Islam on Sustainability

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Islam as a complete way of life for those who are spiritual, peace loving and modest, and follow the guidelines of the Supreme Sustainer of nature and beyond. The paper investigates how the sustainability concept can be reinforced through Islam in light with the Quranic guidelines in the Sharia (system of divine law; way of belief and practice) and Sufism (perfectionism, mysticism). The Quranic concepts on the five pillars of Islam such as God-centric faith (monotheism), spirituality, abstinence, charity and pilgrimage to shrines are interpreted in terms of their implications for individual, social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits. The paper depicts the Quran as the tree of sustainability implying that sustainability is a visible entity through the state of the ecosystems health, as a tree is visible through its roots, stems, branches, leaves, fruits and seeds. The Sharia laws highlight the general ways as to how to practice sustainability actions for protection, restoration and conservation of the natural resource-base. Sufism shows how to practice spiritual perfectionism, which informs a sustainability ethics. The Sharia literature, mysticism, sayings and doings of Sufis including the mystic Baul singer-philosophers of Bangladesh are reflected in the discussion. The paper concludes that Islamic spirituality can inform and enrich the sustainability concept and contribute towards more sustainable practical actions.

Keywords: Spirituality, Sharia, Sufism, Sustainable Development
Stream: Cultural Sustainability
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Islam on Sustainability

Prof. Dora Marinova

Associate Professor and Head of School, Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy (ISTP), Murdoch University
Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Dora Marinova is an Associate Professor and Head of ISTP, Murdoch University where she teaches in the areas of demography and women and development. She is currently supervising 15 PhD students on topics related to sustainability. Her research interests cover technology policy and development, sustainable business and partnerships. She has published over 60 refereed journal articles and book chapters and has conducted research for Western Australian and Commonwealth Government departments.

Dr Amzad Hossain

Honourary Researcher, ISTP, Murdoch University

Amzad Hossain is a honorary research fellow at ISTP. He is also a Honorary Professor at the Institute for Natural Resource Management of the University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, Western Australia. Hossain publishes papers and popular articles reflecting Baul philosophers’ views in regard with sustainable development, sustainability, renewable energy, values and spirituality, and reflective education. As a Visiting Professor, Hossain also teaches and supervises post-graduate students at Rajshahi University in Bangladesh.

Popie Hossain-Rhaman

PhD student, ISTP, Murdoch University

Popie is currently undertaking her PhD studies at ISTP, Murdoch University exploring the issues of values education in achieving sustainable development.

Ref: S08P0050