What is ‘Green Islam’? What We Know About Indonesia’s Eco-Friendly Fatwas

In Indonesia, the Grand Imam spearheads a “Green Islam” campaign using Islamic principles to advocate for environmental protection. Among the prominent personalities spearheading the effort is Mr. Nasaruddin, the imam of Jakarta’s Istiqlal Mosque. Nasaruddin has sought to set an example by installing solar panels, slow-flow faucets, and a water recycling system in Southeast Asia’s biggest mosque. As a result, the mosque is the first house of worship to get the World Bank’s green construction certification.

Indonesia has cleared millions of hectares of rainforests for palm oil or mineral extraction. It is a leading worldwide emitter of greenhouse gases and the largest supplier of coal. While the country’s abundant nickel deposits hold the key to a greener future in the form of electric vehicle batteries, the extraction of this metal still necessitates the combustion of fossil fuels.

The incoming president, Prabowo Subianto, has advocated throughout his campaign for more biofuel production, which may result in the cutting down trees.

Confident religious leaders see environmental protection as unimportant, and polls show that many Indonesians do not blame humans for the planet’s warming. On the other hand, if 200 million Muslims are educated, change can be driven.

Despite their lack of legal force, the council’s fatwas have had a significant impact. Research shows that after fatwas declared clearing forests and peatlands haram, locals in such regions were more conscious of the morality of the matter.

Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama, the nation’s two most prominent Muslim grassroots groups, are supporting the Green Islam movement. As part of its “spiritual ecology” initiative, which draws on Islamic principles to promote ecological preservation, Nahdlatul Ulama has enlisted the help of environmental campaigner Mr. Aak. The initiative involves converting garbage into organic fertilizer, promoting reusable tampons among girls, and assisting Islamic schools in improving their waste management systems.

The International Finance Corporation of the World Bank presented the first green construction certificate to a mosque—the Istiqlal Mosque—making it the first of its kind in the world. According to the Grand Imam, seventy percent of Indonesia’s 800,000 mosques, or “eco-masjids,” would want to be converted into such structures.