New Eco-Mosque in Dubai is First of Its Kind
There’s been a growing movement among Muslims to start putting the core environmental tenants of Islam into practice. Some Muslims are doing that by conserving water during Wudu — the spiritual practice of washing before prayer — and reducing waste during events like nightly Ramadan feasts. Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, a Muslim environmentalist and author, lays out even more ways Muslims can incorporate environmental practices into their life in his landmark book, Green Deen.
In light of the growing movement, it is not surprising that the first environmentally-friendly mosque in the Islamic world opened its doors for worshippers in Deira, Dubai last Friday.
Located on 105,000 square feet of land, the new Khalifa Al Tajer Mosque on Mur Saeed Street saw some 3,500 worshippers attend the first sermon by Sheikh Salih Al Maghamsi, imam of the famous Quba Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia. The mosque was designed with energy efficiency in mind with thermal-insulation systems for lowering energy consumption and air conditioners that emit reduced greenhouse gases. The ablution stations were also designed to save water.
“Environmental awareness is a pillar in Islam,” said Tayeb Al Rais, secretary-general of Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, a Dubai government body at the opening ceremony. “The mosque integrates renewable energy solutions in its design. This is illustrated in the exterior poles that are fitted with solar panels, battery storage system that is powered by solar energy, and the use of solar panels instead of energy draining electric heaters for the purpose of water heating.”
Ahmad Al Sharif, a 34-year-old Egyptian legal consultant, said the new mosque was very nice, comfortable, and beautiful. “I didn’t find anything different or lacking about it from any other mosque,” he said. “I cam here today because this is now the closest mosque to my home. I used to go to the mosque across the street, but it gets too crowded at Friday prayers.”
The Khalifa Al Tajer Mosque complies with the silver standard of the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. It will be operated by the Islamic Affairs Department. Let’s hope that other Muslims around the world look to the new, green mosque as a great example of what can be done to incorporate Islam’s environmental tenants into their daily practice.
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