Analysis of Environmental Sustainability in the Holy Quran: Maqasid Framework


  • Azzam Abu-Rayash Maqasid Institute, Toronto
  • Eman Sabbah Maqasid Institute, Toronto



maqasid systems, Islamic worldview, environment, sustainability, conservation


The current global challenges of climate change and sustainable development is rendering the world helpless with numerous failed attempts at addressing these critical issues. Exploring the Islamic worldview of environmental sustainability and conservation therefore is even more vital in these momentous times. This worldview features a purpose-spirited focus by exploring the higher objectives behind environmental sustainability as extrapolated from the Revelation. There are four main themes that are highlighted in the Quran in relation to the environment, including the concepts of corrupting (ifsaad) and bettering (islaah) earth, along with the key objectives of being custodians and inheritors of earth (istikhlaf/ isti’mar/ wirathah). The concept of utilization (taskheer) is coupled with the ‘communities like you (umam) that share the planet and resources with us. Derivatives of the term (fa sa da) have been mentioned 50 times in the Quran, 36 of which reference earth. Custodianship is highlighted in the Quran more than 30 times, with direct reference to earth mentioned 17 times. Facilitation includes many groups such as the sun and the moon, which was emphasized nine times, as well as stars, sea and cattle, each emphasized three times in conjunction with the facilitation theme. Stipulated values include the value of knowledge, respect, preservation, humbleness and responsibility. The collection of verses have been compiled, coupled with references from the Sunnah and Islamic jurisprudence, and analyzed in light of the maqasid methodology. Similarly, human groups can be classified further to reformers, corrupters, believers, non-believers, wrongdoers and hypocrites, while other communities such as animals, plants, mountains and other species fall under groups. Environmental sustainability from an Islamic worldview is defined in a distinctive and holistic manner which combines spiritual, social, economic, moral, honest, intellectual, and religious aspects into one core meaning. Although some creatures are facilitated for humans on Earth, they are communities like human kind which emphasizes that bettering and preserving the balance of Earth is the humans unique responsibility.


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How to Cite

Abu-Rayash, A., & Sabbah, E. (2023). Analysis of Environmental Sustainability in the Holy Quran: Maqasid Framework. Journal of Contemporary Maqasid Studies, 2(1), 61–94.