FaithInvest founder and CEO Martin Palmer has released a series of prayers and meditations focusing on climate change through the lens of various faiths. The six prayers have featured on BBC Radio 4's Prayer for the Day throughout the COP26 climate conference currently taking place in Glasgow.
Saturday 6 November saw a Christian prayer, Monday 8 November offered a Buddhist perspective, Tuesday 9 November saw Martin turning to the wisdom of Judaism and Wednesday 10 November provided a Sikh view, which helped underline the urgency of climate action with an observation that 'The world is going up in flames' amid an imbalance.
On Thursday 11 November, Martin spoke further on the topic of humankind's need to be part of a balanced world, drawing this time from the teachings of Islam:
Islam – All creatures live in community
Both the climate and biodiversity crises have made us more aware how important the balance of the whole of nature is to the survival of our world. We are so consumed with our own wants and needs that we forget about the importance of mizan – a word meaning balance. For example: simplicity and modesty as against selfishness, greed and recklessness. A balance for the well-being of all life on earth.
This especially applies to consumption and what we take from the natural world entrusted to us by God – a world of many communities and many species. The Quran says:
'He raised the heavens and established the balance so that you would not transgress the balance. He laid out the earth for all living creatures.' –Surah 55:7 - 10
'All living beings roaming the earth and winged birds soaring in the sky are communities like yourselves.' –Surah 6:38
Recently attention has been focused within Islam on Greening the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Makkah. This has led to major changes in the way this pilgrimage is undertaken. For example: using proper water bottles made from gourds and bags made from hemp instead of plastic. It is no accident that the first chapter or Surah in the Quran speaks through prayer directly to this:
'In the Name of God, the Merciful Lord of Mercy. Praise be to God, the Lord of all being, The merciful Lord of Mercy, Master of the Day of Judgement. You alone we serve: to You alone we come for aid. Guide us in the straight path, The path of those whom You have blessed, Not of those against whom there is displeasure Nor of those who go astray.'