Last year, we told you about the construction of a new mosque in Cambridge. It was described as the first eco-mosque in Europe.
The minds behind the project promised a beautiful space for prayer that also boasted unmatched green credentials. The innovative idea was a hit, and donations for the mosque came in from across the world.
This was good news, as the mosque is reportedly costing £15 million to build!
The Cambridge Mosque Trust will be the first purpose built mosque in the city. Earlier this summer, the mosque’s magnificent golden dome was revealed, another on-time step towards the January 2019 opening date.
The building will be powered by renewable energy-harvesting heat pumps and will make maximum use of natural light. Rainwater will be stored to flush the WCs and irrigate the garden, and ground water will heat or cool the building as necessary.
While this is not only good for the environment, it is also an excellent reflection of Islamic values. Our faith compels us to care for the world around us, and the Ummah that calls it home. To build a sacred space around green principals only serves to remind us how important it is to look after the world God created for us.
This no doubt explains why similarly innovative mosques are in the works elsewhere. In Tirana, Albania, an enormous mosque is being built to cater to the city’s diverse population. The Mosque For All is an indoor/outdoor structure filled with green spaces and natural light. There is even going to be a garden comprised of every plant mentioned in the Qu’ran.
According to Dezeen, the impressive structure is designed to welcome everybody:
“Albania is the crossroads of three major religions: Orthodox Christianity; Catholicism; and Islam. With the recent completion of two new churches, all three religions will now have new places of worship in the heart of Tirana. The complex will not only serve the Muslim community of the city and surrounding areas, but will educate the public about Islamic values and serve as a beacon for religious tolerance.”
This message is shared by Tim Winter, AKA Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, chairman of Cambridge Mosque Trust. Speaking to Cambridge News, he said: “Everyone will be able to come and use the gardens, or hire the lecture space for events, or sit in the coffee house, or just enjoy the calm ambience of the prayer hall.”
The reason for this, he explained last year, is to relax tensions between communities and dispel misconceptions about Islam: “We are confident that we will be showcasing traditions of hospitality and respect, pushing back against fundamentalism and any other ideology that seeks to damage the unity of the human family.”
We love the ethos behind both of these eco-mosques. We are all responsible for protecting the environment and caring for one another. To be reminded of these duties within a green, communal space will hopefully inspire people to act on them.
After all, we may have different faiths, but we’re all living on the same earth.