How is climate change affecting Muslim Communities?

Climate change is an issue that is endemic within the Muslim world. Drought-affected areas from Morocco to Iran are not often talked about amongst such communities where it seems attitudes are primarily apathetic toward the cause. With temperatures rising and water evaporating at rapid rates, it is imperative that humanitarian and development organisations act now and act fast.

With extreme weather changes and agricultural dilemmas, the current economic climate will mean that such harsh realities cause land conflict and further migration from the countryside to cities. There is thus a strong case for faith-based organisations to step in and address climate change as a moral and ethical crisis.

HAD developed the Action Climate Change (ACC) project in 2018 and are pushing through with developments in increasing eco-friendly initiatives to conserve energy for a more sustainable workforce. Innovative practices which have been spread to IR India, Bangladesh and Ethiopia are leading by example. We can also see the increase in focusing on a transition to a more sustainable society within the UK, for example, the new eco-friendly Cambridge mosque.

climate change affecting Muslim Communities

Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad, champion of the new Cambridge eco-mosque, Dean of Cambridge Muslim College and an active spokesperson for a greener, more eco-friendly spaces for worship commented on the need for a realisation of being custodians of the earth, as proposed within the Islamic faith:

‘Given that the Muslim world is located in latitudes which are particularly vulnerable to climate change it is evidently time that Muslim leaders everywhere reverted to the key Quranic teachings on the sanctity and inherent value of the natural environment.’

It’s imperative, therefore, that organisations such as HAD and Islamic Relief Worldwide are reacting with their action on climate change campaign and rolling out initiatives such as developing a carbon footprint strategy in IR India and promoting methods to reduce consumption of water and energy, for more eco-friendly travel.’

The Cambridge eco-mosque advocates a similar frame of thinking, with core Islamic values at the heart of its project:

‘A secular perspective, focussed only on nature’s value for human survival, will not be enough to protect the natural world; only a religious vision which sees the inherent sacredness of God’s creation, and understands humanity as responsible custodians, is likely to muster enough energy to successfully resist the greed and incomprehension by which human beings are currently wrecking the biosphere.

With this realisation, the Cambridge Muslim community decided that its new mosque, opened in April of this year, would showcase the latest green technologies, to underline Islam’s commitment to protecting nature and conserving the limited resources of the planet which we share. The design includes photovoltaic arrays, rainwater harvesting, air-source heat pumps, and zero-carbon heating and ventilation systems.’

With this vision in mind, the Muslim world must act now to encourage and increase these habits, leading the way for future generations as inheritors of the earth.

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We have turned over 35 years of on-the-ground experience into award-winning capacity building and leadership training for humanitarian actors, professionals and practitioners

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Increasing changes in the global climate are having a catastrophic impact on our planet, particularly within developing countries. Discover our research priorities.

Written By: Aneesah Iqbal

Marketing and Communications Assistant