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Istiqlal, Eco-Friendly Mosque and Energy Saving Religious Building

Yohan12 holds a bachelor's degree in Islamic guidance & counseling, master's degree in education and Doctor Cand. in Islamic Studies

The atmosphere of the Istiqlal Mosque

The atmosphere of the Istiqlal Mosque


Istiqlal as the biggest mosque in Indonesia has been massively renovated since several years ago by improving its efficiency mainly on saving its electrical supply and water usage. Such this effort makes it as the first energy efficient mosque in the world as being awarded by International Finance Corporation (IFC) as the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) this year.

The Istiqlal mosque was built on 9.5 hectares which is now able to accommodate more than 200.000 Islamic worshippers. And to fulfill the community’s requirement to have a green eco-friendly religious building, the government has renovated all important and relevant aspects for a long term energy saving by using solar panels around the building area.

Solar Panels

Solar Panels

The Istiqlal Mosque and Energy Freedom

The demand of Energy is one of the hottest topics to discuss since all nations and countries are striving hard for securing their domestics needs. One of the ways in acquiring this is by optimizing its efficiency. Thus, all kinds of religious buildings, including mosques, should pay more serious on this demand.

Istiqlal which means an independence has attempted to be a good model to other mosques in the world of how to acquire and keep up energy freedom for anticipating its deficit. And the trend of energy deficiency as today's phenomenon in many countries will increase in the near future.

The Istiqlal, the dream of acquiring energy freedom finally comes true

The dream of Indonesian Muslims is to achieve the real independence; not only independently to use any kinds of energy equally the same like other religious followers but also the freedom to save it. And Istiqlal mosque as one of Islamic icons in Indonesian Islam, has been striving for its active participation in achieving that idea since several years ago.

The dream of acquiring energy freedom driven by the facts: the diminish of its availability and human effort in striving for securing their domestic reserves as I mention above will come to its climax momentum in the near future.

And now, we’ve been starting to feel and come to such this condition, and be ready for all of the possibilities. Are we aware of that?

Istiqlal, located in Jakarta, accommodating a great number of Indonesian Muslims, has responsible for achieving energy freedom for its community to reduce higher costs by applying solar panels around its building.

Outside atmosphere of the Istiqlal Mosque

Outside atmosphere of the Istiqlal Mosque

Eco-Friendly Mosque

Eco-friendly mosque can be relatively defined as a religious building that pays serious attention on the positive and negative impacts of its environment as well as its community through good planning and constructing. It is aimed at improving the quality of fresh air as well as the effort to using non-toxic materials to get sustainable health and avoid environmental crisis.

Based on Green Building Council of Indonesia (GBCI), there should be at least six criteria of green building, i.e:

  • Appropriate site development
  • Energy efficiency and conservation
  • Sustainable water preservation
  • Sufficient material resources and recycling process
  • Healthy and pleasurable of indoor and outdoor
  • Good building environment management

Additionally, securing health environment around the religious building should be relevant with improving healthier quality of the community, avoiding to use unnecessary infrastructures as well as reducing unnecessary costs. This means green eco-friendly mosque is addressed to keep the stability of good environment as well as to create sustainable worshippers’ as well as other religious communities' health for a long term.

Not only mobile-friendly but also eco-friendly mosque should be primarily optimized by the religious community.

Now the question is, what are the main reasons of Indonesian Muslims for establishing eco-friendly mosque? These might be the reasons:

  • The increase in congregation
  • The widening of building area
  • Energy availability is getting dwindling
  • Energy demand is getting higher day by day among the world's population
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Due to the facts above, the construction of Istiqlal building was considerably done by applying its efficiency to several important elements based on the concept of smart building; the use of air efficient conditioners and LED-based energy saving lamps, etc., all of which are supported by solar panels. All of such facilities will necessarily be improved over the time.

Outdoor activity of the Istiqlal Mosque community

Outdoor activity of the Istiqlal Mosque community

The Istiqlal and Rising the Sense of Efficient Energy

As being planned to be an eco-friendly religious building, the Istiqlal mosque has been striving for rising the sense of efficient energy of Indonesian Muslims recently to anticipate its deficit that potentially risk to community's activities in the future.

The gradual process in saving energy in the Istiqlal mosque has been done by renovating all important aspects. Not only its interior and exterior got fixed but also other related facilities such as lighting, air circulation and the supply of clean and fresh water that totally spent about $ 35.609. Additionally, it has continuously been improving its best results by doing routine maintenance.

In the context of saving energy in the islamic religious buildings mainly applied by saving it when producing waters for taking ablution and the usage of toilet and wastafel done by the congregation. If water consumption can effectively be used, thus carbon emission can effectively be reduced. Besides, lighting efficiency is another aspect to take into account because it also needs high volume of energy consumption.

Now, the Istiqlal-friendly is one of an energy saving mosque by establishing the principles of green religious building.

It is quite important to improve the sense of old Islamic construction designs that should gradually be transformed into new idea of energy saving building for future anticipation of local as well as global community to the needs of individual or communal health as well as to the demand of an alternative energy itself.

Students activity in the Istiqlal Mosque

Students activity in the Istiqlal Mosque

Istiqlal, Energy Saving and New Transformation of Indonesian Islam

The new Indonesian Islam does not always mean to struggle in reforming and transforming or refreshing Islamic normative concepts through various perspective like we often found in Islamic academic contexts, but how to practically accommodate current needs of energy to the society could be something relevant with Islamic fundamental spirit.

Establishing Istiqlal as a new green Indonesian Islam for anticipating the better development of future Islamic world.

Istiqlal for empowerment of energy saving and new transformation of muslim world

It is moderately important to say why Istiqlal can be a new green Indonesian Islam, it is due to its simple missions to:

  • improve the worship quality services by reconstructing its old building to be the new green building that saves energy efficiently;
  • develop Muslim potentials through sustainable Indonesian eco-friendly-based education and training;
  • implement a modern, accountable and professional mosque managements, and activate all of the related elements and aspects to achieve better environmentally as human an eco-friendly mosque;
  • improve prosperity and social care environmentally for the society by improving the cadre of the qualified Islamic scholars, and;
  • to be a center of eco-friendly modern madrasah (Islamic school).

Environmentally, the main goal of new reconstruction of the Istiqlal mosque does not only create eco-friendly to this building and its community in particular but also to produce conducive environment to the nearest building of christians cathedral (church) and others which are only a few meters away.

It’s the time for Istiqlal and other mosques in the world to implement new transformation of Islamic building world; not only Islamic-friendly for human but also environment.

Secretary of the Vatican Embassy Mgr. Arnaud, Secretary General of the Archdiocese of Jakarta, Romo V. Adi Prasojo, Pr, administrators of the Jakarta Cathedral, and the leader of Istiqlal, located in front of Istiqlal mosque, September 23, 2021

Secretary of the Vatican Embassy Mgr. Arnaud, Secretary General of the Archdiocese of Jakarta, Romo V. Adi Prasojo, Pr, administrators of the Jakarta Cathedral, and the leader of Istiqlal, located in front of Istiqlal mosque, September 23, 2021

US Embassy visitation to the leaders of the Istiqlal mosque, February 16, 2022

US Embassy visitation to the leaders of the Istiqlal mosque, February 16, 2022

The Center of Eco-Friendly Muslim Activities

As the main mosque in the nation's capital of Indonesia in Jakarta, Istiqlal is not only regarded as a specific place to pray or doing religious routine activities, but it broadly has many purposes that can be used as a center of:

  • training and improving the potentials of muslims in the field of Islamic exegesis, sufism, Muhammad’s teachings, technology, Islamic history and jurisprudence, Islamic economy and entrepreneurship, etc.;
  • Teaching and learning Islam based on Indonesian Muslim perspectives, and;
  • Strengthening solidarity and brotherhood for all religions in Indonesia and the world.

Hopefully, it does not only improve the better quality of environment but mutually contribute to all relevant activities of inter-religious communities.

If you are interested in exploring longer about the Istiqlal mosque, just browse its web, it is not a promotional but informational link. It is available in English, Arabic and Indonesian versions:

Single Tower of Istiqlal

Single Tower of Istiqlal


High demand of energy is gradually increasing along with the growth of world population. It urges the religious communities in Indonesia to establish a building which is able to use energy efficiently to accommodate all of their worshippers’ needs.

Creating eco-friendly mosque can help the world population having the same opportunity to live better and use energy adequately. And Istiqlal can be an alternative icon for other mosques by rising Muslims sense on its efficient energy usage for the future Islamic buildings world.

As one of Islamic forefronts in the world, Istiqlal hopefully inspires other Muslims countries to do the same idea by developing eco-friendly mosque which is not only efficiently contribute to its community in particular but also for environments in the whole.

The President of Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, visited the Istiqlal mosque.

The President of Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, visited the Istiqlal mosque.


© 2022 Yohan Nur Yahya

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