MELAKA, Malaysia – Muslim students in Malaysia are planning weekly sessions to discuss ways of turning their country into a greener place in line with the teachings of their faith.
“Life needs to coexist, the Prophet tells us this and so does the Qur’an,” Radwan Islam, a 20-year-old engineering student at Universiti Teknikal in Melaka, told Bikyamasr.He hopes to use his new technology skills to develop new means of sustainable energy for the country and the world.
“I wouldn’t be able to have this positive sense without Islam and my faith,” he said.
“And I am very excited about the new booklet that uses Islam as a guide for Malaysians to help build the environment around us.
“We have such a beautiful country so hopefully we will not destroy it,” he said.
Like many of his colleagues, Islam was moved by a new booklet in Malaysia which highlights the importance of ecological protection in Islam.
The book, to be published soon in coordination with the World Wildlife Fund-Malaysia, focuses on conserving the environment with an Islamic perspective, citing verses from the Noble Qur’an and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).
Unveiled last May, the book is considered a reference for Muslims, particularly imams, scholars and teachers in efforts to champion environmental issues.
Meeting in weekly gatherings, Islam and his colleagues start their gatherings by reading from the Qur’an.
“This is why we, as Muslims and Malaysians, must unite together to protect all the living beings and conserve what God has granted us,” said Shaheen Rasouli, one of two women part of their weekly gatherings to talk faith and environment.
“This is such a beautiful country and we have to protect it.”
WWF-Malaysia is a national conservation trust which currently conducts more than 75 projects that encompass various environment protection aspects.
Since 1972, WWF-Malaysia has been actively conducting important conservation projects, such as saving endangered animal species such as tigers and turtles, to protecting our highland forests, rivers and seas.
Malaysian officials hope the new book would be a reference for Muslims to assist in efforts to conserve the country’s environment.
“Citing Qur’anic verses, hadiths and parables of prophets as well as presenting comprehensive facts, the handbook can benefit all levels of society in contributing to the protection of the environment and wildlife in Malaysia,” Mustapha Hassan, the Director-General of the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim), said.
Leading the environmental awareness push, Hassan’s organization carries out research on the role of “Islam and Muslims in facing challenges due to the ever-changing global situation.”
“Through this handbook, we would like to emphasize that problems and issues related to the environment and wildlife have relevance to Islamic teachings,” he said.
“It’s just a positive step in Malaysia’s guide to better environmental policy and real life practices.
“And by employing Islam as a function for people to see through the problems that public discourse often has, I believe it will be a major success.”
Muslim youth, on the other hand, believe they can make a real difference in their local communities.
“We have already begun to organize recycling campaigns and have spoken at the university about new ways of protecting Malaysia’s environment,” said Islam.
“God willing, we can achieve so much more in the coming years.”
Working in Islam’s team, students have already dubbed the “environment war,” in reference to their stalwart belief that through Islam, Malaysia can truly be green.
“Without God and the Qur’an, where would we be as a country? The tolerance that the Prophet showed was so important and his love and devotion for the animals is something we all should strive to follow,” said Rasouli, a team member.“That is why I want to be a green warrior for Malaysia.”