KUALA TERENGGANU (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - WWF Malaysia and the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim) are working together to produce a handbook on conserving the environment with an Islamic perspective.
The book, the first of its kind in Malaysia, will be launched in July, said Ikim director-general Datuk Nik Mustapha Hassan.
“This book is produced as a reference for Muslims, particularly leaders who are imam, religious speakers and teachers who can help in the effort to conserve the environment.
“Citing Quranic verses, hadiths and parables of prophets as well as presenting comprehensive facts, the handbook can benefit all levels of society in contributing to the protection of the environment and wildlife in Malaysia,” he said yesterday.
Nik Mustapha said the publication was in line with Ikim’s function, which is to carry out research on the role of Islam and Muslims in facing challenges due to the ever-changing global situation.
“Through this handbook, we would like to emphasise that problems and issues related to the environment and wildlife have relevance to Islamic teachings,” he said.
He said Ikim authors visited two WWF Malaysia project sites – the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex in Gerik, Perak, and Setiu, Terengganu – while working on this book.
“Both locations are habitats for various endangered species including the two national icons, the Malayan tiger and turtle, which will be given particular focus in this handbook,” he said.
Meanwhile, WWF Malaysia chief executive officer, Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma said the project was a continuation of ongoing activities carried out based on the Islamic approach in wildlife species conservation.
He explained that among the efforts made by WWF Malaysia with the local communities and Ikim included the preparation of a Friday sermon text titled “Environmental conservation is our collective responsibility” for 428 mosques throughout Terengganu in 2008.
“Nature conservation is an important aspect that is recognised by many religions around the world,” he said, adding that the world’s five main religions had declared their responsibilities to care for the environment through the Assisi Declaration in 1986.
These religions are Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam. Three others, Baha’ism, Jainism and Sikhism, issued a similar declaration later.