In 2010-2011, new public messages circulated in Indonesia’s public sphere to “green” Islam. Formal and semi-formal religious education increasingly reflected and supported new ecological curricula and models. Messages of “eco-dakwah” (religious and environmental outreach) by religious authorities connected theory and practice, long established in the pesantren (madrasa) tradition. This paper highlights two affective strategies that were emerging as forms of environmental Islam: first, adapting “tradition” to be a resource for experiential awareness; and, second, the related expectation that feeling and emotion carry persuasive power to alter perception and inspire action. This dakwah cast moral sentiment and action in this world with respect to natural states anticipated in the world to come.
Based on research in Indonesia in 2010–2013, this essay explains how Muslims expect norms of Islamic law to mobilize religious response to environmental crisis. It surveys attempts since the 1990s to develop “environmental fiqh (Muslim jurisprudence)” in Indonesia, justified in theory by rationales such as that actions causing environmental harm stem ultimately from human moral failing, and also that human aims and activities, including those protected by Islamic law, require a healthy biosphere. Many Indonesians expect Islamic ecological rulings to fill a critical gap in global persuasion, and to be successful when other (non-religious) environmental messages fail. Considering several key fatwas (non-binding legal opinions given in answer to a question) from the local level to the national in Indonesia, this paper explains how law and “outreach” (Ind. dakwah) come together to cast Islamic law of the environment in terms of foundational causes and ultimate effects. These religious norms coexist with and complement other globalized constructions (such as those of the nation-state and NGOs) that they increasingly incorporate.