Finding Interfaith Potential in Environmentalism

Many saw President Obama’s speech in Indonesia last month as a second attempt to improve America’s relationship with Muslim communities around the world, after his first attempt in Cairo in June 2009. He addressed issues such as development, democracy, and religion — complimenting Indonesia’s ability to move development, establish one of the world’s largest democracies and function as a religiously pluralistic society.

However, his words elucidate our domestic need to reframe our understanding of interfaith work. Diversity is a fact, not an achievement. As a plural nation, we must not see tolerance as a destination, but as the first step of engaging faith communities in tacking our must fundamental issues. Rather than rehashing our differences in creed and theology, we must focus on the problems that we all face in America: need for more jobs, economic and financial reform and a clean environment.

Our environmental problem is one place where the religion, democracy and development trifecta has a clear potential for success. Communities of faith around the country are joining the “green” conversation and the environmental movement. Groups like Green Faith and Interfaith Leaders for Environmental Justice are bringing people together around protecting planet, not destroying it. An Amazon Environmentalism bestselling book is Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet, a book that encourages people of faith — specifically Muslims — to see themselves as stewards of the Earth with a divine responsibility to leave the planet better than we found it. Faith communities can set aside their differences and work towards solutions to common problems.

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Interview With America’s Leading Green Muslim- Ibrahim Abdul Matin

 Ibrahim Abdul-MatinArwa speaks to Ibrahim Abdul-Matin about his latest book ‘Green Deen’ and why he believes that Muslims need be compelled spiritually to make dramatic changes in their lives for the sake of the planet

Ibrahim Abdul-Matin is a man of many talents. As well as working as a regular sports commentator and youth organiser, he is a policy adviser for NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s office of sustainability and author of ‘Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet’. He has been making waves on the US green scene for a decade now and his latest book, which connects his Muslim faith with his love of nature hopes to spark greater environmental awareness amongst the Muslim community. I caught up with him to speak about the influence of his father on his green ethic, what the life of an Eco-Muslim would look like, ideas for a green hajj and why Muslims need to become ambassadors for clean water.

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“Green Deen” Ibrahim Abdul-Matin Connects Environmentalism With Islam

feature_ibrahim_abdul-matin_0Ibrahim Abdul-Matin’s acclaimed book educates American believers, “Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet.”

For the past ten years, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin has been a passionate voice for transforming our pollution based way of life to one that prioritises our planet and its people. His book Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet is a voice for educating us on greening our lives and faith, and here, Ibrahim explains how we can do that.

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Earth is a Mosque: Green your Deen in 30 days

Green Your Deen in 30 Days (Click on the image to download the guide)

I have already posted a blog on going green this Ramadan as well as publishing an article on the ‘Ramadan Compact’  in Green Prophet but the latest initiative by the ‘Green Deen’ author really deserves some backing.

Brother Ibrahim Abdul-Matin has put together a great little guide with some  very simple steps that you, your family, your friends, your neighbors, and your masjid can all do – steps for the individual and steps for the collective – to reduce waste, save water, conserve energy, and provide food to as many as possible.

And as its Ramadan- there really isn’t a better time to do it. Remember it takes 30 days to install a good habit so lets start now and take these positive habits forward after Ramadan too.

As Abdul-Matin reminds us:

Earth is a mosque. If we can pray anywhere, everywhere is sacred.  Protect the planet from piles of plastic and dried up water supplies.  Simple steps can make sweeping changes.
Ramadan Mubarak!

Profile: Green Deen Author Ibrahim Abdul-Matin

Image via Elan Magazine

Time to profile another Green Muslim- and this time it’s the guy who recently revealed that the Ground Zero Mosque is going to be Green!

I think it’s great to recognize the work Green Muslims are doing worldwide and this Brooklyn Brother is an inspiring environmental community organiser with alot of wisdom to offer. Ibrahim Abdul-Matin,  author of ‘Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet’, spoke to Elan about his Muslim-American activism and the interview highlights are below!

elan: When did you start working as an environmentalist?

IA: I’ve always been involved in environmentalism. That’s been a driving force throughout my entire life. I’ve worked with Outward Bound,  I was a director of youth programs at Prospect Park in Brooklyn and I’ve lead outdoor adventure tours in the woods.

This is just an opportunity for me to take the three sides of me – the social justice part of me, the environmentalist part of me, and then the Muslim part into one sort of tightly woven expression of what’s happening today.

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