Al-Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth was introduced

Al-Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth was completed which is led by United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) under the umbrella of Faith-Based Organizations and is contributed by Muslim thought leaders worldwide. The covenant reminds that responsibility of humanity, especially Muslim communities, is on climate change and is to project natural resources and biological variety of world’s common heritage. Moreover, the covenant emphasizes that it is a sacred aim that humanity must respect the natural balance in accordance with values that establish the fundamental of Islam. University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean Prof. İbrahim Özdemir who is in the committee that prepared the covenant, gave information on the covenant in the promotion meeting. Moreover, Üsküdar University President Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said “The most natural psychologist is the nature itself. The nature heals our heart, calms our soul and clears our mind at the same time.” by highlighting that nature has a natural therapeutic quality.

A call from Islamic World for the humanity: We have to take responsibility for the disturbed balance of the nature and act on it!

Al-Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth is being introduced under the leadership of Faith-Based Organizations led by UNEP. Introduction of the Covenant in Türkiye was held in Üsküdar University on September 26, 2022.  In the meeting where public, civil society and many representatives from the media, Üsküdar University President Nevzat Tarhan and University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean and Director of Üsküdar University Environmental Ethics Platform Prof. İbrahim Özdemir who is in the committee that prepared the covenant, made their speeches. 

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: “Al-Mizan will contribute to the mental transformation”

Stating that we will understand the value of the project named Al-Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said: “Now, we are not that aware of its importance. We should say that it is a project that will contribute to the mental transformation. Without a mental transformation, social transformation cannot be achieved; without a social transformation, it will not be healthy to expect to achieve an economic and political transformation. Al-Mizan is a medium long-term project.  This project has been realized to manage certain needs of the future. It has been understood for the last 1-2 years. Some things are like health; we only understand its value when we lose it.”.

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: “The most natural psychologist is the nature itself.”

Stating that nature is like an immune system of the world Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said that “The nature carries out many activities even thou we do not realize it. If the nature could speak, it would tell us that it protects us from pollution, purifies the water and the air and protects the coasts. All of the elements within the nature is our friends who cannot speak.  When our heart is broken, when we feel upset or disappointed, we find ourselves in nature even thou we are not aware of it. It performs a therapy on us. Nature has a natural therapeutic quality. The most natural psychologist is the nature itself. The nature heals our heart, calms our soul and clears our mind at the same time.”

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: “We have mistaken modernism with concretion”

Emphasizing that we are losing the nature with concretion and urbanization Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said “Unfortunately, we have mistakes modernism with concretion. We have proceeded quickly to lose the architecture of the city. We have begun to see nature as our enemy instead of our friend who cannot speak. Modernism has a role in this to a certain extend.”.

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: “The future of the world depends on the future of the green”

Highlighting that carbon emissions is increasing Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said that:

“Warming of the planet is another danger. It is an effect of the global warming that it rains a lot to one place and the other place being very close to it has draught.  We disturb the ecosystem. The nature does not need us but we need the nature. Renewal of the water and stabilization of the land are needed. The future of the world depends on the future of the green. This project actually shows that our religion, our culture and our belief system are environmentalists.”.

Prof. İbrahim Özdemir stated that science presents proofs that the natural balance has been disturbed in years as a result of human activities, and Prof. İbrahim Özdemir added an increasing cooperation has begun among religious organizations, scientific research groups, civil society and international organizations. Prof. İbrahim Özdemir continued:

“Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), Islamic Foundation of Ecological and Environmental Sciences (IFEES), Üsküdar University, Qur'anic Botanic Garden in Qatar, and Qatar Hamad Bin Khalifa University Faculty of Islamic Sciences and Faith-Based Organizations have gathered together to put Islamic doctrines within a framework that enables 1,8 billion Muslims to adopt sustainability as a part of their everyday lives.  The text is named as ‘al-Mizan’ which is the main notions of the Qur’an and mentioned in the Rahman surah which is the 55th surah of the Qur’an. It is seen as a pact and testament that Muslims made with the world. Therefore, it is named as ‘Al-Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth’.  The covenant is expected to establish a network of efficiency and partnership between research centers and scientist that work in the topics of religion, environment and sustainable development beyond the Islamic world.”

Prof. İbrahim Özdemir informed on Al-Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth and mentioned works that are considered to realize within the framework of action plan and within the scope of covenant. Prof. İbrahim Özdemir said that humanity must work together in solving the environmental problems.

The covenant refers Islamic principles under the titles of common heritage of the humanity, global climate change, loss of biological variety and political economy and the covenant evaluates the status of the world according to the Islamic values and indicates that balance must be provided for the solution.

Some of the titles that highlights the consequences of global climate change within the context of humanity heritage are as follows: 

Indicators on Cosmos and World: An Integrated Approach; Monotheism as cornerstone of Islam and Moral; Cosmic Balance; Al-Mīzān: Balance and Mutuality; Creation: Eternal Nature of Humanity and Responsibility; Meaning of being God’s Caliph under the Sun; To Work for the Ultimate Wellness for Everybody: Ethos and Morals; Ethical Aspects of the Monotheism: the Uniqueness of God; Taqwa: Respect, Care and Careful Attitude; Beneficence: The Best that is possible; Mercy, Gratitude and Thanksgiving; To Understand the Omens of the Compassionate, Equality and Equity: Re-think of the Welfare, Developments and Lifestyle, Resources of Life, Accountability in the Use of Life Resources; Giving no harm; Right of Water and Other Life Resources; The World as a Ship,  the Ultimate Aim of the Religion; the Welfare of Animals and Animal Rights.

Creating Al-Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth

After UNEP Faith-Based Organizations Strategic Certificate was published in 2018, the Faith for Earth Coalition was established in October 2020.  Muslim thought leaders providing the creation of the covenant, continued their work with aim to examine Sustainable Development Goals and a common framework.  An idea of Islamic Environment Agreement that will be named later as “Al-Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth”, was born in the 8th Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers held by UNEP- Faith for Earth Coalition and Islamic World Education, Science and Culture Organization in Rabat.

The first draft of the Covenant is shared with over 300 Islamic institutions for feedbacks and consultation.  The covenant firstly will present to the Islamic World Environment Ministries Conference and then it will be presented to the United Nations Secretariat.

Those who participated in preparation of the covenant:

 Dr. Iyad Abu Moghli is the founder and director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Faith for Earth Initiative, Kenya

Prof. Abdelmajid Tribak: Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) Chief Advisor, Morocco.

Prof.  İbrahim Özdemir: Üsküdar University Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean and Environmental Ethics Forum Director, Türkiye.

Aishah Ali Abdallah: Member of Wilderness, Education and Communication Commission, Saudi Arabia.

Assoc. Prof. Evren Tok: Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Innovation and Community Advancement. Faculty of Islamic Studies, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar.

Sidi Fazlun Khalid: Islamic Foundation of Ecological and Environmental Sciences (IFEES)/EcoIslam Founder, England.

Othman Abd-ar-Rahman Llewellyn: World Commissions on Protected Areas and Environmental Law (IUCN) and World Commission on Environmental Law Member, Ecological Planner in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Natural Wilderness Center, Saudi Arabia.

Kamran Shezad: Islamic Foundation of Ecological and Environmental Sciences (IFEES)/EcoIslam Co-Director and Sustainability Leader of Bahu Trust, England.

  • Notes to the Editor:
  • Al-Mizan is one of the main notions of the Quran. Mizan is derived from the word vezn which means that “estimate a weight of something, scale, weigh” and mizan means “scale device, weight used in scaling; justice”.
  • For Turkish text of Al-Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth:
  • For United Nations Faith Based Organizations:
  • The covenant was translated into languages of Turkish, Arabic, German and French. Translation into other languages is continuing.

Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)