Anticipated every year as a looming disaster, heavy rains and melting snow of early spring came as a blessing for Masjid An-Nur in Minneapolis this year.
The north Minneapolis mosque battled flooding issues for years as water used to flood directly to the building.
“Over the years we spent thousands of dollars, literally, and many sleepless nights dealing with this issue,” the mosque longtime leader, Imam Makram El-Amin, told Sahan Journal.
“It was really becoming a disaster for us.”
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As the region first “eco-mosque”, the building hadn’t flooded this year thanks to the new new network of rain gardens, installed with $60,000 in public grant money.
Serving a small African American congregation, Masjid An-Nur has grown immensely in the 25 years El-Amin has served as imam.
The mosque has been working to decrease its carbon footprint for years, managing a recycling program and composts scraps and leftovers from its large community food-bank program.
It draws much of its electricity from the Shiloh Temple community solar garden and uses environmentally friendly LED bulbs.
El-Amin believes these efforts are compatible with the Islam message of preserving environment.
“All of these things find a home in Islam,” El-Amin said.
“We’ve caught the brunt of a lot of these issues over the course of time,” he said. “It was time for us to step up and do something.”
Being the first eco-mosque in the region is not the only achievement of An-Nur Masjid which runs a local charity.
Al-Maa’uun is a non-profit with deep roots in the Minneapolis community.
North Minneapolis’ Masjid An-Nur incubated the Al-Maa’uun program ten years ago.
Al-Maa’uun does critical work in addressing food insecurity, including a COVID response program. It works on providing 200,000 hot meals to over 200 unique households.