As we know great mosques were built throughout the world as Islam expanded that exceeded in size and grandeur the first mosque of Medina
They were built to cope with all kinds of climatic conditions and until recent times they used natural systems to keep warm when it was cold and to keep cool in hot weather conditions. We give below a few examples of the old and new that we can learn from.
Pre-modern – The old
Pre-modern mosques are naturally ventilated and remain cool in the hot desert climate. They have very little impact if any on climate change.
Timbuktu Great Mosque built in the 16th century
The Great Mosque in Timbuktu, Mali constructed from sun-dried mud, like the first mosque built by the Prophet Muhammad (s), has stood for many centuries. The mud and small windows help to keep the desert heat out and the mosque is easy to repair using the local materials, so saving energy on transport. Its beautiful natural colour blends in perfectly with its surroundings.
Post-modern – back to the future
Dar al-Islam, Abiquiu, New Mexico, USA
A smaller mud (adobe) mosque was built in New Mexico in the 1980s, designed by Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, famous worldwide for his life-long commitment to popular architecture and his mastery of traditional adobe construction. Though then already in his 80’s, Fathy came to Abiquiu himself to oversee construction, and brought with him two Nubian craftsmen to instruct local workers in adobe techniques.
Shaykh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi
Shaykh Zayed’s beautiful mosque in Abu Dhabi is lavish in its celebration of the theme of nature, with ornamentation depicting natural flowers in coloured marbles and glass. It’s surrounded by a beautiful garden with trees and pools of water.Shaykh Zayed (R) planted millions of trees in the desert land of Abu Dhabi, many of which bear fruit for his people to eat. May Allah bless and reward his efforts and keep them as an example to us all.
The New, Modern & Eco-Friendly
Cambridge Central Mosque
Photo from cambridgecentralmosque.org
Click below for more pictures and news about the Cambridge Central Mosque.
Less expensive features and projects can also demonstrate the responsible and caring attitude all Muslims should take towards fulfilling Allah’s amana (trust) and keeping steady the balance (mizan) of His creation.
Muslims make up at least one fifth of the world’s population. We all need to do our bit to combat our wastefulness and destructiveness as members of the ‘consumer society’. This greed and carelessness is threatening to destroy the beautiful Earth that Allah.
More examples of eco-friendly mosques:
- The Guardian
- The Huffington Post
- Construction Week Online
- Granada Mosque – Built 2003, the first purpose-built mosque to be built in Granada, Spain after 500 years. This mosque incorporates all the traditional Andalucían eco features.
- The National – Eco-mosques and greener domes article by Shelina Janmohamed in the National (UAE) 17 Jul 2010