I have been listening to Sheikh Imran Hosein for some time now and do agree with him that moving away from the cities to smaller communities will help protect us and our children from the many means of slavery inherent in the current system. Even before hearing about this concept, I was introduced to concepts like reducing energy dependency, eating healthier, bartering with gold and silver, and living in a real community environment from individuals like Chris Martenson, who did the excellent ‘The Crash Course’ series and also setup a guide to begin achieving it, and Peter Joseph, who’s second [torrent] and third [torrent] films of the Zeitgeist movie series promote a resource-based society similar to Jacque Fresco’s ‘The Venus Project’. I also knew of the hippies of the 1960s who setup communes to separate themselves from the materialistic society, the survivalists of the 1990s who wished to escape from the oppression of the government, preppers from of the 2000s, and intentional communities like the Amish. I believe that we can learn from all of these various groups and ideas as we setup our own Muslim Village or simply move to a town or village in our state/country that already has many of the infrastructure available.
During my meeting in Cape Town in 2011, I did get a glimpse of a community environment when I lived with my Muslim brothers and sister during Sheikh Imran’s 2nd International Islamic Retreat. I look forward to the day when the brothers and sisters in Cape Town and Trinidad begin the development of their Muslim villages, which I hope to visit and learn from their setup and organization. Below the most recent lecture that I’ve watched from Sheikh Imran about the Muslim Village (he gets into the topic more specifically at 1hr 9min, he talks about the various muslim projects at 1hr 19min and begins a Q&A session at 1hr 26min).
Available Muslim Villages
Malaysia – The Muslim Village project in Malaysia has been underway since 2011, wherein they have purchased two plots in Perak but development of the village has not begun as yet.
South Africa [Cape Town] – They are presently organizing the necessary initial capital in order to purchase necessary farmland, which they hope to be a 220 hectare land, that has a dam and river on it, 50km out of a town on the south of the country. The land can easily house 30 families, with the dwellings being non-permanent structures like wooden cabins. They currently have pledges for 40% on the land purchase and are looking for additional investors.
[Contact Mogamat Abrahams for more information at cool [at] coolstuff.co.za]
Tunisia – They are looking to purchase a plot that has an unused masjid on it.
Trinidad & Tobago – Sheikh Imran has been discussing setting this up for sometime as can be seen in this 2004 news article.
Muslim Village Information Collection
After listening to Sheikh Imran’s various lectures on the Muslim village, I began filling up a document with various information I was gathering about its setup and adding in what things my novice mind could come up with to sustain such a community. So I have dumped its contents below for individuals to see and benefit from and which I hope to work on as time goes on.
The Muslim village should be small and will accept non-Muslims to live in as well, but all occupants of the village must be modestly dressed. The centerpiece of the Muslim village will contain a masjid, school, library, open market, supermarket/department store, etc. which is for community usage and easily accessible to all. The village will be governed by an ameer who will be the most knowledgably amongst the residents, who will also act as a judge in the village court. Houses must be simply structured not to flaunt people’s wealth and toilets will be situated outside of the houses. Each house will have a garden, as everyone would be growing food and would also sell the organic produce at the open market. The village must be in harmony with nature and fuel efficient. Acts of worship that are not firmly backed by the universally accepted Quran and Sunnah are not to be practiced in the open, but can be done so in the privacy of one’s home. The village school will offer both secular (math, science, language) and religious (Quran memorization, tafseer) subjects. The village library should have networked public computers with free software installed on the them (linux), possibly internet access, and a dedicated computer with a large amount of digital content (text, audio, and video). The village can possibly have a community hall for lectures, weddings, etc, though the masjid can easily handle this. Other optional components of the village can include a cemetery, clinic, park/playground, farm land, and a utility store (for storage of community items that are not used on a regular basis that can be lent out). The village should have its own independent water supply and means of purifying it for consumption, as well as a means of processing sewage water.
There would be no vehicles permitted inside of the Muslim village and there can be community vehicles (cars and buses). There shouldn’t be a need for cell-phone usage in the village, but the village centerpiece may have a public phone. The village will not have a bank and will only deal in gold dinars and silver dirhams (except for trading with the world outside of the village).
Electricity / Energy
Electricity-Generating Spinning Wheel – Image, Website, Price: Rs. 3,000 (~$60)
Originally designed as the “Ambar charkha” (meaning “sky wheel”) by Ekambar Nath, one of Gandhi’s disciples, the updated e-charkha developed by R.S. Hiremath of Bangalore does not resemble traditional charkhas, but is a hand-operated spinning wheel that can generate electricity for six to seven hours of storable battery power for rural homes, while only two hours of operation will power up the specially-designed LED light source.
Chris Martenson – http://www.chrismartenson.com/page/what-should-i-do
Solar Thermal Panels, Wood Stove, Insolated Home to reduce oil dependency by half
Wind Electricity – Windmills Homemade
I personally feel that the Ceramic and BioSand water purification methods are the best to be used in the Muslim Village, as they are cost affective and have excellent purification abilities.
Boiling Water / Evaporation
* Open Water Project – First, filter the water using a water filter or clean cloth. Once filtered, begin boiling. Allow water to boil for at least one minute. After boiling, let the water air out and swish around in the container before drinking. These steps prevent the water from having a flat taste.
- Videos -
* How to purify water [evaporation]
* Solar Water Distiller [evaporation]
* Solar distillation and desalination of ocean salt water for the masses
Solar / Sun
* Solar water disinfection (aka SODIS) – a method of disinfecting water using only sunlight and plastic PET bottles. SODIS is a free and effective method for decentralized water treatment, usually applied at the household level and is recommended by the World Health Organization as a viable method for household water treatment and safe storage.
* Using the sun to sterilise water – “I fill the plastic bottles, put the lids on, then put them on my black-painted roof where they stay for a whole day.” The sun heats the water, helped by the black roof, which helps to absorb the heat. Solar radiation means a combination of ultra-violet rays and heat destroys the bacteria which cause common water-borne diseases like cholera, typhoid, dysentery and diahorrea. After eight hours in the sun, it is ready to drink. If the water reaches more than 50C, it is safe in just one hour.
* Open Water Project – Use a clear plastic or glass bottle and fill it up with the clearest water available. Leave the bottles in direct sunlight, preferably on a highly reflective surface for at least six hours. If the weather is cloudy, leave the bottles out for two days.
* Open Water Project – Use only bleach that contains chlorine. Household bleach contains 5.25%. If it does contain about 5% chlorine, use 2 drops per quart or liter, and 8 drops per gallon. If the bleach contains less than 5% chlorine, use 7-10 drops per liter or quart and 40 per gallon. If the amount of chlorine uses more than 5%, use 1 drop per liter or quart and 4 per gallon. Let the water stand 30 minutes. A slight chlorine taste is normal. If there isn’t a chlorine taste, repeat the dosage and let it sit again for 15 minutes. If the water very strong chlorine taste, let the water air for a few hours or pour between two clean containers several times.
* Practical Survivor Emergency Water Filtration – Two drops of bleach per quart (1/8 teaspoon per gallon) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water. [1% Bleach - 40 drops per Gallon or 10 per Liter, 4-6% Bleach - 8 drops per Gallon or 2 per Liter, 7-10% Bleach - 4 drops per Gallon or 1 per Liter]
* Open Water Project – Because iodine can build up in the body over a few days, use this method as a last resort. To purify water using Iodine, check the label of the iodine bottle and make sure it says 2% iodine. Use 8 drops per liter or quart and 28 drops per gallon.
* Practical Survivor Emergency Water Filtration – Iodine tincture – Around eight drops per liter or about thirty per gallon.
Ceramic Water Filter / Purifier (CWF/CWP)
Water filter that relies on the small pore size of ceramic materials to do the filtering. The ceramic water filter pot is made using clay and rice husk or saw dust or coffee holes or recycled paper and the bottom of the pot is painted with colloidal silver and can cost as low as $8 USD. These pots are distributed in poor countries by organizations like Potters for Peace, Potters Without Borders, iDE, and Resource Development International (RDI).
- Videos -
* The Pot With The Silver Lining – RDI (Part 1, Part 2) [16 mins]
* Portable Water Filter Press – Potters for Peace
* Water Filters in Cambodia – IDE Cambodia (Khmer) [3 mins]
BioSand Filter (BSF) / Slow Sand Filter
Designed by Dr. David Manz from the University of Calgary, Canada for non-chlorinated water (well, spring, river, and rain water) in 1990s and being distributed by organizations like CAWST [Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology], Samaritan’s Purse CANADA, Impact Nations, The Water Project, Safe Water Team, Cascade Engineering’s Hydraid, SON International, Thirst Relief International, Third Millennium Awakening, BSF Philippines, The Trailblazer Foundation, and HDF Canada. The Bio-Sand water filter can be purchased for as little as 20-50 US dollars (2 thousand pesos), can last pretty much for ever, doesnt have any replaceable parts, and can remove 90+% of bacteria, 100% of parasites, 50-90% of organic and inorganic toxins, 95%-99% of zinc, copper and lead, and 47% of arsenic. – Images [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
- Links -
Official Site, Pure Filtered Water Ltd, Wikipedia [1, 2], BioSandFilter.org
Do It Yourself [DIY] – HowToPedia, TILZ
- Videos by Organizations -
* How the BioSand Water Filter works – Samartan’s Purse [3 mins]
* Introduction to the Bio-Sand Water Filter – Impact Nations [5 mins]
* The BioSand Water Filter – Impact Nations Philippines (Luzon and Mindanao)
- Videos – Personal / Home made -
* Slow Sand Water Filter (Gravel, sand, and activated carbon)
* How to Build a BioSand Filter [2 mins]
* Bio sand filter – Using a 2 litre PET bottle (before SODIS) [4.5 mins]
* BIO SAND WATER FILTER [hindi/urdu]
- Videos – Animations -
* How a biosand filter works – Animation Style!
* How a Biolayer works ANIMATION!
* Globalize This – Biosand Filter Introduction w/ Daft Punk
Emergencies / Disasters / Survival
Though the following products wouldn’t likely be used at the Muslim Village as they are not cost affective for the community, I stumbled on these products while I was doing my research.
LifeSaver – Websites [Intl., US, Taiwan, Brazil, Australia]
Invented by Michael Pritchard in 2007, after seeing the tragic waste of life and serious problems caused by the lack of safe drinking water after the tsunami in December 2004 and Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in August 29, 2005. So he created the LIFESAVER bottle which can purify 4 or 6 thousand litres [~$150] and the LIFESAVER jerry can that purifies 10 or 20 thousand litres [~$300].
TED Presentation, Vimeo Video, Wikipedia
X-Pack Water Filter [10 liters - $64.95] – Website, Youtube
The X-PACK is a portable water filter engineered specifically for home preparedness and emergency relief. It filters out bacteria and viruses, it doesn’t require electricity, it doesn’t need any chemicals to purify the water, and it easy to carry because it weighs less than 3 lbs.
Video 1, Video 2
PUR Purification Packets – Website, PUR Website
P&G partnered with a diverse network of organizations to create the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, which helps save thousands of lives by distributing PUR packets – an innovation that quickly turns dirty water into clean drinking water. With every purchase of a PUR system, a portion of the proceeds will go to Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program.
Video 1, Video 2, Video 3, Pictures, Facebook
Unfortunately, there isnt a means of purchasing these packets for personal usage.
The following homemade/survival concepts would also not be used in the Muslim Village as we would require stable and efficient means of water filtration.
* Emergency / Survival Water Purification
* EMERGENCY WATER FILTER SYSTEM SHTF
* Home Made Water Filter [PVC using synthetic fiber, charcoal pellets]
* Survival / Solar Still
* Solar Still and Solar Still Kit Deluxe
* MSR Miox Water Purification [Battery powered and needs salt rocks]
Food / Farming
During my stay in Cape Town, the brothers there did inform me of a farmer in Cape Town who was running a farm that had zero waste and this is what we would want in the village. As I was travelling out of Cape Town, an nice elderly lady that I became acquainted with also informed me of someone she was acquainted with, Sebastian Kretschmer, that was doing the same in India, which she referred to as ‘Bio-Dynamic Farming’.
Note from Honduras: Blending Finance, Technology, and Training to Encourage Responsible Growth
In La Mosquitia, the most impoverished region in Honduras, GreenMicrofinance is working with communities to find holistic solutions to environmental and economic uncertainty. The company has developed methods that improve the process of palm oil production and that positively impact the local environment, economy, and community. In partnership with local NGO MOPAWI, GreenMicrofinance is implementing a multidimensional approach throughout the entire town of Puerto Lempira, to foster sustainable growth by promoting carbon-neutral biofuel use, developing a biodynamic oil farm, and supporting entrepreneurship.
Aquaponics and Hydroponics
I first saw this concept of farming when I watched an episode of National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers, wherein Dennis McClung and his family turned their swimming pool into fish tank. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using nutrient filled water and Aquaponics is the environment of raising aquatic animals with hydroponics. I’ve heard more about this while listening to my weekly podcast from Gold Seek Radio, where the host is doing it at home and occasionally discusses his findings.
I also come across various news articles and video reports which I’ve listed below.
World’s Largest Rooftop Farm Coming to Brooklyn [April 19, 2012]
“Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood will soon be home to a 100,000 square foot, multi-acre rooftop farm that will produce a million pounds of produce per year – enough to feed 5,000 people – without using any dirt. The farm will be built by BrightFarms, a new company with a unique business model that finances, builds, and operates hydroponic greenhouse farms for supermarkets and other retailers who purchase the produce.”
Hydroponics bring low-cost solution to high food prices [April 9, 2012] (Video)
A low-cost, easy-to-use hydroponics system developed in the Philippines is giving small communities with little land an inexpensive way to produce their own vegetables. The system is designed to maximize yields from limited resources and is already proving its worth with bumper harvests of inexpensive, locally grown vegetables. Ben Gruber reports.
Japan portable farm heads for Qatar [March 18, 2010] (Video)
A high-tech portable vegetable farm designed and built in Japan will soon be heading to Qatar. The innovative project is part of an effort by the desert gulf state to find ways to tackle its food security problem and grow more at home.
Pot in Pot [aka zeer pot] Refrigerator – Pot-in-pot_refrigerator (Wikipedia)
Mohammed Bah Abba developed his zeer … by placing it in a pot, then insulating the pot with … wet river sand.
Flower Pot Fridge! – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSZH0K-Qhuw
Emily Cummins designed a variant of the traditional zeer in 2009. Image
The Eco-fridge – http://home.howstuffworks.com/solar-powered-refrigerator2.htm
BBC Wallace and Gromits World of Invention – 3 of 6 [20:20]
We can’t continue to rely on electrical appliances powered by fossil fuels, so I tried to come up with an alternative: a sustainable fridge which is ‘powered’ by dirty water. My prototype consists of two metallic cylinders, one inside the other, between which a locally-sourced material such as sand or wool is packed tightly before being soaked with water. When the fridge is placed in a warm environment, the sun’s energy causes the outer part of the fridge to ’sweat.’ Water evaporates from the sand or wool and heat energy is transferred away from the inner cylinder, which therefore becomes cooler. The design is ideal for use in the developing world because it doesn’t require electricity and can be built using barrels, spare car parts and ordinary household materials. Unlike previous pot-in-pot coolers, the contents are kept dry and hygienic because the water does not come into contact with the product.
Solar Powered – How Solar-powered Refrigerators Work
Facebook – Muslim Village Group