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An Ecological Reading of the Qur’anic Understanding of Creation

by Jose Abraham

Mr. Jose Abraham is Lecturer in the Department of Religion and Culture at the United Theological College, Bangalore, India. This article is from the book Bangalore Theological Forum, Vol. XXXIII, No. 1, published by the Untied Theological College, 2001. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.


Introduction

We are on the brink of a frightening ecological disaster. The earth is being destroyed at an alarming speed. It can no longer sustain the rate of our use of its resources. So our relationship with the rest of creation is seriously out of balance. The manifestations of this situation include air, water and soil pollution through toxic, chemical and radioactive waste, soil erosion and salinizaton, desertification, deforestation, extinction of plant and animal species, global warming, exorbitant energy consumption and nuclear obliteration. If this process is not controlled effectively, the next generation of living beings will have no livable earth to inherit. Also, as there is an organic link between destruction of environment and socio-economic and political injustice, even though all are affected by the ecological crisis, the life of the poor and marginalized is further impoverished by it. Thus there has been a growing concern, expressed globally, to address the issues of environmental degradation.

There are various responses to the growing ecological crisis. Scientists, sociologists, philosophers and anthropologists made various responses from different perspectives. The ecological crisis as a complex issue includes various problems such as poor technology, economic and developmental model. So any response to the ecological crisis depends on the problem, which is being addressed. For instance, for a scientist, if poor technology is the reason for the ecological crisis, then it can be solved with the right use of technology. The various responses to ecological crisis are important because it address various dimensions of the crisis.

The perception of creation is a major factor, which decides the attitude of people towards nature. So perception of creation is an important issue in the ecological discussions. On the one hand, if nature is understood as created only to serve human beings, then it may justify exploitation of nature without any limitation. On the other hand, if the nature is understood as having its own value, then it may be respected and used properly. Since I am a student of comparative religion and of Islam, the intention of this work is to formulate an Islamic response to the growing ecological crisis, by taking the issue of perception of creation seriously.

Doctrine of Creation in the Qur’an

The Qur’an uses a number of words for ‘creation’ such as khalq, bara, sawwara, ja ‘ala, bada ‘a and farara. Khalq is the noun form of the verb khalaqa2 and it is used 249 times in the Qur’an3. According to Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon, the word khalq indicates the act. of measuring; determining, estimating and calculating.4 This word is used in the Qur’an to denote the act of creation and creation in its entirety. In the classical language of Arabs, khalq is considered as an act of God and Al-khaliq, the Creator, is one of the names of God in the Qur’an5. The word khalq also carries the meaning of making smooth and polishing without cracks and fracture6. Thus the act of creation, according to the Qur’an, is a process and not a momentary activity. God is always active and continue the act of creation by developing all beings from one stage to another7.

Bara is another word used in the Qur’an for creation and it means, "to form, to fashion or to shape."8 Arabs generally use this word to denote the act of shaping of a reed for writing, or of an arrow, or of a stick or of a piece of wood.9 Al-ban, one who shapes, is one of the names of God in the Qur’an10. This word has similar meanings as that of khalaqa, such as fashioning and shaping. Sawwara is used in the Qur’an11 to denote creation and it means "to form, to shape, to fashion, to sculpture, to picture" etc.12 Al-musawwir, ‘the Fashioner’, is one of the names of God in the Qur’an. He fashions the creation by giving it form and colour and bestows each creature with "every details of its complicated spiritual and physical existence"13. Everything is being fashioned uniquely so that each fits perfectly into the rest of creation.

The word Ja‘ala is used 345 times14 in the Qur’an to denote creation and its meaning is "to make, to render, to form, to create, to prepare" etc.15 It is used in the Qur’an with the sense of giving new shapes, forms, dispositions etc. So according to the Qur’an, the act of creation also includes the process of giving colours, form, physical stature, assigning specific roles and conditions to fulfil these roles16. The word Bada’a occurs fourteen times in the Qur’an17 and it means "to originate a thing, or to bring in to being or existence, or to make or to produce for the first time"18. Thus this is used in the Qur’an to designate the creation of a thing after no pre-existing similitude. Al-badi’, which means the Originator, is another name of God in the Qur’an19. The word fatara is used twenty places in the Qur’an.20 Like bada‘a, it also means to bring or to produce something for the first time.21

According to the Qur’an, all things have their origin by the command of God, "Be" (kun)22. God’s commands are the expression of His will, plan and intention and so it is part of His being. It implies that creation is originated not in accidence but by the definite purpose of God. He never created anything in vain or in "play"23 but with a serious purpose (haqq)24. It brings value and importance to creation.

In the Qur’anic perspective there is a definite relationship between God and His creation. The doctrine of tawhid, the belief in the oneness of God, is a cardinal principal in the Qur’an.25 Tawhid affirms and acknowledges that God is one and the only Reality. Then creation is part of the Essence of God and it manifests Him. It "teaches that all life is essentially a unity as the creation which proceeds from the Divine oneness".26 This affirms the wholeness and holiness of the creation and thus it brings value to creation. It also rejects all forms of dualism, which separates human beings from nature, so nature is considered as evil and to be subjugated, that have contributed to the ecological crisis27.

God is described in the Qur’an as muhit, which means all encompassing, all pervading, and that which surrounds all.28 This term also used in Arabic to denote ‘environment’.29 So as muhit "God Himself is the ultimate environment which surrounds and encompasses man."30 So Nasr believes that since the environment is not an ontologically independent order of reality, which is divorced from the Divine Environment, the environmental crisis "has been caused by man’s refusal to see God as the real Environment."31

According to the Qur’an, God made provisions for the sustenance and growth of countless varieties of creatures from microorganisms to the largest animals. These provisions are made available to meet their needs in every situation and stages of life. As we have seen earlier, God created everything for a specific purpose. So there is nothing that exists which does not serve some purpose or other. It means that everything fits into one supreme scheme of life32. Everything is put together in wisdom and unity. It emphasizes that everything has its value to life.33 Existence of each and every thing, whether it is small or big, is important for the continuation of life. So each species is unique and makes its own specific contribution to the totality of life. This negates the superiority or importance of one species over against the other. Thus in the holistic perspective human being is "not a supreme being but a part of the web of nature coexisting with other denizens of the cosmos"34

Dignity of Non-Human Creation

According to the Qur’an the world is tilled with signs (ayah) of God35. The Arabic word ayar means "a sign, token, or mark, by which a person or thing is known or can be perceived."36 The word ayah is used almost four hundred times in the Qur’an37 and every creature is referred as ayah of God (ayat allah).38 The above meaning of ayah is relevant for our discussion because if nature is ayah of God, then those who perceives it perceives God39.

According to the Qur’an everything -- inhabitants of the heavens (sun, moon, stars) and the earth (animal, trees, hills) -- praise Allah40. "There is nothing, but celebrates His praises"41. Everything that is created by God prostrates before Him and recognise their submission to His will and commands. Thus the whole creation is regarded in the Qur’an as ‘muslim’42. It perfectly obeys the will of God and behaves in accordance with the laws established by Him. But today nature is perceived as created only to serve human beings. This attitude justifies exploitation and domination of creation.

The spiritual life of a Muslim is in tune with nature. To perform ritual worship (salat)43, a Muslim must have a special relationship with his/her outer environment since the specific times of the ritual prayers are based on the position of the sun 44. Also, Islamic calendar follows the moon and it is utilised to determine the proper time for fasting and performing the pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj). Thus a Muslim is forced to follow the movements of the sun and the moon as part of his/her religious practice. Nature is the sanctuary of God for the performance of salat and a mosque does not create a "super natural" space for prayer 45. Thus nature is an ally of human beings in their quest for God, not an adversary.

In the Qur’anic perspective, all things that God created are ‘communities’ (ummah) like (mithal) that of human community (6:38). Thus God is concerned about all communities and he preserves and provides for all creatures 46. As Yusuf Ali explains while commenting upon this verse (6:38), "In our pride we exclude animals from our purview, but they live a life, social and individual, like ourselves, and all life is subject to the plan and will of Allah" 47. So creation has value in itself without reference to human beings.

Subservience Of Non-Human Creation

According to the Qur’an, all things in heaven and on earth have been created for use of human beings. 48 The Arabic word Sakhkhara is used in the Qur’an to define the relationship between human and non-human.49 Sakhkhara means to constrain or compel a servant or a beast to do what it does not desire. Thus it also means to bring into subjugation, or to make manageable and tractable, or to make something unable to free from constraint. 50 The Qur’an considers Sakhkhara as an activity of God (14:33). As we have seen earlier, non-human beings have value in itself and there is no evidence in the Qur’an to prove that it is created only to serve human beings. So scholars reinterpreted the word Sakhkhara differently from its literal meaning, i.e., subservience.

According to Iris Safwat, the Arabic word Sakhkhara does not mean ‘to subject’ rather it means ‘to turn to profitable account’ or ‘to utilise’ 51 Abd-al-Hamid affirms this meaning and says that, the relationship between human and non-human is not of domination or exploitation but that of the trust (amanah) placed with human beings by God. If ‘subservience’ of everything to human is taken as a right to dominate and exploitation, then it is mockery to Allah. 52 Nasr explains the meaning of the term by seriously taking into consideration the responsibility of human beings as God’s vicegerents.

So according to him, Sakhkhara does not mean the conquest or exploitation of nature rather it should be a kind of relationship in accordance with God’s laws and responsibility of the human beings as vicegerents of God. 53

These insights imply that we cannot treat nature just as an object of human activity. So a subject-object relationship with nature is unjustifiable. 54 If nature is treated just as an Object, then it is likely to be appreciated "not for its intrinsic value, but for its instrumental value for humans."55 So a just relationship between human beings and other creatures is a subject-subject relationship. A subject-subject relationship with nature implies that we have to respect the nature, which will finally lead to protection and proper use of natural resources.

Freedom and Responsibility of Human Beings

According to the Qur’an, human beings are the highest form of all living creatures. "We have indeed created man in the best of mould (‘ahsani taqwim)."56 Taqwim is the Arabic word used to designate ‘estimation’ or ‘erection’ or ‘setting up’ 57. By using the superlative form ahsan, the Qur’an suggests that the estimation or stature of human being is the best. It includes both the internal and external composition of the human being.

In the Qur’an, three words such as Adam, bashar and insan are used to denote the human beings. According to Muhammad Iqbal, the Qur’an uses the word bashar or insan to denote the origin of human beings as living beings or social animals. The word Adam is used more as a concept than as the name of a concrete human individual and is reserved for the human beings in their capacity of God’s vicegerent on earth 58. Riffat Hassan, a Muslim feminist, used this insight to prove that in the Qur’an, the word Adam "is used as a symbol of self-conscious humanity" 59

According to the Qur’an, after fashioning Adam in the proper proportions God blew (nafakha) of His Spirit (ruh) into the human being 60 The breathing of the spirit made them so unique, with their faculty of knowledge and freedom of choice, that even angels are ordered to prostrate before them. It is the breathing of the spirit, which differentiates human beings from other creatures 61. This act gave them their ability to distinguish right from wrong, their power of reasoning and their faculty of speech 62. The gift of knowledge makes human beings more responsible towards other creatures. We have to use our knowledge in such a way that it is causing only a minimum damage to the environment. This is possible only when we develop science and technology, which accepts the value of creation and responsibility of human beings.

In order to get guidance, the Qur’an advises human beings to turn to the nature in which they are created (30:30). It implies that only the original nature of human beings (fitrah) can lead them to the straight path. According to Yusuf Ali. "just as the nature of a lamb is to be gentle and of a horse is to be swift", in true nature (fitrah), "man is innocent, pure, true, free, inclined to right and virtue, and educated with true understanding about his own position in the universe and about Allah’s goodness, wisdom, and power".63 In other words, God has created in human beings a natural bias towards good, and a bias against evil. A natural bias toward good and against evil demands promotion of good (ma’ruf) and elimination of evil (munkar) in all aspects of life. So according to Wyn Davies fitra implies a moral and ethical sense. Thus if it is exercised in full consciousness, human beings can organise different facets of life in to a harmonious balance. 64 Such a harmonious state also includes the right relationship with nature. The doctrine of fitra is important in relation to challenge posed by ecologists that we should live with an understanding of the interconnectedness of everything in the creation. 65

Quranic Understanding of Khalifah

The word khalifa and its plurals occur nine times in the Qur’an. 66 Khalifa is derived from the verb khalafa meaning, "he came after, followed, succeeded or remained after, another, or another that had perished or dead" 67 So khalifa is some one who succeeds another or who takes the place of another after him/her in some matter. Thus a ruler is called khalifa when "he replaces the one who was before him, and takes his place in the affair, and is his successor (khalaf)".68 There are many contemporary thinkers who opine that human beings are the vicegerents (khalifa) of God on earth. Abd-al-Hamid, 69 Muhammad Iqbal, 70 Mustansir Mir 71 , George Koovackal 72 Safia Anbir 73. Seyyed Hossien Nasr 74, Al-Birnni 75 and Soumaya Pernilla Ouis 76 are few who translated khalifa as God’s vicegerent or steward.

Human beings are vicegerents of God not in the sense that they succeed and replace God. They are vicegerents because God subjected (sakhkhara) everything to us and gifted us with free will, knowledge and a bias towards doing good. These gifts made human beings responsible towards other creatures. This power and responsibility of human beings is termed vicegerency on behalf of God and implies the prudent use of things but not their exploitation.

As khalifa, human beings are not proprietors or owners of creation, God is the owner and everything belongs to Him. Human beings are God’s vicegerents (khalifa’ Allah) and God’s servants (abd ‘Allah). Human beings should use their authority as khalifa within the limit of the servants of God. "Nothing is more dangerous for the natural environment than the practice of the power of vice-gerency by a humanity which no longer accepts to be God’s servant, obedient to His commands and laws." 77 So human vicegerency needs to be interpreted in relation to the sovereignty of God, not independently.

Conclusion

As God created everything by accurate measurement, there is a purpose behind every act of creation. Each species is having its own role to play in the over all plan of creation. Thus everything is interrelated and contributes to the whole life of universe. If one species is eliminated, it affects the whole creation and disturbs its balance. It implies that every creature should be protected. We have seen that non-human creation is part of the beings of God and continuously praises Him. As signs of God, they manifest God and as being in the state of ‘muslim’, they perfectly obey the will of God. By assisting human beings in their spiritual journey, they become part of a sacred activity. Also by creating them as communities, God is equally concerned about their providence and life as of human community. Thus non-human creation is having its own value and it implies that the Qur’an rejects an anthropocentric view of creation.

We have also noted that it is God who made everything subservient to the use and benefit of human beings. Thus the subservience of non-human creatures is part of the purpose of creation. So subservience cannot be interpreted as the right to exploit creation by dominating it. Domination goes against the purpose of creation. We have also noted that in their natural state (fitra), human beings have a bias towards good and against evil. Harmonious living with the rest of creation is the best thing human beings can do amidst the ecological crisis. Since God is the Creator, as one of the creatures, human beings do not have authority over creation except through God. Given that God, continues the process of creation by recreation, there is no possibility to think that God has granted authority to human beings to misuse it and thus to destroy it. Vicegerency does not make human beings owners or proprietors of creation. As vicegerents of God our responsibility is to protect creation and to be part of God’s recreation process. We cannot be idle while the creation is being destroyed. We have to eliminate all kinds of evil, which causes destruction of creation.

As a student of Religions, I want to note that various responses to the ecological crisis are already given from the perspective of different religious traditions. Even though the theological and philosophical bases of these responses are different, one can discern a common growing concern for our own home (universe) and brothers and sisters (non-human creation). This concern can lead us to have further dialogue between various religious traditions to see various theological and philosophical foundations for ecological concerns. To respond to the ecological crisis it may help us to go deeper into our own religious tradition to see different bases other than what we already found. The dialogue between religious traditions not only helps us to live peacefully with the rest of creation but also helps us to live peacefully with people of other faiths. Thus ecological discussions can lead us to new way of life.

I also want to notice that the ecological insights can lead us to a new spirituality. Since there is continuity between God and the creation, this spirituality will see the presence of God in creation. So it seriously takes into consideration the intrinsic value of creation. This spirituality is holistic and committed to protect and preserve creation. It is the result of gratitude and thankfulness to God for the strong felt presence and power of God in creation. It tries to understand creation as a blessing of God entrusted to human beings to take care of it. So it is less anthropocentric and does not justify domination over creation. Thus this spirituality resists any ideology, value or life style that distorts and destroys God’s creation. It is a spirituality that actively participates in upholding justice, freedom and life inherent in the created order.

 

End Notes

1. The author in his Master of Theology thesis, submitted to the Senate of Serampore College in March 1999, debates most of the things discussed in this article and it is available for reference at the libraries of the United Theological College, Bangalore and Henry Martyn Institute, Hyderabad.

2. R. Amaldez, "Kitalk," Encyclopedia of Islam, edited by Evan Dounzel, B Lewis and Ch.Pellet, Vol. 4(1978): 980.

3. Muhammad Fawad Abdul Baqi, ed., Al-Muajam-al-Mufahir’s Li-Alfazil Quranil Kareem (Shabb Press, 1945), 241-244.

4. E. W. Lane, An Arabic-English Lexicon, Vol. 2 (Beirut-Lebanon: librairie du liban, 1968; Reprinted, Cambridge Islamic Text society, 1984). 799.

5. Ibid. p. 802.

6. R. Arnaldez op.cit.980, Halok is the corresponding Hebrew word.

7. See the Holy Qur’an 29:19; 10:4; 30:11.27.

8. E.W.Lane, VoL 1, op. cit., 197; See also 59:24; 57:22; 6:94,98: bara is its Hebrew equivalent.

9. Ibid

10. 2:54; 59:24.

11. 40:64 (two times); 64:3 (two times); 7:11; 3:6; 82:8; 59:24.

12. E. W. Lane, Vol. 4, op. cit., 1744.

13. Yunus Negus, "Science Within Islam: Learning How to Care for Our World," in Islam and Ecology, edited by Fazlun M Khalid and Joanne O’Brien (New York: Cassell Publishers Limited, 1992), 40.

14. Muhammad Fawad Abdul Baqi, ed., op. cit. 170-175

15. E. W. Lane, Vol. 2. op. cit., 430.

16. For details, see Abul Kalam Azad. The Tarjuman Al-Quran. Edited and translated by Syed Abdul Latif, Vol. 3. (Hyderabad: Syed Abdul Latif’s Trust for Quranic and Other Cultural Studies, 1981), 27f.

17. 12:76; 29:20; 32:7; 7:29; 9:63; 21:104;90:4;10:34 (two times); 27:64; 30:11; 30:27; 29:19; 34:49; 80:13.

18. E. W. Lane, Vol. 1, op. cit., 163

19. E. W. Lane, Vol. 1, op. cit., 166.

20. Muhammad Fawad Abdul Baqi, ed., op. cit., 522-523.

21. Ibid., 2415.

22. The creative command of God is explained eight places in the Qur’an. 36:82; 2:117; 16:40; 6:73; 19:35; 3:47, 59; 40:68.

23. 44:38; 21:16; 23:115; 38:27; 3:191; 45:22; 15:85: 44:39; 46:3; 10:5; 14:19; 16:3; 29:44; 6:73; 30:8; 64:3.

24. In Arabic, the word haqq is used primarily to explain the idea of permanence or fixity. Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1974 ed.. s.v. "Hakk", 126; Abul Kalam Azad. Op.cit. 66-68.

25. 112:1-4; 2:163; 6:19;16:22; 23:91-92; 37:1-5; 38:65-68.

26. Soumaya Perrilla Ouis. "Islamic Ecotheology Based on the Qur’an" Islamic Studies 37 (Summer, 1998): 153.

27. In the West, during the Age of Enlightenment, Cartesian (philosophy of R. Descartes, who was a 17th century French philosopher) dualism contributed to the development of ecological crisis. See. Soumaya Pernilla Ouis, op. cit., 152. In 1967 Lynn white Jr., a professor of History, University of California, argued that by destroying animism (the belief in supernatural power that organises and animates the material universe.) Christianity made it possible to exploit nature. And in 1989 Alastair M. Taylor and Duncan M. Taylor tried to prove that dualistic nature of Semitic religions paved the way for ecological crisis. See. A. R. Agwan. "Introduction," in Islam and the Environment, edited by A. R. Agwan. (Delhi: Institute of Objective Studies, 1997), IX, X.

28. 4:108, 126; Soumaya Pernilla Ouis, op. cit., 163.

29. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, "Islam and the Environmental Crisis," in Islam and the Environment, op. cit., 18.

30. Ibid.

31. ibid.

32. Azad termed this as Takhliq-bil-Haq. See Abul Kalam Azad. Op.cit. 33.

33 Ibid.,

34. A.R.Agwan, "Introduction," Islam and the Environment, op. cit., XII.

35. 2:164: 3:190; 13:2-4; 16:10-13; 27:86; 29:44; 30:20-25; 41:37; 45:3-6.

36. E.W. Lane, Vol. 1, op. cit., 135.

37. Sachiko Murata and William C Chittick. The Vision of Islam. (New York- Daragon Home, 1994) ,52.

38. Ibid., 54.

39. Fazlur Rahman, Major Themes of the Qur’an. (Minneapolis: Bibliotheca Islamica, 1994), 68-69; A.R. Agwan, "Toward an Ecological Consciousness;" in Islam and the Environment, op. cit.. 3; Roger. E. Timm, "The Ecological Fallout of Islamic Creation Theology," in Worldviews and Ecology: Religion. Philosophy, and the Environment. Ecology and Justice Series, edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John A Grim (Maryknoll. New York: Orbis Books, 1994), 86.

40. 22:18; 21:79; 55:6; 57:1; 59:1; 61:1; 62:1; 64:1:59:24; 24:41; 38:18,19; 13:13.

41. 17:44.

42. 3: 83

43. Ritual worship (salat) is one of the pillars of Islam and a Muslim has to pray five times a day.

44. Soumaya Pernilla Ouis, op. cit., 170.

45. S. H. Nasr. ‘The Cosmos and the Natural Order" in Islamic Spirituality: Foundations. Edited by seyyed Hossein Nasr. (London: SCM Press Ltd, 1989), 349

46. Baidawi.Anwaral-tanzil-wa-asraral-Ta’wil. (Egypt: Maimaniya Press, 1340 AH) on 6:38: Zamakhshari, Al. Kashashaf (Mohd. Efendi Press. Nd.) on 6:38.

47. The Holy Qur ‘an: English Translation of the Meaning and Commentary. Revised and edited by The Presidency of Islamic Researches, IPTA, 348.

48. 14:32-33; 16:5-8.

49. 45:12-13; 14:33-34.

50. E.W.Lane, Vol. 4. op. cit., 1324.

51. Iris Safwat, "Islam and Environmental Protection," Islam Today 12 (1994):80.

52. Abd-al-Hamid, "Exploring the Islamic Environmental Ethics" in Islam and the Environment. Op.cit. 47-48.

53. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, "Islam and the Environmental Crisis," in Islam and the Environment. op. cit., 22.

54. Soumaya Pernilla Ouis.,op.cit.. 162-163.

55. Roger E Timm, "The Ecological Fallout of Islamic Creation Theology," in World Views and Ecoolgy: Religion, Philosophy and the Environment. op. cit.. 85. 56. 95:4.

57. J.Milton Cowan, ed., A Dictionary of Modem Written Arabic, 3rd ed. (New York: Spoken Language Services, Inc. 1976), 801.

58. Muhammad Iqbal, The Reconsturction of Religious Thought in Islam. (Lahore: Javid Iqbal. 1960), 83.

59. Riffat Hassan, "Are women and Men equal Before Allah? The issue of gender justice is Islam." In Look at the World Through Women’s Eyes. Edited by Eva Friedlander. (NGO Forum on Women, Beijing ‘95 Inc., 1996.), 150.

60. 15:29, 32:9, 38:72. A similar action can be seen in 21:91 and 66:12 when God blew (nafaka) of His spirit (ruh) in to Maryam for the conception of ‘Isa.

61. Qur’an. op. cit., 1227, 979.

62. Soumaya Pernilla Ouis, op. cit., 157.

63. The Holy Qur‘an: English Translation of the Meaning and Commentary. Revised and edited by The Presidency of Islamic Researches, IFTA. 1186.

64. Soumaya Pernilla Ouis, op. cit., 158, cites M. Wyn Davies, Knowing One Another: Shaping an Islamic Anthropology (New York : Mansell Publishing, 1988), 89.

65. Soumaya Pernilla Ouis, op. cit., 158.

66. 38:26:10:14; 2:30; 7:69:7:74; 6:165; 2:255; 7:169

67. . E.W. Lane, Vol. 2, op. cit., 792.

68. Abu Jafar Muhammad B Jarir Al-Tabari, The Commentary on the Qur‘an, edited by J Cooper and A Jones, Vol. 1 (Oxford : OUP, 1987), 208.

69. Abd-al-Hamid, op. cit., 41

70. Muhammad Iqbal, op. cit., 83.

71. Mustansir Mir, "Adam in the Qur’an." Islamic Culture 62(January, 1988): 4-5.

72. George Koovackal, "The Human Person According to Islam." Journal of Dharma 21(January-March. 1996): 62.

73. Safia Amir, "Man’s Place in God’s Universe." Islam and the Modem Age 26 (February, 1995): 42.

74. Seyyed Hossein Naser, Islamic Life and Thought (London: George Allen Y Unwin, 1981), 16.

75. Seyyed Hossein Naser, An introduction to the Islamic Cosmological Doctrines, (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1964), 150.

76. Soumaya Pernilla Ouis, op. cit., 154.

77. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, "Islam and the environmental crisis." op. cit.. 22.


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