By Sikandar Azam
The earth is a small part of the vast universe. And it is the only planet which the Lord Creator has made appropriately balanced for human habitation. From the distance between the earth and the sun to the movement of various planets in the cosmos, from hills and mountains to rivers and oceans, from the moon and stars in the sky to water resources and other treasures hidden in the womb of the earth – the Lord has made all such arrangements to make human life possible on earth. The Lord wants humans to enjoy all the bounties He has made available to them with the only condition that they thank Him and worship Him alone, without setting any partner with Him.
But a close study of society reveals that large segments of masses do not fulfil this condition. They worship whatever and whomsoever they like but not the Lord alone. In fact, they fail to realise the sovereignty of the Lord. As a result, they earn the divine chastisement which the Lord sends in the various forms. Climate change is one such. When rainfall patterns change, when ocean currents go awry, when the same ground that used to give sweet water turns to give saline water, when fishermen find their career unpredictable, and when heatwaves make general life difficult, people start complaining that they are suffering from climate change. For example, at various places in Haryana the rain is uncertain and the groundwater has decreased. And the water is so saline that crops cannot be grown with it. According to the Haryana Water Resources (conservation, regulation, management) Authority, in Gothra “sweet water was found at a depth of 82 feet in 2010. But today, water is available in this village at 118 feet.” In Rajasthan also, there are extreme water shortages.
In such circumstances, it is time for humans to turn to God and thank Him for whatever bounties He has blessed them with; but they do not turn to God and do not thank Him but rather they take human efforts to change the situation; they plan ‘to invest in strengthening resilience to heat’. There is nothing wrong in making human efforts to solve a problem. But the problem lies in depending totally on human efforts without seeking guidance and help from God; this is why we do not succeed in getting the desired result. Here the Lord addresses humans in the Qur’ān (56:68-70): “Did you cast a good look at the water that you drink? Is it you who brought it down from the clouds or is it We Who brought it down? If We had so pleased, We could have made it bitter. So why would you not give thanks?”
Thus our response to climate change should be to turn to God and thank Him for His blessings and bounties.