18 May, 2022


Religion, Environment & Islamic Worldview

By Mass L. Usuf

Mass Usuf

Mass Usuf

The Faculty of Humanities, University of Kelaniya, had organized an International Conference on the Humanities (ICH) which was held on the 06th and 07th October at the Faculty of Humanities. This time, the theme of the conference was, “New Direction in the Humanities: Our Engagement with the Environment.” The focus was on Environmental Humanities which according to ICH is an interdisciplinary area of international research and teaching that encompasses multiple shades of learning.

Below is the full text of an abstract that was presented by me for a panel discussion on the topic “Religion and Environment”, at the Conference.

“Remember in 1975, Chairman Scorer of DuPont which made 1/4 of the world’s Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), commented that the ozone depletion theory was “a science fiction tale…a load of rubbish…utter nonsense.” (Chemical Week, 16 July 1975). It was a scary statement. Had it been true, we would not be sitting here! Four decades later our presence today is testimony that the ozone layer is indeed depleting.Floods & Sea Level Rise?

What is wrong with the Environment? The simple answer is global warming, loss of bio diversity, climate change, water scarcity, depletion of ozone layer, acid rain, toxic materials, destruction of forests, air pollution.

The Background

The Industrial Revolution of the 1700s changed the way man behaved. The anthropogenic contribution since then have produced a 40% increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency carbon dioxide alone comprise 81% of all the greenhouse gases. The discovery and burning of coal and later other fossil fuels triggered the emission of greenhouse gases and the onset of environmental degradation.

The Age of Enlightenment in Europe stimulated by new scientific thinking and libertarianism resulted in the separation of the State and Religion. The Christian Religion and religious orthodoxy was challenged by a new form of awareness expressed by the Latin term ‘Sapere aude’, ‘Dare to know’. Religion was put in the dock and its sacred dominance humbled, the unbridled greed continued to enthuse people. The environment was in the threshold of being gradually threatened. Nothing was there to come to its rescue except for some occasional piece of legislation either to reduce or control the impact.

In the East, however, the influence of these phenomena did not have an immediate impact on religion. Therefore, the institutions of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism were relatively safe and unaffected.

Irreligious Man

Close on the heels of the transformation from manual to machines was the capitalist economic system. Large scale production capabilities reduced the cost of production causing the availability of cheap goods. The improvement of living conditions, the emergence of consumerism, the demand for more goods, the urge to produce more and the desire for more profit all got sucked into a vortex of greed.

What started then, when the world population was circa 700 million is continuing even today causing the depletion of the ozone layer, global warming and so many other environmental hazards. The world population today is a whopping 7.1 billion and counting. Statistically increasing by about 144 people every minute.

Although nature and religion are two co-existing realities man’s uninhibited vigour flowing from his new discoveries distanced him from religion. The consequence of which was that he kept himself away from nature. Religion upheld as sacrosanct was substituted by material progress and success. Materialism is neither transcendental nor does it have sacredness in it.

The exponential increase in the threat to human existence is now clearly acknowledged. In this background, the dynamic search for solutions through this Conference by engaging diverse disciplines has to be embraced warmly. Woven into this search is a revisit to an institution which hitherto was relegated to the oblivion of sleep and, that is, Religion. This explains the presence of dignitaries of the various religions who will be presenting their views on the Environment as seen through the lenses of their respective religions.

Islamic worldview

To better understand the Islamic worldview on environment, it is necessary to preface it with the basic theological foundation of Islam. Islam is a purely monotheistic (One God) religion with a theocentric principle. Flowing from this tenet is the concept that everything is God centred. All creations are ascribed to God, as the Creator. Beginning from the creation of the Universe up to the sub atomic particle, God has ensured a purpose, a design and a goal for each – be it the planets, the stars, the solar system, the earth or everything that is in and on the earth. The Quran states:

“Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High. Who has created all things, and then proportioned it. And Who has measured; and then guided (them to their goals – an inbuilt system)” (Chapter 87 Verses 1 – 3)

In this complex system, every creation has a role to play either as a distinct entity by itself or as an interacting agency with the other classes of creation or, both roles. For example, like the innumerably different organisms adapting themselves to the biotic and abiotic environment. This is the inbuilt nature designed by God. Environmental scientists would broadly call these biomes and in a particular sense ecosystem.

A Complete Way Of Life

Man is regarded as the higher being of all creations of God on earth. Similar to the others, for the human kind too there is a purpose, a design and a goal. To facilitate the existence of man this dynamic, diverse and complex system has been bestowed on him as a Trust. To this extent Islam is also anthropocentric. Therefore, every man has the religious responsibility of protecting and safeguarding this Trust which is the eco-system and the environment.

Islam teaches a complete way of life to man providing him guidance from the cradle to the grave and beyond. In Islam nature and religion, science and religion, philosophy and religion are intertwined with it. Thus there are numerous references in the Quran on the development of the human Self, sociology, geology, oceanography, embryology, etc. including the environment.

“ ……. And We have sent down to you the Book making clear everything, and as a guidance and a mercy, and as good tidings to those who surrender”.
(Chapter 16, Verse 89)

There are also several sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, Peace and blessings be on him (PBUH) in relation to environment. Here is one such which encourages forestry and sustainability.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.” – Imam Bukhari.

Greed Versus Conservation

Love of God leads to loving His creation. Human beings cannot be happy without the happiness of the other beings. It is not for man to conquer nature. It is not for man to change nature. Islam teaches man to live in harmony with nature. Islam teaches man to protect and ensure the continuation of nature. Man’s relationship with the environment is one of stewardship.

Conservation in Islam is about mu’amalat (acting in the public interest; civic responsibility). In general, I believe, that when considering the environment from the perspective of religion, there must be present in religion some qualitative factors, like:

1. An identifiable clear value statement by the religion
2. The significance and sacredness the followers attach to religion
3. The extent of commitment and adherence of its followers
4. The will to translate the value statement into practise
5. Moral obligation or accountability

In contrast to western economic principles, the concept of sustainable development in Islamic economics is based on fundamentals of justness in matters of consumer welfare, economic efficiency, attainment of social justice, and ecological balance. The Quran calls the believers as ‘Ummathan wasatan’ as a middle nation. Neither hedonistic nor ascetic. Not avaricious and not miserly.

As far as Islam is concerned it has a very clear hierarchy linking the relevance of nature to man.

1. Allah: The Creator, Sustainer, Nourisher of the Universe.
2. Man: everything has been created to facilitate man’s existence
3. Other creations: both animate and inanimate.
4. Trust: The creation that has been bestowed on man as a trust
5. Responsibility: Man to protect this Trust as custodian of it.
6. Accountability: Man will be held accountable for the way he
handles this Trust and for his Custodianship.

Finally, the discussion on Environment is not complete if the boundaries of environment are not extended beyond the natural environment. It is also the social, moral, economic and political environment that needs to be clean and free of corruption. People should be made to realize that the conservation of all these environments is a religious duty demanded by God. God has said:

“And do good as Allah has been good to you. And do not seek to cause corruption in the earth. Allah does not love the corrupters”, (Al Qasas 28:77)

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  • 13

    “Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.” – Imam Bukhari

    Yet it is okay to slaughter goats for Eid? By slaughter I don’t mean go to John Keels and buy “harak mas.” In Arab countries they cut the goats throat in the street and let the poor animal bleed to death.

    “In Islam nature and religion, science and religion, philosophy and religion are intertwined with it.”

    Islam also says the Earth is flat, implying it is two-dimensional.

    “(Yea, the same that) has made for you the earth (like a carpet) spread out, and has made for you roads (and channels) therein, in order that ye may find guidance (on the way);” Qur’an 43:10

    The actual shape of the Earth is an oblate spheroid. It is best to learn science from science books, not philosophy books.

    • 1

      Islamic belief about the environment:

      Although human beings are seen as the most intelligent life form on earth, they are responsible for almost all the damage done to the planet. If we imagined the earth is aged 46, all the damage done has taken place in the last 60 seconds of the earth’s life.

      The Qur’an says that Allah (God) is the Creator of the world. Human beings are on the world as trustees or ‘vicegerents’ – they are told to look after the world for Allah and for the future:

      The Earth is green and beautiful, and Allah has appointed you his stewards over it. The whole earth has been created a place of worship, pure and clean. Whoever plants a tree and diligently looks after it until it matures and bears fruit is rewarded. If a Muslim plants a tree or sows a field and humans and beasts and birds eat from it, all of it is love on his part. Hadith

      In the Qur’an, Muslims are instructed to look after the environment and not to damage it:

      ‘Devote thyself single-mindedly to the Faith, and thus follow the nature designed by Allah, the nature according to which He has fashioned mankind. There is no altering the creation of Allah’. Surah 30:30

      Muslims have to look after the earth because it is all Allah’s creation and it is part of a human’s duty to Allah:

      Allah is He Who raised up the heavens without any pillars that you can see. Then He settled Himself on the Throne, and constrained the sun and the moon to serve you; each planet pursues its course during an appointed term. He regulates it all and expounds the Signs, that you may have firm belief in the meeting with your Lord. He it is Who spread out the earth and made therein firmly fixed mountains and rivers, and of fruits of every kind He has made pairs. He causes the night to cover the day. In all this, verily, are signs for people who reflect. Surah 13:3-4

      Because of this passage, people see themselves as being responsible for the world which Allah created and they have to make their own decisions about how to do this.

      The Assisi Declarations on Nature, 1986

      In 1986, HRH Prince Philip, then President of the WWF International invited five leaders of five of the major religions of the world – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism – to meet to discuss how their faiths could help save the natural world.

      The meeting took place in Assisi in Italy, because it was the birth place of St Francis, the Catholic saint of ecology. From this meeting arose key statements by the five faiths outlining their own distinctive traditions and approach to the care for nature.

      In the Assisi Declarations on Nature the Muslim statement was:

      The central concept of Islam is Tawhid or the Unity of God. Allah is Unity; and His Unity is also reflected in the unity of mankind, and the unity of man and nature. His trustees are responsible for maintaining the unity of His creation, the integrity of the Earth, its flora and fauna, its wildlife and natural environment. Unity cannot be had by discord, by setting one need against another or letting one end predominate over another; it is maintained by balance and harmony. There Muslims say that Islam is the middle path and we will be answerable for how we have walked this path, how we have maintained balance and harmony in the whole of creation around us.

      So unity, trusteeship and accountability, that is Tawhid, Khalifah and Akhirah, the three central concepts of Islam, are also the pillars of the environmental ethics of Islam. They constitute the basic values taught by the Qur’an. It is these values which led Muhammad (Sal.), the Prophet of Islam, to say: ‘Whoever plants a tree and diligently looks after it until it matures and bears fruit is rewarded.’

      For all these reasons Muslims see themselves as having a responsibility towards the world and the environment, all of which are the creations of Allah.
      Unlike many other religions, Muslims do not have any specific festivals in which they give thanks for the harvest or the world. Instead they give thanks to Allah regularly for all of His creation.

      In order to separate Islam from other religions, the Islamic year is based on a lunar calendar, which is 354 days. This means that the months and festivals happen at a different time each year and so there is no particular festival which falls during a period of harvest.

      • 9

        The Qur’an says that Allah (God) is the Creator of the world. “
        Allah did not create our world what he created was ISIS who go round killing innocent women and children in the middle east and elsewhere; supported by bigots like izeth H of SL

        • 0

          umberto gui

          Allaah Almighty Creator has Created all human beings and not left them to drift away without guidance. Do you know who the Americans who are not Muslims, who have the record number of human beings killed massacred throughout the history, similarly in Sri Lanka LTTE also killed and blasted many many thousand of innocent people, like wise in the human history there came such dastardly creatures who killed maimed destroyed in thousands, So each of these criminals, whatever religion they may practice but these are responsible and will be held accountable and will be punished according to the crime by the Lord Almighty. Through these columns do not try to marginalize the Muslims because of your hatred, but appreciate them for the knowledge of science, medicine, astronomy, mathematics and a whole lot were invented by early Muslims, So why are you not appreciating The best of mankind. Every soul shall be questioned as to his/her behavior good or evil, will be fairly dealt by their Creators, No carrier of the burden shall carry the burden of others. Whether Muslim or not all shall be questioned as to their life in this world once their soul is extracted in this worldly life. So be fair and Square. Be Just.

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    • 2

      Quran says earth is ostrich egg shape 1400 years ago.

    • 5

      The world is spherical’ and specifically in Surah Naziyath, Ch. 79, Verse No. 30…(Arabic…) ‘We have made the Earth thereafter Egg shape…like an Ostrich Egg, which is exactly Geo spherical.

      • 5

        Dahaha (دَحَاهَا) does not mean egg-shaped. It means “spread out.” Some Muslims pretend dahaha refers to “egg-shaped” but that is a a false claim. Also, the earth is not in the shape of an egg. An egg is a prolate spheroid, whereas the shape of the Earth is an oblate spheroid. Anyway, the Quran clearly says the Earth is spread out like a carpet. One cannot spread out a spherical object in the same way as a carpet. With a carpet, the area (FLAT surface is increasing). With a sphere, the VOLUME is increasing. A carpet does not have volume.

    • 4

      Do you eat meat Lester? If you don’t then you are a minority in world context. You cannot get meat without animal slaughter. Even the religion teaches us what type of animals that is permissible as food. There is as always the right way to slaughter, and there is the wrong way. Muslims have been taught a specific way, and that is what they follow at all time, everywhere and anywhere in the world. If the source of the meat appears suspect in the way it was slaughtered, in that it does not conform with the Islamic teachings, then total abstinence from consumption is the norm.

      The fact is those animals were created as food for mankind, just like plants. Slaughter of animals is carried out by Jews and Muslims in the same way. It is significant to note that even after all that slaughter of millions of animals everyday around the world, just to feed human population, there has never been a scarcity or reduction in any of those particular animal population. It keeps their growth in check, problem solved.

      If animal slaughter for meat is stopped completely to satisfy your illogical thinking, then competing challenges for food will arise. The ultimate solution will be culling to control population growth, which is just another form of wasteful killing, a hypocritical approach to solving the problem.

      The slaughter of animals ‘on the streets’ of Arabia as suggested, does not happen, and is absolutely untrue. The animal sacrifice is done is specific bounded areas which have purpose built factories in close proximity, to process the meat produced. This meat is exported to be distributed to poor Muslims living in those countries, and some of it, consumed by the pilgrims themselves. Nothing is allowed to go waste. This slaughter is done to emulate the incident that happened at the time of Prophet Abraham, where he slaughtered a ram in obedience to God’s test of his faithfulness. The by-products of those animals like bones, hide, horn are sent to factories for manufacturing of perfumes, toothpaste, tennis guts and posh car seats, among many other such items. So its whole industries that benefit by these animal slaughter.

      There is no solution as good as what teachings of Islam brings to the table. This is true in every minute aspect of life. What solutions does your religion have in this respect?

      • 7


        The fact is those animals were created as food for mankind, just like plants.

        If animals were created by allah, why animals have to come out of a womb ?

        IF Plants were created by allah, why seeds or branches are neded to propagate a plant ?

        If you are allowed to kill animals, what is the place of animals in the environment as per Islamic Teachings ?

        You people have double standards ?

        buthcer shops in Sri lanka owned by muslims. Night clubs are owned by muslims and those are open to girls, but muslims girls are banned to even wear body-open cloths. It is the same with women’s fashion. Muslim women wear fully covered. they sell fashions for women from other religions.

        • 5

          Jim Softy

          Agree with you Jim, if women shouldn’t be fashionable and hide their inside completely, why should they sell fashionable things even for non Muslim women; what a shame

          After all, everybody knows what’s inside anybody’s attire, whether men or women but what’s sad is Muslim men don’t know that they’re showing their moral nakedness when walking with women wrapped in black cloths.

          Wrapped up Muslim ladies should have guts to close their eyes and seek ride on husband’s shoulder as they’re considered chattel; i’m sure to wake up their men.

      • 6

        ‘If animals are created as food for mankind, just like plants. Slaughter of animals is carried out by Jews and Muslims in the same way. It is significant to note that even after all that slaughter of millions of animals everyday around the world, just to feed human population, there has never been a scarcity or reduction in any of those particular animal population. It keeps their growth in check, problem solved.’

        Now there is a news item that the ISIS says it will kill its Yazidi sex slaves if coalition forces come any closer, after losing further territorial losses.Islamic State is holding the women in a series of homes in al-Hakne, a village on the Tigris river in northern Iraq. Coalition forces have already taken the other side of the river and are threatening the ISIS stronghold. What is the view of Muslims on the position of ISIS. It appears that the ISIS is ready to slaughter the Yazidi slaves. Do they treat Yazidi sex slaves as animals.

        • 4


          “It appears that the ISIS is ready to slaughter the Yazidi slaves. Do they treat Yazidi sex slaves as animals.”

          Islam has not changed since Muhammed’s time. Slavery was acceptable at that time. Muhammed owned many slaves. So, ISIS is trying to go back to that time. The issue here is that Muslims cannot criticize Muhammed. When you try to imitate someone blindly, things don’t always work out as planned, especially if that particular figure was controversial.

        • 1

          how ignorant you and the likes of you to connect ISIS as Muslims, Islam has nothing to do with ISIS al qaeda etc which are western created. Quraan clearly “Whoever kills a person [unjustly]…it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.” (Qur’an, 5:32)
          After having learned this Divine Statement, who ever try to falsify Divine statement of Almighty, his recompense is with His Lord.

          • 1


            Explain why KSA, Qatar, UAE, Jordan, and Turkey are funding ISIS with billions of dollars and weapons. ISIS is trying to create a Caliphate to spread the “true” Shariah of Muhammed. And also fighting Shias, who are considered heretics by Sunnis. These are the facts.

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      • 3


        I am not saying eating meat is wrong, although it is unnecessary for those who live in warmer climates. But, the halal method of animal execution is wrong, since it causes the animal a lot of pain. Just because these methods of execution (for animals and people) were practiced during Muhammed’s time does not make them relevant or essential today. If the West started crucifying people again, there would be a big protest.

    • 8


      Muslim population explosion is the greatest damage to the environment.


    • 3

      Lester and Mass Usuf

      (Qur’an, 79:30).“(Yea, the same that) has made for you the earth (like a carpet) spread out,..”


      “The actual shape of the Earth is an oblate spheroid. It is best to learn science from science books, not philosophy books.”

      Make sure you learn the correct science with supporting data and observations. Aristotle was incorrect 2 out of 3 times.

      This is where the debate between Revelation and Reason and observation comes in.

      1. Aristotle and the Greek natural Philosophers ( scientists) reasoned that the Earth was spherical because the shadow of the Earth on the moon was from a round object. They were correct.

      2. Aristotle and Ptolemy argued that the Earth was stationary, and that the Sun and the Planets went around a stationary earth. That was from the Natural Philosophy (Science Books) at that time, but they were wrong.

      3. The Earth was round. That was known to the Greeks and Egyptians, by the 3rd Century BC. In Fact Eratosthenes’ measured of the Earth’s circumference in 3rd Century BC.

      Eratosthenes’ measurement of the Earth’s circumference

      At noon on the summer solstice in the Egyptian town now called Aswan, the sun hovers straight overhead: objects cast no shadow and sunlight falls directly down a deep well. When he read this fact, Eratosthenes, the librarian at Alexandria in the third century B.C., realized he had the information he needed to estimate the circumference of the planet. On the same day and time, he measured shadows in Alexandria, finding that the solar rays there had a bit of a slant, deviating from the vertical by about seven degrees.

      The rest was just geometry. Assuming the earth is spherical, its circumference spans 360 degrees. So if the two cities are seven degrees apart, that would constitute seven-360ths of the full circle — about one-fiftieth. Estimating from travel time that the towns were 5,000 ”stadia” apart, Eratosthenes concluded that the earth must be 50 times that size — 250,000 stadia in girth. Scholars differ over the length of a Greek stadium, so it is impossible to know just how accurate he was. But by some reckonings, he was off by only about 5 percent. (Ranking: 7)

      4. Galileo’s experiment on falling objects

      In the late 1500’s, everyone knew that heavy objects fall faster than lighter ones. After all, Aristotle had said so. That an ancient Greek scholar still held such sway was a sign of how far science had declined during the dark ages.

      Galileo Galilei, who held a chair in mathematics at the University of Pisa, was impudent enough to question the common knowledge. The story has become part of the folklore of science: he is reputed to have dropped two different weights from the town’s Leaning Tower showing that they landed at the same time. His challenges to Aristotle may have cost Galileo his job, but he had demonstrated the importance of taking nature, not human authority, as the final arbiter in matters of science. (Ranking: 2)


      • 2


        A very clever experiment by Eratosthenes. Begin with the assumption that the Earth is circular. Then, any two cities must lie on a circle. Next, find the distance (arc length) between the two cities by noting that a ray of sunlight travels directly to the bottom of a well in one city but gets deflected in the other city. Since this arc length is simply a fraction of a full circle, it should be possible to calculate the circumference of the Earth.

        You will not find any such experiments in the “Holy Books.” Instead, the Holy Book will first claim the Earth is flat, then after a satellite reveals the true shape of the Earth, the religious scholars will say that the Holy Book actually said the Earth was in the shape of an egg!

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    • 0

      11 (thumbsup) Ckskrs up to now. Lol.

    • 1

      Mass Usuf and Lester,

      RE: Religion, Environment & Islamic Worldview and Jewish and Christian Worldview.

      To begin with Read the Bible and the Quran Cover to Cover and Comprehend it.

      Read a comment below, an opinion.

      Tuesday, 18 June 2013
      Koran vs The Bible

      At times I like infographics and now is one of these times.

      The reason I so like this is that it shows that the Bible and the Koran can be interchanged and that one is exactly the same as the other. Often Christians and Mulsims like to say their holy book is the only true way to get to God/Allah. But look at the 10 commandments in the bible compared to the koran and you see that these laws are contained in both. So which way is the real way to go to your invisible guy in the sky?

      What does this mean for two religions. Not much really as they both are Abramic religions and so clearly they will be sharing from each other as they come from the same geographical region. All it means is that they are the same and believe the same fundamentalist rubbish which leaves society in a worse state than it would be without religion. I would put a challenge out to any Christian or Muslim to go and read the other holy book cover to cover and then compare it to your holy book cover to cover. Then please explain to me why your holy book is better than the other one.

      The benefit of doing this exercise will show you 2 things.

      1) You will realize they are the same.
      2) For once you will read your whole holy book and then more than likely you will run as fast as possible away from the church/mosque.

    • 0

      Mass L. Usuf and Lester,

      Religion, Environment & Islamic Worldview

      Environment & Extiniction events

      God Made You Imperfect – Extiniction events

      Monday, 21 April 2014
      A recent publication titled “Methanogenic burst in the end-Permian carbon cycle” by Rotham et al. in PNAS got me reading and thinking about past mass extinction events on our planet. This is in fact very humbling as it brings home how fragile we as a species are. We are a mere cog in the ecosystem of our planet. That is we are not special, we are not Gods perfectly created images of his arrogant self.


      So what does major extinction mean exactly? Here is a list to help you understand a little better.

      1) In the Permian–Triassic extinction event, which they deal with in the manuscript cited above, 90 to 96 % of all species died.
      2) In the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 75 % of all species died.
      3) In the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event 75 % of all species died.
      4) In the Late Devonian extinction 70 % of all species died.
      5) In the Ordovician–Silurian extinction event 60 to 70 % of all species died.

      Does this mean that god made 5 major screw ups? I say 5 major screw ups, as their have also been minor extinction events (i.e. Aptian extinction) which surely mean god made more than these 5 screw ups. It surely then logically follows that either god is a colossal prick, or he screwed up which does not fit well with infallibility and omnipotence.

      Luckily this line of reasoning only holds if you believe in the existence of a god, if not then you can live life rationally and just accept your fragile existence and appreciate it for what it is………..Amazing.
      Posted by Christian at 13:00:00

      Methanogenic burst in the end-Permian carbon cycle



      The end-Permian extinction is the most severe biotic crisis in the fossil record. Its occurrence has been attributed to increased CO2 levels deriving from massive Siberian volcanism. However, such arguments have been difficult to justify quantitatively. We propose that the disruption of the carbon cycle resulted from the emergence of a new microbial metabolic pathway that enabled efficient conversion of marine organic carbon to methane. The methanogenic expansion was catalyzed by nickel associated with the volcanic event. We support this hypothesis with an analysis of carbon isotopic changes leading up to the extinction, phylogenetic analysis of methanogenic archaea, and measurements of nickel concentrations in South China sediments. Our results highlight the sensitivity of the Earth system to microbial evolution.

      The end-Permian extinction is associated with a mysterious disruption to Earth’s carbon cycle. Here we identify causal mechanisms via three observations. First, we show that geochemical signals indicate superexponential growth of the marine inorganic carbon reservoir, coincident with the extinction and consistent with the expansion of a new microbial metabolic pathway. Second, we show that the efficient acetoclastic pathway in Methanosarcina emerged at a time statistically indistinguishable from the extinction. Finally, we show that nickel concentrations in South China sediments increased sharply at the extinction, probably as a consequence of massive Siberian volcanism, enabling a methanogenic expansion by removal of nickel limitation. Collectively, these results are consistent with the instigation of Earth’s greatest mass extinction by a specific microbial innovation.

  • 11

    Hello Brother Mass Usuf,

    If as you say god created the world, the planet the stars the earth and as you claim his finest creation – humans, I must say logic is lacking here. Basically the so called greed that you quite rightly malign was also a god given emotion or need. No disagreement though that this god given greed in combination with geo political supremacy upheavals has led to the current state of the degraded environment. So basically god’s creation – mankind is deeply flawed. Whatever the purpose this god expected from his creation it seems to have backfired – we are fast moving to self destruct.

    Religion of all kinds never stopped environmental degradation. In fact by encouraging population growth to enhance its numbers all religions including Islam are exacting a very high toll on the environment.

    So for all ills that humanity undergoes god is not the solution but god is the problem.

  • 2

    Mass Usuf

    RE: Religion, Environment & Islamic Worldview

    “And do good as Allah has been good to you. And do not seek to cause corruption in the earth. Allah does not love the corrupters”, (Al Qasas 28:77)”

    So, whio are the corrupters? Those who follow the Devil, Satan,Iblis?

    Who are those people?

    Sufis? No
    Shia? No,
    Ahmedia? No
    Sunnis? No.
    Kafirs, Non-Be-livers? No.

    They are the Wahhabies and their Clones, Salafis, ISIS, Taliban, Deobandi , Boko Haram etc. They do that because they follow Iblis, Satan.They want to kill the Sufis, Shia, Ahmedia, Sunnis, and non-believers as well.

    Satan wants to destroy the environment and the people, and end up in Hell fire. They love death and destruction. Read about the sack of Karabala.

    Hadith of Najd


    Devil (Islam), Satan, Iblis.


  • 8

    “Life is but a bridge,
    Build no House upon it,
    Life but an hour…”

    ” To see a World in a Grain of Sand,
    And a heaven in a Wild flower,
    to hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
    and Eternity in an hour”

    Whilst it is always good learn from others and I am appreciative of an Islamic take on the Environment, this belief in a Creator is simply a load of nonsense which Moses/(Musa in Islam) brought from Egypt when Moses lead the Jews to freedom from slavery of the Pharaohs, who needed a lot cheap labour (and the cheapest labour is of course slave labour)to build their Pyramids. The belief in a single God/Creator was cooked up by Pharaoh Akanathan (father of boy King Tutankhamen and husband of Nefertiti)to consolidate power in his hands. That is all.
    Judaism, Christianity and Islam are essentially Egyptian religions and rather tribalistic.

    Creation has no basis in Reality. Reality/Universe has no beginning, it is Uncreated Reality (don’t worry about the Big Bang its only 14 billion years, its for the narrow minded scientists still reeling from blow dealt to Bruno and Galileo (Copernicus)by the Catholics Church. (Bruno was burnt alive by the Vatican and Galileo imprisoned and forced to recant. Galileo recanted because he was worried he might be burnt alive by the Pope as well). Scientists need an alternative theory hence Big Bang.

    Moses used the One god/Creator idea to unite (not very successfully) the squabbling Jewish tribes and Islam is of course a product of Judaism. (most of the Quran is said to be the Old Testament).

    You are free to believe in anything you like, not a problem.

    The other people who used this Creator nonsense was the Aryans who invaded India about 4000 years ago. They were said to be fair in skin colour (wheatish/whitish in the modern Indian marriage ads!!)and the people they conquered in India were darker in skin colour. So the caste system/varna system/colour bar/world’s first apartheid (?)was born. The caste system was designed to exploit labour as well. ie high caste Aryans exploited the low caste people they conquered. Still goes on today in India with horrid inhumanity.

    Regarding Islam there are said to be 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, so many of them very sadly living in abject poverty in Afghanistan, Bangladesh (see the cruel exploitation of labour in Bangladesh, cheapest labour in the world, modern day slavery), Pakistan, Indonesia, Morocco and Egypt! and so on.

    Such large populations massively damage the Environment besides breeding mass poverty. That is why world over people must be encouraged to have smaller families.

    The four biggest population groups in the world today are the Chinese, Indians, Christians (mainly Catholics in former Spanish colonies who also exploit the labour of indigenous people who were violently conquered/genocided by their Spanish catholic ancestors) and Muslims. These four groups make up about 70% to 80% percent of the worlds population. Educate these four groups (priests, politicians, men and women) and the Worlds Environmental damage and Poverty will be very substantially reduced.

    All these greedy consumerism and advertising which tries to convince us that we will be happy/(and if we don’t we will be unhappy) if we buy their useless products is another factor which you have touched upon and so did the Greek Diogenes.

    • 1

      A lot of absolute lies, half lies and deception in your claims re Muslims. Many Muslims live in super rich countries which give aid to SL. There are Muslims living in abject poverty as well. Who is to blame? Their own societies and failure of those country’s economic programs to uplift the poor, improve education and living standards. But they will not blame their religion, since the hereafter is the Muslims objective. Not enjoying luxuries of this world, but the heavenly abode and infinite luxury for their sacrifices they make for their religion Islam, in this world.

      • 6

        Brother Marwan,

        You are a good example of what indoctrination can do to reason.
        Dream on brother. God is a myth and all religious claims are based on human gullibility.

        It is only cowards who hide within the safety of cultural enclaves.

  • 9

    Global warming is related to population growth. Population growth correlates with poverty. The poorer and less educated folks tends to have larger families.

    Therefore, I think global warming will begin to decline when China and India reaches a certain prosperity threshold. The faster they develop the better it will be for the global environment.

  • 11

    Do a brain scanne Mr Mass usuf.

    • 0

      You cannot judge a man’s intelligence thru a brain scan, dumbo.

      It just may be what has been written is beyond you, so you opined the writer is gone crazy. Don’t judge others by your own limitations. Get real and let’s discuss whats objectionable. He has already put a lot of effort into it.

    • 2

      Do a posterior scan Mr.Anura.Ghandassara may help you.Cheers!!

  • 0

    Sura 79:30, that is Sura Naziyat Aya 30 reads in Arabic ” WAL ARDS BAID ZALIKA DOHAHA”.

    Ostrich egg
    Now I will write word by word meaning of this Aya

    WAL means AND

    ARDA means EARTH

    BAID means AFTER

    ZALIKA means THAT


    Now see the English translation of the Sura 79:30“And the earth , moreover, hath he extended in egg shape.”

    Read more: http://newsrescue.com/the-earth-is-egg-shaped-nasa-validates-quran-ancient-scripture/#ixzz4Mln5Le8n

    • 1


      Does Verse 30 of Sura al-Nazi`at Refer to a Spherical Earth?

      ‏Sura 79:30

      Some people say the meaning here is ‘the earth is egg shaped’, whereas others say The Arabic word Dahaahaa is extracted from the root Daha which means spreading, the verse does not mean that He made it egg-shaped, which one is correct?

      The foremost scholars of Quranic exegesis mention that “dahaha” in the ayah means “spread it out,” or “extended it.” The original lexical meaning of the word is from the meaning of “removing something from one place to another,” which we could understand as “leveling” [Al-Tabari, Jami` al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an; Al-Asfahani, Mu`jam Alfaz Mufradat al-Quran].

      In the context of these ayat, the spreading out can be understood as a spreading of the land in preparation for the bounties of food and water which Allah brings forth from it. As the next ayah in the surah states, “He brought therefrom its water and its pasture.” [Al-Razi, al-Tafsir al-Kabir]


  • 7

    …..the Most High. Who has created all things,

    Come on Yusuf, Read evolution, We came from monkeys!
    We have one less pair of chromosomes to chimpanzee!
    Universe created from big bang!

    See, still people are not evolved to believe in a creator!
    Let alone you, even the Jewish people who gave us Einstein, believe in creators!

    If that is what you teach your son, well, God bless him too.

    By the way, is it not Arabic countries that produce the highest amount of fossil fuel that increase the global warming? May be they too are not evolved or either not learned from your Prophet?

  • 6

    When I see the writing and the responses here, I notice that “the intellectuals debate with wisdom and the idiots only argue”. It was also evident this week, in the US Presidential election debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump.

    Also, both Clinton and Trump, faced the truth and admitted their past wrongs; a feature absent in media and political leaders in SL.

    Yesterday, Ranil Wickremasinghe, the PM, said that Buddhism will be given a “prominent place” in the new constitution of SL. And President Sirisena, lied to the UN General Assembly few days ago, that SL is a “Buddhist country”, though there are Hindus, Christians, Muslims and atheists in SL.

    It is the people of any country who follow a religion. a country is inanimate and has no life to follow any religion.

    The events initiated since 1958, by the so called “Buddhist prominence” in SL, caused hatred, violence, murder and genocide of Tamils and not peace, stability and progress.

    Such events did the following harm and danger to the people;

    1. Real Buddhist principles, practiced prior to 1958 have evaporated into thin air.

    2. Such a down fall of real Buddhism, created a vacuum in Buddhism. Idols of Buddha, against the teaching of Buddha, were erected. Violence and murder against Tamils, instead of peace and love preached by Buddha, came into Buddhism in SL.

    3. Now, it is not Mahayana Buddhism that is practiced but a type of atheism with hatred, racism and violence, with no power to prevent a “Buddhist” from doing wrong or evil.

    Therefore, GSL should take corrective steps to reverse the trend of the growing of dangerous and harmful Buddhism by doing the following;

    a) Enforce a code of conduct for all the Buddhist monks in SL.
    b) As practiced prior to 1956, ban monks from politics.
    c) Confine Buddhist religious functions to those permitted before 1956.
    d) Punish monks and de-robe those who preach hatred instead of love.

    Now is the time, for the intellectuals to debate and lead the country, as the idiots argue with their stupidity.

    • 4

      Spiritual man

      first of all tell me in what sense you are spiritual.anyway I am not that old to describe events just prior to independence. but now I am matured enough to interpret recent events as per the knowledge I gathered.

      My view is that historical events that took place centuries ago made Sinhalese buddhists and Tamil Hindus historical traditional enemies. continuous invasion destruction of prosperity built and looting of wealth by chola, pandyan and other Tamil dynasties made that mind set among Sinhalese society. Discrimination of sinhalese buddhists by Tamils with the help of British and Christian missionaries during colonial rule added to it.ultimately Tamil nationalism like fifty fifty demand made Sinhalese hate Tamils. Sinhalese feared at that time with south Indian Tamil population help merged Tamil state formed and Sinhalese would loose their sovereignty. when history is studied Sinhalese fear is a genuine one. 240 millions against 16 millions.just like entire Arab and Muslims world against tiny Jewish state.in this case entire darvadian against tiny Sinhalese nation.it is the reality. as such Sinhalese buddhists wanted regain their lost rights and prestige back and prepare for ultimatum. it become reality when Tamil started elam war. entire south India behind them.now you talk on nonsense. try and realize truth.

      • 0


        I am glad you speak about your view.

        Scientists believe that human brain functions like a computer and about 10,000 thoughts pass through it every day.

        If we admit good thoughts into us, good actions will come out from us and evil input produce evil actions from us. “Garbage in Garbage out” is the principle.

        Our thoughts build up imaginations and imaginations produce strong holdings in our lives. This is a spiritual truth.

        Our strong holdings may be good or bad but they come out as good or bad responses respectively to situations in life.

        Regardless of the religion you follow, this is a fact of life. Remedy is only spiritual.

        Though I know the answer, I suggest that you speak to your religious leader and obtain a realistic solution or way to overcome or eradicate the hatred and fear holding you against the Tamils.

        Prior to 1956, Buddhism led people to love all others and shun hatred and they had peace leading them to prosperous life.

        My thinking is that Sinhala Buddhists deserve a good spiritual life.

    • 2

      Spiritual Man,

      //”When I see the writing and the responses here, I notice that “the intellectuals debate with wisdom and the idiots only argue”.”//

      Thanks for your well articulated comment.

      When the enlightened Buddha was faced with Idiots, he kept silent. In Sri Lanka, the Sinhala “Buddhists” show their Stupidity, in Lanka, the “Dhamma Diva”. Faith Island , as per monk Mahanama of Mahawamsa.

      Read an Interesting post.

      Friday, 25 April 2014

      Idiots of the week – Sri Lankan Buddhists

      This week its not one idiot, but rather a very large group. Actually, this is usually the case as most idiots follow other idiots. In fact I may just have to start calling it idiots of the week all the time, as surely some fool will do whatever they get told by these weekly nominees.

      Turn out that this week Sri Lankan Buddhists have gone and deported a British tourist for a vile crime against their local beliefs. So, for this week I give you a few choices to make you see how rational these people they are. So why did Buddhists export a British tourist?
      a) for killing Buddhist monk?
      b) peeing on a Buddhist statue?
      c) having a Buddha tattoo?
      If you chose (c) you are right.

      As you know they are highly logical people these Buddhists. Nope they are just as stupid as any other theists that take offense to the dumbest stuff. Muslims don’t like pictures of Muhammad and these Buddhists don’t like pictures of Buddha.

      To put a little more perspective. This country is 112 richest country in the world according to the IMF, yet they deem it necessary to send tourists with money away as they feel a little hurt. This is a country with a nominal GDP per capita of 3,139 USD. But hey, lets get upset about a Buddha tattoo when we have no running water.

      Logical right? No, Sri Lankan Buddhists you are idiots.


  • 3

    Though preservation of environment as a cover used here,this assay entirely deal with marketing of mythologies connected to Abrahamic religions. Judaism, Christianity and Islam. writer should know modern science can not be challenged with those myths.Although Hindu literature written in more than 8000 years ago contained very basic of new scientific findings they even can not claim those findings are theirs.as Sanskrit is a dead language even Indian scientists can not read those books and start reaches on those things as such western world is getting all the credits.most of the things mentioned in abrahamic religions scriptures base on mythologies created by folklorists base on saying of old philosophers who lived in Greece centuries ago before those religions actually found. as such things mentioned in Abrahamic religions scriptures are fabricated lies and has no scientific basis at all . as per geology we know all the mountains or mountain ranges are moving. those are not fixed as pegs as stated in one religion scripture.Creation theory of all abrahamic religion is same.if first man is sixty cubit or ninety feet high and others high eight was reduced as time goes on. our archaeologists should be able find at least millions of skeletons sixty, fifty, fourty thirty feet high from Arabic desert and middle east area.some should be there as it was as decaying bacterial activities are minimal in the desert due to varying high. temperature.as such those are myths but nothing else. it is better to get their brains scanned immediately by those who still believe in those myths.

  • 6

    Buddhist concept of Environment starts from one’s own mind. If one’s mind is polluted, your actions will be polluted. then that pollute the environment around you and that includes tress and animals around you.

    The most superficial way to understand this is greedy person killing animals and destroying trees and plants around you giving various excuses.

    Besides compassion to everything is foremost.

    There fore, you try to avoid harm to anything around you. That includes you yourself.

    Islam may preaches about environment. but, they produce fossil fuel and pollute the world.

    It is like Sri lankan muslims. In Sri lanka, muslim girl cover full 100%. but, muslims sell fashion cloths to womenof other religions. so that those women awlk almost naked.

    Muslims own thenight clubs where prostitution, liquor and all kind of criminal activities are rampaent.

    Muslims are the drug lowrds. But, allah does not want muslims to consume narcotics or liquor.

    The problem is Allah syas destroy non-believers.

  • 3

    Mass Usuf

    Please know that any CT article even mentioning the word ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islam’ is just fodder for gnanasara cksukrs. “Deaf, dumb and blind; and they return not” 2 Sura 18. Just make sure you write to other forums, not CT. These ckskrs are not interested in the truth. Thank you.

  • 2

    Funlover, Sorry I must disagree with you.Writers like Usuf should be encouraged to write to CT no matter what people say.It is good to have all shades of opinion.To do otherwise would tantamount to surrendering to the howling mobs of extremists.It is therefore a matter for satisfaction that young people from Muslims and Tamils have begun articulation their views very cogently,as Usuf undoubtedly does in his writings.Well done Colombo Telegraph!!

  • 5

    Funlover, Sorry I must disagree with you.Writers like Usuf should be encouraged to write to CT no matter what people say.It is good to have all shades of opinion.To do otherwise would tantamount to surrendering to the howling mobs of extremists.It is therefore a matter for satisfaction that young people from Muslims and Tamil communities have begun articulating their views very cogently,as Usuf undoubtedly does in his writings.Well done Colombo Telegraph!!

  • 2

    Being an environmental professional grappling with the contemporary environmental concerns in Europe and North America, I am pleased with reading your exposition of Islamic World view concerning the environment. No arguments all religions have to contribute their share in influencing their adherents to save the planet.

    I am appalled to see unprofessional, unscientific and racist responses to your presentation. If CT is the forum for Sri Lankan intellectuals. Having seen the responses to this article I understand now why the beautiful island of Sri Lanka is yet suffering from conflicts. Intellectual bankruptcy is a major threat to a nation as climate change is to the environment.

  • 4

    No one was here when Big Bang occurred.


    It was more than 12 Billion years ago. The “Gods” of many religions occurred in the Minds of Men during the the last centuries of the last Billion Years.

    We came from the universe, and go back to the universe – mostly in the form of molecules.

  • 2

    Mass L Usuf

    There are some things that ordinary people can’t understand, for example

    1. Where was this so called creator before his creation of universe?

    2. Who/What was the creator’s creator?

    3. Why did he create universe and life?

    Please enlighten them.

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