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Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet Paperback – November 11, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"How we manage waste, watts, water, and food should reinforce the moral foundations of our communities...ensure economic and social justice and create the freedom to transform our pollution-based 'gray' economy to one that...is sustainable and 'green.'" Environmental policy consultant and youth organizer Abdul-Matin shares his love of the Earth, which he describes as a mosque, in his first book, a guide to environmentalism that speaks to Muslims in their own terms. Defining a Deen as a path, the author clearly demonstrates how environmentalism fits into the goals and ethics of Islam. Abdul-Matin seamlessly intertwines personal experiences with religious doctrine and environmental information. The author focuses on several facets of human impact-waste, energy, water, and food-and includes discussions of green jobs, political systems, and greenwashing. Though topics will not be new to those who have read secular books about green or simple living, Muslims will appreciate Abdul-Matin's clarity in relating steps to Islam, often providing quotes from the Qur'an (though tips will apply equally to non-Muslims). Less a lecture than an invitation to introspection, Green Deen is a welcome hybrid, providing a glimpse into conservation through the lens of religion.
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Review

'Ibrahim Abdul-Matin's deep connection with Islam and the environment helps to make his book clear, easy to read, balanced and convincing.' - Harfiyah Abdel Haleem, Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences, UK 'Ibrahim-Abdul Matin not only shows the myriad ways American Muslims are contributing to the resolution of the environmental crisis that threatens us all, but he goes a long way toward humanizing the Muslim community by sharing with the reader the lives of so many extraordinary, talented and visionary people.' - Imam Zaid Shakir, cofounder, Zaytuna Institue 'Green Deen shows how the authentic religious values and practices of Islam should lead to a wholesome, healthy and compassionate lifestyle that benefits all living things. Abdul-Matin writes in accessible, intelligent and motivating language, making this an excellent book for all readers.' - Ingrid Mattson, PhD, President, The Islamic Society of North America --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers (November 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605094641
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605094649
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Beatty on April 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet, Ibrahim Abdul -Matin attempts to show how an environmentalist/conservationist belief system and lifestyle are "deeply imbedded in the Muslim tradition from a variety of perspectives." Abdul-Matin is an American-born Muslim who attended Hamza Yusuf's new Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California before returning to his native New York to further his education and pursue work in line with his family tradition as a community activist or policy advisor. His thesis is that six Islamic ethical principles or ideas form a framework of an environmentalist ethos. The six principles he addresses are tawhid, which he describes as the Oneness of God and which he often expounds in a sense of the interconnectedness of all subjects of Creation, ayat, or the idea of signs of God being everywhere including in humanity and nature, khalifah, which he views as the idea of humans as stewards of the Earth, amana, described as a divine trust for humanity to protect the planet, adl, interpreted in context as a call toward just use of resources and treatment of Creation, and mizan, explained as living in balance with the whole of Creation.

After a nice forward by Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison, Abdul-Matin divides his discussion into four main parts: waste, energy, water and food. For each, he briefly outlines the environmental issues and tries to show how American Muslims are working to solve these issues by highlighting certain individuals as examples. He also sometimes refers to hadith or Qur'anic verses or in some other way tries to connect one or more of the six principles (tawhid, ayat, amana, adl, khalifah, and mizan) to solutions.
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As a Muslim American, I am ecstatic to read a post-9/11 published book about Islam & Muslims that doesn't mention 9/11 once. Islam is so multi-faceted. Muslims are multi-talented. This book presents a new perspective that hasn't been heard before in the mainstream. The media needs to stop saying "where are the moderate Muslims?" Here they are - authoring books about Islam and the environment. Great work!
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Green Deen is a call to action for all people. I think protecting the planet requires an "all hands on deck" approach. So, the green movement has to speak to the needs of everyone. What do business owners need to hear to go green? What about teachers? In this book, Ibrahim presents the "why" to people of faith. It's compelling, interesting, and makes me reflect on why exactly I get excited about going green.
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I wrote a review on [...] and I wanted to share it with you all here. [...]

In recent years, many politicians and environmentalists have argued the need for a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. I recall one night in the Islamic Center of NM here in Albuquerque when a nun who was visiting our center asked me what Islam says about the environment, and I struggled to answer her. I responded, "Of course it promotes taking care of our earth," but I wasn't able to give her enough evidences from the Quran and Sunnah to support my statement.

Recently, I read a book titled Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet by Ibrahim Abdul-Matin who is an environmental policy consultant and has worked for Green For All, Green City Force, Interfaith Leaders for Environmental Justice, the Prospect Park Alliance, and the New York City Mayor's Office of Long Term Planning & Sustainability. The book, which is available on Amazon, has a very unique approach to this issue of Islam and the environment.

It is divided into an introduction and four parts (Waste, Watt, Water, and Food), and serves as an educational tool for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. In the introduction the author briefly introduces the reader to Islam and its concepts, and then he talks about the motives behind writing this book. One interesting section of the introduction was "The Six Principles of a Green Deen" which incorporated the concepts of Tawheed (monotheism), pondering over the signs of Allah on this earth, humans as guardians and protectors of this planet, Muslims as being just even to the environment, and promoting balance with nature. He elaborated and articulated how Islam promotes fairness and peace to earth and what is surrounding us.
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With this book, Abdul-Matin brings Islam out of the shadows, and also brings it back home from the Middle East. He writes in a very accessible, easy to read style. He brings Islam into the mainstream of American Life by discussing very practical and common sense approaches to tackling one of the biggest problems of our era (waste, overconsumption,preservation of our planet).
Religion can be relevant beyond just dogma, by helping us to re-frame how we look at our problems. The author is a native born, second generation Muslim, educated, with a sense of civic responsibility, helps me to look at Islam in completely different light. Highly recommended.
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By Jay on December 2, 2010
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I am not Muslim. Nor am I an environmentalist. I picked up this book because it was recommended to me by a friend. I was truly surprised by how ingrained environmentalism is in Islamic teachings. I was unaware of how many Muslim Americans feel the need to protect the planet because of their faith. I was also surprised to see so much common ground between something I generally avoid (religion) and a problem that I think deserves immediate attention (the Earth). I'd recommend the book to anybody looking for an interesting take on environmentalism.
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