Islamic centre in India issues fatwa to combat climate change

In a significant move to address the scorching heatwave plaguing northern India, the Islamic Centre of India, a leading Islamic institution, has issued a fatwa (religious ruling) urging Muslims to protect trees and crops. 

This non-binding edict comes as the country grapples with temperatures exceeding 45°C (113°F) and a rising death toll from heatstroke.

“Every Muslim must ensure no green trees and crops are set on fire,” declared Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahal, chair of the Islamic Centre, emphasizing the Quran’s teachings on environmental stewardship. 

The fatwa, published in Urdu and Hindi, explicitly forbids burning trees and crops, calling it a “grave sin.”

Mahal further encouraged religious leaders to integrate environmental messages into their sermons, promoting the care of existing trees. 

“Instead of merely planting a sapling symbolically, it is more meaningful to take care of existing plants and trees,” he stated. 

He also highlighted the importance of protecting water bodies from pollution.

This initiative by the Islamic Centre coincides with a recent court ruling in Rajasthan, one of the worst-hit states, urging the government to declare a national heatwave emergency. 

The court criticized the authorities’ inadequate response to the extreme weather.

India’s scorching summers are not new, but scientific evidence points towards climate change intensifying heatwaves, making them longer, more frequent, and more severe. 

Experts warn that human-induced climate change is a significant factor in India’s current heat crisis and a stark warning that demands immediate action.

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