Translator: Fatıma Nur Dinçer
For the holy religion of Islam, which has ranged from deserts to rainforests, tribes with no communication with the world to glaciers, the Canadian town of Inuvik carries great significance, as this town is home to the Mosque which is the nearest to the North Pole.
Inuvik, located in the Arctic circle in the far north of Canada, is a town that stands out for its cold temperatures reaching as low as –50 degrees Celsius and with its two months of day and nights. Although the exact number of Muslims in the city of 3,500 is unknown, it is estimated that the number has reached 100 in recent years and has shown an increase over the past few years. When the number of Muslims wasn’t as high, an abandoned caravan was used as a mosque. However, with increasing numbers, the caravan became too small and the need for a bigger mosque rose.
The close to 100 Muslims in the area collected money amongst themselves and as a result, were able to buy suitable land for the construction of the mosque. The Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, a charity based in Winnipeg, undertook the construction of the mosque. As a result of the plans made, building the mosque in Winnipeg and transporting it to Inuvik, along with the necessary materials, worked out to be more profitable. However, due to unforeseen harsh weather conditions, there were many obstacles during the construction of the mosque and the sustaining of the necessary material. So much so that the cost of the building had gone up and they had followed behind on the construction timeline.
The Journey which when down in records
After its completion, the prefabricated mosque set to the road on a large truck, and following some land and sea journey the long-waited mosque finally reached its congregation. There were many difficulties faced during this 2,000-mile journey, at one point the prefabricated mosque was in danger of being overthrown as it crossed a narrow bridge. Due to the size of the mobile mosque, there were long and frequent stops made throughout.
Two cinema enthusiasts Muslim sisters, Saira and Nilufer Rahman, documented the journey of the mosque thinking that this was something to be witnessed by everyone. So now those moments will remain recorded for many more to see. It is also important to add that this mosque has been recorded as the world’s longest-distance home movement!
Midnight Sun Masjid
The mosque finally reached Inuvik after a long and difficult one-month journey, this was followed by a further month and a half in constructing the mosque. The opening of the mosque which took place on the 10th of November 2010, had a greater turnout than expected, as Muslims and non-Muslims alike all joined for them on this remarkable day.
The $300 thousand construction was given the name Midnight Sun Masjid. The mosque now also carries the title of the mosque in the most northern region of America.
This article was originally written in Turkish. Click to read it! Kuzey Kutbu’nun İlk Camisi: Geceyarısı Güneşi Camii