“Zaytuna College sees itself as a pioneer in preserving the best of our past as the foundation for a better future. As part of that effort we are beginning courses in permaculture. Muslims have always endeavored to be good stewards of the earth and pioneers in food production. Join us as we endeavor to revive that aspect of our glorious past.” –– Imam Zaid Shakir
Permaculture is a natural extension of the mission of the College, which is to inculcate adab in the individual. Adab, as defined by Dr. Naquib al-Attas, is “putting things in their proper place,” and permaculture is the application of adab in the natural world. Thus, through the study of Permaculture we learn to organize our material environment. In the words of Dr. al-Attas, “When one puts trees and stones, mountains, rivers, valleys and lakes, animals and their habitat in their proper places, then that is adab toward nature and the environment.” Clearly, putting things in their proper place requires the recognition of an innate order or balance.
God tells us in Surah Rahman that He has created everything in balance, and commands us not to “upset the balance.” (55:9) Similarly, in Surah A’raf, we are commanded not to “cause corruption on earth after it has been set in order”. (7:56) Permaculture seeks to restore balance and order on earth in a manner that is consistent with a Qur’anic worldview and in conformity with our divinely mandated function as stewards of God on earth, khalifatul Allah fil ‘ard.