Civilizing the Earth

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“The Qur’an describes the moment of creation as the moment in which humanity was entrusted with a heavy responsibility…God made human beings God’s agents or viceroys on the earth and entrusted them with the responsibility to civilize the land.

“Civilizing the earth does not mean constructing buildings or paving roads. It means striving to spread on the earth the Divine attributes such as justice, mercy, compassion, goodness, and beauty. In doing so, human beings spread Divinity itself upon the earth. In contrast, corrupting the earth – spreading violence, hatred, vengeance, and ugliness – means failure in discharging one’s obligations toward God. The Qur’an teaches that the act of destroying or spreading ruin on this earth is one of the gravest sins possible – fasad fi al-ard – which means to corrupt the earth by destroying the beauty of creation, and is considered an ultimate act of blasphemy against God.”

From The Great Theft: Wresting Islam from the Extremists by Dr. Khaled M. Abou El Fadl

Excerpted from a longer essay by Dr. Hesham A. Hassaballa on his excellent blog, God, Faith, and a Pen.

Ya Haqq!

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5 Responses to Civilizing the Earth

  1. I have a copy of The Great Theft on my bookshelf. Time to pick it up and open it, insha Allah.

  2. samaha says:

    I am looking forward to reading El Fadl’s books.

    Irving, have you considered joining the book blog that dawood and I have been contemplating starting?

  3. in the philosophical tradition justice (dike) means harmony. there is this blending of the socio-political with aesthetics. justice is something that is well ordered, well formed, harmonious. in the medievals this often appears by a word we translate as fittingness: it is only just if things go well together.

    the good life is a beautiful life. as you point out, anything less is to make war against the divine.

  4. Abbas says:

    mashaAllah, awesome post. I might just buy the book and read it now :)

  5. Sadiq says:

    true words indeed!

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