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Islam has an answer for everything...apparently

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didje View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote didje Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Islam has an answer for everything...apparently
    Posted: 01 December 2011 at 3:00am
Hello,
I was watching some interviews on youtube with various imams and many of them said something along the lines of "Islam has an answer for everything", that the Koran + Hadith contains the ideas necessary to solve every global problem.
However, the same imams did not really talk about any global problem so I am unclear which ones they mean are what solutions Islam proposes to these.
For example, some current problems that spring to mind are:
1. Disposal of nuclear waste
2. Drilling in deep water and potential pollution caused thereby.
3. Falling water tables in many countries (particularly Muslim ones!)
4. Sterilization of agricultural land due to over intensive use of artificial pesticides and fertilizers.
5. Passing peak oil production
6. Overpopulation
7. Deforestation
8. Salinization of agricultural land due to poor irrigation practices (again especially in Muslim countries)

And many more. To my knowledge, no current country calling itself Islamic has been able to propose solutions to the above problems, so is that because they are not following what the Koran says on the matter, if so, what does the Koran and Hadith have to say on these matters, some of which potentially threaten the future of human life on this planet?

Thanks,
Diarmuid
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Ghazzali View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghazzali Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 December 2011 at 6:59pm
May peace be on the guided ones. The Quran tells everybody to be honest, to use wisdom, and to help others. If all the politicians and the scientists and administrators and the people of the world were honest, wise and willing to help others, do you think these problems would exist?  Also remember, the Quran says that everyone has to taste death. Civilization will come to an end. Otherwise, how can we have the day of judgment? So may be Allah is just  preparing the ground for destruction of human civilization. The future of human life on this planet was destined for destruction.It is God's promise. Didn't you know it?
The world is a dangerous place to live in, not because of the bad people, but because of the good people who does not do anything about it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote schmikbob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 December 2011 at 11:08pm
That's an interesting sentiment Ghazzali!  Unfortunately, sentiment akin to "put your head between your knees and kiss your -self- goodbye" is not the answer Didje is looking for.  Try a real answer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote didje Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 December 2011 at 12:05am
Thank you for your kind reply, Ghazzali.

Its true the Quran tells everybody to be honest, to use wisdom and to help others. However, it is obvious, when you look at history objectively (without any ideas of a fictitious "Golden Age" when everything was perfect - the people who assert this have not studied history) that at no time were all politicians, scientists, administrators and peoples of the world (or even the people of a single community, Muslim or otherwise) honest, using wisdom and trying to help others.

Nobody knows what form the day of Judgement shall take exactly, but my understanding is that it will be the result of supernatural intervention in the world, not merely man's errors, because man's errors in theory could be corrected and then the Day of Judgement averted, whereas if the Day of Judgement is destined, then nothing man does could cause it to be averted or even postponed by as a much as a single day.

Also, just because everyone will taste death does not mean that we should blindly accept the results of manmade problems (which generally affect the poor people and weak people Islam is supposed to protect more than the wealthy people) which we can change. If a meteor was to hit the earth, you could say that it is Allah's will and there is nothing we can do about it, but when people die in a famine due to bad irrigation practices brought on by people making ill-informed or corrupt decisions, that is man's will,  not Allah's and there is no reason why we cannot oppose man's will - someone who is honest, wise and wants to help others is obliged to do so, in the same way as they are obliged to resist an invasion which unjustly kills the inhabitants of a country. For example, if it is right to resist Israeli occupation of Palestine, it is right to resist Turkish damming of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which result in fertile silt not reaching Syria or Iraq, thus affecting those countries' fertility, which could in the longterm bring about famines of a scale which would kill far more people than an invasion. If you look throughout history, you will notice that famines generally are more destructive than wars, and many of them are very much man-made. I appreciate your motto that good people need to stop the bad people in this world from doing bad things, so I imagine you agree with me on these points.

I get frustrated with the Imams saying "The Quran has the answer to everything", because when I think of many specific very important questions about manmade evils the Quran could be supposed to have the answer to, the only answer it gives, I am told, is a fairly general one, such as is found in every holy scripture, whereas in relation to some other matters, such as when are the precise circumstances when you are allowed to break your fast at Ramadan, the answers are very complete and detailed. Why not give some complete, detailed answers to the problems of deforestation, pest control, soil degradation or the dangers of overpopulation, which seem to me to be more important for someone who wants to help others than the details of the Ramadan fast-breaking?

One of the points put forward about the superiority of Islam over other religions is that it is supposed to cover everything in life, whereas the other religions do not, however in relation to those matters I have mentioned in my post, it does not actually provide anything more than the other religions, as they all say: be honest, have wisdom, care for others (or maybe "care for Allah's creation", which is again very general and can be interpreted by many people as "exploit the Earth's resources as long as there is a profit to be made and then dump all the waste...wherever, who cares!"). Until I hear some precise details to the contrary, I therefore have to conclude that when the Imams use this kind of argument they are merely repeating what they have been taught but have not actually reflected upon, or they are deliberately trying to mislead others and themselves, because they are too scared of the consequences to their own beliefs of admitting the possibility that this particular argument in favour of Islam is without foundation.

I am sorry to sound a bit confrontational, this is a question which frustrates me a lot. It is an issue I have with every religion, not merely Islam. Not one religion appears to have an answer to it.


Edited by didje - 19 December 2011 at 12:16am
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Jimi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2011 at 8:39am
1. We must remember that no matter what allah's will is done. So nuclear waste does not kill or harm anyone who would not be killed or harmed no matter what. Therefore we don't need to worry abut it.

2. See 1

In fact all for these can be solved by simply having faith in Allah and knowing there is no way to get around the will of allah
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chrysalis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2011 at 11:05pm
Originally posted by didje didje wrote:

Hello,
I was watching some interviews on youtube with various imams and many of them said something along the lines of "Islam has an answer for everything", that the Koran + Hadith contains the ideas necessary to solve every global problem.
However, the same imams did not really talk about any global problem so I am unclear which ones they mean are what solutions Islam proposes to these.


Hi Didje,

The gist of what the Imam said was that if you follow the guiding principles laid down in Qur'an and Sunnah, you can find a solution to anything. That doesn't mean there are verbatim solutions and formulas written in the Qur'an, but that we should follow the ethical & moral foundation laid down by God & his prophets. We take it from there and use our brains too...

Quote For example, some current problems that spring to mind are:
1. Disposal of nuclear waste


Again, you will not find ready-made solutions - but you will find guidelines. For example many countries will dispose/bury nuclear waste in deserts or land where people are economically poorer or less aware. Ignoring the fact that the nuclear waste could still effect other people or animals. The 'not in my backyard' principle. In Islam however, you cannot do that... you cannot potentially expose other people or living things to harm for your own interest. The Prophet said, 'choose for others what you would choose for yourself' - so my nuclear disposal techniques should adhere to that principle. Now common sense also needs to step in, if you are producing more nuclear waste than you can handle, maybe you need to rethink your strategies and find safer alternatives.

Quote 2. Drilling in deep water and potential pollution caused thereby.


Many of Islamic guidelines are of a preventive nature. If followed in daily lifestyle, they can prevent many issues from propping up. For example the Prophet spoke against extravagance and wastage... The Qur'an says that a person should not waste resources, if we all followed that, our consumption would not overcome our production.

 "It is He Who produceth gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in variety): eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: for Allah loveth not the wasters." Al-Anaam, Chapter #6, Verse #141)

Also I find it very interesting that the Prophet (pbuh) encouraged muslims to walk to their masjid, saying that there was greater reward in walking to the masjid than taking transport - and now environmentalists suggest that walking or cycling to nearby places is better than taking personal transport! So if we walked to nearby places than driving not only would we be healthier, but our fuel consumption would decrease! Reduce fuel consumption - we may not need to drill that many oil wells.


Quote 3. Falling water tables in many countries (particularly Muslim ones!)

I don't know what facts you have to support that water tables fall 'particularly in Muslim' countries... but...

Again - prevention is better than cure. Prophet Muhammad even told us not to waste water during ritual ablutions! It is disliked (which means reward is reduced) if a person over-uses water during ablution before prayer! If Muslims (and non-muslims) religiously followed the advise and didn't leave taps running while they made ablution (or brushed their teeth) we wouldn't be running out of water. [Ofcourse this is just an example, the guiding principle here is not to waste precious water!]

There are many many Hadith (statements of Prophet) and Qur'anic verses in Islam that are environmental in nature and try to instill ethical/efficient behavior in Muslims.

Quote 4. Sterilization of agricultural land due to over intensive use of artificial pesticides and fertilizers.

Again, over-consumption. How many tonnes of food do we throw away each year? Islamic solution is to check yourself and not waste or be extravagant. There is a hadith in which somebody asked, what should I do if a mouse falls in my tin of clarified butter?  (Its a semi-solid). The Prophet said, throw away the mouse and scoop out the contents surrounding the mouse... utilize the rest. [Makes sense since not all the butter is contaminated, being a semi-solid). How many of us today would throw the entire contents away because we can afford another one?

In many muslim communities throwing away food is almost considered sinful. Even stale bread, which has no use is grinded up and fed to the birds (sparrows/crows) or pets. But nowadays even pets will be given store-bought commercially produced (not necessarily healthier) food.

Quote 6. Overpopulation


According to the dictionary, overpopulation is:

"Excessive population of an area to the point of overcrowding, depletion of natural resources, or environmental deterioration."

Many people assume having a high birthrate is bad... not necessarily. Look at the most 'overpopulated' nations of the world and their impact on the world (environmentally) and compare it to the developed nations with lower birth-rates... they have a bigger impact on the global environment and they are the ones depleting our natural resources! The solution would be to ask these developed nations to stop over-consuming and live simpler less extravagant lives. I *think* USA is the country that contributes the most to global pollution, followed closely by China... China may have taken over now. But my point is that despite China being overpopulated it has less environmental impact than the USA. Reason being that average consumer in USA consumes and wastes far more. So what I'm getting at is this, if by overpopulation you mean high birth-rate, that is not necessarily a bad thing - as long as our natural resources meet our needs. The real problem lies with wastage & over-consumption.

Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful. - Qur'an 17:27


Quote 7. Deforestation


Islamic solution: do not cut down trees needlessly unless they are for your immediate need. It is also forbidden to cut down trees that produce fruit from which animals and humans benefit from. It also touches on another important aspect in Islam: harming wildlife... which is forbidden unless for necessity. There is a hadith in which the Prophet was displeased with a companion for removing bird chicks from a nest - and made him replace the chicks. If you cannot even distress a mother bird for your whims, how can you as a muslim cut down acres of land thus killing millions of animals in the process?

Which brings us to another important point... Toilet Paper... how many tonnes of toilet paper do we flush down? Thats your trees right there. Muslims use water to clean themselves (religiously preferred). Less water is used to clean yourself in the toilet than is used in the production of toilet paper, not to mention no trees need to be cut simply so they can be flushed down the toilet. One might say that you are still using water, but the over-all impact on environment is less compared to toilet-paper production (and disposal).


Ok, I think I went over my post-limit right now. Will post other responses later inshAllah.

"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghazzali Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 December 2011 at 5:09pm

I believe Chrysalis answered most of your arguments didje, so I am not going to repeat those. One thing I would like to tell, the focus should be on the quran, not the imam. It is Allah who says in the quran “And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims.”(16:89) So, the imam is not telling you this from his own thoughts, but he is merely referring to the quran.

Originally posted by schmikbob schmikbob wrote:

That's an interesting sentiment Ghazzali!  Unfortunately, sentiment akin to "put your head between your knees and kiss your -self- goodbye" is not the answer Didje is looking for.  Try a real answer.

Firstly, your strategy of terming an opponent’s logic as a “sentiment” is an age-old hypocritical tool used by your ideological predecessors, although I must admit agnostics are a bit more honest than atheists. At least they do not deny the existence of God.

Secondly, I never said that just because the world is going to be destroyed, we should not solve the problems of humanity. Again, you followed the footsteps of your ideological predecessors by jumping to a conclusion too early. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said in a hadith: “If you have a sapling, if you have the time, be certain to plant it, even if Doomsday starts to break forth.”(al-Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir, iii, 30). So, muslims should try to save human civilization even though we know it is destined for destruction. Why? Because it is an order from Prophet, and not because it will stop doomsday.

Thirdly, I am not here to please everybody. I am not interested whether my answer is the one didje is “looking for”. I will present my views and if it satisfies you, fine and if it doesn’t, then it’s still fine. Some people just want to ask questions; they are not interested to find answers. They are not looking for any answers. Their obsession is asking questions.

Originally posted by didje didje wrote:

the same imams did not really talk about any global problem so I am unclear which ones they mean are what solutions Islam proposes to these.”

Didje is not looking for answers. If he was logical, he would have said that “I know Islam has solutions for many problems, but surely not all.” But not a single solution proposed by Islam came to his mind. He is just happy to ask questions, and he is not looking for answers.

May Allah show us the right path.



Edited by Ghazzali - 22 December 2011 at 5:17pm
The world is a dangerous place to live in, not because of the bad people, but because of the good people who does not do anything about it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xx__Ace__xx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2012 at 8:41pm
Originally posted by didje didje wrote:

Why not give some complete, detailed answers to the problems of deforestation, pest control, soil degradation or the dangers of overpopulation, which seem to me to be more important for someone who wants to help others than the details of the Ramadan fast-breaking?

Muslims call it the Dua. Meaning supplication. When God does exist, that's the perfect solution, because when he wills, no one logically can be a better problem solving source than him.

If Allah gave out scientific formulas through the Quran, Islam being the true religion would be silly obvious, and there'd be no point of the life-being-a-test-for-searching-truth aspect. Which is why Allah's left signs for the open-minded.
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