☰ Recordings

The Concept of Ecology – Sources from the Quran and Buddhist Scriptures


Islam Perspective
“It is He [God] who produce gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and plantations with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar in kind and yet different in variety. Eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess for God does not love the wasters.” The Quran (6:141)

“There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have We omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end.” The Quran (6:38)

“The whole earth has been made a mosque for me.” The Prophet Muhammad.

Buddhist Perspective
Ecology is defined as the study of the interrelationship between organisms and their environments. This approaches the fundamental Buddhist teachings around inter-connectedness and conditionality, which all contribute to both a practice and understanding that augments and honors the ecological paradigms now arising. Some of these concepts have inspired Buddhists to be more engaged with issues such as non-violence (ahiṃsā), loving kindness (mettā) and compassion (karuṇā) towards all forms of sentient life as well as the environment. This is mindful care for all living beings, including the planet that we live in.

The idea of inter-connectedness of all things finds its fullest expression in the Hua Yen School of Chinese Buddhism. The following symbolic representation of reality of interdependence of all phenomena is found in the famous story of Indra’s Net in the Avataṃsaka Sūtra:
“Imagine in the heavenly abode of the god Indra, there is a net that stretches out infinitely in all directions. In each "eye" of the net is a jewel, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. They hang there like stars, bright and shining. If we look at each of these jewels closely, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring.” Translated by Francis Cook