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God Will Kick Us Out If We Don't Pay Rent - Abdal Hakim Murad (Video)

British Shaykh and Cambridge professor Abdal Hakim Murad briefly discusses environmental lessons behind Qur'an stories of fruitful lands...

British Shaykh and Cambridge professor Abdal Hakim Murad briefly discusses environmental lessons behind Qur'an stories of fruitful lands and flooded gardens.
There was for [the tribe of] Saba' in their dwelling place a sign: two [fields of] gardens on the right and on the left. [They were told], "Eat from the provisions of your Lord and be grateful to Him. A good land [have you], and a forgiving Lord."

But they turned away [refusing], so We sent upon them the flood of the dam, and We replaced their two [fields of] gardens with gardens of bitter fruit, tamarisks and something of sparse lote trees.
Qur'an, 34:15-16
A transcript of the video is provided below (5 mins).


Video link + http://youtu.be/9LPuRnWC1LI

This Flood of Arim (Arabic: Say'l al-Arim) is something that historians do refer to. There's Marib (read about the dam), which was the capital of Saba, which is still a town in Yemen, and there are remains of an enormous earth embankment. It used to provide irrigation for the valley below and at some time it burst due to a flood and has not yet been reconstructed since.

Say'l al-Arim refers to the immensity of the event and to this day has become a metaphor in Arabic for a type of tremendous calamity.

Saba was a city in which people were prosperous but lost it. Their fields were replaced with tamarisks and weak lote trees. As we read the Qur'an we know now this turns into a punishment story, because we are told why this took place.
[By] that We repaid them because they disbelieved. And do We [thus] repay except the ungrateful?
And We placed between them and the cities which We had blessed [many] visible cities. And We determined between them the [distances of] journey, [saying], "Travel between them by night or day in safety."
Qur'an, 34:18
And this again is another reminder of how relevant scriptural text is to our contemporary situation. What of the ppl of Saba. What has happened ot them? They had environmental decertification. Degredation. Why? Because of their lack of belief. Their lack of Shukr (gratefulness).

There is also the Qur'anic story of Prophet Saleh's she-camel, whose chosen people known as Thamud were punished. This is another case when the Thamud's hamstringing of the she-camel brought about Allah's chastisement.

Qur'an is extraordinary in its linkage of divine favour to our due custodian of natural environment. These verses are important for modern Muslim environmentalists around the world too-and it's a growing movement, alhamdulillah (all praise belongs to God).
We are told to look at these as sources as an example and warnings - that if we don't give thanks, they will be taken away.
These gifts are multifarious. So many kinds of blessings exist in the things we have to eat, climatic blessings. So many life forms and so many species, etc - still, Allah says they can be taken away if we are not being grateful.

Just as a landlord kicks you out if you allow the earth to degenerate, and you don't pay rent.
Our rent on earth is to give shukr on Earth to Allah. To give thanks to the one Allah.
We need to remember this, and make sure we are are foremost rather than being behind in green technologies and sustainable issues.

A mosque that isn't into the environment and aware of the surroundings is more or less rejecting these Qur'anic stories.

If you neglect your environment, Allah says He will punish people if you don't glorify and remember this. Global warming may just be a sign of things to come.

But alhamdulillah, things are changing: (For Iftaar) I met a Pakistani guy who works for an energy supplier and is replenishing the national grid.

More Muslims are taking things seriously and insha-Allah (God willing) they will become more numerous.

Main image + © Mustafa Davis

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