LONDON – A British Muslim organization has launched an award scheme to encourage mosques to become eco-friendly, educating them to participate in environmental beneficial activities.
"We see in the Qur’an how elevated the natural world is, compared to our traditional cost-profit conceptions of it, and this awareness of the divine nature of creation implies that we should protect it," political journalist and academic Myriam Francois-Cerrah told E2B Pulse, the UK Carbon Reduction network, on Monday, December 2.
"We do get overly focused on minor issues and have not been concerned with the greater priority of protecting the environment."
Sponsored by Muslim Agency For Development Education (MADE), the eco-award scheme was launched last Saturday to encourage UK mosques to be eco-friendly.
The award is a part of Green Up My Community! Campaign, which is co-organized by MADE in Europe and the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO).
The campaign aims at encouraging Muslims to think-green by boosting their eco-awareness to affect their choices of food, transport and clothing.
The first award, supported by the City Bridge Trust, was announced at an event titled 'Signs For Those Who Reflect; The Forgotten Sunnah'.
About 150 prominent Muslims figures attended the event which was held at Ecology Pavilion, Mile End, in London.
Free copies of the Green Up My Community! campaign toolkit, which included vital instructions to keep environmental sustainability, were given to the attendants.
At the event, Shaykh Shams, an expert in Islamic Law, and one of the founders of Ebrahim College, highlighted Islam's instruction for environmental sustainability.
“Islamic principles teach us to shun the idea of living a life defined by materialism, in favor of one where we are less interested in the trappings of wealth, and more interested in moderation in every aspect of our lives,” he said.
A handful of mosques in London have swiftly taken action after announcing the award including; East London Mosque, Palmers Green Mosque and Al Manar Mosque.
Located in the middle of Manchester, Al-Markaz Al-Najmi Mosque will be used as a model for eco-friendly mosques by the award scheme.
In 2010, Al-Najmi mosque was inaugurated as Manchester's first eco-mosque built with wood from renewable sources and reclaimed stone, with a coast of £3.5m.
Plans for fully-green mosque are also set for University of Salford's mosque which will be running using solar panels, a bio-garden for recycling and geo-thermal energy, with the coast of £10m.
“This project is about educating the next generation about the importance of environmental principles,” said Usman Ali, Chair person of the Salford eco-mosque.
“In addition to systems that recycle water from bathroom facilities, the building also incorporates outdoor piping to harness the sun's heat in order to warm water, while the temperature of the mosque will be regulated with biomass heating systems.”
“43 students were involved in the project and, I have to say, they all produced absolutely wonderful designs," Mark Alston, Head Tutor of Salford eco-mosque.
"Quite a lot of the students looked at how to bring water into the building, and also how this could enhance the building."
Related Links:World's First Ecological Mosque
US Green Mosques
Cambridge Gets Eco Mosque
Canadian Muslims Go Green
Mixed Gender Mosques Stir UK Uproar