Dogs and humans and what earth can be: Filaments of Muslim ecological thought

Naveeda Khan


Climate change is knowledge produced by running empirical data on weather through global simulation models. In contradistinction to the approach that studies how people come to be schooled to perceive climate change or produce their own accounts of change in an indigenous idiom, I show how knowledge of it is met by disbelief by Muslim farmers (chauras) living on eroding and accreting silt and sand islands (chars) within the Jamuna River in Bangladesh. Such disbelief is not unlike the denial that ordinarily greets news of climate change elsewhere. If one were to turn away from asking how people are taking up (or not) the issue of climate change, it is in smaller gestures of incorporating repugnant others, in this case dogs, that one sees reflections on divine creation qua creatureliness. And following such reflections on Creation through fables, narratives, and the everyday of the chauras, we see how Muslim cosmology and eschatology hold promise of ecological thought, providing an unexpectedly materialist perspective on our creaturely interconnectedness. They also provide an anticipatory register of climate change within chaura life through the intensification of suffering in the present, while allowing for disbelief in climate change as poisoned knowledge from the West. 



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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14318/hau4.3.015