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Book Review: GreenDeen

How Islamic faith and environmentalism can be combined in everyday life.
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GreenDeen book cover

by Ibrahim Abdul-Matin
Berrett-Koehler, 2010, 232 pages, $16.95
Support YES! when you buy here from an independent bookseller.

Deen is Arabic for a religion or path, so GreenDeen is an apt title for a book that describes a Muslim way of life that celebrates the relationship between faith and the environment.

Author Ibrahim Abdul-Matin gives practical advice on applying Islamic environmentalism to everyday life, explaining the issues posed by waste, watts, water, and food. He provides encouraging examples of Muslim individuals and organizations all over America who manage these problems creatively according to Quranic principles. DC Muslims build coalitions and participate in No Impact Week; a Midwestern Muslim family localizes food and tends their garden; youth and elders cooperate to green their mosque.

Weaving Quranic verses around the issues, Abdul-Matin demonstrates how environmentalism is embedded in the teachings of Islam. We are reminded that in the Quran, God has appointed humanity as vice-regents of the Earth, and that “corruption has appeared on the land and in the sea because of what the hands of humans have wrought.”

To live in balance with nature, to understand the oneness of God and creation, and to be just with others is the “green deen.” The clarity and passion of this book deserve a wide audience.

Jamal RahmanJamal Rahman wrote this article for Can Animals Save Us?, the Spring 2011 issue of YES! Magazine. Jamal, an author and teacher, is a Muslim Sufi minister at Interfaith Community Church in Seattle, Wash.


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