30 Mosques in 30 States: USA's Organic Muslims

Masha'Allah , I've adored travelling along with Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq on their  30 Mosques in 30 States Ramadan road trip.  I...

Masha'Allah, I've adored travelling along with Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq on their 30 Mosques in 30 States Ramadan road trip. If you haven't heard by now, seriously, where have you been? 30-in-30 is the return of a noble journey by two Muslim men and their sleep deprived souls; they revved their engines this year on August 11th beginning in New York City and are en route around the US visiting 30 different mosques, currently in New Mexico at the Taha mosque in Santa Fe.

They've lit up hidden Muslim communities and chipped away at the scary stereotype of crazy Muslims scheming in mosques, which we have found out with proof, they are not (!) The ethnic diversity within American Muslim communities has enlightened the bloggers and readers that despite our supposed misplacement in the West, we are all still a people with common ground, with love for God, one another and ourselves. The word humility buzzes more often within their blog posts.

The media has taken quite a shine to the 30-in-30 road trip. The tech and culture blog Boing Boing was one of the first to repost the guys' first stop at the controversial 'Ground Zero Mosque' in Park51 where they realised, "dude, it's just a mosque". World Hum pleasantly reports on the positive depiction of a 'fascinatingly complex picture of ...[a] modern Muslim community', and a CNN video interview of Aman and Bassam revealed more about how they felt during the first few days praying at gas stations and with all-white Muslim Sufis.

What has really perked my interest is the number of eco Muslims the bloggers were introduced to. It's not a surprise that speckled within the agriculturally rooted American 'cowboy' lifestyle are organically inspired American Muslims, but it's good to know I'm not alone on Earth.

During the 2009 Ramadan road trip Aman and Bassam visited Masjid At-Taqwa in Brooklyn, New York. Next door to the mosque is Abu's Bakery, a store owned by Idrees. Selling traditional pies and meals that are both American and halal, Abu's Bakery is also the hot hang out spot after the evening taraweeh prayers during Ramadan.

Day 14 of the 30 Mosque stop at the Taha mosque in Santa Fe talks about Yaseen, son of the respected Islamic lecturer on medicine, Hakim Archuletta, and their home grown produce.

"Yaseen grew up in New Mexico and married his wife Sobia, a Pakistani architect who is a whiz at cooking. For dinner we (Aman & Bassam) eat a soup Hakim Archuletta made from Mexican squash and beans, and Sobia made lamb curry, rice and kheema (seasoned ground beef) that was stewed  with a variety of peppers."

Yaseen and his wife Sobia keep sheep and chickens in their backyard that they raise organically and slaughter Islamically on their own. All the vegetables at the 30-in-30 iftar meal were grown by the couple in their backyard. As the travellers put it best: "It’s so cool to meet Muslims that practice their religion by harmonizing their lifestyle with the earth."

Day 10 featured AbdulRahman Zeitoun, author and creator of an animated movie that is in the works (directed by Oscar winner Jonathan Demme). Zeitoun stayed in New Orleans during the vicious hurricane and rode out the storm, he wrote a book about his life before and after Hurricane Katrina -  Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. Plus, Zeitoun says he loves to grow fruit and vegetables, shown below holding unripe tomatoes he has grown on one of his properties.

'Zeitoun took us to the backyard of one of the houses that he has leased. When I asked if we should ask permission before going in the back, Zeitoun responded, "Why? This is my house." He then proceeded to open the backyard gate.'

What I love most about the green living of American Muslims is how earthen their attitude to living is. They work and provide from their own ethical means; be it fruit or animal, they have balanced their diet with a beautiful eco faith. 

Muslim Green Team | Muslim American Society Project


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