An Islamic perspective of the natural environment and animals: Said Nursi and his renewalist philosophy


  • Salih Yucel Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation,



Islam, Said Nursi, positive thinking, animals, renewal, environment, philosophy.


Contemporary Muslim scholar Said Nursi’s (1877-1960) view of animals is highly spiritual. His positive thinking philosophy extends to the natural environment and includes animals considered harmful to humans. His view of not killing harmful animals contradicts with the majority Islamic scholarly works which permit the killing of detrimental ones. His understanding of the interconnectedness of natural beings and things as well as their connection to the Divine is the major source for his works. Nursi views each created thing as a piece of the puzzle of the universe in harmony with each other. To him, animals have a deep spiritual aspect alongside their physical dimension. This article argues that throughout his works, Nursi – with his unique perspectives on spiritual approaches towards the environment and devotion to the creation – more than any other Islamic scholar, defended the Islamic view against naturalists and attempted to Islamicize natural philosophy by addressing theists. He views nature as art not the Artist. This article examines Nursi’s positive thinking and actions towards animals as he presents a renewed interpretation of Islamic sacred sources.

Author Biography

Salih Yucel, Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation,

Salih Yucel is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation, Charles Sturt University in Australia and he is also part time lecturer at Australian Catholic University. He got Bachelor of Islamic Studies  from University of Ankara in 1982. He completed Master of Theology at the University of Sydney in 1996 and his Doctorate at Boston University in 2007. His doctoral research was about “the effects of prayer on Muslim patient’s well-being” He worked lecturer and Senior lecturer in Islamic Studies at Monash University between 2008-20014. A/Professor Yucel is author of three books, co-author of one book and number of articles. 


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How to Cite

Yucel, S. (2018). An Islamic perspective of the natural environment and animals: Said Nursi and his renewalist philosophy. UMRAN - International Journal of Islamic and Civilizational Studies, 5(2).