Presenting Al Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth 

Presenting Al Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth 

Al Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth, a collaborative work to which Muslim thought leaders worldwide contributed under the umbrella of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Faith for the Earth Initiative, has been finalized. 
The Covenant for the Earth reminds people, especially Muslim communities, of their responsibilities to protect the world's shared natural resources and biodiversity heritage. It also addresses climate change while underlining the sacred purpose of respecting the natural balance of humanity based on the values underpinning Islam.
Al Mizan: a Covenant for the Earth is being promoted around the world under the leadership of UNEP's Faith for the Earth Initiative. At the introductory meeting held at Üsküdar University, Prof. Dr Nevzat Tarhan, the founding rector of Üsküdar University and Prof. Dr İbrahim Özdemir, Dean of Üsküdar University Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Director of Üsküdar University Environmental Ethics Forum, who took part in the committee that prepared the charter, addressed the audience.


Al-Mizan states that the value of the project known as a Covenant for the Earth will be understood in the future. Prof. Dr Nevzat Tarhan said, "We are not very aware of its importance at the moment. We should say that it is a project that will contribute to mental transformation. There can be no social transformation without mental transformation, and it would not be very healthy to expect economic and political transformation without a social transformation. Al-Mizan is a medium and long-term project. This project was launched to manage some of the needs of the future. It has been realized in the last 1-2 years. Some things are like health. They are appreciated when they are lost." 

- Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan


Stating that Nature is like the world's immune system, Prof. Dr Nevzat Tarhan said, "Nature performs many activities even if we are unaware of it. If Nature had a language, it could tell us that it protects us from pollution, purifies water, cleans the air and protects the coasts. Nature and all its elements are our mute friends. When our hearts are wounded, hurt, upset, and disappointed, we find ourselves in Nature without realizing it. It gives us to therapy. Nature is a natural healer. Nature is the most natural psychologist. Nature heals our hearts, calms our souls, and empties our minds."


Emphasizing that we are losing Nature with petrification, urbanization and concretization, Prof. Dr Nevzat Tarhan said, "Unfortunately, we have understood modernization as concretization. We have rapidly moved towards losing the architecture in the inner cities. We have started to see Nature as our rival rather than a mute friend. Modernism also plays a role in this."


Drawing attention to the increase in carbon emissions, Prof. Dr Nevzat Tarhan concluded his words as follows:
"The warming of the planet is another danger. The effect of global warming is that it rains a lot in one place and has droughts in another. We are disrupting the ecosystem. Nature does not need us; we need Nature. Water needs to be replenished; the soil needs to be stabilized. The future of the world depends on the future of green. The project shows that our religion, culture and belief system is environmentalist."
Prof. Dr İbrahim Özdemir stated that science provides evidence of the deterioration of the natural balance over the years due to human activities. There has been increasing cooperation between religious organizations, scientific research groups, civil society and international organizations. Prof. Dr Özdemir continued as follows:
"The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES), Üsküdar University, Qatar Quran Botanical Garden, Qatar Hamad Bin Khalifa University Faculty of Islamic Sciences and Faith for Earth Initiative have come together to put forward the teachings of Islam on the environment so that the world's 1.8 billion Muslims can adopt sustainability as part of their daily lives. The text, which takes its name from one of the Qur'an's key concepts, 'al-mîzân', from Surah 55 of the Qur'an, Surah Rahmân, is an agreement that Muslims make with the Earth. As a result, the name Al-Mizan: a Covenant for the Earth was chosen for the document. We hope this convention will build networks of competencies and partnerships between scholars and research centres working on religion, environment and sustainable development in the Islamic world and beyond." 

- Prof. Dr. İbrahim Özdemir

Prof. Dr İbrahim Özdemir gave information about the Al Mizan a Covenant for the Earth and touched upon the activities to be carried out within the framework of the action plan to be implemented within the scope of the Covenant.
Prof. Dr İbrahim Özdemir said that all humanity should work together to solve environmental problems.


Referring to Islamic principles under the headings of the common heritage of humanity, global climate change, loss of biodiversity and political economy, the convention assesses the state of the world according to Islamic values and points to the establishment of a balance for a solution.

The text draws attention to the consequences of global climate change in the context of human heritage:
Cosmos and Signs on Earth: An Integrated Approach, Tawhid as the Cornerstone of Islamic Faith and Ethics; Cosmic Balance; Al-Mîzân: Balance and Reciprocity; Fıtrat: The Eternal Nature of Humanity and Responsibility; The Meaning of Being God's Caliph on Earth; Working for the Ultimate Good Toward All: Ethos and Morality; The Moral Dimensions of Tawhid: The Unity of God; Taqwa: Respect, Care and Careful Attitude; Ihsan: The Best Possible; Compassion, Gratitude and Thankfulness; Understanding and Responding to the Signs of the Merciful; Equality and Justice: Rethinking Welfare; Development and Lifestyle; Resources of Life, Accountability in the Use of Life's Resources; Do No Harm; Rights to Water and Other Life Resources; The World as a Vessel, The Ultimate Purposes of Religion; Animal Welfare and Animal Rights.


Following the UNEP Faith for Earth Initiative (Faith-Based Organizations) strategy paper in 2018, the Faith for Earth Coalition was formed in October 2020.
The Muslim thought leaders who led the formation of the Covenant continued their work to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and shared environmental priorities.
Later renamed Al-Mizan: The idea for the Islamic Environmental Convention, Al-Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth, was born at the 8th Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers in Rabat, 2-3 October 2019, co-hosted by UNEP - Faith for the Earth Initiative and the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
The first draft of the Covenant was shared with more than 300 Islamic institutions worldwide for feedback and consultation. The text of the Covenant will be submitted to the Council of Islamic Ministers of the Environment in December and then to UNEP.


Dr Iyad Abumoghli: Founder and Director, UNEP Faith for Earth Initiative, Kenya.
Prof. Dr Abdelmajid Tribak: Chief Advisor to the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), Morocco.
Prof. Dr İbrahim Özdemir: Dean of Üsküdar University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Director of Environmental Ethics Forum, Turkey.
Aishah Ali Abdallah: Member of the Wildlife, Education and Communication Commission, Saudi Arabia.
Assoc. Prof. Dr Evren Tok: Associate Dean for Innovation and Community Development. Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Faculty of Theology, Qatar.
Sidi Fazlun Khalid: Founder of Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES)/EcoIslam, UK.
Othman Abd-ar-Rahman Llewellyn: Member of the World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN) and World Commission on Environmental Law, Ecological Planner at the National Wildlife Center, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia.
Kamran Shezad: Co-Director of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES)/EcoIslam and Sustainability Lead at Bahu Trust, UK.

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