The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Hima means (is Arabic for) "inviolate zones" solely for the conservation of natural capital, typically fields, wildlife and forests (contrast haram to protect areas for more immediate human purposes). A Muslim has a specific obligation to practice khalifa ("stewardship") over nature, and each species of animals is said to be "its own nation". The selection of hima was thus a religious rather than community obligation, and was often undertaken by ulema. There were five types of hima reserves:

  • areas where grazing of domestic animals was prohibited
  • areas where grazing was restricted to certain seasons
  • beekeeping reserves where grazing was restricted during flowering
  • forest areas where cutting of trees was forbidden
  • reserves managed for the welfare of a particular village, town, or tribe (see haram, although that term usually refers more to water protection measures)

See also: haram, khalifa, conservation, wilderness reserve

Last updated: 08-16-2005 00:19:17