Beacons of Hope: Our Interreligious S/Heroes Beacons of Hope: Our Interreligious S/Heroes — ibrahim abdul-matin

By Rabbi Or Rose

Every month, we honor an individual (or group) who inspires the bridge-building efforts of the Miller Center. Each honoree uniquely embodies the values of inclusivity, justice, and compassion. ibrahim abdul-matin (1977-2023), environmental activist, urban strategist, and writer is our Beacon of Hope for the month of August.

It is with great sadness that we share news of the recent passing of our friend and colleague ibrahim abdul-matin (he preferred using lowercase letters for his name near the end of his life). ibrahim was a kind, thoughtful, and impassioned person, who made significant contributions in his two decades as a public figure. We had the opportunity to welcome ibrahim to Hebrew College in 2011 to discuss his book Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2010).

We also had the opportunity to work with him on other occasions, including his written contributions to My Neighbor’s Faith and, more recently, PsalmSeason.

“Well, ibrahim, the most beautiful reed, you have gone home. Every metaphor is relevant here. Use them all. Mix them up. ibrahim was like that. He loved all the ayahs — all the signs of God. The verses of the Qur’an, the oceans and the trees, the people in all their sizes and shapes… His heart could take on all forms. It was a pasture for gazelles. A cloister for monks. Ka’aba for the pilgrim. He was a refuge for love’s caravan, whichever way it turned.”

— Eboo Patel, Founder and President, Interfaith America

Please read Patel’s full obituary on ibrahim here. May the memory of ibrahim abdul-matin inspire all those working to create a more just, compassionate, and sustainable world.

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