While Green Prophet works on its own top green leaders of 2011, the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre had released a list of the 500 most prominent Muslims of the past year. The annual publication highlights the 500 most influential Muslims of the year– which includes several Muslim environmentalists. The Green Grand Mufti of Egypt, Sheikh Ali Goma’a as well as Fazlun Khalid, who I interviewed last year were both included on the list.
The Green Grand Mufti of Egypt is a progressive and influential faith leader across the world who has issued statements and fatwas regarding the environment. He has highlighted the role that faith can play in confronting the ecological crisis by providing moral ways and principles for dealing with the current environmental problems. According to Moshe Terdman, a writer at Green Prophet:
Sheikh Ali Gomaa has been outspoken on environmental sustainability. On November 2, 2009, on his speech at the Alliance of Religions and Conservation conference at Windsor Castle, Sheikh Ali Gomaa said that “it is a religious duty to safeguard our environment and advocate the importance of preserving it. Pollution and global warming pose an even greater threat than war and the fight to preserve the environment could be the most positive way of bringing humanity together.”
I was lucky enough to meet Fazlun Khalid last year and interview him for Green Prophet. Khalid is the founder of the first green Islamic organisation, the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences. He has written books on the green ethics of Islam, Green Guides for Muslims and was also involved in a unique project to stop destructive fishing practices in Zanzibar by informing the local who were Muslims of their duty of protect nature.
Other influential green Muslims include Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, an Islamic Studies professor at George Washington University, who was one of the first to research the religious commitment towards the natural environment and has lectured widely on historical perspective of Islamic environmentalism. Nasheed Mohamed, who is the president of the Maldives and is known as one of most environmentally conscious leaders on the world stage, was also part of the Muslim 500. The Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Sa’id Aal Sa’id was given a honourable mention for his work protecting the Arabian Oryx and Dimaaniyat Islands which is the breeding ground of several migratory birds and sea turtles.
For more on Green Muslims see: