This Thursday, March 24th, Jean will talk with Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, the author of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet. The show will explore how Islam instructs followers to be environmentally conscious and how this consciousness can be the foundation for interfaith environmental work.
Abdul-Matin’s central premise is that the world is a mosque, a house of God, and thus sacred. Therefore, we have a responsibility not only to take care of the environment but to protect it. He maintains there are Islamic teachings that instruct Muslims to live what he refers to as “Green Deen” (deen means religion in Arabic), which he maintains “is about transforming our public, private, and civic sectors. It’s about bridging the innovation gap and moving all the world’s fundamental human connection to the environment.”
Amana, “trust” in Arabic, is one of the teachings that Abdul-Matin highlights, meaning that human beings are entrusted by God with taking care of the earth and that they will be held accountable for their actions. Another teaching that he emphasizes is the concept of the mizan, “balance” in Arabic. In the Qur’an, human beings are instructed to be fair and just in their dealings with each other and their surroundings. This means that they must strive to acheive balance in their world and avoid excesses. In regards to the environment, pollution and excessive consumption disrupts the balance. For Abdul-Matin, Islam provides the spiritual framework for believers to have a connection to the environment.
Do you think religion and environmentalism are connected? Can religion provide a framework for environmental efforts? How can believers of different faiths work together to protect the environment? Please share your thoughts below and they may appear in the show.