Islam and the environment within the context of globalisation and South Africa.
Karodia, Mahomed Sayeed.
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This thesis titled Islam and the Environment within the context of globalisation and South Africa asserts the integral role that religion and culture place on social transformation. It also dispels any myths about the unscientific nature of religion. Religion, in its very tenets, advocates the total respect of all living and non-living things. An analysis of the verses found within the divine book of Muslims, the Quran shows the role of humans in conserving, preserving and caring for the natural environment. The environment is given to humans as a gift. Humans are the custodians and the care-takers of the environment. Planet Earth is in grave danger. Globalisation has placed unreasonable demands on (unnatural resources. Overproduction, the result of mass consumption has led to large scale industrialisation. Pollution, depletion of the ozone layer, global warming, climatic changes are some of the concomitant results of globalisation. South Africa is no exception to the rule. The Muslims of South Africa, via a closer link with the environment can achieve social transformation through the process of Environmental Education and taking greater care of the environment. It is critical that Muslims in South Africa begin to define their relationship with the environment. Muslim schools and institutions formed part of this empirical investigation to ascertain what efforts are being made to develop a sustainable Muslim community in South Africa. The research is both qualitative and quantitative in nature with an exploratory modality. Proposals are made to implement environmentallyfriendly programmes with a view to build capacity amongst Muslims in South Africa through the two fundamentally important stakeholders in South African Muslim society: Islamic schools and the Body of Theologians. The "return to basics" call is further resonated within the context of a textual analysis of verses of the Quran, with a view to ascertain the ordained role of Muslims vis-a-vis their purpose on this earth with reference to the natural environment. This theoretical, conceptual framework provides the bedrock for assumptions that protecting the natural environment is incumbent upon all Muslims. There is an urgent need for South African Muslims to galvanise around environmental issues within the parameters of Islamic schools and Islamic institutions (the Jamiats). These milieus form the pivotal points in this praxiological approach. Programmes for communities and educational institutions are suggested for maximum optimisation in a systemic way of promoting and sustaining environmental education de Nuevo. Socially responsive models and other pragmatic proposals are suggested in a bid to conscientise and empower South African Muslims concerning ways and means of protecting the environment. This thesis highlights the unquestioned assumptions which underlie growing calls for social transformation and considers the significance of a socially critical orientation to environmental education in relation to divine doctrines.