Khalifah, the Environment and Recycling Copies of the Holy Qur'an: A Symbiotic Sematic Consideration
Khalifah, the Environment and Recycling Copies of the Holy Qur’an: A Symbiotic Sematic Consideration
Shahrul Hussain
Abstract: It is difficult to know the exact number of copies of the Qur’an made annually, but it is safe to say that it runs into the hundreds and thousands. This article seeks to test and challenge the archaic method of disposing unwanted copies of the Qur’an by burning and explores the possibility of an alternative means of disposal that is in keeping with the demands of contemporary needs and the modern age. There are two principal objectives of this article: firstly, to make an exegetical investigation of the possible reinterpretation of the primary role of Adam and his progeny as God’s vicegerents on Earth from a political hegemonic post to become an ‘ecologically conscious being’. Secondly, the article analyses the legal veracity of recycling copies of the Qur’an. If it can be argued that Adam’s primary role on Earth is an ‘ecologically conscious being’ then recycling copies of the Qur’an, as opposed to burning them, becomes a legal obligation for Muslims. The Qur’an is a subject highly emotional with Muslims, therefore, there is a great challenge of providing accurate legal rulings conforming to the primary sources of Muslim law whilst remaining sensitive and practical to the needs to modern times. In order to do that this article probes the classical juristic views and shows how they understood the nature of hard copies of the Qur’an as a platform to understanding whether recycling copies of the Qur’an would be in line with the ethico-legal teachings of Islam.

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