Khawar Khan Chishti is currently
the founding president of CHEC-Pakistan, a chapter of CHEC-London. She
obtained her M.Sc. and Ph.D. in education from Cornell University, Ithaca,
NY. She was the only woman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, Government
of Pakistan for six years and an ex-officio member of the Federal Council
of Pakistan. She served the Ministry of Education of Pakistan as Director
of Public Instruction (colleges, Punjab) and Chairperson of Commission for
Women's University. She was also a Visiting fellow of Oxford University
U.K. and Villanova University U.S.A.
Abstract of paper given at Islam
and Ecology conference:
For a Muslim the nature of Allah as Al-Muhit, 'Divine Environment,' and as Al-Haseeb, 'the one who takes perfect account,' provides a case for a standard of respect, love, and care for the environment. Such a standard can be either driven by awe and fear of Allah or by a deep adoration for Allah leading into a desire to serve Allah as Abd Allah--the Servant of Allah. Another line of reasoning that allows Islam to encompass concepts of environmental consciousness is the nature of Islam as a 'way of life' for its followers rather than as religion, narrowly defined. The Prophet of Islam declared, that, 'the whole of the Earth is a mosque that is a place of worship.' Together with strong traditions of respect for a mosque's sublime integrity and a duty of care for the mosque, this saying of the Holy Prophet offers a basis for developing a framework of environmental consciousness and its related issues such as Sustainable Development. Several similar lines of reasoning are presented as an outline for a Muslim seeking to establish the divinely intended relationship between humans and their environment. Further, this relationship is cast as a part of a broader Islamic paradigm of life, referred to as the 'Fitra Paradigm,' that is the natural state in balance and harmony with the Creator and Creation.