/Fatwa MUI on protection of endangered species to maintain the balanced ecosystem no. 4-2014 (Part 1)

Fatwa MUI on protection of endangered species to maintain the balanced ecosystem no. 4-2014 (Part 1)

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Number 04/2014




The Indonesian Council of Ulama, Fatwa Commission, here after:

CONSIDERING            :    a.  That nowadays many endangered species such as tigers, rhinos, elephants, and orangutans as well as various types of mammals, aves and reptiles, are on the brink of extinction due to human actions;

  1. That human is created by God as a vicegerent on earth (khalifah fi al-ardl) who carry out the mandate and is responsible for the prosperity of all creatures;
    1. That all living organisms, including endangered species such as tigers, rhinos, elephants and orangutans as well as various types of mammals, aves and reptiles, are created by Allah in order to maintain the balanced ecosystem and subjugated to the interests of sustainable human welfare (maslaha ‘amma);
    2. That therefore human must protect and preserve the balanced of the ecosystem so as not to cause damage (mafsadah);
    3. That based on points a, b, c and d MUI Fatwa Commission needs to enact a fatwa/legal opinion on the conservation of endangered species to maintain the balancedof the ecosystem to be used as guiding principles.

IN VIEW OF                  :     1. The Verses of Al-Qur’an

a. Word of Allah SWT commands to do good deed (Ihsan) to all creatures including for endangered species


وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلاَ طَائِرٍ يَطِيرُ بِجَنَاحَيْهِ إِلاَّ أُمَمٌ أَمْثَالُكُم مَّا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الكِتَابِ مِن شَيْءٍ ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ يُحْشَرُونَ

“There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end”

(QS. Al-An’am [6] :38)


وَابْتَغِ فِيمَا آتَاكَ اللَّهُ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ وَلَا تَنسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَأَحْسِن كَمَا أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ وَلَا تَبْغِ الْفَسَادَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ


“But seek, with the (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on thee, the Home of the Hereafter, nor forget thy portion in this world: but do thou good, as Allah has been good to thee, and seek not (occasions for) mischief in the land: for Allah loves not those who do mischief”. (QS. Al-Qasas [28]: 77)


b. Word of Allah affirms that Allah has made and subjecting Allah’s creation for the benefit to human life, such as:

أَلَمْ تَرَوْا أَنَّ اللهَ سَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّافِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَافِي اْلأَرْضِ وَأَسْبَغَ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعَمَهُ ظَاهِرَةً وَبَاطِنَةً…

“Do you not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made His bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and unseen?”

(QS. Luqman [31]: 20)


هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِي الأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا

“It is He Who hath created for you all things that are on earth” (QS. Al-Baqarah[2] :29)


إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِن مَّاء فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الأرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَآبَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخِّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاء وَالأَرْضِ لآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

“Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise”. (QS. Al-Baqarah [2:] 164)


c. Word of Allah SWT assigns human as the caliph to bring prosperity and maintainance of balanced ecosystem, among other things:


وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً قَالُواْ أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاء وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ قَالَ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

“Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” They said: “Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?” He said: “I know what ye know not”. (QS. Al-Baqarah [2]: 30)


وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَكُمْ خَلاَئِفَ الأَرْضِ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَكُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ سَرِيعُ الْعِقَابِ وَإِنَّهُ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“It is He Who hath made you (His) agents, inheritors of the earth: He hath raised you in ranks, some above others: that He may try you in the gifts He hath given you: for thy Lord is quick in punishment: yet He is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful”. (QS. al-An’am[6]: 165)


d. Word of Allah SWT affirms that all human being were created by Allah has benefit including the endangered species, such as:

الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَاماً وَقُعُوداً وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا بَاطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

“Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, Standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate The (wonders ot) creation in the heavens and the earth, (With the thought): “Our Lord! not for naught Hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the Penalty of the Fire”.

(QS. Ali Imran  [3]:191)


  1. e.       Word of Allah prohibits to mischief on the earth, including the endangered species, such as:

وَلاَتُفْسِدُوا فِي اْلأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلاَحِهَا…

Do not mischief on the earth, after (Allah) it hath been set in order. (QS. Al-A’raf: 56)”


كُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ مِن رِّزْقِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تَعْثَوْاْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ

Eat and drink of the sustenance provided by Allah, and do no evil nor mischief on the (face of the) earth. (QS. Al-Baqarah [2]:60)


وَلَا تَبْخَسُوا النَّاسَ أَشْيَاءهُمْ وَلَا تَعْثَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ

“And withhold not things justly due to men, nor do evil in the land, working mischief”. (QS al-Shuara’ [26]:183)


ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ


“Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned, that ((Allah)) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from Evil”). (QS. Al-Rum [30]:41)


2.  Hadiths, the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad SAW (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam – peace be upon him), such as:       


عَنْ جَرِيْرٍ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللهِ قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلىَّ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ سَلَّمَ : “ارْحَمُوْا مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَرْحَمْكُمْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ” (أخرجه أبوداود والترمذي والحاكم)

Jarir ibn Abdullah ra said: the Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Love every creature on Earth, and you shall be loved by [God] in heavens’.” (Narrated by Abu Dawud, al-Turmuzi and al-Hakim)


The hadith asserts the instruction to care for creatures on earth, including animals.


عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلىَّ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ سَلَّمَ قَالَ: بَيْنَا رَجُلٌ يَمْشِي فَاشْتَدَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَطَشُ، فَنَزَلَ بِئْرًا فَشَرِبَ مِنْهَا، ثُمَّ خَرَجَ فَإِذَا هُوَ بِكَلْبٍ يَلْهَثُ يَأْكُلُ الثَّرَى مِنَ الْعَطَشِ، فَقَالَ: لَقَدْ بَلَغَ هَذَا مِثْلُ الَّذِي بَلَغَ بِي، فَمَلأَ خُفَّهُ ثُمَّ أَمْسَكَهُ بِفِيهِ ثُمَّ رَقِيَ فَسَقَى الْكَلْبَ، فَشَكَرَ اللَّهُ لَهُ فَغَفَرَ لَهُ. قَالُوا: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، وَإِنَّ لَنَا فِي الْبَهَائِمِ أَجْرًا؟! قَالَ: “فِي كُلِّ كَبِدٍ رَطْبَةٍ أَجْرٌ” (رواه البخاري ومسلم)

Abu Hurairah ra quoted the Prophet (pbuh) as saying: ‘Once upon a time, a man walked and felt thirsty, so he went to a river and drank from it. And then as he was leaving, he saw a dog sticking its tongue out because it was thirsty, and he said: ‘this dog felt [thirsty] as I did’, so he filled his shoe [with water] and held it with his teeth and then rose to give the water to the dog. Allah thanked him and forgave him for his sins.’ They said: ‘O Prophet, is there a reward for us in doing kindness to animals?’ The Prophet replied: ‘there’s a reward for every [kind] heart’. (narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)


The hadith above tells of appreciation for acts of kindness to animals, for those who help animals fulfill their rights to live.


عَنْ جَابِرٍ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللهِ يَقُوْلُ سَمِعْتُ رَسُوْلَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُوْلُ: “لَا يَغْرِسُ رَجُلٌ مُسْلِمٌ غَرْسًا وَلَا زَرْعًا فَيَأْكُلُ مِنْهُ سَبُعٌ أَوْ طَائِرٌ أَوْ شَيْءٌ إِلَّا كَانَ لَهُ فِيْهِ أَجْرٌ” (رواه مسلم)

Jabir ibn Abdillah ra said: ‘the Prophet  (pbuh) said: [Allah] will reward a Muslim who plants a tree, and then a beast or a bird or others eat the fruits.” (narrated by Muslim)


The hadith encourages us to engage in activities to sustain the lives of animals, including beasts.


عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ إِنَّ النَّبِىَّ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- نَهَى عَنْ قَتْلِ أَرْبَعٍ مِنَ الدَّوَابِّ النَّمْلَةِ وَالنَّحْلَةِ وَالْهُدْهُدِ وَالصُّرَدِ (رواه أحمد وأبوداود وابن ماجه)

From Ibn Abbas ra (radi Allahu anhu – may Allah be pleased with him), who said: the Prophet (pbuh) forbade the killing of four animals: ants, bees, hoopoe birds and shrikes.” (narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah)


Exercising the principle of mafhum al-muwafaqah (congruent meaning), the hadith could be interpreted as indicating the need for animal conservation and prohibition on activities that may lead to their extinction.


عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ الشَّرِيدِ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ الشَّرِيدَ يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ مَنْ قَتَلَ عُصْفُورًا عَبَثًا عَجَّ إِلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَقُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ فُلَانًا قَتَلَنِي عَبَثًا وَلَمْ يَقْتُلْنِي لِمَنْفَعَةٍ (رواه النسائي)

Amr ibn Sharid said: I heard Sharid ra say: I heard the Prophet (pbuh) say: ‘To whoever killing a bird without purpose, the bird will come before Allah SWT [subhanahu wa ta’ala – Glorified and exalted be He] on the doomsday and report to Him: ‘My Lord, he killed me without purpose, with no intention to use me’.” (narrated by al-Nasa’i)


The hadith asserts the prohibition on killing animals without a purpose allowed under the Islamic law.


عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ عَنْ رَسُوْلِ اللهِ صَلىَّ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّ  نَمْلَةً قَرَصَتْ نَبِيًّا مِنْ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ فَأَمَرَ بِقَرْيَةِ النَّمْلِ فَأُحْرِقَتْ فَأَوْحَى اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ فِي أَنْ قَرَصَتْكَ نَمْلَةٌ أَهْلَكْتَ أُمَّةً مِنْ الْأُمَمِ تُسَبِّحُ  وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ: فَهَلاَ نَمْلَةً وَاحِدَةً (رواه البخاري)

Abu Hurairah ra quoted the Prophet (pbuh) as saying that one of messengers of Allah was bitten by an ant and then he ordered a search for an ants’ nest and for it to be set on fire. And then Allah SWT sent down a revelation, asking [him] why he destroyed a population extolling God when he was only bitten by an ant. Another narration said: ’why not [killing] only that one ant [who bit him]?” (narrated by Bukhari)


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