CAIRO - Highlighting the importance of ecological protection in Islam, a new book in Malaysia is focusing 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).This book is produced as a reference for Muslims, particularly leaders who are imam, religious speakers and teachers who can help in the effort to conserve the environment, Mustapha Hassan, director-general of the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim), told Malaysia Star on Monday, May 21.
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."
Prepared by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia, the book, to hit the shelves in July, is meant to be a reference for Muslims, particularly imams, scholars and teachers in efforts to champion environmental issues.
Mustapha said the publication is in line with Ikim's function, which is to carry 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.
Preparing for the book, Ikim authors visited two WWF Malaysia project sites for endangered species.
These sites include the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex in Gerik, Perak, and Setiu, Terengganu.
Both locations are habitats for various endangered species including the two national icons, the Malayan tiger and turtle, which will be given particular focus in this handbook, Mustapha said.
Islam & Environment The book is part of ongoing efforts to highlight Islamic teachings on conserving wildlife species.Among the efforts made by WWF-Malaysia with the local communities, together with IKIM include the preparation of a Friday sermon text entitled Environmental conservation is our Collective Responsibility' for 428 mosques throughout Terengganu in 2008, WWF-Malaysia's Chief Executive Officer, Dato' Dr. Dionysius Sharma, told WWF website.
In Jeli, Kelantan, we started a similar initiative with a sermon entitled, Animals are creatures that need protection' which was delivered by a local Imam.
A workshop which was participated by Imams and religious teachers was also organized in Perak, he added.
WWF-Malaysia (World Wildlife 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.