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Indian Journal of Waste Management

Volume  2, Issue 2, July-December 2018, Pages 53-58


Original Article

A Study on Religious Beliefs and Environmental Behaviors in Kashmir Valley
Bilal Ahmad Bhat
Division of Social Science, Faculty of Fisheries, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology, Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir 190025, India.
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 The natural world, such as rivers, mountains and forests, are often seen as sacred in many cultural traditions. Modern protection movements have even begun to draw on spiritual and religious beliefs to promote issues of environmental sustainability. The growing concern with ecological issues and their impact on general awareness is one of the most noticeable phenomena globally. The word for religion (Deen) is found in the holy Qur’an in 90 different places, often in contexts that place it outside the purely ritual. Deen in essence describes an integrated code of behavior which deals with personal hygiene, at one end of the spectrum, to our relationships with the natural order at the other. “The creation of the heavens and the earth is far superior than the creation of mankind. But the majority of mankind do not recognize it” (Qur’an 40:56). The earth is mentioned more than four hundred places in the Holy Qur’an, whereas the sky and ahead are reported only about three hundred times. In this paper, we examine the role of religion in the environment empirically. Using data from the Kashmir valley Social Survey 2018-19, we examined the effects of religious beliefs on environmental behaviors in Kashmir valley. The estimation revealed that a majority of the participants of this research showed constructive attitude towards environmental conservation however their approach was negative. We aim to explore and share that Islam does understand the earth to be subservient to humankind. Hence, the earth should not be administered and oppressed carelessly. Islam, leads to a well-built sense of kindness and purity of the earth by its teachings and principles. Human and environment communication is guided by the impression of the person as a vicegerent or true warden of the earth. The broad support provided by Holy Quran is indicative that the earth is a vital protected element for upcoming sustenance of the future generation and is to be a secure place to stay. It is noticed that rapid industrialization, unplanned development and unprecedented growth in population with its accompanying poverty and deprivation are recognized as being the main causes of environmental degradation, a major threat to the existence of humanity today. The fast deterioration of human environment is nothing except a disaster of morals. Mankind in general are guided to look after the environment and not to harm it. Islamic approach of a sustainable environmental life entails living in “peace and harmony (salam)" at individual, social as well as natural levels. All human actions have some impact on the environment and for that this paper will display the understanding of Islam and environmental sustainability through the lasting reference of the Quran and the Words of Messenger of Allah. The humankind can no longer compensate for the price of our failures. It is the moment that people of all faiths join and set for a common foundation for humankind. The Qur’an and Sunnah offers a clear assistance for our future, pertinent to all, Muslims and Non-Muslims.

Keywords: Religion; Environment; Islam; Quran; Hadith; Allah; Nature; Statistics.

Corresponding Author : Bilal Ahmad Bhat