9. The Government and Environmental Protection

Islam terms government as a political power responsible for the protection of its citizen’s welfare, as well as planning and executing their affairs.

This guidance or protection is comprised of all their different endeavors, politically, financially, socially and health wise…etc., in order to preserve the system of life, which includes wealth, personality, mind and body.

The Islamic scholars summarized this concept as a major component in the Islamic social system, and it has a more extensive and universal principle, which is this: Islam came in order to protect man’s interests and repel corruption on earth. Likewise, these principles work towards organizing natural laws, the law of “La Dharara Wa La Dhirara”, which is a Prophetic text that works in man’s legislative life.

Therefore, there are intellectual, as well as legislative rules or principles which empower the government, on one hand, and on the other hand, oblige it toward environmental protection, and these are: “La Dharara Wa La Dhirara” Islam came in order to protect man’s interests and repel corruption from the earth.

The Islamic government is responsible for the protection of its citizen’s welfare and their general interests, as the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) said, “The leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.” According to these principles, a government, in the Islamic point of view, is responsible for preserving the environment, as well as protecting nature, because the preservation of man’s environment and likewise, the animal, plant and natural environment is the most clear aspect of man’s material life.

Thus, these intellectual and legislative rules empower the Islamic government to prohibit the cutting of forests, or destroying fruit trees, or hunting animals where their number is less, so as to preserve their existence…etc.

It is also responsible for preventing or prohibiting any act which is harmful to the environment, like using poisonous and toxic substances, or which carry dangerous and contagious microbes, or like building industries which cause pollution inside the city and deposit human and animal waste products near human habitations and communities.

Because all these are harmful and destructive to the life system and spread corruption on the earth after it was well-planned and built, the Holy Qur’an prohibits this, in this statement:

وَلَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلَاحِهَا وَادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا ۚ إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

And do no mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order…”(7:56)