Ayatollah Khamenei

Big powers are responsible for destruction of ozone layer: Ayatollah Khamenei

Today, the worst enemies of the environment are the richest and most powerful countries of the world. If you look for the reasons for the destruction of the ozone layer, the pollution of seas and oceans and the death of aquatic animals, deforestation and so forth, you will find out that big powers are mainly responsible for all this.

The fact is that the problem of environmental destruction has turned into a serious issue today, and if no solution is found immediately, this problem will change into a real crisis afflicting all mankind at a time not so far in the future. Thus, all effective means should be applied to counter this malady. Surely religion or spirituality is among such means, as it is effective in influencing the general public. But it is not clear whether it will also have an influence on those mainly responsible for the destruction of the environment! Nevertheless, we should continue to make efforts in this regard.

I am sure all religions have instructions and guidelines about preservation of the environment. Islam, for its part, offers clear guidelines in this regard. In the view of Islam, the whole nature belongs to mankind. There is a verse in the Holy Qur'an that says: ‘And the earth, He has set it for living creatures;' (55:10)

Another verse of the Holy Qur'an says: ‘He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth, ...' (2:29) Of course this does not mean that everything belongs only to the present generation. Therefore, all of us should try to protect the environment and natural resources of the earth, which are blessings of the Almighty, for both the present and coming generations.

Anyone who harms nature should realize that he is betraying mankind, especially when the damage he is causing is permanent or irretrievable. In another verse of the Holy Qur'an, Almighty Allah describes some despicable human beings as follows: ‘And when he turns back, he runs along in the land so that he may cause mischief in it and destroy the tilth and the stock, and Allah does not love mischief-making.' (2:205)

The verse clearly shows the attitude of Islam toward those who harm the environment. Surely the attitude of other religions toward this issue is also the same. In other words, all religions believe that whatever is in nature is a blessing of the Almighty bestowed on mankind, for which he should give thanks to his Creator. If this gratefulness is expressed, the blessings will increase. This thanksgiving is in reality correct and rational interaction with nature. If interaction with nature is such that nature will not be harmed by this interaction, more blessings will be obtained from it. But if no gratitude is expressed for divine blessings, this will evoke divine punishment. ‘And when your Lord made it known: If you are grateful, I would certainly give to you more, and if you are ungrateful, My chastisement is truly severe.' (14:7)

What can be described as ingratitude? The destruction, spoiling or misusing natural resources are all tantamount to ingratitude for divine blessings. This will be followed by divine punishment. Today we can see various signs of this punishment, which are different diseases and other problems and shortcomings that all stem from harming the environment.

However, it is also an undeniable fact that being cognizant of environmental problems is itself a great step toward solving these problems. The fact that today experts and scientists in different societies have realized the significance of environmental protection and are warning against factors threatening the environment is a positive phenomenon. But this is not enough, and effective measures should also be taken to protect the environment.

Today, the worst enemies of the environment are the richest and most powerful countries of the world. If you look for the reasons for the destruction of the ozone layer, the pollution of seas and oceans and the death of aquatic animals, deforestation and so forth, you will find out that big powers are mainly responsible for all this. They are the ones that produce the greatest amount of pollutants, the ones that consider no limits to their nuclear tests that spread radioactive materials in the environment, the ones increasingly stockpiling nuclear weapons in their arsenals, and the ones fomenting wars and military conflicts in the world in order to sell their weapons. The fact is that mankind is the victim of the interests of these powers.

I hope all of us will be more successful in protecting the environment and preserving its precious resources. This will be possible if followers of all religions play a more responsible role in this regard and pay more attention to environmental issues.

 

 

June 19, 2001.

Comments

  • 2017-09-17 14:00
    Islam is greatest religion , arrogant USA destroying the environment and not cooperating to rest countries missions to save environment while Islam advocates to save environment .

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