Imam Khamenei

Establishing a balance between human beings and nature, one of the fundamental goals of divine religions

Quran says, “We have created the Earth – that is this earthly planet – for human beings; [so] it belongs to all of them. It does not belong to some of them; some people are not more entitled to [exploiting] it than others. It does not belong only to one generation. Today, it belongs to you and tomorrow, it will belong to your offspring, to your grandchildren, to your scion, and so forth, and this is true about the entire Earth. The Earth has been created for humans and belongs to all of them. In another verse, [the Quran] says: “He created for you everything that exists on Earth.” Everything that exists on Earth and belongs to Earth has been created for you, humans. Therefore, because they are yours, [and since they] are to your benefit and belong to you, you must not destroy them. Everything [on Earth] is valuable. There are things that an ordinary human being may see as valuable and there are things that may seem worthless to them, but they are all of them precious. Once upon a time, there were people in our very country who asked, “What is this odious substance good for?” They were talking about oil. Some people may love the green territories of the northern region of the country and do not like deserts. Now, go and talk to Dr. Kordavani and see what he has to say about the desert. They are all the same, they are all blessings, they are all bounties, [and] they all belong to you. You have no right to destroy them; neither gardens, nor plantations, nor forests, nor pastures and plains, nor the desert. They all belong to human beings and we must take advantage of them.

In another verse [of the Quran, God] says, “[And God sent] you [to Earth] to build it.” The Almighty God, who has created this Earth and created you, has obligated you to work for the development of the Earth; that is, you should activate the potentialities that exist on Earth. There are many potentialities that have not been known so far and will be known later and their importance and value will be understood later. This is your job; something that you should do. Even now that we think we are taking advantage of all the capacities of Earth, this is not the case. The water, the soil, the air as well as underground reserves and products that exist on the surface of Earth, of which you are currently taking advantage, can be probably used in a way which will be millions of times more efficient, but of which we are not aware now. Humans should continuously strive to find new capacities and to use those capacities to the benefit of human life.

There is another verse in the Quran about the “avowed enemy,” that is, the most obstinate, the most ominous, and the most stubborn of enemies, whose characteristics have been enumerated. One of their characteristics is that when they find power on Earth they foster corruption and kill people and products. They corrupt the product; that is, both the plant and human products, and destroy them.

The question of preserving the environment is extremely important. The importance of this matter can be summarized as humans’ responsibility toward nature, humans should feel responsible regarding nature. Just as we feel responsible with regard to human beings, we must also feel responsible for nature. Islam and the divine religions have sought to maintain a balance between man and nature; this is the essential goal. Failure to maintain this balance is due to factors that predominantly stem from human selfishness, power-seeking, bullying and imposition of some of us, the humans. When this did not happen - that is, this balance was not maintained - then the environmental crisis would occur; the environmental crisis would harm all mankind and all generations.

Statements made in a meeting with Environmental Officials and Activists on March 8, 2015



  • Natural environment
  • Natural Resources
  • Trees