Signs on the Earth: Islam, Modernity and the Climate Crisis

FAZLUN KHALID has a worldwide reputation as an advocate of environmental protection rooted in religious traditions and is now recognised as one of fifteen leading eco-theologians in the world. He founded the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES) which is now established as the world’s leading Islamic environmental NGO.

Kube Publishing (First Published, 2019)
249 pages including Bibliography and Index


In stock

Signs on the Earth: Islam, Modernity and the Climate Crisis is a major study of environmentalism and Islam in practice and theory, with a historical overview that sets out future challenges, including reformulating the fiqh or Islamic legal tradition to take the ecological dimension seriously. In addressing this book to the one billion Muslims in the world it has the potential to reinvigorate the desire for environmental change in a community that is ignored at the peril of the planet. In arguing that modernity, consumerism and industrialisation need to be rethought, alongside an appeal to reconnect man and woman with creation in the divine order, this book has the potential to transform a generation.

In the same way that Naomi Klein‘s This Changes Everything presented the argument for environmental action in a Capitalist framework, Fazlun Khalid has written a book that demands action from those whose primary orientation is towards the Islamic faith. The author looks unflinchingly at how modernity imposes itself on the world, throwing traditional societies and ways of life into disarray. This unfolding disruption has corrupted the balance of the earth’s natural ecosystems while holding out illusory promises of ‘progress’.

Instead, he urges that such progress through industrialization, economic growth, and unsustainable addiction to consumerism desperately needs to be rethought. His radical reconsideration of prevailing models of ‘development’ draws inspiration from the realm of the sacred. He makes a special appeal to Muslims to reflect on their own particular responsibility in addressing the perils faced by the planet. Recognizing, however, that environmental concerns are a collective responsibility, the author calls on people of all faiths and none, to work together to leave future generations a planet on which they will not only survive but thrive.

Foreword and Acknowledgements

Chapter 1 A House of Cards


Brains, black holes and the Enlightenment
Knowledge overload
Science to the fore

The Bridge
The middle nation
The sacred and the secular

A Lethal Cocktail
Makings of a monoculture
The colonies revolt
Democracy and the nature of money


Chapter 2 A Ravished Earth

A Disconnected People
Are we culpable?
A closed system
A wake up call

The Pollution Boomerang
The hole in the sky
People, poison and plastic

Rape of the Forests
Plantations and cash crops
Carbon sink

Bio diversity

The Nectar of Life
In space and time
Deep oceans and biodiversity

A Delayed Reaction
Global responses
Abusing abundance


Chapter 3 Prosperity in Perspective

Happiness and the Good Life
Happiness and GDP
Happiness and GNH

The Progress Trap
Lifestyle change
Progress has a price

Development and Delusions
Corralling the world
Colonized psyches
Hope and sustainable development
A cautionary tale
Feedback loop

The Fantasy of Growth
The ‘Holy Grail’
Planetary overload


Chapter 4 How History Accelerated

All the Time in the World
Gifts or barter?
Keeping accounts
Trade evolves
Enter the Greeks
The Venetian connection

Signs of Impatience
Enter the Portuguese
Chinese in the fray
A new world in the making

A Spurt
Wealth flows one way

Fast forward
Enter the banks
Fantasy land


Chapter 5 Islam and The Natural World

Mobilizing Faith
Biodegradable Earth
A vital alliance
Pushed by climate change
The Muslim contribution

Rediscovering the Natural World
A holistic approach
The sacred
Political economy

Producing Results
Exploring the legacy
‘Ilm’ul-Khalq (Knowledge of Creation)
Fiqh al-Bi’ah (Jurisprudence of the Environment)
The Shariah in perspective
A way forward


Chapter 6 Surviving the Anthropocene

The human epoch
Heads in the sand

What Now?
Search for a better life
Growth without limits?
Capitalism: A debtocracy

Hope Springs Eternal
The turning
Working together
The Islamic contribution


Appendix: Islamic Declaration on Global
— Climate Change

List of Acronyms
Glossary of Arabic terms
List of quotations from the Qur’an

Weight0.378 kg
Dimensions23.4 × 15.7 × 2.1 cm




Year Published


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