6 June 2024

Jakarta’s Grand Istiqlal Mosque is busy with worshippers this Ramadan. This year they are being encouraged to donate to boost the mosque’s green credentials.

A major renovation in 2019 installed more than 500 solar panels on the mosque’s expansive roof. The solar panels are now a major source of Istiqlal’s electricity use.

The mosque has also encouraged an energy waqf — a type of donation in Islam that continues to bear fruit over time — to grow its capacity to make renewable power.

Islamic endowments have been gaining popularity in Indonesia as a funding source for its national climate goals. The mosque’s climate push is just one example of different “Green Ramadan” initiatives in Indonesia and around the world that promote an array of changes during the Muslim holy month.

In a month where restraint and charity are emphasised, recommendations can include using less water while performing the ritual washing of the body before prayers, replacing plastic bottles and cutlery during community iftars with reusable ones and reducing food waste.

Other suggestions include car pooling to mosques, using local produce, emphasising recycling and using donations to fund clean energy projects.

Activists taking an Islamic-based approach often point to certain Quranic verses and practices of the Prophet Muhammad about the earth, water and against wastefulness.

Last year, at a meeting of the Muslim Congress for Sustainable Indonesia, the country’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin called on clerics and community leaders “to play an active role in conveying issues related to environmental damage” and asked for concrete action on climate change including through donations to solar projects like those at Istiqlal Mosque.

By Associated Press