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Tawangar
07-17-2011, 03:13 PM
Al Salamu 'Alaykum.
News that a small Muslim community in Norderstedt, Germany, has pioneered renewable energy sources by placing a wind turbine within the minaret of their mosque comes as a welcome surprise to most. Yet for some commentators the minaret continues to symbolise the march of an intolerant Islam intent on proselytising liberal Europe, a view made clear in 2009 when a Swiss referendum banned the construction of any new minarets.
To those versed in the proclivities of Islamic art and architecture, however, the mosque and its minaret have always stood as positive examples of syncretism.
In the seventh century, during the earliest stages of Islam, Muslims conducted their prayers in simple courtyard-like structures (or simply open spaces), which had partially covered areas to protect worshippers from the fierce Arabian sun. As Islam spread out of the deserts of Arabia and into the cityscapes of Damascus and Cairo, the rapidly expanding Muslim population required houses of worship that continued to meet their social and spiritual requirements. There are very few doctrinal guidelines as to what specifically constitutes a mosque (the only essential requirement being direction towards Mecca) and so Muslims either legally appropriated and modified existing structures or created completely new buildings.
The mosques that followed are magnificent and innovative examples of architecture that are paradoxically original through the way they borrowed from other cultures.
Take the eighth-century Great Mosque of Damascus: with its central nave, corner towers and sumptuous golden mosaics one could be excused for mistaking it for a late-antiquity church. On closer inspection, however, one notices the complete absence of figurative imagery in the building's mosaics that are so ubiquitous in Byzantine architecture. Here, the figures have been replaced by fantastic foliate arabesque and detailed depictions of classical architecture to align with the Islamic sanction against figural imagery in the mosque.
One can also hear the melodious call to prayer from one of the mosque's minarets. The Great Mosque of Damascus was formerly a church purchased from the Christians and transformed into a mosque; the minarets themselves were previously Christian corner towers. Prior to Damascus, the Muslim call to prayer was conducted from the tallest part of the urban landscape (eg on top of a house or mosque wall). When the Muslims came to Damascus, naturally the call to prayer was performed from the top of the church tower and thus, the architectural feature that is the minaret came to be.
Damascus is of course not the only example of cultural borrowing. One can witness the same phenomena in the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, which has its own take on the pre-Islamic centralised shrine architecture of the Levant (eg the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulchre).
Perhaps the most obvious example of adaptive architecture is in Istanbul, Turkey, where the old and the new have sat opposite each other for almost 500 years: on one side is the magnificent sixth-century basilica Hagia Sofia, and on the other is the early 17th-century Blue Mosque, a monument that bears startling resemblance to its Byzantine predecessor yet remains unequivocally unique in appearance.
Traditional Muslim societies therefore had no qualms about absorbing and learning from the cultures that they encountered and adjusting them within the philosophical framework of Islam: Islamic architecture is, and always has been, a medium for syncretism rather than proselytisation.
Fast-forward almost 1,400 years to the eco-friendly minaret in Germany. In Europe minarets no longer serve the practical function of calling people to prayer that they once did in the eighth century and instead remain as symbols or bastions of a traditional aesthetic.
What better way to return to the ingenuity of the Islamic architectural tradition than to transform the minaret once again into a highly productive and practical architectural feature which still retains its aesthetic and symbolic responsibilities.
Such resourcefulness is the perfect riposte to critics who accuse Muslim communities of self-marginalisation as well as social and religious "backwardness". Especially in Europe, where the apparent failings of "multiculturalism" seem to be the issue of contention, it is highly refreshing to see Muslim communities so emphatically adjusting their sails and letting the turbulent winds carry them to the shores of reinvention.
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Tawangar
11-21-2011, 05:29 AM
Top 5 eco mosques in the world: http://www.greenprophet.com/2011/05/5-eco-mosques/
:wa:
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SyrianFellow
11-21-2011, 06:22 AM
Whoa, I would have never expected it. Glad to hear about this.
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Snowflake
11-21-2011, 07:19 AM
Originally Posted by Tawangar
This one's my fave from the link you posted. You can't get more eco than this. Jazak Allah khayr akhi.










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Ramadhan
11-21-2011, 09:13 AM
There is one small masjid in Puncak area (Puncak is an hour and half drive south of Jakarta, it is up in the hills/mountains with pleanty of tea plantations, so the weather is very nice and the air is fresh) that I am quite fond of and very eco-friendly with minimum energy requirement. It's called masjid Al Muqsith, and it utilizes the environment surrounding the masjid to its fullest: it's has no/minimum walls, the wall structure is made with river stones and other structure with steel, and the roof is made of giant umbrella of the same membrane materials they use for those umbrellas in masjid nabawwi. I normally stopped by in this masjid for shalah on my way to family vacations in puncak area.
Performing shalah in this masjid is nice because you get the feeling of performing shalah outdoor while still have the luxuries (carpet etc :) )










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Tawangar
11-22-2011, 05:15 AM
Originally Posted by Ramadhan
There is one small masjid in Puncak area (Puncak is an hour and half drive south of Jakarta, it is up in the hills/mountains with pleanty of tea plantations, so the weather is very nice and the air is fresh) that I am quite fond of and very eco-friendly with minimum energy requirement. It's called masjid Al Muqsith, and it utilizes the environment surrounding the masjid to its fullest: it's has no/minimum walls, the wall structure is made with river stones and other structure with steel, and the roof is made of giant umbrella of the same membrane materials they use for those umbrellas in masjid nabawwi. I normally stopped by in this masjid for shalah on my way to family vacations in puncak area.
Performing shalah in this masjid is nice because you get the feeling of performing shalah outdoor while still have the luxuries (carpet etc :) )










That is really lovely Sidi.
:wa:
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Tawangar
12-02-2011, 06:02 AM
And now Eco_madrasahs in Java:
Only a short time ago, green was just another color in the crayon box. These days, saying “green” sparks images that go well beyond Christmas trees and the Green Bay Packers. Greenhouse gases, green technology, or simply “going green” are phrases that we now hear peppered in daily conversation. But “green-friendly” ideas are anything but new for the people of the Indonesian island of Java.As early as the 1950′s, Javanese pesantren, ormadrassahs taught students about the Islamic obligation of taking care of their natural environment. Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation with243 million people inhabiting 922 of its 17,000 islands, has floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanoes to worry about on an annual basis. Eco-Islam originated as an organic response to the environmental challenges Indonesia has faced for decades.Professor Anna M. Gade recently spoke of her research documenting the eco-Islamic movement on Java and its impact. From popular children’s comic book heroes fighting environmental degradation, to mosques with built-in recyclable water filtration systems for worshipers performing wudu (ablution), one cannot separate environmental consciousness from mainstream Indonesian Islamic culture. And whileeco-Islamic initiatives supported by the Indonesian government and NGOs are increasing, the spirit of the green movement on Java stems from local leaders in rural areas and is largely a bottom-up process.Javanese imams are integrating eco-Islam into their outreach, actively encouraging Muslims and non-Muslims alike to pursue greater environmental awareness and piety in their lives. Religious leaders also note that tawhid, or the unity or oneness of God, is at the core of theIslamic justification for environmental consciousness. They say that humans’ role as stewards of the earth and all of its various elements is the basis for ecocentricism–that all beings and non-beings of the planet possess intrinsic value that originates from the Creator. Taking care of the planet brings a person closer to oneness with God, thus spiritually cleansing oneself and the outer environment as well. In that sense, Muslims have always been natural conservationists.As in many of the world’s large cities, Jakarta–Indonesia’s capital of 10 million people–suffers from heavy air pollution, forcing some to wear masks when walking on the car-filled streets. Eco-Sufism, a specific sub-set of eco-Islam, encourages newlyweds to plant a tree in honor of their union, directly linking love and family with a cleaner environment. Increasing vegetation is one of the most important things Indonesians can do to preserve the environment, as new trees counterdeforestation, absorb carbon dioxide, and produce clean oxygen.While Indonesian religious leaders and institutions are some of the most outspoken proponents of environmental awareness, green initiatives have sprouted up in other countries with large Muslim populations as well. From young female activists in Saudi Arabia to young men riding their bikes across the entire African continent for Hajj, an eco-Islamic consciousness is spreading. And while governments and non-profit agencies across the world are beginning to support environmentalism, the sustainability of these movements is most dependent on an awareness created at local levels. Muslim or not, the whole world can learn something from the Javanese model and the resulting mindset.
http://insideislam.wisc.edu/index.php/archives/5705
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