Islam can be easily designated as an Environ Friendly Religion. Environment is a term which has been derived from an old French word ‘Environ’ which means to be or to extend around, encircle, surround etc. Thus environment is the aggregate of all conditions affecting the existence, growth, and welfare of an organism or group of organisms. In the rubric of environment the following subjects are covered: ambience, climate, circumstances, habitat, milieu, territory, sphere, situation, ecosystem, biosphere, countryside etc. While as ecology covers the subject of relations of organism to one another and to their physical surroundings and, the study of the interaction of people with their environment.
Thus environment implies the complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors that act upon organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form of survival. Moreover, the environmentalism, in the social sciences, implies any theory that concerns the importance of environmental factors in the development of culture and society. Contemporary environmentalists recognize that physical surroundings are only part of a total environment that includes social and economic factors, cultural traditions and reciprocal influences between societies and their environments. Islam has related environmental balance with the social issues through its term mizan. The noun Mizan, usually denoting a "balance", has more general connotation of "measure" or "measuring" by any means whatsoever, in both the concrete and abstract senses of the word.
According to a great Commentator of the Quran, Jalalyn the meaning of Mizan is justice. He says after quoting verse [55:7] And He has raised the heaven and set up the balance: “ He has established justice,[55:8] [declaring] that you should not contravene, that is to say, so that you may not do wrong, with regard to the balance, that [instrument] with which one weighs.[55:9]And observe the weights with justice, fairly, and do not skimp the balance, [do not] decrease [the value of]what is being weighed.[55:10]
Almost all the commentators have interpreted mizan (balance) to mean justice, and '...set the balance" to imply that Allah has established the entire system of the Universe on justice. Had there been no harmony and balance and justice established among the countless stars and planets moving in space, and the mighty forces working in this Universe, and the innumerable creatures and things found here, this life on earth would not have functioned even for a moment. Look at the creatures existing in the air and water and on land for millions and millions of years on this earth. They continue to exist only because full justice and balance has been established in the means and factors conducive to life; in case there occurs a slight imbalance of any kind, every tract of lift would become extinct.
The Quran tells us that as you are living in a balanced Universe, whose entire system has been established on justice, you also should adhere to justice. For if you act unjustly within the sphere in which you have been given authority, and fail to render the rights of others, you would indeed be rebelling against the nature of the Universe; for the nature of this Universe does not admit of injustice and perversion and violation of the rights.
Islam has dealt with these subjects in the context of Sacred Texts and Human Contexts both and a comparative study can be made about the secular and Islamic treatment of environmental issues in modern context of environmental researches.
(Author is Head, Department of Religious Studies, and Central University of Kashmir. Former Director, Shah-i-Hamadan Institute of Islamic Studies, University of Kashmir Srinagar. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org)