The Role of Faith Systems and Religions in the Future of Sustainable Development: An Islamic Outlook

  •  Mamdouh M. A. Sobaihi    


Reference material concerning sustainable development has increased dramatically over the last decades, with more and more countries, agencies and businesses following the sustainable development ideals and principles. However, one of the most basic of human institutions has not contributed, and perhaps not allowed to contribute, to the debate. Religion and faith systems have a great potential in influencing not only the definitions of sustainable development but also concepts of human sustainable practices to achieve sustainable development goals. The main obstacle to the fulfillment of this potential appears to be the lack of outreach and acceptance of the scientific community to the religious and faith system institutions and individuals. In this paper, a review of the literature is carried out to shed light on the root of this schism between science and belief systems. In addition, the paper will highlight how the majority of the literature deals with process rather than the individual human being and how to make him/her a better practitioner of sustainability. It is also aimed that the paper shed some light on how religious and faith system ideals can be incorporated into sustainable development plans and systems. The main focus of the paper is to cast light on the religion of Islam and some of the Islamic teachings and Ideals and how they can be incorporated in delivering the message of sustainable development since the religion of Islam is forecast to be the largest faith on the planet in the not too distant future. In conclusion, a discussion on how the various religious networks can deliver the message of sustainability will be discussed.

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