Whose Environmental Crisis?
This is ‘ibadah, man's totality of worship, which thus encompasses all of his earthly activities, which in the end must cycle back into a continuous esthetic of beauty, reflecting the infinite splendor of the sublime Creator. Herein reside the two qualities upholding the delicate interlace of our earthly and heavenly human architecture: Dignity and rectitude.
To replace in our hearts faith in God, the All-Living, with a dead matrix is surely the ill-fated exchange that the Surah of Al-Kahf decries: "Now, behold! We [God] said to the angels: Bow [your faces] down to [receive] Adam [into life and honor him]! So they [all] bowed down, except Iblîs [Satan], who was of the jinn. Thus he rebelled against the command of his Lord. Will you [human beings] then take him and his seed as patrons apart from Me [God] while they are an enemy to you? [How] woeful a substitute [this is] for the wrongdoers [who are godless in heart]!"(18:50)
What a devilish transaction, indeed? It strips men of their mutual khilafah, or responsible vicegerency of God on the Earth in their turn, making lords of a few and slaves of the many, reducing us to the base exploiters and ravenous blood-letters the angels saw in us, perhaps on the pattern of the unknown, divinely destroyed vicegerents of the earth our kind may have succeeded. "Now, behold! Your Lord said to the angels: I am placing upon the earth a [human] successor [to steward it]. They said: ‘Will You place thereupon one who will spread corruption therein, and who, [moreover,] will shed blood, while we ever exalt You with all praise and hallow You?'" (2:30)
Believing that the system provides instead of God causes man to abandon his amanah, his divine trust, to care for all creatures. It renders him unconscious that all beings on the earth -- the animals, plants, elements, and minerals -- the earth, mountains, and sky themselves -- are consciously alive by the touch of the Divine, communicating and complying with the momentary command of the One Sublime, though we may perceive their discourse and actions not. "Indeed, We did offer the trust [of volitional faith] to the heavens and the earth and the mountains. But they refused to bear it and were fearful of it. Yet the human being bore it, [but could not uphold it]. Indeed, he was most unjust [concerning his own trust] and most ignorant [of the outcome]!" (33:72)
It tricks man into substituting mere crumbs falling from the lowly table of market-interest for the opulent grace of the divine, and thereby to upset the Heavenly mizan, the delicate balance of creation, that God originally set and then bequeathed to our care. "Thus it is He alone who has set the balance of all things, so that you might not transgress the just balance" (55:7-8).
It transforms man's constructive impulse of ‘imarah, inspired improvement and facilitation of the wholesomeness of the earth, into greed-driven development that ruins creation and destroys its naturally paired state of beauty and utility. Thus in the place of human sharaakah, what the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, called the believers' shared partnership in the earth's abundantly free-flowing water, game, and vegetation of the wilderness, and air, the multitudes are subjugated by the monopolies, cartels, and interest-based financing of the few.
The result is the inversion of the divine gift of tas-kheer, the rendering by God of all things in the land, sea, and sky as cultivable, serviceable, and utile for the express purpose of the renewable benefit of man in his brief worldly sojourn. Instead of the princes of God on earth, we human beings become the subjects of the material, time-bound, and valueless, indentured in the servitude of a "brute-ocracy," a network of modern-day vampires who live on the blood of common victims.