Colloquium on the Evolution of Islamic Law on the Environment

An international team of Islamic scholars met their counterparts in Jakarta, Indonesia on 21 & 22 June, to engage in a Colloquium on the Evolution of Islamic law on the Environment.

The international team which was led by Othman Llewellyn, one of the leading environmental planners in Saudi Arabia, engaged with their counterparts in Indonesia who were led by people of the calibre of Ahsin Sakho Muhammad the Rector of Institute of Qur’anic Sciences and Prof. Tengku Muslim Ibrahim the Chairman of the Assembly of Islamic Scholars (MPU) in Aceh.

This colloquium was the result of a collaboration between the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences based in Birmingham, England and the Ministry of the Environment in Indonesia supported by Conservation International Indonesia and WWF Indonesia.

This colloquium was possibly the first time when eminent Islamic scholars and activists from as far a field as Africa, Europe, the Middle and Far East came together to discuss what is now developing into a specialism coming to be known as Islamic Natural Resource Management.

The consensus at the colloquium was that :

  • The Qur’anic texts and the hadith literature provided ample evidence of the depth of the ecological/environmental teachings available to Muslims.
  • This needs to be organised into a format that could rapidly be spread and absorbed by Muslim populations throughout the world.
  • Further events of this nature need to be organised especially to inform and empower all Islam teachers from the basic madrasa level to the classical seminaries to disseminate this knowledge.
  • Other countries should follow the Indonesian example and publish more material on this subject.

Participants at the colloquium also felt that as Islam has so much to offer that is positive in alleviating the environmental crisis Muslim themselves should now come to the fore and join others in saving the planet for future generations.