“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
Adab, as defined by the contemporary Malay philosopher Naquib al-Attas, is “putting things in their proper place,” and permaculture is the application of adab in the natural world. Through designing sustainable and self-sufficient agricultural ecosystems, 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; and animals and their habitat in their proper places, then that is adab toward nature and the environment.”
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 consistent with a Qur’anic worldview and in conformity with our divinely mandated function as stewards of God on earth, khalifatul Allah fil ‘ard.