Opinion Editorials, April 2008
Adams Center, in Sterling Virginia, Launches First Green Mosque
By Alison Lake
ccun.org, April 17, 2008
Overcast skies and drizzle did not deter ADAMS Center families from getting their knees and hands into the damp soil and planting new trees. In honor of the mosque’s launch of its “Proud to be Green Muslim” project, members of the ADAMS community gathered to plant 30 small trees and two flower beds on the grounds of the mosque. Khalid Iqbal, director of the Green Mosque (Masjid) project, said, “Despite the weather, it was so much fun—families, even the very little children, were digging holes and planting trees.”
Getting close to nature is the primary focus of ADAMS’s new program, whose motto is “Reducing our carbon footprint one family at a time.” The Green Muslims of ADAMS are now in action barely a few months after ideas for the program began to germinate. “Our mission is to strive to do our part to create an environment that is safe and healthy for God’s creation,” states the program’s launch booklet. “We must strive to safeguard the natural habitat for our children and future generations to sustain a healthy life on earth.”
ADAMS expects to be a model for families and organizations who wish to start making wise environmental decisions in their own homes and offices. Simple changes such as water conservation in the home and combining errands into one car trip are the way to start, says Iqbal. “We are asking people to reduce, re-use, and recycle, and make smart choices” in how they run their water, dispose of trash, and use up gasoline and electricity.
The Green Mosque (Masjid) Friday, April 4 launch drew Muslims from all over Virginia D.C and Maryland. Dr. D. M. Christianson, a local anesthesiologist, shared his own success with building a nature-powered home that he built himself from recycled material is independent of any utility company. His home is solar-powered and wind powered specifically designed to avoid use of gas and electricity from the utility companies. Dr. Christenson’s power point presentation inspired and attracted the audience to what can be achieved and be closer to the nature.
Benjamin Boxer came to talk about the strides Fairfax County has made in its recycling program. His power point presentation and handouts were extremely educational and perfect for the program launch. The program was topped by a very inspirational talk by Imam Mohammad Majid who quoted form the Qur’an and Hadeeth signifying the importance of the program.
ADAMS Center straddles the Fairfax County and Loudoun County lines, and planted its trees according to regulations in both counties.
Youth and adults alike have jumped into the program with enthusiasm. Sunday’s tree planting was a welcome activity for the Junior Youth schoolers, grades 1-6, led by sisters Misbah Javaid and Sabah Iqbal. Under the leadership of Youth Director Joshua Salaam, the older grades 7-12 created eye-catching posters that line the halls of ADAMS in promotion of recycling habits everyone can follow.
Leaders of the Green Masjid project, the first known “green” mosque, hope the idea will pollinate beyond. “We are starting at ADAMS but we would like to see it spread out in the tri-state area,” said Iqbal. “We as Muslims should be the leaders in protecting our environment and combating global warming to protect the beautiful world Allah has given to us to live in. This is not difficult to start small at home, and we are available and glad to help the people in any way. Just think of Reduce, Re-use and recycle” he said. ADAMS will soon be publishing a booklet that outlines in detail suggestions for other organizations to follow.
These include reducing use of energy, water and other resources; reusing and maximizing the resources that we currently have; recycling every thing that is recyclable, and avoid using household chemicals and cleaning fluids that are dangerous to our earth and climate.
Trees can be sponsored for $40 each, and there is still room for 100 more trees on the property. Families and organizations are welcome to sponsor a tree and should contact GreenMasjid@gmail.com for more information. Details on Fairfax County’s recycling program can be found at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/recycling/.
Hadeeth: Rasool Allah, Prophet Muhammed, peace and blessings of God be upon him, said conserve water when making wadu even if you are at the bank of a river.
In another Hadeeth Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said continue planting the tree and complete it even when it is time for judgment and trumpet is about to be blown. You will be rewarded for it.
Further, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that plating a tree is a continuous benefit (Sadaqa Jaria) for every time someone will benefit from its shade or eat its fruits or birds will use it you will be rewarded for it.
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