Becoming a young Kalifah of the Earth

By Saba Yasin

February 2020

Through my internship at a faith based NGO, I have come to learn considerably more about the environment than I knew there was even the scope to learn. I began my journey first by researching into the environment and climate change, finding myself to learn about topics and events around the planet that I didn't even know were occurring. I found myself drowning in facts and figures such as the fact that has shocked me the most is the Overshoot Day: By July 29th, we used up all the regenerative resources of 2019. From July 30 we started to consume more resources than the planet can regenerate in a year. Facts like this made me realise we were in a global emergency and it felt as if it was a duty not only to me, but to all young people who are the future of this planet, to look after it. This further inspired me to read more into my duties to the Earth and I went on to learn in detail how we as Muslims have been given the role as Khalifahs (Stewards) of the Earth. I learnt that the Qur'an has decreed that as well as enjoying the benefits that it offers, we are stewards of this Earth and entrusted with its care and protection and it is therefore our responsibility to work to a blueprint where man and nature co-exist to benefit each other.

After all this research and learning, I began to think more about how our actions were affecting those in countries around the world and how they may or may not be able to cope with the consequences of what we do. I came to the very important realisation that climate change affected the populations that contributed to it the least, meaning death and displacement to the most vulnerable individuals. Due to this lack of action from those in more privileged positions, death, displacement and disease has become a reality for millions. Through learning all this, I began to develop the ideas for a workshop focused on inviting young Muslims to come and learn about their duties. The workshop has had a positive amount of interest and is set to be an exciting and spiritual experience for young people to come and be inspired, just as I have, to use their faith to make positive changes around climate. I am hoping that this sense of duty to the world around us and its people will inspire young Muslims to give birth to more ideas and more campaigns to aid in keeping our nature life balance alive while I have been inspired to continue working towards providing awareness and education to the next generation of Khalifahs of the Earth so that they can look after what we have been blessed with.

Saba Yasin, Bahu Trust, United Kingdom

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