Assistant Professor, Department of Sciences of Quran and Hadith, Islamic Sciences University, Qom, Iran
The present study deals with the natural ecological teachings of Islam and Zoroastrianism in a comparative way and a library citation method, based on two books of the Quran and Vendidad. The Quran"s environmental references to nature, in addition to the primary purposes of its verses, such as protecting the environment, forbidding destruction and corruption, and encouraging the proper productivity of divine blessings, to goals with more inner layers. It is necessary to pay attention to God"s true ownership of the elements of the natural environment, man"s attainment of God"s intuition by observing the nature around him, man"s attention to the position of his divine caliph, and the preamble of all Nasut"s nature to the kingdom of Lahout. What can be inferred in the Qur"an as a way to address environmental teachings are goals such as proving the Creator and the Lordship and proprietary providence of God and the Resurrection, paying attention to the origin of existence and the origin of beings, and encouraging practical attention to Faith and charity in the way of God considering the influence of transcendental and religious factors. There are some teachings in the Zoroastrian religion that directly and indirectly affect the view of the Zoroastrian man towards the environment and its preservation and development, such as respect for nature and sanctification of some important components such as the four elements, and some special animals such as dogs and cows and the importance of agriculture and animal husbandry and giving to clients for any category of creatures such as Amrdad for plants, and also giving direction to the future of the people of Zoroaster based on the prediction of the coming of Sushyans and that the earth in his time will be full of blessings and fertility and growth. The same is true of the promised Mahdi (AS) of Islam. The natural environmental teachings of the Qur"an and Vendidad are essentially common to the denial of corruption and environmental degradation. Sometimes some of these spells appear in conflict with the experimental sciences or the principles of primitive hygiene, such as washing with cow dung as a purification of the menstruating woman and leaving the dead in the crypt or the house of the dead person. However, they have tried to reduce the environmental damage by justifying that the crypt is a place out of reach and enclosed by humans and animals and that the cleaned bones are placed on top of the mountain for vultures. However, there is evidence that some Indian Persians have been involved in this practice, and in recent decades, according to the jurisprudential ruling of the Association of Priests, these forms of adaptation have not been or will not be implemented. Some Zoroastrian scholars also consider such Vendidad teachings to be the result of the distortion of the original Zoroastrian teachings by some priests and Moghans or the natural course of history on ancient texts that must be adapted and separated from the Ghats.
In more detail, Vendidad has greatly encouraged agriculture, and with the necessary positive positivism, he has done so by using fruit trees. In the field of agriculture, the Qur"an, by accepting its principle, forbids corrupt agriculture, and since corruption is mentioned in the relevant verses, it also includes environmental degradation. The Qur"an and Vendidad share the position of the agricultural component and its environmental impact, regardless of the conciseness of Vendidad"s teachings in this regard.
But the tree in the teachings of Zarathustra has a symbolic state. Like the famous dream of Zarathustra about a tree that has four branches of gold, silver, steel, and molten iron. But, in Vendidad, the existence of jurisprudential rulings is in support of trees, and nothing more can be found. The rules of contamination of the tree with bird droppings, which is eliminated by cutting the infected branch is an action that leads to the destruction of tree and plant branches. But the Qur"an mentions some benefits the tree, such as providing fire and ideological use to prove the Resurrection. It also points to other benefits such as coverage, human nutrition, livestock nutrition, oil production, shade, pen, and beekeeping. The breadth of the Qur"an alone is greater than the spells transmitted in Vendidad than the protection of the tree as an environmental component.
In the case of death, dumping a body in a river is considered a major crime due to the sanctity of the river in Zoroastrianism, and it has explicitly acknowledged that the body of a dried-up toad pollutes the environment. The Qur"an only mentions the incident of the crow teaching Cain to bury his dead brother, but the details of the burial of the dead and its necessity are given in the Sunnah. One of the benefits of these instructions is to prevent infection and germs and to transmit the disease. But in the Zoroastrian religion, there are buildings called Dakhmah or the Tower of the Silent, which show the gathering place of Zoroastrian corpses. The crypt must be in the mountains and somewhere far away from the environment, but in one case of Vendidad, in addition to the crypt, the dead settlement is also considered the place where the body was kept. This jurisprudential ruling pollutes the environment until the complete decay of the body. In some cases of Vendidad, the originality of the burial site is given to the mountains and desert, not to the crypt. This, in itself, exacerbates the environmental problem of the crypts and extends to the open environment.
Water has been praised in Zoroastrianism as Anahita Izad, the great lady of water and fertility. In Vendidad, the lack of water and then the Caspian Sea or Lake Urmia has been discussed as a place for water accumulation. This is the word of the Qur"an which says: We have made all living things from water. However, the significant difference between the Qur"an and Vendidad is that Vendidad talks in detail about the two lakes of the Caspian Sea and Urmia, which shows the incompleteness of the Zoroastrian religion or at least its special attention to the important water centers of the Iranian plateau. Urmia Lake is considered useful for the treatment of polluted water, while the lake has no access to open water and will be the source of pollution when environmental pollution occurs. But the Qur"an often sets out general rules. For example, the Qur"an refers to the role of water in the richness of the plant environment and vegetation for livestock. The land is a place for the benefit of priests and pastures and housing in Vendidad and is connected to agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, and housing. The Qur"an has made it clear that the earth is a place of habitation and benefit, and warns against destroying this place.
In some cases, the general environmental effect of wind has been described, such as the movement of water by the wind towards the Caspian Sea or Urmia, the movement of water by the wind from the bodies of the dead, to the crypt, to impure liquids. In Vendidad, the environmental impact of water and the wind is mentioned together, but the main cause is the wind, which pours polluted water into the Caspian Sea or Urmia. Some verses of the Qur"an can be interpreted as referring to the winds that pollute the air. Like the word ‘Mussafara’, it means the yellow color between white and black and the dry state that is used in verse fifty-one of Surah Romans. Animals are also one of the most important components of the environment. Vendidad emphasizes the dog and recommends keeping it, and whenever a person kills a dog, his soul and spirit will mourn in the hereafter. The bull is also considered sacred and is considered to be the first creature in the material world to be martyred by Guillaume, Kiomers, and the bull"s calf purifies a menstruating woman who has been in menstruation for nine nights. This jurisprudential ruling is one of those irrational and impractical rulings incompatible with human environmental teachings based on avoiding dirt and infection. While in Islam, it has considered far more broadly the rights of animals and their impact on the environment. The Qur"an entrusts all the animals and one day a creature like an animal to God. It seems that Muslim scholars, who believe that the text of the Holy Qur"an is revelatory, can use a comparative comparison between the Qur"an and other sacred texts such as the Avesta and its disputed parts, especially Vendidad, to validate their teachings.