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Workshop: Re-thinking de-growth: Islamic perspectives


My contribution in the workshop will shed some light on the notion of de-growth (zuhd) from an Islamic perspective. It is intended to frame an enlightened Islamic discourse to address this notion in light of market economy and consumerism. Islam as a way of life is seen to provide remedies and insights to the national and global debate on growth and sustainability. Islam views the role of the individual as a value-and knowledge creator, a steward, witness, and a reformer who strives to contribute to progress and good life (Hayat Tayebah). To be able to achieve this, we must develop new development models that are informed by both culture and ecology. Social equity, good governance, participation, de-growth, conservation and protection are key principles in natural resources management in Islam. Islamic development model argues for achieving prosperity without increasing the ecological footprints.

Islamic worldview also provides new perspectives for discovering and explaining the root causes for the current environmental, economic and social crises as manifested in climate change, water crisis, poverty and human security. Besides, Islam views the root cause of global warming and water and ecological crisis is due to the absence or lack of human stewardship and the deviation and departure from “natural state” or Fitra. A framework for water sustainability which represents balance in the five capitals (natural, social, financial, manufactured, and human) will be outlined.