An Islamic Perspective of the Natural Environment and Animals: Said Nursi and his Renewalist Philosophy

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Abstract

Contemporary Muslim scholar Said Nursi's (1877-1960) view of animals is highly spiritual. His positive thinking philosophy extends to the natural environment and includes animals considered harmful to humans. His view of not killing harmful animals contradicts with the majority Islamic scholarly works which permit the killing of detrimental ones. His understanding of the interconnectedness of natural beings and things as well as their connection to the Divine is the major source for his works. Nursi views each created thing as a piece of the puzzle of the universe in harmony with each other. To him, animals have a deep spiritual aspect alongside their physical dimension. This article argues that throughout his works, Nursi – with his unique perspectives on spiritual approaches towards the environment and devotion to the creation – more than any other Islamic scholar, defended the Islamic view against naturalists and attempted to Islamicize natural philosophy by addressing theists. He views nature as art not the Artist. This article examines Nursi's positive thinking and actions towards animals as he presents a renewed interpretation of Islamic sacred sources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-69
Number of pages15
JournalUMRAN - International Journal of Islamic and Civilizational Studies
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 03 Jul 2018

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