The Friday Message - Issue No: 337 - Our House is on Fire!

earthSalamun alaykum,

Our house is on fire:

This was the message conveyed by Greta Thunberg a Swedish child aged 16 demanding world leaders to tackle Global warming. This phenomenon is realised locally in the UK this week with the mercury climbing. According to the Met Office this rise is expected to continue doing so with the heat wave temperatures set to be the hottest on record as the week rolls on.

Challenges to our home, the earth:

The issues of pollution, green-house effect, depletion of ozone layer and destruction of the environment is having a severe impact on our home; the earth. The serious effects of climate change are evident through hurricanes, droughts, floods and other extreme climatic events. Its impact on our daily lives is becoming increasingly apparent. Internationally the ecological crisis is threatening the very future of humans.

What then is our response?

Allah SWT has created the universe in all its diversity, richness and vitality: the stars, the sun and moon, the earth and all its communities of living beings. All these reflect and manifest the boundless glory and mercy of their Creator. All created beings by nature serve and glorify their Maker, all bowing to their Lord’s will. The Noble Qur’an declares that a purpose for creation of man on Earth is to be a khalifa –steward- of Almighty Allah on this earth.
“Behold, your Lord said to the angels: "I am going to place a vicegerent on earth." (Sura Al-Baqara 2:30). The verse underscores the purpose for creation of man; to be a steward of God on this earth.
The response of human beings is to work the greatest good we can for all the species, individuals, and generations of God’s creatures. To highlight our responsibility towards the Earth a tradition from the Noble Prophet SAWW states, “Safeguard the Earth because it is your mother…..”

Stewardship: a great responsibility: it’s not part-time:

As stewards of this planet earth, man has been charged with an important assignment. This is to tend well this earth on which we live as our home. Just as one is obliged to respect one’s mother and protect her from any harm so too is the duty of safeguarding the Earth. This responsibility is not part time. It is such that it is not limited to a certain age or time. Care for the Earth is one that is full time; it is a life time responsibility.

Creation of our home: spread of earth day:

The 25th Dhulqa'dah commemorates Dahwul Ardh –spread of the earth. Alluding to the spread of the earth, the Noble Qur’an states,“…and after that He (Allah) spread out the earth.” (Sura An-Naazi-at. 79:30).
On this day Allah SWT spread out all the land on the earth from the point under the Ka’aba for the advantage of human beings. In another tradition it is reported that the first Rahmah- Divine Blessing-descended on this very day. It is also the day when Prophet Adam was sent to Earth. This day is also the birthday of two great Prophets, Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), and Prophet Isa bin Maryam (Jesus), peace be upon them.
The occasion Dahwul-Ardh has been celebrated by Muslims for more than 1400 years now for men to reflect on their role on the earth. As Khalifa/ Trustee /Steward on this earth man has an obligation to protect and conserve the environment.

What is your role?

As stewards of the earth Dahwul Ardh presents an opportunity to appreciate our ‘home’ -the earth. It highlights the essential role for a steward to practice conservation of our environment. This environment is for both the physical dimension (conservation water, energy, environment etc) and spiritual dimension by conserving taqwa). By fulfilling this role of conservation, one does ibadah; an act of worship. The teachings from the Quran and Ahadith of Ahlul Bayt a.s. encourage us (using a modern term) to ‘be green’.

Opportunity for reflection:

In observing Dahwul Ardh on Monday 29th July, 2019 ponder over this God given blessing of the Earth; our home. What is the earth? Why was the earth created? Do we benefit from the earth for the purpose it was created? Are we making the earth a shelter of peace, or an arena of disunity, war and pollution? What is the remedy for these crises?
Just as in the way one takes good care of the home for which one looks forward to returning to after a hard day of work, how well does one take good care of the bigger home – our planet earth- in which our small dwelling that we call as home is situated? How are you involved in putting out the fire from our home?

Let Dahwul ardh be a celebration of true faith and concern, and a celebration of thanking Ar Rahman, Al Khaaliq -the All-Merciful Creator- who created the world- our home for our own good. Make it a day to firmly resolve in preserving the earth and utilizing it as a means for a good and eternally secure Hereafter.

Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah.

Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat