Ayman Ahwal, a prominent Muslim environmentalist, journalist and filmmaker passed away on August 16, 2011. He was well-known in the United Kingdom for his advocacy work in Birmingham and abroad for his conservation work in Malaysia and Indonesia. His extensive travels through the Muslim world reinforced the Islamic environmental ideals which he shared through numerous articles and short films, documenting how Muslims can live in harmony with nature.
In 2008, he was interviewed by EcoIslam Magazine and was asked about the impact “Islamic Environmentalism” can have on the struggle to save our planet. His response below sums up the principles he lived by and the message he strived to convey through his work. May Allah forgive him and grant him mercy.
This word ‘environmentalism’ sounds like just another distorted pseudo-scientific worldview like atheism, humanism, secularism, Islamism, etc! To be complete (insan al kamil) a Muslim should be as conscious of the natural environment as he is about other temporal preoccupations, as well as his nafs (ego), his ehsan (striving for excellence) and his ibadat (worship). The environment is about loving the Earth. To serve the people is to love Allah; to manage the Earth wisely is to love Allah. It’s like the other face of deen (faith). Without being conscious of the natural world a Muslim is out of balance. How then can he be expected to be khalifah (guardian) and see when nature is out of balance, as it truly is today?