Abstract

This paper discusses activities undertaken in efforts to develop environmental awareness and conservation through Islamic teachings in Indonesia. We began by cooperating with pesantren ulema (the leaders of Islamic boarding schools) to put together a document that included a set of guidelines for Islamic environmental jurisprudence (fiqh al-biʾa). The document was then used as an instrument to approach various levels of leadership, from government decision makers, to mosque imāms, ustādh (religious teachers), and ulema, as well as informal leaders in various communities. We discovered that, in Indonesia, there is support, rather than resistance, from the ulema in mobilizing Muslims to participate in natural and environmental conservation, and that this positive acceptance is largely due to the ulema's understanding of the severity of environmental damage and the religious responsibility to halt and reverse it.

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