Implementing Islamic law to protect the environment: insights from Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia

Shazny Ramlan
2020 Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law  
Religious codes possess social control effects that can potentially change the behaviour of their adherents towards becoming pro-environment. In the case of Islam, Muslim-majority states since the time of the Prophet Muhammad have implemented Islamic environmental law to this effect. Unfortunately, accounts of its implementation today in the legal literature are scant, thereby requiring fresh insights that consider changes in the application of Islamic law in modern states. Generally, this
more » ... le observes that the implementation of Islamic environmental law today takes two forms: first, implementation through constitutions; and, second, implementation through non-binding religio-legal instruments. Focusing on the second form, application in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia is analysed and evaluated. In these three Southeast Asian states non-binding religious rulings (fatwa) and mosque sermons (khutbah) have been used to implement Islamic environmental law. There are two key factors which contribute to ensuring that these non-binding instruments achieve their social control objectives: first, local legal and political contexts shaped by religion-state relations that help their implementation and legitimation; and, second, the pursuit of post-fatwa/khutbah follow-up action by religious authorities to put Islamic environmental law into actual practice.
doi:10.4337/apjel.2020.02.05 fatcat:totp3eojqzdvlnx67gnae3e55y