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Abstract

As people who are benefiting materially from ‘modernity’ and also as people who have in no small measure participated in the processes that have degraded the planet, Muslims have an important contribution to make to the growing debate on the environment. Islamic environmentalism has its own unique expression but it is not in evidence today. It is argued in this paper that the driving force of modernity stems from the push for economic development which is now taxing the earth’s resources as never before in human history and that the global village is now a homogenised consumer culture which impacts negatively on the biosphere. This has been achieved by the progressive dilution and destruction of old traditional values and the marginalisation of religion, and Islam has not been immune to this process. This essay is an attempt to explain how Islam defines human connections with the earth and how we may be kinder to it as the source of the generous gifts that sustain all our lives.