Islam Supports Conservation

Experts have said Islam includes specific values, cultures and traditions that touch environmental issues relevant and applicable to today’s world. Fachruddin M. Mangunjaya from Conservation International Indonesia said Islamic regulations included environmental conservation as theJakarta Post explains.

He said the Prophet Muhammad introduced a system called hima, a protection zone, in Islamic conservation law that permitted the creation of environmental reserves for forests, plants, wildlife and endangered species.

“For example hima could be created for bees on a seasonal basis, which would prohibit the grazing of domestic animals during the flower season,” Fachruddin said during a discussion on Islam and conservation at the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University on Thursday.

Fachruddin said the Prophet forbade people from polluting three places: roads, the shade of a tree and riverbanks.

Because of this, each of those three places was protected by the system known as harim, he said.

“The harim area for a river extends to half the river’s width on both banks and the harim area for a tree extends from the tree for a distance of two-and-a-half to three-meters in all directions,” he said.

“There is also a forbidden zone for wells or water sources, in which the zone is at least 20 meters in all directions.”

Fachruddin said there were regulations on what kinds of food Muslims could eat and should not eat.

He said Muslims must not eat animals with fangs and claws.

“If we apply this, we will be able to preserve our endangered predators, such as tigers and eagles,” he said.

The university rector Komaruddin Hidayat said Muslims should follow guidelines the Prophet had set out, including planting trees and converting infertile land to fertile soil.

He said during the pilgrimage 0to Mecca and Madina in Saudi Arabia, Muslims were forbidden to kill or destroy any living creature, including a mosquito, or to break the branch of a tree.

“This has left the environment of Saudi Arabia undamaged, even though those two holy cities are visited by pilgrims all year round,” he said.

A number of high-ranking officials from Afghanistan attended the discussion because they said they wanted to learn about nature conservation practices in Indonesia.

Sultan Muhammad Awrang, a member of the natural resources and environment committee of the Afghanistan parliament, said the war that had lasted for the last three decades in his country had damaged the environment and human resources in environmental sectors.

He said the visit to Indonesia was related to the Afghan government’s plan to restore their national parks.

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