all of Gods creatures glorify and worship Him. If we are heedless and arrogant in our treatment of these creatures, we would be treating these sound, pure beings unjustly. The seven heavens and the earth, And all beings therein, declare His glory: There is not a thing but celebrates His praise; And yet ye understand not how they declare His glory! Verily He is Oft-Forbearing, Most Forgiving! (17:44) See you not that it is God Whose praises all beings in the heavens and on earth do celebrate, and the birds with wings outspread? Each one knows its own prayer and praise. And God knows well all that they do. (24:41)

3. Humans are a part of Creation: Humans are not the

only beings who traverse this planet, or even this universe, but they are a part of this great intertwining system, and should treat what they interact with in a very respectful manner. They should not commit any waste or excess while dealing with them:
And the earth We have spread out (Like a carpet); set thereon Mountains firm and immovable; And produced therein all kinds of things in due balance. And We have provided therein Means of subsistence, for you And for whose sustenance Ye are not responsible. (15:19-20)

Yusuf Ali gives a very thorough explanation of this verse: Majesty, order, beauty, and harmony are shown in all Gods Creation, but especially in the heavens. And every kind of thing is produced on the earth in due balance and measure. The mineral kingdom supports the vegetable, and they in their turn support the animal, and there is a link of mutual dependence between them. Excess is eliminated. The waste of one is made the food of another, and vice versa. And this is in an infinite chain of gradation and interdependence. We provide for them [other beings on earth] also, as they are Our creatures. But there is due order and balance in the economy of Our universal Plan (Ali 640).

Principles of Environmental Protection in Islam

There are three key principles of the Prophets philosophy of nature. They are based on Quranic teachings and concepts of tawhid (unity), khalifah (stewardship), & amana (trust). A. Tawhid: It essentially means that there is one absolute Creator and that each person is responsible solely to him for their actions. Gods knowledge and power cover everything; therefore, abusing any of his creations, whether a living being or a natural resource, is a sin. Also, all of Gods creations are equal before God, and the Prophet maintained that animals, land, forests, and watercourses should have rights (35:27-28). B. Khilafah: Human beings have a privileged position among Gods creations and are chosen as khalifas, or vice-regents. Therefore, mankind are responsible of caring for Gods earthly creations. The Quran also warns humans against arrogance because we are no better than other creatures (6:38). The Prophet said: The world is sweet and green (alluring) and verily God is going to install you as vicegerent (khalifah) in it in order to see how you act (Sahih Muslim).

As Allahs vicegerent, they are to ensure that:

Environmental growth is sustained at any rate. The Prophet says: even when its the end of time, if you have a seed in your hand, you should plant it. Similarly, humans are meant to share the earths resources. The Prophet said, Muslims share alike in three thingswater, herbage, and fire, and he considered it a sin to withhold water from the thirsty. No one can refuse surplus water without sinning against Allah and against man (Mishkat al Masabih). Components of Environment are to be protected: It is said that Prophet Mohammed, in the Raid of Mutah, said, Never kill a woman, a weak infant, or a debilitated old person; nor burn palms, uproot trees, or pull down houses! (Islamic Web 2006). Dont make your stomach a grave yard of innocent birds and animals (Jabir 2001-2005). It is significantly understood that the Prophet explicitly protected trees from human destruction, even one is not permitted to be imbalanced while killing animals for ones needs.

C) Amanah: According to Islam, human beings are not the

absolute owner of natural elements. They are allowed to enjoy and use them for their benefits, but not to exploit or abuse them in any harmful way. Because these are Allahs Amanah (trust) for them. If they embezzle it they will be held accountable. The Prophet (SAW) told his companions that: i. They should not pollute water, nor should they waste water when taking wudhu, even if they were at a river. ii. They should, at the time of slaughtering animals for food, treat the animal with kindness iii. They should never over-burden an animal with a heavy weight that it will struggle to carry.

Islam & the Environment

Legal & ethical reasons to protect environment
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Preserve its values as a sign of the Creator Components continuous praise of Creator Absolute continuity of Creator (sunnah) Beings worthy of protection & kind treatment (hurmah) Human relationships are established on justice & kindness Universe created by God must be preserved Not for this generation alone; all ages Duty of humans to protect environment, no other creature can

Islam & the Environment

Comprehensive Nature of Ethics Two principles


Virtue part of the whole

Way of life Serves to guide & control Protecting Conserving Sustaining

Natural instinct


Imprinted by God Between good & evil Neutral neither good or bad Complexities


Messengers from God

Political, Social, & Economic

Cannot define correct Not in vacuum

Inspired by God Conscience approves Accepts Valued guidance Desire what God loves & wants

Not on human reason Not on societys mandate Not on economic groups These are based on circumstances

Ethics unalterable as time and space

Islam & the Environment


Enjoy, use, benefit Preserve, protect, promote

Earth, place of peace & rest

All creatures are Gods dependents

Responsible for:
Trees Animals All natural elements

Muhammad prayer for rain

For trees in drought For animals dying for lack of water

Because of elderly, babies, animals

Humans not punished

Humans made of earth (dust) & water Brought forth from earth Earth often named, so important Subservient to humans Receptacle of living & dead Source of purity Place of worship Source of blessing To be cared for by humanity

Islam & the Environment

Sustainable Care of Nature Utilization

Not unnecessary destruction Not to squander Continued use in a sustainable way

Life is maintained with due balance in everything. Every part of Gods creation was carefully made to fit into the general system.

Not only for the current generation

Muhammad (saas)

Act in your life as though you are living forever and act for the Hereafter as if you are dying tomorrow. When doomsday comes if someone has a palm shoot in his hand he should plant it.

Umar ibn al-Khattab & Khuzaymah ibn Thabit

Neglected land Old man close to death Planted land together

5 times a day, prayer starts

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

Submit to Creator of all World sign of the Creator

Islam & the Environment

Practice of Environmental Hima Ethics Grazing area for the livestock of the poor Muslim Communities

To protect wildlife Protection of certain zones/special use areas Harim (hima) Inviolable zones 1. Maintain some land in Wells unused state Natural springs 2. Limited to avoid Underground water inconvenience channels 3. Not built on or cultivated Rivers 4. For the welfare of the Trees planted on barren land people

Managers relationship to the Environment

Islam considers a managers relationship to the environment is central and vital:
a) Who loves Allah, cares about Him and His injunctions will care about His creations, never violate against them, making them objects of his exploitation, taking everything from them, giving them nothing in return. A manager will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment for any adversary he commits to the nature.


Thus if a manager does maintain environmental ethics he will certainly bring the whole existence on earth to danger.

Two Levels of Environmental Protection by Muslim Managers

Islam considers a managers environmental protection into two ways: a) External Environmental Protection. b) Internal Environmental Protection.

The External Environment of any Organization

The external environment comprises two layers:

General Environment for Managers: It represents the outer layer of environment. It influences the organization over time, may not be on day-to-day basis. It has many dimensions, elements: - Technology - Socio-Cultural matters - Economical matters - Legal-Political matters 1. Technology: Though there is no direct term meaning technology in the Quran and Sunnah, still many instances are there in the revealed sources regarding its use; such as: Shipbuilding, Navigation, Metallurgy, Construction, and Information, and Communication Technology - Shipbuilding by Noah: The Quran says: But construct the Ark under Our own eyes and Our revelation, and plea not with Me regarding those who committed injustice, they will surely be drowned. And so, he proceeds to make the Ark. (Hood, 11:37) - Allah also taught Dawood to manufacture battle equipment, It was We who taught him the making of coats of mail for your benefit, to guard you from each others violence: will you then be grateful. (Anbiyah 21:80)

2. Socio-Cultural Environment:

Today, Managers are totally absorbed for material progress at the cost of other things. The Prophet showed through his Madinan experience how should a manager develop society and culture: o Bringing a pagan society to enlightenment o Creating a world-class state in Madinah o Ensuring harmonized co-existence between different communities in Madinah o Ensuring overall development A manager should know how to maintain relationship between: 1 Allah and human beings: 2. human beings and the society: 3 between human beings and other human beings
One must be at peace with earth to be at peach with heaven. Relation between a manager and environment is not that of a manager and prostitute, but of husband and married wife from whom he gets & to whom he is responsible. Man is not fallen in Islam, as it is in Christianity. The first [man]ager and [woman]ager are forgiven for their sin. Human beings are composition of material and spiritual needs, Allah is his ultimate source of values, and he believes in Life after Death.

3. Economical Environment: The Economic policy

of a manager should be characterized with the following traits:
1. Muslims are discouraged to deal in Interest 2. To gain property or wealth by fraud, deceit, theft, or by other means of falsehoods is forbidden. 3. It is particularly despiteful for a guardian to take from the property of an orphan. 4. Forbidden are earnings made through gambling, lotteries, and the production, the sale, and the distribution of alcohol. 5. It is unlawful for Muslims to hoard food and other basic necessities. 6. Everyone should be allowed what is necessary and no more 7. A Muslim should be responsible in his/her spending of money. Extravagance and wastage of matters are strongly discouraged. 8. Payment of Zakat. 9. Muslims are encouraged to constantly offer charity.

3. Legal and Political Environment:

The Malaysian experience may be noteworthy here: It enacted a rule for the provinces for three interactive institutions:

The Council of Muslim Religion: A group who aids and advices the kings or rulers for matters Islamic, rather than Islamic Law The Mufti and Fatwa Committee: To aid and advice the rulers or kings for all matters of Islamic Law The Shariah Court: Comprising three layers of Shariah Subordinate Court, Shariah High Court, and the Shariah Court of Appeal, responsible for the administration of justice.

The Internal Environment: Task Environment for the managers

This refers to inner layer of an organization like routine tasks of the workers and the managers. In Islam there is no high power distance nor low. The Prophet said: Someone who fails to be affectionate to the young, respect elderly, and accords high honour to the scholars, do not belong to me {being a Muslim}. This is obtained through: a) Islamic human motivation b) Practicing endurance (sabr) c) High level of commitment d) Job loyalty through inculcating Ikhlas

Check list
What is the relation between managers and environment? What is the concept of environment in Islam? What are the principles of environmental protection in Islam? How does amanah relates to the environmental protection? What is your responsibility as a manager to the society? Do

you perform any social responsibility? What should an ideal Islamic attitude towards technology? What is your economic duty as a Muslim Manager? Are you engaged in un-Islamic/illegal income?