We recently lost an incredible voice for change, the brilliant ibrahim abdul-matin. ibrahim served on the International Living Future Institute Board of Directors from 2015 through 2021, at which time he joined the Institute’s Advisory Committee, continuing to offer his wisdom and support to our mission. His perspective was a valued addition to any conversation and his kindness, generosity, and passion for the movement will be greatly missed. 

The Institute’s community has many memories to share:

“ibrahim was on the International Living Future Institute Board of Directors when I joined, and we had a chance to spend a few memorable days together. He was generous, passionate, deeply principled, and an inspiration to so many through his book, writings, and broader work. ibrahim, we will miss you deeply, my friend. Thank you for everything you gave to our movement and our world. Rest in peace and power.”

– Lindsay Baker, CEO of ILFI

“I first brought ibrahim into the ILFI universe as a keynote speaker at a Living Future in Portland. He had just published his book – “Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet” in 2010, and I thought it was important for our community to hear a different voice and perspective—from a scholar and practitioner, a person of color, and a Muslim. His speech was powerful, and he resonated clearly with our community that values inclusivity and openness to new ideas. 

“What was immediately clear to me, however, was that he wasn’t just an outside voice or perspective—he was one of us. His values and attitudes around the environment and community aligned perfectly with the values embedded within the Living Building Challenge and ILFI’s mission to be socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. Shortly thereafter, I asked him to serve on our board of directors, and he agreed immediately. For a decade after his first speech, ibrahim was an integral part of our organization—as advisor, mentor and friend. He was a solid, bright, and insightful presence in meetings, conferences, and events that we held year in and year out. 

It is hard to grasp that ibrahim is now gone from us. He was a wonderful friend and a kind contributor to the world. He and I would always hug and ask each other how we were doing whenever we’d see each other. I truly miss that and his wonderful presence. ILFI has lost a true green warrior.

You are missed, my friend!”

– Jason F. McLennan, Founder of ILFI

ibrahim speaking at Living Future 2015

“ibrahim was a kind and compassionate man and a brilliant champion for living in harmony with nature.”

– Richard Piacentini, Advisor and former Board Chair of ILFI

“During the last part of my tenure as Board Member, I was privileged to be at the same table with ibrahim. I am so sorry for the loss and broken by this news.

He was a charismatic figure to me—knowledgeable to the point of erudition—and with a profound and passionate commitment to the well-being of all living souls. He seemed to bear the suffering of others in an effort to empathize with them. He was always interested in other people’s personal stories, an excellent listener with a healthy sense of humor. A couple of times, he accompanied me on my walk towards my hotel after our sessions at the Board, and would graciously let me take his arm while crossing streets. I will never forget his generosity and kindness.”

– Carolyn Aguilar Dubose, Advisor and former Board Secretary of ILFI

“ibrahim was an empathetic leader who genuinely cared for people and the environment. When I joined the Board, he welcomed me with open arms and took the time to listen and understand. I admired his courage and conviction and will definitely miss his presence.”

– Paolo Bevilacqua, Vice Chair of ILFI

“I have fond memories from working with ibrahim during the CEO search when he was an amazing collaborator and sounding board. He often gave me more patience to continue. He and I met in Prospect Park a few times to walk and talk about the environmental movement.”

– Anthony Guerrero, Board Member and former Board Chair of ILFI

Photo of the ILFI Board in 2021

“ibrahim—who had the most beautiful color-arranged library on his zoom calls—was always a delightful presence on the Board—whether in conversation over dinners, contributing new and fresh perspectives to a meeting topic, or simply one-on-one. His enthusiasm, passion for his faith, his stewardship, and his smile will be greatly missed.”

– Margaret Montgomery, Board Secretary of ILFI

“One thing that I always remember about ibrahim was that he was extremely committed to his family and faith. He would occasionally realize that he needed to go pray, and he would do so. I’m glad that this space was sacred to him. 

When in a group setting, he would always take time to focus on the conversation at hand. He’s not looking around to see what else is happening. He’s looking at you, in your eyes, and absorbing everything you have to say. Not only was he a good listener, he also had great perspective and insights, and that was very valuable to me—not just during my time on the board, but also in life.  

When he entered a room, regardless of whatever else was going on, he showed up with passion and energy. An infectious energy.  

I’m saddened that he’s no longer with us. His legacy is certain, as he did great things in this world.  

A sad day indeed”

– Ted van der Linden, Former Board Member of ILFI

You can read more about ibrahim’s work on his website here.

Written By

Lindsay Baker

Lindsay Baker is a movement leader, speaker, author, and podcast host working nationally and internationally to transform the building industry for a regenerative future. As CEO of the International Living Future Institute, Lindsay advocates for a world where everyone lives in buildings that are safe, healthy, decarbonized, and affordable.  Prior to joining the Institute, she served as Global Head of Sustainability and Impact at WeWork, co-founded successful smart buildings start-up Comfy, worked with Google’s Real Estate Sustainability Team, was a building science researcher at the UC Berkeley Center for the Built Environment, and developed early LEED standards at the US Green Building Council. Lindsay is a published author and frequent speaker on subjects including climate action, the regenerative building movement, and social impact in the building industry.