You can listen to Imam Adam’s Khutbah above (starts at 12:00), watch it below, or read the summary below.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ
Thahara alfasadu fee albarri waalbahri bima kasabat aydee alnnasi liyutheeqahum baAAda allathee AAamiloo laAAallahum yarjiAAoona
Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness].
(Surah Ar-Rum, Quran 30:41)
My dear brothers and sisters, climate scientists put out a report stating that if the carbon emissions of the world continue at the rate that they are continuing, then the world temperature will rise to such a level that the tsunamis and the hurricanes and the different climate effects that we are seeing today, the tsunami that ravaged our brothers and sisters in Indonesia, the hurricane taking place in the East Coast, these things will only get worse. Subhanallah. These things will only get worse unless people make changes in their lives, not only on an individual level, but also on a national level and international global level. Otherwise, things will just get worse. Some people they say well, this is just how things are and this is the qadr of Allah. But in fact, this is actually the wrong kind of thinking because Allah has given us freewill. He has given us the ability to do good and He has given us the ability to do wrong. When we do wrong, it has effects on the world around us.
When the engineers or the oil industry did not properly take care of their rigs, then there was a huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago, the BP oil spill. How many animals did it affect and how many coasts did it affect? How many fisheries did it affect and how many human beings did it affect? How many people had to go to the hospital because now their rate of cancer is going up because of the environmental effects that people are causing.
Allah talks about this in the Quran. He says – ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ – corruption has appeared on the earth and in the land and in the sea because of what people’s hands have done. So the people have hands and they do things with their hands and because of that the corruption spreads. So no one can say “oh, this is simply the qadr of Allah. There is nothing we can do.” Of course, there is the qadr of Allah. He permits everything to happen. If He wills something to happen, it will happen; if He does not will it to be, it will not happen. But at the same time we have within our capacity to do better and to change the world for the better.
That is why Allah tells us in the Quran,
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ
inna Allaha la yughayyiru ma biqawmin hatta yughayyiroo ma bianfusihim
Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.
(Surah Ar-Ra’d, Quran 13:11)
Allah does not change your people until they change themselves. So let’s talk about today let’s talk about what Islam has to say about the world around us and how we are caretakers of this world. The first thing we need to realize my brothers and sisters, is that Allah created this entire world with a purpose. Allah says,
وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاءَ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا لَاعِبِينَ
Wama khalaqna alssamaa waalarda wama baynahuma laAAibeena
And We did not create the heaven and earth and that between them in play.
(Surah Al-Anbiya, Quran 21:16)
We did not create the heavens and the earth and what is between them. Meaning everything – لَاعِبِينَ – we are not created for play, but rather we created it for a purpose. There is a purpose behind Allah’s creation of everything of the world around us and of you and I. All of nature, in the entire Earth in whatever is in it submits to Allah and praises Him constantly. Allah tells us,
تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالْأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ
Tusabbihu lahu alssamawatu alssabAAu waalardu waman feehinna
The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him.
(Surah Al-Isra, Quran 17:44)
“that the seven heavens and the earth and whatever is within them are always praising Allah.” Allah uses the present tense – تُسَبِّحُ – that it’s constantly happening. It’s not something that happened and it ended, but rather it’s constantly happening
وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَلَٰكِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ
wain min shayin illa yusabbihu bihamdihi walakin la tafqahoona tasbeehahum
And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting.
(Surah Al-Isra, Quran 17:44)
You cannot understand the praises that they praise Allah with. However they are continuously praising Allah. Allah tells us in the Quran so that’s what shows us that this nature is so powerful. The world around us is so powerful that it submits to Allah and that it is continuously praising Allah. Allah gives the animals their instincts. He says,
وَأَوْحَىٰ رَبُّكَ إِلَى النَّحْلِ
Waawha rabbuka ila alnnahli
And your Lord inspired to the bee,
(Surah An-Nahl, Quran 16:68)
“that He revealed to the bee as to how the bee needs to go and make honey.” The bee is born and it just knows what to do. That is from Allah. He is a part of His creation. He is the one that is involved with His creation. He did not simply create his creation and leave. Some philosophers said that God created His creation and then He left and He left it to its own devices. But as Muslims we believe that Allah is involved in his creation, that “not a leaf falls except that He knows that that leaf has fallen.” So Allah is involved with His creation and His creation is submitting to Him and praising Him.
وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيرًا
wakhalaqa kulla shayin faqaddarahu taqdeeran
and has created each thing and determined it with [precise] determination.
(Surah Al-Furqan, Quran 25:2)
Allah says that He created everything and He created it with a specific balance. You look at the world around us and you realize how balanced it is. If we were so many meters or so many miles closer to the sun, we would all burn up. If we were so many miles away from the sun, we would all freeze to death. The way Allah has created the world around us with such an incredible balance.
When we bring in imbalances to this, then we can actually ruin entire species. SubhanAllah. For example, I was reading about Africa. Because of pollution and because of hunting and so on, the number of predators in certain areas of Africa have decreased. So the baboons have increased in those areas and those baboons they have specific diseases. Because the population of baboons has grown so much, those diseases are now being passed on to human beings, and they’re finding parasites in people’s stomachs and so on. Everything Subhanallah is connected in this world. That is how Allah has created this universe and how He has created this world.
And if you were to look for an inconsistency in the creation of Allah, you will not be able to find it. Allah tells us in Surah Mulk –
مَّا تَرَىٰ فِي خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ مِن تَفَاوُتٍ ۖ فَارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ هَلْ تَرَىٰ مِن فُطُورٍ
ma tara fee khalqi alrrahmani min tafawutin fairjiAAi albasara hal tara min futoorin
You do not see in the creation of the Most Merciful any inconsistency. So return [your] vision [to the sky]; do you see any breaks?
(Surah Al-Mulk, Quran 67:3)
Keep looking. Keep looking. You will never find an inconsistency in the creation of Allah. And the word that Allah uses in the Quran to describe everything- He doesn’t say nature. He doesn’t say universe. What does He say? He describes it as خَلْقِ that it is His creation. Everything is something that leads us back to Him when you see anything in this world. It is something that was created by Allah with a purpose. Allah did not just place it there for no reason. But everything has a wisdom. SubhanAllah.
Everything Allah describes in the Quran, He describes it as an ayah. The word ayah is very interesting. Usually when you hear the word ayah, you might be thinking it means a verse of the Quran. A single verse of the Quran is an ayah and the plural of that is ayat. But what is the original meaning of ayah? The original meaning of ayah is a sign. So these verses of the Quran are ayat. They are signs that point to Allah.
So when Allah tells us about Himself in the Quran, that every single one of those ayat point to Him, and that is why they are signs because they lead us to Allah. But Allah does something very interesting with the word ayah in the Quran. He says, the thing that we recite from the Quran is an ayah. But He also says that the love between husband and wife is an ayah. He says that the creation of the heavens and the earth is an ayah, is a sign. He says that the changing of the day and the night is a sign. He says the creation of the animals and all of the creatures on this earth is a sign. The sun and the moon and the planets are signs and the stars are signs. The oceans, the land, the trees, the wind- everything is a sign that points us to Allah.
In the world today, we’re very disconnected. We’re very disconnected from nature. We’re very disconnected from the world around us. We’re mostly on our devices, we’re mostly at home, we’re mostly at the computer, we’re mostly watching TV, mostly at our work, we’re mostly on concrete, and we get very little time to actually spend in the natural world. Very few of our children know how the food that is at their table is actually produced. Very few know what a farm looks like. Very few are connected to nature in that way.
In the UK, there was a university that did a study and they had 18,000+ people engaged in a natural month. For 30 days, these 18,000+ people had to do something having to do with the wilds, or wildlife or animals or nature. They had to do something every day for 30 days. The professors went and studied these people and looked at what were their results. The results were actually pretty interesting. It was actually something that you could have told them beforehand. You always knew it within you that this would be the case, but it also shows it now scientifically that it exists.
After people did natural things for 30 days (fed birds, went hiking, went to the coast, went to the ocean, etc.), people reported their health on a scale of really bad to excellent. The people reporting excellent went up by 30%. Their happiness also went up by 30%. Children that were exposed to the natural world showed increases in self esteem. Their self esteem went up, because they were connected with nature. Nature also taught them how to take risks. You know, city boys and city girls, they look at a spider and they’re afraid, right? They jump up and down. But people that live in nature, it’s an everyday thing. You learn what to actually be afraid of and what not to be afraid of. So they learned how to take risks, it unleashed their creativity, it gave them a chance to exercise, to play, and to discover.
In some cases it even significantly improved symptoms of ADHD, which is attention deficit disorder. People suffering from physical illness or mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, when they interact with nature, it helped them control their symptoms, along with everything else they were doing, medicine and therapists and so on. But going out to nature actually helped them to reduce their anxiety, reduce their depression. These are all things that I could have told you yesterday and you would have believed me, but the science also backs it up. Allah is the Most High and His Word is the Most High. He tells us this, that these things are signs for us to go and to explore and to see and to discover. If we do that, then that will be better for us. Those are things that will lead us to Allah.
Then Allah talks about the creation of men. So where do we come into play? We see this nature as a sign of Allah. We see that it is His creation. We see that Allah has created it with a purpose. We see that He has created it balanced. So where do we come into play? Allah told the angels many, many, many, many, many centuries ago,
إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً
innee jaAAilun fee alardi khaleefatan
“Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, Quran 2:30)
that “I’m going to place my khalifa on this earth. This khalifa is going to represent me. He is going to submit to My will. He is going to carry out My will and My tasks on this earth. He is going to be My representative on this earth, this human being.” The angels responded to Allah and they said, “but these human beings, they have this free will, they will do good and they will do bad. They’re going to kill each other. They’re going to spill blood.” And Allah said that He knows what the angels do not know. He knows the good of human being. He knows what He wants from human beings. He knows the purpose that why He is creating human beings.
We are Allah’s khalifa on this earth. We are the caretakers of this earth. This earth is an amanah. It’s a trust given to us by Allah and He will hold us accountable for what we have done to the world around us. Allah tells us,
كُلُوا مِن ثَمَرِهِ إِذَا أَثْمَرَ وَآتُوا حَقَّهُ يَوْمَ حَصَادِهِ ۖ وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ
kuloo min thamarihi itha athmara waatoo haqqahu yawma hasadihi wala tusrifoo innahu la yuhibbu almusrifeena
Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.
(Surah Al-An’am, Quran 6:141)
كُلُوا مِن ثَمَرِهِ إِذَا أَثْمَرَ – When the earth gives you its produce then eat from that produce – وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا – But at the same time – إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ – don’t be extravagant and don’t waste. Allah does not love those who waste. So eat and drink. Consume. The earth’s resources are there for you, but do not waste.
How much do we waste? SubhanAllah. Out of the entire world how much does the population of the US make up? What is the percentage of the US population compared to the rest of the world? What is the percentage? What do you think is a 10%, 15%, 20%, 30%? No, no, no. Americans make up 4% of the entire world. And what is our carbon emissions, just to give you one example, compared to the rest of the world? How much pollution do we create? 5%, 10%? What do you guys think? We actually create 15% of the world’s pollution. America makes up 4% of the whole population but we create three times that amount in terms of pollution. That is a society that is wasteful. That is a society that consumes more from the earth and consumes more from the world than giving back to the world. That is a society that has a problem. That is a society that needs to change how much we waste. Subhanallah.
How much food do we throw away? The farmers they pick up the food and they look at it. If it doesn’t look the way that Americans want it to look, they throw the food away, even though it’s perfectly edible. Billions of tons of food is thrown away in this way because Americans don’t like the look of it. SubhanAllah. So that is what we’re living in. All of us have to change this in our own individual ways and I’ll talk about how we can do that.
So Allah created us as khalifas and He said eat, but do not waste. He said when you walk on the earth,
وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا
Wala tamshi fee alardi marahan
And do not walk upon the earth exultantly.
(Surah Al-Isra, Quran 17:37)
Do not walk on the earth arrogantly. Be humble when you walk on the earth. You’re not going to be able to move the mountains. You’re not going to be able to get rid of the mountains. Walk humbly on the earth and realize what you are and who you are.
The Prophet (pbuh) used to forbid pollution. He forbade defecating in water sources, or under the tree that gives shade or on the road. Why? Because this would disturb people. This would cause disruption for people. Extrapolate from that any kind of pollution that ruin someone’s water source. Look at what’s happening in Flint, Michigan. People can’t just turn on the water and get fresh clean water. There’s lead in the water. There’s all kinds of pollutants in the water. The water is ruined because of XYZ, because the people aren’t doing it, the government isn’t doing anything about it because the corporation’s have polluted the water and so on. So this is – ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ – This is the corruption that has appeared on the land because of what people have done. And we have control over this.
Even Abu Bakr (ra) when he commanded his armies, he would tell them don’t destroy the farms, don’t cut the trees. Protect this nature and this environment. The Roman and Persian armies would burn all of the crops. They would even poison the land sometimes so it can’t even be used by the people afterward. That is how they would exact their revenge or their retribution on those who tried to fight against them. But Abu Bakr (ra) forbade his armies from doing this and he said preserve the trees, preserve the crops, don’t let things happen to the cattle. Don’t destroy animals for no reason.
These are things that our deen teaches us. We are caretakers of this earth and it is our duty and our obligation towards this earth to take care of it as an amanah from Allah. He will hold us accountable for it on the Day of Judgment. We ask Allah that He helps us to ensure that we fulfill this trust of His and fulfill this obligation that He has given us. And that He enables us and gives us the ability to protect the Earth and not to consume more than what we produce, and not to consume so much more than everyone else. Ameen.
أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
I say what you have heard and I seek forgiveness from Allah for me and you from every sin.
بِسْ مِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ ،الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ
In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful. All praise is to Allah, and peace and blessings upon the Messenger of Allah.
So my brothers and sisters, as I was mentioning, the world is heating up. Changes need to be made in the daily lives of everyone. Not just because the world is heating up, but because of the pollution, because of the imbalances that human beings are causing. That change has to be made not only at the national level or the governmental level, but also change in every single individual person’s home. So what are the things that we can do?
The beauty and the nature that we have, it won’t just last. The most beautiful ocean in the world is in Australia, the Great Barrier Reef. Much of it has died because the water is heating up. They say if we keep doing this, by 2030, 2045, or 2050, the entire coral reef will be wiped out. The fish that live there will be wiped out and the fish that eat those fish will also be wiped out and so on and it will have so much impact. Subhanallah.
The floods will happen in Muslim countries, it will happen in Indonesia, it will happen in Bangladesh. That’s what they are predicting. So all of us have to do our part. Last thing we need is for Allah to raise us up and to hold us accountable that you didn’t do what you could have done, you had the information, it was given to you, but you disregarded it. You decided to consume so much more than what you were supposed to.
So the first thing we can do is to be more informed. Because I cannot tell you everything about the environment and how to preserve it in one 30 minute khutbah.
The second thing is try to use things that are reusable. Instead of plastic water bottles, get a reusable water bottle that you can put water in. Alhamdulillah we did that in Ramadan and we didn’t have as many plastic water bottles everywhere. Alhamdulillah. Every masjid I’ve been to you see water bottles everywhere with water in them- two sips and then people leave them everywhere. Whereas when we had our own bottles, not only was that plastic conserved but also water was conserved and preserved. When you go grocery shopping, reuse bags. Carpool when you go to work. You get to use the HOV lane as well. You might as well do that. Go out and vote in the coming elections and vote for people that are thinking forward about the environment.
Recycle. A lot of Muslims do not recycle. I’ve been to your homes, you’ve invited me- invite the Imam but the imam was watching who was recycling was not recycling. I’m just kidding. I know many Muslims do not recycle. It’s important for us to recycle. It’s embarrassing that Muslims don’t recycle more. We should be the ones that are at the forefront of that.
Another thing that we can do is to not waste food and to teach our children to finish their food and to only get the food that they will eat. We have these huge wedding parties, and we have buffets, and there’s so much food that is wasted. You see children taking that pile of food on their plate and they take three bites and they’re done. This happens all the time. Teach your children not to waste. Teach your children to only take what they will actually eat. Don’t be part of this American society that is teaching us to just consume and consume without regard.
And the last thing I’ll mention today is to reduce our energy consumption. So turning off the lights when they are not in use. “These are all very simple things. Why is the khatib mentioning these simple things?” These are all things that we can do on an individual level. These are all things that we can do today, right? Buying energy efficient bulbs, buying thermostats- our energy bills will get lower. SubhanAllah. So it helps us now and it helps the entire world.
So we ask Allah that He helps us to preserve the world around us and to take care of this amanah that he has given us. We ask Allah that He helps our brothers and sisters in Indonesia, that He helps those affected affected by the storms and the calamities and the tragedies all around the world, by those that are not secured, by those that are going through war. May Allah protect those and help those that are going through depression and anxiety. We ask Allah that He heals us and He heals our homes and He fixes broken families. We ask Allah that if anyone has any need, oh Allah fulfill that need. We ask Allah that if anyone is in need of a job or a promotion, ya Allah give them that job and that promotion and give them what is best for them in this life and in the next. We ask Allah for good in this life, and good in the next life. We ask Allah to accept our deeds and to forgive our shortcomings.
عِبَادَ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
Servants of Allah. Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.
اُذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ واشْكُرُوهُ يَزِدْكُمْ واسْتَغْفِرُوهُ يَغْفِرْ لكُمْ واتّقُوهُ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِكُمْ مَخْرَجًا
Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favors – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters.
And, establish the prayer.