Rediscovery and Revival in Islamic Environmental Law: Back to The Future of Nature’s Trust
Rediscovery and Revival in Islamic Environmental Law: Back to The Future of Nature’s Trust
Samira Idllalene
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2021, xxiv + 164 pp.
ISBN 978-1-108-48878-5
Muhammad Wajid Munir
Samira Idllalène explores the ecological dimension of Islamic law through the lens of comparative law to revive Islamic environmental law and suggests a roadmap for the Atmospheric Waqf Doctrine in her book “Rediscovery and Revival in Islamic Environmental Law: Back to the Future of Nature’s Trust” (p. 28). She makes a powerful argument that despite a rich ecological heritage, principles, policies, and precedents, environmental legislation in Muslim countries is borrowed from the West. Shari’ah has a very strong ecological dimension which is untapped due to Western influence on environmental laws in Muslim countries. Muslim countries are unaware of Islamic environmental law principles as they have rendered Islam to rituals or confined it to personal laws. Thus, it is imperative to reinforce and re-appropriate the ecological heritage of Islamic law (p. 17). Further, she claims that there are many similarities between Waqf and Trust as both are charitable endowments. However, the concept of Trust evolved and transformed into a well-established environmental law principle i.e. the Public Trust Doctrine (PTD), but Waqf despite having identical features of Trust failed to translate into environmental law principle. The book proposes that the concept of Waqf should be revived and reinvigorated in order to protect the environment in the comparative law framework. It also suggests a new approach to the legislation of environmental laws in Muslim countries and prescribes a roadmap for the establishment and creation of Islamic environmental law doctrine i.e. Atmospheric Waqf Doctrine based on Shari’ah and customary norms of Muslim countries on the pattern of the concept of Trust and the PTD. Idllalène explores rich Islamic legal principles such as Waqf, Hima (protected area), Khilafa (trusteeship/stewardship), and Maslaha to uncover their ability in addressing climate change challenges.

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