The Grand Imam Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, Sheikh Al-Azhar met with Nicolas Hulot, special envoy of the French President for the Protection of the Planet, and his accompanying delegation. During their meeting, Hulot emphasized that he is assigned by French President François Hollande to discuss the challenges facing the world on all levels, political, religious and ethical at this critical phase in history.
He added that human activity on earth began to pose a threat to humanity and is a source of harm and great concern that will especially affect the more fragile population on earth, emphasizing that the global community began to realize the issue of climate change, but have not reached till now a solution to this crisis which is difficult to deal with.
The French President special envoy requested from the Grand Imam to have a significant participation in discussing the issue of global climate change during the conference which will be held in Paris in December 2015, as the voice of Al-Azhar is heard all over the world and could increase awareness of the gravity of the issue and the importance of protecting the planet, religiously and ethically.
On his part, the Grand Imam Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, Sheikh Al-Azhar welcomed the French President envoy and his accompanying delegation at Al-Azhar, emphasizing that the issue of climate change is very serious and requires unified efforts from the wise leaders of the world to prevent the deterioration of the climate situation in the universe, which would be harmful to man.
His eminence added that Islam does not view the universe as an inanimate object or in a material sense. Islam views the universe as an animate creation which worships Allah and praises Him, but man does not comprehend this worship or praise. Allah almighty says: “…There is not a thing but celebrates His praise; and yet ye understand not how they declare His glory!...” (17:44). Moreover, there are Qur’anic verses which show how man caused mischief in this universe in land and sea. Allah almighty says: “Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned…” (30:41)
The Grand Imam stated that Al-Azhar will play an effective role in showing how man treats the universe, on which western civilization had a negative effect. Sheikh Al-Azhar expressed his appreciation to France for paying attention to this issue and for its leadership in humanitarian issues. Edited and Translated by:Dr. Gihan Shaban