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Rain Gardens Help Minneapolis Mosque Control Flooding

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.

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“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.  

Eco Mosque

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.