By Hana Namrouqa – Apr 23,2017

AMMAN — Global warming, climate change, desertification, pollution and the exploitation of natural resources all constitute growing threats to the survival of humankind, Sharia (Islamic law) scholars said on Sunday.

Speaking during a two-day conference on Islamic Sharia perspective on water and the environment, the scholars expressed their religious views on environmental issues, highlighting the importance they attach to protecting nature and preventing further damage.

Mohammad Khatib, Dean of the Sharia faculty at the University of Jordan, highlighted that water was mentioned in 63 verses in the Holy Koran, noting that it is referred to as a “blessing” whenever it is mentioned.

He also noted that the Koran warns against the “doom of life” if water became unfit for human consumption.

“Water and the environment were also mentioned several times in the Hadith [sayings of Prophet Mohammad]. Hadith indicate that water is a basic human right and prohibits the wasting, pollution or monopolising of water,” the scholar continued.

Some scholars also attributed a weakness of faith and low moral values as the primary causes of today’s environmental crises, linking individual and societal morals to harmful environmental behaviours.

While many experts tend to attribute today’s environmental challenges and problems to industrial, legal or commercial reasons, the scholars argued that the main reason lies in people’s behaviour and actions towards the environment.

Meanwhile, president of the University of Jordan, Azmi Mahafzah, stressed that environmental crises are no less critical than political or economic crises, noting that environment protection was a shared global responsibility.

“People’s adoption of high moral values and principles has a very positive impact on safeguarding the environment,” Mahafza noted at the event.

The conference, organised by the Sharia Faculty at the University of Jordan and the Centre for Islamic Theology at the German Munster University, in cooperation with the German international cooperation agency, aims to employ Sharia teachings on water and nature to urge people to adopt behaviours that protect the environment.