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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[?]

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