Eco-Islam is made accessible in Ibrahim Abdul-Matin’s book
I’m currently researching environmentalism in Islam for a literature review. Environmentalism and tackling the climate crisis is, of course, an important and pertinent topic — and one which has a long history in Islam. There is Islamic guidance on water usage and division, the protection of important wildlife areas, and the importance of trees. There has also been a recent push towards ‘eco-mosques’, with the Cambridge Central Mosque being a notable example.
‘Green Deen’ by Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, however, is written for the everyday reader and is split into four parts: waste, watts (energy), water and food.
The first part, ‘waste’, tackles the problem of overconsumption, the second, ‘watts’, looks into energy sources and the push towards renewables. Both parts encourage the reader not just to look at the home environment, but also at the mosque and greater community. The third part, ‘water’ regards the necessity of water, protecting its purity and reducing wastage, and the final part, ‘food’, encourages the reader to look at the entire supply chain, and not just at the halal sticker on the packaging.
The book encourages the reader to reflect on their lifestyle, job, community and see how they may take small steps to improve their environmental impact. He uses examples from friends and family, as well as from organisations such as DC Green Muslims, to show what can be done.
None of the actions suggested is very large, and that's what makes this book so accessible. Examples include using left-overs for iftar instead of cooking fresh food every night, to monitoring water usage during wudu.
Overall, this is an easy read and one that I would recommend to every Muslim. Looking after the environment is, after all, part of being khalifah on Earth.