29 November, 2010

GreenDeen: the Book of Note

He says, the book took him 'a little over a year' to write and the 'process was intense'. It is now been published. You can read it. It is the first book of its kind that shows how the principals and tenants of Islam encourages and supports environmentalism. Written, not by a shaikh or a Muslim scholar; it is a book penned by an athlete. A Muslim sportsman who deeply cares about protecting our Planet; a Muslim who had the time to study and explore his religion and show how Islamic principals and way of life are truly Green.

Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet is the book. Written by Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, the son of African American converts to Islam. For years, Ibrahim has been campaigning in the most polluting country on Earth - the US. He started being passionate about protecting the environment when still in college; and from his youth, he saw how Islam could help in protecting our fragile Planet. Ibrahim quotes from Qur'an Al Kareem and how mischief on this Planet leads to its destruction, Surat Ar-Rum verse 41: Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned, that (Allah) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from Evil); and from the Hadith a quote which clearly shows how sacred Earth is:..... the whole earth has been made a mosque for us.... ~ Book 004, Number 1060. It is such kind of Islamic teachings and principals that convinced Ibrahim of how Green Islam is. And he is using that Green in environmentalism and in campaigning to protect our Planet.

Asked: When did you first begin to specifically connect your religious upbringing to environmental issues? His answer: During my senior year of college, I started to look at the environment and overconsumption and to target corporate abuse as the problem. Both capitalism and socialism define your value as a human being on what you can make or create or destroy or waste or consume. The beauty of Islam is that it provides a framework that is an antidote to that. I would argue that Islam shares this perspective with Christianity, Judaism and other great faiths. If I claim to love God, then I should love his creations. So how do I live in that framework? Ibrahim Abdul-Matin currently works as a policy adviser in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office of sustainability and long-term planning. A former college football player at the University of Rhode Island, Abdul-Matin also appears regularly as a sports commentator on New York City’s National Public Radio affiliate. He spoke with the journalist Justin Vogt at his home in Brooklyn Heights. Read his interview with Justin Vogt on Onearth.