In the recent few decades, there has been a global realisation of the acceleration of the environments deterioration and the understanding that we, as humans, need to preserve our planet for future generations. In Islam, adherents submit themselves to Allah and a personal acceptance of ad-Din, otherwise known as the ‘life transaction’. Allah created humans as part of His original creation; this insinuates that humans are equal partners with nature. This is the belief of The Oneness of Creation; this belief is demonstrated through the teaching ‘Tawheed’. Tawheed is the fundamental statement of the oneness of the creator, from which all else follows. Allah says in the Qur’an (30:25) To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the Earth…and it is He who originates creation”. This quote shows how Muslims believe that the whole of creation, the work of one ‘Originator’, works within a pattern. All of these parts, which include humankind, plays their own diverse roles, and in doing so assists all other parts. The Qur’an guides adherents on the path to moderation, balance and preservation instead of being selfish. It is the path between the extremes, and that all actions should be guided with the spirit of moderation, from consumption and production, to the use of natural resources. On the moderation of all things, Allah says “And We have willed you to be a community of the middle path” (Qur’an 2:143). The principles of moderation, balance and conservation are the core sustainable living as it provides the outlines for discernment, without which there are no limits to wasteful indulgence, affluence and greed.
Question a) ii)
The Islamic teaching of the ‘middle path’ influences the lives of Muslims through the four parts of an ethical system; teaching authority, sacred texts, lived experience and beliefs. The teaching authority differs between the two variants, Shi’ite and Sunni, and according to their structure, the role leaders play and the methods they use to formulate guidelines on contemporary ethical issues. When they formulate guidelines, they are setting an example for adherents to follow, therefore impacting Muslims actions and views. The sacred texts include the Qur’an, Sunna, Hadith and Shari’a. They influence the lives of adherents as they offer guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct and an equitable economic system. It also governs the whole life of a Muslim and is therefore, another vital source of reference for adherents; it teaches how Allah wishes them to live their lives. The Sunna contains stories about the life of Muhammad (PBUH), the lived experience of Islam. Muhammad serves as an example of how adherents should live. Muslims aim to ‘walk in his footsteps’, the Qur’an says that “the messenger of Allah is an excellent example for those who hope in Allah.” (Sura 33:21). The seven articles of faith are called aquida and are believed to have been sent down by Allah. They are the belief in; Allah and His Attributes; the angels of Allah; the Last Day; the Books of Allah; the Prophets- the messenger of Allah; the World to come; and the Power of Allah. The beliefs that Muslims hold, shape how they live their lives and also influences their interpretations and understanding of the world around them. Muslims can turn to each four aspects of their ethical system to assist them throughout their lives, and to help them become closer with Allah.
Friday prayer at the mosque plays a predominate role in each Muslims life. It is also known as Juma'ah Salat and it is the chance for each and every Muslim to just stop, reflects, and also allows a time for spiritual review of their lives. Friday Prayer allows each Muslim to gather together in their local communities, each adherent knows that they do not face the burdens of life alone and gives a sense of belonging. It is compulsory for every Muslim; it exemplifies that adherent’s submission to the Allah's requirements and acceptance to the will of Allah. Friday prayer celebrates the connection between humanity and the divine; it is means for communication with Allah. It allows each adherent to confess any indisgressions to Allah and approach Allah's presence. Friday prayer also celebrates the community of believers. This is important to the individual as the group activities distract each person from their afflictions. It allows all individuals to become part of the Ummah (community) maintaining faith in that place. Extended Response- “Men, women, or schools of thought have reformed and/or revitalised the Islamic tradition” Rabi’a:
* Famous Islamic holy woman
* First to set out the concept of divine love.
* Lived in Basra (Iraq)
* Poor but respected
* First person to speak of the realities of Sufism with a language anyone could understand. * Challenged materialistic views of society (time of decadence-wealth). * Trusted and accepted the will of Allah.
* Muslim message= love, care and equality.