ISNA Green Masjid Initiative Team was formed as “Green Masjid Task Group” of Masjid Development Committee in December 2014 with the purpose of creating awareness and to provide guidance to make our mosques/Islamic centers environmentally friendly and our practices sustainable. Subsequently it was renamed as “ISNA Green Initiative”.
Based upon the premise that Islam has ordained us to be the stewards and protectors of this planet Muslims need to be an eco-friendly community. As such the modest goal of the “ISNA Green Initiative Team” has been to:
- raise awareness of issues of the protection and conservation of environment and the
- catastrophic effects of climate change through various educational means,
- promote the practice of a “Green Ramadan” to reduce waste, conservation of resources, and reducing the use of products harmful to environment like plastic waterbottles and Styrofoam,
- Promote the use of Solar energy to reduce the use of fossil fuels,
- develop standards for transforming existing Masajid into environmentally friendly
- places of worship and promoting eco-friendlier environment for Muslim communities at-large,
- develop standards for building Masjid that meet the standards of green architecture, and finally,
- promote environmental social justice.
A booklet “The Green Masjid Project” produced by the team is available on ISNA website as a guide for adopting environmentally friendly practices. Annual Green Ramadan Campaign is one of the major efforts to persuade Masajid/Islamic centers to adopt environmentally friendly practices at community and individual level.
At least six environment related articles have been published by team members in Islamic Horizons along with scores of webinars. Team members also provide lectures about environment and climate issue at Masajid/Islamic centers whenever an opportunity is available.
In addition to their ISNA related activities All team members are involved in several environment related activities, especially with Interfaith groups at State or National level. Two of the members have leadership role in Climate change activities at national and international level. Sr. Nana Firman and Sr. Huda were recipients of White House Champions of Change Faith Leaders on Climate in 2015. These two Muslimas were among the total of 10 from all faith groups. Sr. Nana was invited in November by First Lady of Turkey to Speak in the Program of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and in December she participated in COP25 interfaith program in Madrid. Their being part of ISNA Green Initiative is an asset and I very much appreciate their participation.
Team members: Huda Alkaff; Saffet Catovic; Nana Firman; Uzma Mirza; S. Masroor Shah (chairperson)
In 2015, The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) launched the first ever Green Ramadan Campaign at the national level. Our focus is to enlist the Masjids across the nation in adopting Green, Environmentally Friendly practices. More than 37 Masjids responded an adopted some of these practices. In the coming years, we look forward to many more Masjids and Islamic institutions to participate. This initiative is designed to create awareness and providing guidance in making our Masjids environmentally friendly and practice sustainability. We believe that as Muslims, we have a special responsibility to take care of our environment.
Quran and Hadith speak of Allah’s design for creation and the responsibility given to human beings to maintain and sustain the environment in good condition.
See details of ISNA’s Green Masjid Project below
ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Congregations
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the oldest and largest U.S. Muslim umbrella organization, is partnering with the EPA’s ENERGY STAR and endorses this ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Muslim communities. In doing so, ISNA seeks to enable the over 2,700 Mosques and 300 Islamic schools across the United States to reduce energy, water, and operating expenses in their buildings, as well as emissions from transportation and pursue other sustainable initiatives. This joint program is designed to assist Muslim communities in measuring and tracking the energy performance of their existing facilities, operations, and new construction projects using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
There is no denial that the climate change and environmental degradation is an existential threat to our planet. Scientific studies continuously draw our attention to the perils of global warning. Paris Climate accord has been the recognition of the dire consequences, especially to the people in countries with little resources.
In August 2015, Muslim scholars meeting in Istanbul issued “Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change” which highlights the consequences of humanity’s massive exploitation of Earth. The declaration calls upon Muslims to tackle the habits, mindset and root causes of climate change, environmental degradation, and loss of biodiversity wherever they can in order to resolve these issues.
Realizing our responsibility towards the preservation and conservation of environment ISNA in December 21014 established ISNA Green Initiative (Formerly known as Green Masjid Task Force) to create environmental awareness, guide mosques/Islamic centers towards environmentally friendly actions, and promote sustainable practices. Since 2015 ISNA Green Initiative have been conducting “Greening Our Ramadan” campaign to encourage environmentally friendly practices.
See more details below
Daily activity at home during the month of Ramadan
Interfaith Power and Light (IPL), A Religious response to Global Warming and Faith Climate Action Week (FCAW) present – Earth Week Program