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8.9. (Saturday) 10-3.30 Next week on 6.9. class for both sections. Same time same venue.

AAR 1230 Quran, Sunnah and Built Environment Section 1/2 Venue: LT 3 Lecturer: Spahic Omer Consultation Hours: T-TH 3.30-5.00 pm 03-6196 5248 Why this course? Link / bridge between the body of Islam and its teachings and different professions.

IIUM wants to perceive and implement Islam as it is, that is, a complete way of life. What is the relationship between Quran, Sunnah and Built Environment? Main Reference: The Prophet Muhammad and Urbanization of Madinah (90%) This reference MUST be read / referred to / owned 90% of topics is based on the books content reading inside the class Marks distribution:

40% Final exam 10 % attendance and participation (being positive in class) 20 %: Chapter review (Any of the following chapters: 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6): The assignment should have two parts: first: a brief summery of core ideas in a chapter; second: your comments/discussion about different aspects of the chapter chosen (Methodology, language, conclusions, line of discussion, etc.) Chose ANY of the mentioned chapters. ONLY ONE page; single spacing; TNR 12; Deadline: 6.9.2007 Submission during the class 30 % mid-term exam English-English Dictionary Tool

Framework: a set of answers on fundamental questions plus sets of instructions / guidelines as to how to behave while on the lifes journey (or as to how to fulfill the lifes mission). Sunnah: extension of revelation; words and meaning, sunnah is wahy only by meaning words are prophets . negate. Relationship between Quran, Sunnah and Built Environment Quran is a revelation from God to the last Prophet Muhammad (saws). It is revelation in both words and meanings. Thus, it is to remain unchanged forever, as God guarantees that He will be in charge of doing this. Quran is

guidance, light, inspiration, clear sign, orientation, cure, etc. Man being ignorant, stranger, weak, arrogant, etc. on earth he needs a guide so that he can confidently embark on doing what he has been created for. Otherwise, man will remain bogged down with such simple, yet fundamental questions, as who is he, why was he created, what awaits him after death, what is he supposed to do, etc. In other words, confusion will be the rule of the day, as it is actually the case every-time revelation is abandoned. Sunnah: is the words and actions of the Prophet Muhammad. It is also revelation but in meanings (Quran is revelation by both words and meanings). Words are from the Prophet himself. The role of the sunnah

is to interpret and implement the Quran. Hence, the Prophets wife Aishah said that the Prophet was a walking Quran. Every believer is (should be) a walking Quran. What does it mean that the Quran and Sunnah are sources of Islamic built environment (Islamic civilization)?
The role of Quran and sunnah in determining Islamic built environment is

an implicit one. Explicit texts are rare but not completely non-existent. Quran and sunnah never say this is the way you must build/design buildings. Some issues related to building that Islam spoke of:

1) Functions of buildings (Islam speaks about family life to which we give form (housing) 2) Privacy 3) Protection / safety 4) Interaction with environment 5) Interaction with God 6) Interaction with people 7) Sustainability 8) Cleanliness etc. etc.

The role of Quran and sunnah can be summed up in the following points:

Quran and sunnah serve as guidance in peoples perceiving, creating and using of built environment.

Quran and sunnah tell how important built environment is and what should be its purpose in life 3) Quran and sunnah give us orientation as to how to deal with and use built environment 4) Quran and sunnah present us with general values and teachings as to how to deal with different aspects of built environment 5) Quran and sunnah help people exercise restraint when it comes to making and using built environment. This means that built environment will always remain a means (facility); it will never become a goal. 6) Quran and sunnah cite some past experiences from past civilizations as to the importance of built


environment, thus presenting us with many spiritual lessons. In sunnah, through the Prophets experience, we witness how the Islamic vision of built environment is applied in practice. The Prophet Muhammad created the city of Madinah. It is there that he taught us those lessons in building, planning, etc.

In summery: Islam gave us a general framework within which we operate and create built environments that suite the requirements of our age, circumstances, climate, geography and culture. In doing so the dictates of the general ideological framework provided by Islam are never violated. It is because of this that in the Muslim world there is a vast diversity in

various aspects of built environment, yet the essence of all the built environment expressions is and will always be the SAME. Islamic built environment means: UNITY IN DIVERSITY

The Character of the Islamic Built Environment (p 31-38)

Definition: IBE is the one whose function, plan and, to a lesser extent form, embody the principles of Islam, and are inspired by the spirit and worldview of Islam.

Built environment is not an end in itself. It is a means that serves an end. Therefore, the end is more important than the means. The means is always adjusted

to the demands of the end; it is never the other way round. The means is always subservient to the end. The means is created in such a way that it facilitates the end.

By creating built environment we give Islam a chance to live, that is, to be implemented. People are those who give life to built environment. People are those who make built environment Islamic. The role of planners, designers or architects is rather secondary (complementary). Main characteristics of IBE:
1. Islam as inspiration for IBE 2. IBE as the embodiment of Islam 3. Function versus form in IBE: Nobody is against form or artistic aspect of built environment, but form is always

second to the overall function of built environment. Form is important but not the most important. Our concern about form must be in line with the function of built environment. That is, form is to support function. 4. Believer versus IBE (the spirit of both is somewhat same) Islam + Islamic lifestyle + IBE as a framework for the Islamic lifestyle IBE as the third skin, he first being our natural skin and the second being our clothing Consistency / compatibility between our actions and our built environment that frames or facilitates our actions
Built environment is a facility that facilitates our life activities The key word in IBE is ISLAMIC which is an adjective describing the noun that comes after it.

What makes a built environment Islamic is the function because of which the form is created. It is the actions that we carry out inside our built environment. It is the values and teachings which have been duly observed and applied inside the domain of our built environment. It is the spirit of Islam that pervades the whole process of creating our built environment: from perceiving and planning to using it. Our built environment cannot be Islamic because of certain physical symbols, or because of certain elements that are associated with a culture or a moment in history. No symbolism in Islam. However, if anything is to be singled out as a symbol of Islam than it is GOOD DEEDS (amal salih). Islamic built environment exists because it encloses / frames the Islamic (our) lifestyle. Not only this, it also facilitates and further encourages such a lifestyle. It follows that there must be a complete compatibility / matching between the two, i.e., our Islamic lifestyle and our built environment. Therefore, creating anything of built environment is such a serious and responsible act. An example: creating a good and functional school is as important as creating a good and progressive curriculum for the same school.

Creating a bad and ineffective school (physical aspect) is as bad as creating a bad and outdated or unprogressive curriculum. Why do we make built environment?

CAN WE CALL THE EXISTING BUILT ENVIRONMENT OF THE MUSLIMS ISLAMIC (p. 43-48) (Quran): Of His signs is the creation of heavens and the earth, and the differences in your languages and skin colors diversity is the rule of life Built environment is created in response to the demands of a place, a people, a culture, a belief system, etc. Since places, peoples, belief systems and cultures are different, built environments must also be different. It is grossly inappropriate to talk about the globalization of built

environment, or blind following / importing of built environment. The first thing we have to bear in mind is NO generalization Calling anything ISLAMIC today is sensitive. The listener tends to anticipate much, knowing how special Islam is. If there is a mismatch between what we call ISLAMIC and reality much confusion may follow in the mind of both Muslims and non-Muslims. This is so because we do not live Islam today at all levels of our lives. After all, we cannot call something Islamic if it does not function really according to the values and teachings of Islam. Examples of this (p. 45-47) Example one: in Madinah, the hypocrites built a mosque near the one in Quba. Their motive was to divide Muslims and confuse not only Muslims but also non-Muslims as to the nature of Islam and Muslims. The structure looked just like any other mosques of that time. However, God instructed the Prophet to destroy it. The structure looked like a mosque but in reality (its total function) it was not a mosque. It was an instrument of evil intentions. The morale: if the mosque was not destroyed and people have called

it an Islamic building (mosque), once the structures real character became known to people, what confusion would it have created? People might have wondered what actually Islam is. Second example: When the Prophets mosque was reconstructed towards the end of the first Hijrah century, some non-Muslim artisans were employed to execute the mosques decoration. One of them, driven by his hatred towards Islam and Muslims, drew a small pig on one of the mosques walls. He was caught and duly punished. The morale: If the man, hypothetically, was not caught, what would be peoples reaction once the picture was discovered, especially the reaction of those people prone to generalize that everything built in the lands of Muslims is Islamic built environment? The danger here is that people tend to defend everything, even if a thing is obviously against the message of Islam. Few people are ready to admit that they are wrong. Third example: Some pictures with humans on them, including topless women, were discovered in some excavated Umayyad palaces. Due to many peoples generalization, they had no choice but to try to justify the discovery saying that Islam is not against painting, including all types of human representations. In trying to defend their beliefs,

these people go as far as to support their statements and beliefs by some obviously rejected hadiths. (Again: few people are ready to admit that they are wrong. Moreover, Islam and its beauty and flexibility are often manipulated for this type of goals.) So these people relied on a REJECTED hadith of the Prophet who is reported to have said on entering the Kabah, after liberating Makkah, that all its pictures be wiped out except the picture of Mary (Maryam) with small Isa (Jesus) on her lap, after he put his hand on the picture trying to protect it. This is a REJECTED hadith by all scholars of hadith. In a SOUND (sahih) hadith narrated by Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ahmad b. Hanbal, and others, the Prophet ordered that ALL pictures in Kabah be wiped out. When the pictures were erased, only then the Prophet entered the Kabah. Umar b. alKhattab was in charge of wiping out ALL the pictures. If we have to generalize, however, maybe it is better to call our BE MUSLIM because the shortcomings in our BE are but reflection of our own shortcomings, which nevertheless do not exclude us from the framework of Islam.


The meaning of the city or settlement (madinah) in Islam (Chapter one, p. 617)
The city in Islam, apart from what is said about the city phenomenon, also means a vast space occupied by a large group of vicegerents who help one another in executing their khilafah mission. All the facilities in such a city, as well as institutions and policies, are introduced so that the said mission is facilitated. The key word from which Madinah (the City, settlement) has been derived literally means: 1) civilization 2) indebtedness 3) obedience 1) Islam is a religion of civilization. Thus, if Islam is practiced in a city then the goal of that citys existence is the creation of a civilization. Civilization: human development; or the result of mens interaction with nature, God and other fellow men. Civilization must contain all aspects of human existence, including the spiritual and ethical ones. When is someone / or a nation civilized?

Civilization from the Islamic perspective is a development that ensures a peoples happiness in dunya and akhirah. If there is Islam, there is then a civilization; if there is no Islam, there is then no civilization. If Muslims are to regain their lost glory and brilliance, the path to doing it is an obvious one: ISLAM. 2)The Islamic city is a place where a large group of believers submit to God their actions, words and thoughts. To them that is the only way the debt of creation can be settled. In fact, nothing else is required from them. The only thing that obsesses them is whether their relationship with God, their Creator and Lord, is sound and healthy. 3) The Islamic city is a place where God constitutes the supreme authority. Gods words alone are the source of all other worldly forms of authority. God is the inspiration as well as the end of believers cravings. Rulers in Islam are thus called alrai (caretakers) and people are called raiyyah (those who are taken care of). Conclusion: Apart from emphasizing the physical aspects of the city (settlement) as facilities for fulfilling the earthly mission of men, the Islamic idea of the city is very much loaded with spiritual ingredients. This is so because in Islam there can

never be a separation between the material and spiritual realms. Topic for discussion: List 10 most important facilities / amenities / services in your dream city. The first one must be the most important one and the tenth the least important. There must be a clear explanation for the items selected and their order. What do you think how the mentioned major sins can be reduced? Give at least 5 nicely elaborated ways for doing this.

Islam and environment (Chapter 4) p. 99, 106-109, 124-136

(While reading kindly pay attention to the Quranic verses and the Prophets hadiths)

Before talking about BE we have to talk about NE because BE is NEprocessed. Secondly, while creating BE we borrow from NE and then place BE back into NE. Therefore, BE and NE must be compatible.

Man as the khalifah (vicegerent) on earth (alBaqarah 30-39) the prophet khalifah; khalifah represents prophet; khalifah is man on earth; khalifah on earth represents God; Earth and everything thereon are the facilities for his earthly mission. Built environment is also a facility for the same purpose. Hence, facilities must be taken care of. Destroying environment (i.e., facilities) means destroying ourselves. It is a suicide. Khilafah (vicegerency) also means that man is in charge of managing earth and its resources. Doing so is a trust from God to man. Failing to properly manage the earth (environment) means that man did not fulfill the trust

(amanah). Man is the manager of earth. It is because of this that of the objectives of Islam and its shariah is the preservation of wealth (including the natural wealth) and the wellbeing of future generations, which can be realized only by preserving the resources of nature. It is because of this, furthermore, that the Islamic principle is: No harming and no reciprocating harm. (Hadith) We know the importance of trust (amanah) in Islam. Yet amanah towards nature is perhaps the most important one. Environment is subjected to mans use. Everything around us has been subjected to us, including the objects in the heavens. Gifts. We are to be thankful for the gifts given. Thus, being grateful and humble are of the most important values in Islam. On the contrary, ungratefulness, wasting and arrogance are of the biggest sins in Islam. Being grateful for the present of the earth means to take care of it, that is to use it in a sustainable manner. (al-Baqarah 21-22; Ibrahim 32-34; al-Jathiyah 13)


Environment worships God. Environment is a Muslim. Dealing with environment means dealing with Allahs faithful servants. Destroying environment means destroying / killing Allahs faithful servants. What should be the punishment for destroying Allahs faithful servants? We should look at things differently, for example: dealing with trees or flowers means dealing with Gods servants which never violate Gods instructions. Dealing with animals means dealing with Gods faithful servants which never disobey God, etc. Killing a cat should be seen as killing a servant of God. Destroying a tree means destroying a servant of God, etc. (alHajj 18; al-Saff 1) All things have been created in a due proportion and measure (carefully balanced). Whole creation is an expression of an intricate balance. Whenever the balance is disturbed what happens next? Once the balance is disturbed, we should expect the worst, such as global warming, change in weather patterns across the earth, etc. Since this is central to human existence, the living conditions of men

are severely affected as well. (al-Qamar 49; alRum 41) Environment as a mosque (masjid) (hadith) The whole universe is a place of worship (mosque).



Environment as an open book full of signs which the faithful must read. Environment proves the existence of God, if it is properly read / dealt with. Environment is a source of spiritual enhancement. Islamic idea of meditation / contemplation. Trying to read nature. (Alu Imran 190-191)

Environment is a field of our ibadah practices. Hence, our treatment of environment testifies to the depth / weakness of our faith. Islam is a religion of ACTION , not a religion of SYMBOLS or SLOGANS Religios rituals are aimed above all at refining our actons outside such rituals.

Water Plants Animals

The mosque as a community development center (Chapter 2, p. 6181) 1. The societal roles of the Prophets mosque 2. Relationship between these roles and the form of the Prophets mosque 3. Rules (code) of conduct / respect for mosques (p. 102)
Islam is a societal religion. It aims at creating both a virtuous society and civilization. At the center of Islamic society and civilizations stands the mosque phenomenon as a community development center.

The philosophy of the mosque is the philosophy of society. In the mosque the future of society is planned and the efforts toward the realization of societys future are coordinated. In other words, from the mosque everything as regards the life of society originates and to the mosque everything returns for validation and approval. Please bear in mind: 1) Islam as a lifestyle 2) the life of believers, in its totality, is ibadah (worship). Hence, the mosque, with its philosophy and position, is the chief societal institution from which all other institutions branched off and whose legitimacy depends on how close their position and philosophy stay to the mosque. There should be no inconsistency in what we do in the mosque and what we do outside it. All our activities and institutions must exist for the same purpose and goal. The mosque stands on top of all these institutions. Societal functions of the Prophets mosque:

Place for collective worship: praying, dhikr, reading quran, etc. Praying in mosque 27 times better. Also, every step made while going to the mosque means that one reward is recorded and one sin wiped out. The case of the tribe Banu Salamah; the verse in Surah

Ya Sin which was revealed after this incident with Banu Salamah. 2. Seat of Prophets government : the mosque served as parliament and its functions were the functions of any other government, of course in line with the requirements of the day. Because of this it was appropriate for the Prophet to stay nearby, in order to ensure accountability, transparency and access. 3. Learning center (first school / university in Islam. Its graduates were the best people on earth, that is, sahabah): The mosque was never devoid of halaqah (learning circles). Some circles were led by the Prophet himself and some were led by some prominent sahabah. The life in the mosque was very dynamic because the people were eager to learn new things and revelation was ongoing. 4. Welfare center: in the mosque there was a section for ahl al-suffah who were the poorest in the community. By staying inside the mosque, the communitys center, they were assured that their plight will end soon. 5. Detention and rehabilitation center: placing some detainees near the mosque complex they are made to witness what Islam is and what Islamic community is. This way, there was a



big chance for them to get the real picture about things and perhaps change. A place for medical treatment and nursing: on some occasions a tent or two were inside for treating some patients, like after the battle of Khandaq. The names of doctors are also given, some of whom were women. Place for some recreational activities: archery, playing certain games and instruments during festive occasions, etc.

Relationship between these functions and the form of the mosque The form of the mosque was responsive to its functions. At first, when the mosques functions were few, the form was simple; the mosque was just an enclosure. Later, however, as the functions of the mosque were diversified, the form became more complex as well. Main physical features of the mosque: 1. At first its size was 30X40 meters but later 50X50 meters, Before death, the Prophet even wanted to enlarge the mosque once more. 2. At first, there was no any roofed area at the qiblah side but later one was introduced 3. At first, the ground was not paved but later it was covered with pebbles

4. At first there was no minbar but later one was added so as to facilitate communication between the Prophet and the people 5. Lighting the mosque at first was done by burning up date-palms leaves but later it was done by using lamps that burned oil 6. Accommodating new functions of the mosque by allocating space or even by enclosing some of it space. For example, the existence of a tent (hospital), rehabilitation purposes, etc. 7. On the opposite of the qiblah side there was a roofed space (hostel) for ahl al-suffah (the poorest of Madinah). There were two: for male and female persons.
8. To all this we can add the idea of maintaining the mosque clean and tidy. There was even a woman whose major responsibility was to look after the


. Towards this end, there are many hadiths. The presence of the dakkah or dikkah (seat or bench) on which the Prophet would sit during public assemblies. This also enhanced communication between the Prophet and the people.
Mosques cleanliness

10. Due to this role and position of the mosque, houses clustered around the mosque. This resulted in the center of Madinah to look like a circle.

The functions of the Prophets mosque as a community center. The MAdinah society was developing gradually. With the evolution of mosques functions the mosques form was evolving. At first both form and function were very simple. The mosque was expected to be the Muslim communitys center. The form was given to it in order to serve as a framework (facility) for those functions.

Today, physical connectedness between the functions (institutions) that ones originated under the roof of the mosque and between the mosque itself is not possible. What we talk about is an ideological connectedness where all functions (institutions) serve the same purpose (mission, vision). We talk, also, of the mosque being positioned in the heart of our cities, towns, villages and neighborhoods but it is rather symbolically. All the societal institutions are to be inspired by the message (spirit) of the mosque which is, in fact, the symbol (epitome) of Islam -; they are to be sustained by the same; and their legitimacy is to be

verified always by the philosophy of the mosque (of Islam). 1. Today placing as many activities as possible under the mosques supervision. Other activities that cannot be placed under the mosques supervision, they are to be separated PHYSICALLY but connected IDEOLOGICALLY. That means, they are to be connected by the unity of values, mission and goals.

Some of the Prophets Lessons in Housing 1.The significance of the house (dwelling) in Islam

The house is the framework of the family institution. Without the family there could be no fulfillment of the divine purpose on earth. If the house is the framework for the family, and if the house is a ground for the family to function, then it becomes clear how important the house and issues related to it are. The house is a facility whereby the role and function of the family are facilitated. It follows that the house itself is an institution, which together with other societal institutions can bring about either success or disaster to society. Dwelling in Islam is a family development center. Dwelling is not only a place to sleep, eat, rest, etc. 2. While planning and building houses we are to apply the concept of excellence. Islam is a religion of excellence. Hadith: Indeed Allah loves when one of you does something to excel in it. This means we must do things to the best of our ability. If

not, our actions may not be recognized and accepted by God. 3. Houses must provide their residence with a sense of safety and security. They must be safe and secure. Hadith: No harming and no reciprocating harm. Also, providing men with physical, mental, psychological and spiritual safety and security is a major goal of Islam. 4. Houses must be comfortable and satisfying to their residence. Prophet asked God that He forgives him, makes his house spacious and blesses his sustenance. Hadith: Of mans happiness in this world are four: and a spacious house. 5. Houses to be planned and built in such a way that they promote and facilitate good relationship with neighbors. (on what Islam says about neighborly relations see p. 170-173) 6. Taking into consideration geography, climate and environmental conditions of a place where houses are planned and built.

Prophets experience / concerns in this regard on p. 151-158 7. Avoiding major sins such as wasting, showing off, arrogance, unhealthy competition while planning and building houses. These are all big sins in Islam whose negative effects for ones spiritual well-being are well known. P. 142-144 8. Houses to have enough facilities / spaces in order that peoples various religious, recreational, educational and social activities are facilitated. Places like guest room, praying (worshipping) place, reading (studying) area, courtyard, etc. are encouraged to be well taken care of. 9. Houses MUST protect peoples privacy: against the outside world and also inside the privacy of some household members against the others. (al-Nur 58-59) 10. The house is a means not an end. The end will be activating a house we get to function as a family development center, which together with other societal centers /

institutions will help us to discharge out our khilafah (vicegerency) mission. Thus, investing in / spending on means in order that achieving the set goals is assured is allowed. The form of Madinah houses p. 182-198 (for reading purposes so that the abovementioned points become clearer)

2.Integrating Islamic values into the

issues relevant to housing

1. Excellence is what Islam stands for/ mediocrity is un-Islamic, it is a sin. Striving for excellence in everything we do is WAJIB. 2. The rights of neighbors (p. 154) 3. Peaceful co-existence with environment / total surroundings (Hadith: There could

be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.) 4. Houses are to be as spacious as possible so that the implementation of the familys role / functions is carried out smoothly. The Prophet (pbuh) prayed to God that He makes his house more spacious. He also said that having a spacious house is a sign of ones happiness in this world. 5. Privacy protection. We are to ensure that we do not invade other peoples privacy, as much as we are to ensure that our privacy is protected. Privacy is a sacred thing in Islam. As our bodies have awrah likewise the house has its own awrah (parts that cannot be revealed/exposed to everybody) 6. Privacy protection among family members (al-Nur 58-59) 7. Entrances, windows and other openings. Looking at the ways openings are designed and planned in traditional Islamic houses, one gets an impression that there is a gradual transition between the inside, which is sacred, and the outside, which is public and for everyone. This attitude produced some fascinating designs and plans. (Bent entrances, two-in-one entrances, mashrabiyyah, raising openings above eye-

level, different types of doors and windows screens, etc.) 8. Since the outside faade has minimum openings, courtyards served as the source of light and air ventilation. Courtyards also facilitated peoples recreational activities. 9. The rights of guests. Having a special place for guests whose presence will not interrupt the daily activities of the family. 10. When we are in toilets we are neither to face the qiblah nor to turn our back to it. 11. Bedroom. While sleeping we should sleep on our right side, and also we are to face the qiblah. 12. A learning room / space so that the culture of learning is instilled in young generations 13. A place is to be designated for a musalla / masjid so that our children realize that the idea of worship is forever part of our lives. 14. Security / Safety 15. Requirements of the disabled persons. How to integrate Islamic values in built environment?

First step: Identify all the functions (big and small) the planned aspect of built environment is meant to perform. Second step: Make sure we are fully aware (we ourselves or through competent persons / institutions) of the Islamic position / Islamic values with regard to all the functions listed under the step one. Third step: Make sure we are fully aware (we ourselves or through competent persons / institutions) of the surroundings (natural and social), climate and environment in which the planned aspect of built environment is to be planted. Fourth step: FREEDOM in design / plan. Be bound only by the findings under the first three steps. Use the findings under the first three steps as inspiration, guidance, orientation and motivation.

Wastefulness Violate other peoples rights Qadr

Faade fasad mischief Production not to be able to match demand Shortsightedness Need Should a country develop so quickly and rapidly that it must import working force? Manufacturing / Consuming civilization Does God want to give to others through others? Denying others their share, no zakat no sadaqah we are actually withholding other peoples rizki. 4. Showing off, displaying arrogance, takabbur

Quran accuses at least two past civilizations of this vice / crime: Ad, the people of the Prophet Hud; and Thamud, the people of the Prophet Salih. 30. Firawn Haman When a vice / sin is no longer a crime, that spells out a dangerous situation. He who has in his heart as much as an ATOM of pride/arrogance/tendency to show off will not enter Jannah. Atom He did not say: he who is arrogant, show off or is proud If man is mortal, totally dependent on God for everything, is on earth as shortly as God wills, owns nothing; and if all people are same and equal, all are khalifahs on earth with the same origin, purpose, mission and end; if

unity, brotherhood and equality are the cornerstones of Islamic society;

if the real happiness and goal are spiritual matters leading to Jannah, etc. where is then room for pride/arrogance/showing off because it runs against all the virtues and principles mentioned above. It is, furthermore, a destructive force for mans total well-being. It is a virus that eventually ruins him. Islam started as a strange thing, and it will return to be like that. How lucky are the strangers!

Unhealthy competition in building When people start competing on unethical ground, they stop at nothing in order to outdo one another. Here, everyone and everything is bound to suffer. The situation can deteriorate to such an extent that, as the Prophet has said, of the signs that the Day of Judgment is near is when people start competing with one another in erecting high/monumental buildings. High-rise buildings are a recent phenomenon. An age, that competition will go so far that it will not know an end People using BE for wrong ends For reading:


The mosque (chapter 4) The house (chapter 6)

For reading purposes ONLY: The position of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on mosque decoration (beautification) (Chapter 5, p. 107-115) The problem: the Prophet (pbuh) avoided decoration in mosques. Moreover, he even said a few hadiths that appear to be against the subject of mosque decoration. Yet, about 80 years after the Prophets death, beautifying mosques became a normal practice in Islamic civilization. The same trend persists today. How to solve this at a first glance contradiction??? Islam on erecting buildings over graves (Chapter 7, p. 187-196)

Maxim: Humans do not something until they lose it


Islam proscribes building tombs and shrines over graves for whatever reasons, more so if the edifices built are meant to commemorate the dead or serve as places of worship. Even to mark graves with some discernible features in absence of valid justification is deemed too detrimental to be admissible. Architecturally venerating the dead is much more strongly proscribed in public burial areas than in areas belonging to individuals, because in doing so apart from wasting time and depleting resources, the availability of spaces for other graves is trimmed down, and the free movement of such as come to visit graves can also be affected. More than a few reasons for this unyielding Islamic position could be given, the most important of which, certainly, are the following issues: 1) the close relationship between exalting and architecturally glorifying graves and rearing the causes that lead to associating other deities with Almighty Allah;

2) wasting space, resources and efforts; 3) promoting the notion of bidah sayyiah (harmful invention); 4) reducing or even denying the graves and graveyards their original role, that is to remind people of death; 5) paving the way for superstitions and other misconceptions about Islam to flourish; 6) paving the way for harming the Islamic notion of unity and brotherhood, or for promoting schism; 7) weakening peoples relationship with God.

Topic for discussion: 1. Identify some areas of our built environment you are unhappy about. (You can talk about your hostel, KAED building, some buildings, neighborhoods, gardens, etc. in KL or your city, and so on.)

2. What do you think how the situation can be improved? Form groups of 3 people per a group. Each group is to have spokesperson (presenter).

The idea of decoration (zukhruf, zinah) in the Quran

The reasons for decorating/beautifying objects as raised by the Quran could be grouped in two categories:

Decoration as an instrument of enhancing the real qualities of a thing. In this case, a thing is already beautiful or, at least, neutral, and through some decorative media the same thing is made even more beautiful. Example: Surah al-Saffat 6, al-Hijr 16, Qaf 6, al-Hujurat 7, Yunus 24. This form of beautification is allowed on condition that the whole exercise remain tolerable, that is, it does not violate any of the Islamic principles. 2) Decoration as an instrument of deception. A thing that is targeted by this type of decoration is either disfigured in its totality, or its evil aspects are made falsely

attractive and then its attractiveness is made exaggerated and promoted. Example: al-Anam 112, al-Zukhruf 33-35, alAnam 137, Alu Imran 14. This decoration is forbidden and it is mainly Satans business as clearly shown in the said verses. The Prophet on mosque decoration (107114) Based on what has been said earlier, mosque decoration can be either real (positive) or deceiving (negative). (Indeed, this is the case with the whole of built environment, yet the whole of life phenomenon) At first, the Prophet did not decorate mosque he had built. Secondly, he said in some of his hadiths that decorating mosques is not very much desired. In some hadiths he even seemed to have prohibited it. However, total prohibition of mosque decoration was never meant to be the case. The Prophet only wanted to warn his followers that mosque decoration is a

sensitive issue so it easily can attract some undesired elements. The Prophet wanted to educate Muslims that mosques are to function as community centers. Mosques roles are to be carefully observed. Anything that could stand on the way of mosques functioning as community centers the Prophet had warned Muslims against. Mosque decoration can be one of such elements if people become so obsessed with it so that the actual roles of mosques are made irrelevant. Some people are very much prone to paying attention to how mosques look like rather than how they function. This is disproved because this scenario indicates that peoples faith has seriously deteriorated, as shown in a hadith: Whenever peoples faith deteriorates they become obsessed with decorating their mosques. This condition can go so far as to make Muslims resemble in their actions Jews and Christians. Thus, the Prophet warned: (Some of) you will end up decorating your mosques just like what Jews and Christians did.

Mosque decoration is cautioned against also because it can disturb peoples concentration in prayers. Thus scholars advice that the qiblah wall and especially mihrab be left devoid of any or, at most, minimal decoration. Mosque decoration can also lead to wastefulness which is very much abhorrent to Islam and its message. All in all, mosque decoration is not haram, bit it is not highly recommended either. It is mubah, at most, that is to say, it is neither recommended nor disproved of. It all depends on how, how much and for what purposes decoration is executed. The most extreme views against mosque decoration hold that it is makruh or bidah because the Prophet did not practice it, nor did he really recommend. Mosque decoration started in Islamic civilization towards the end of the first hijrah century. Caliph al-Walid b. Abd alMalik was the person who contributed most to the evolution of mosque decoration.

Affordability, function (purpose) of decoration, does decoration help or disturb peoples concentration in worship, etc. Mosque decoration is to help mosques become assets to community rather than liabilities. Mosque decoration is to help mosques perform their expected functions The role of decoration is to be same as or similar to the role of mosques

Islamic idea of beauty Pleasing the eye, pleasing or arousing the soul. Five senses, plus the sixth one

Some major sins most often committed in built environment (p. 142-145) 1) Wasting
Wasting means spending beyond needs. Using / buying / building what is unneeded or unnecessary. We are to use our wealth freely in order to meet our needs. What is beyond our needs must be used for some other needs. Surah al-Isra 27: Allah calls those who waste as Satans brothers (associates). A hadith on what the standards for measuring wasting are: When a man was taking ablution, using more water than necessary, the Prophet (pbuh) advised him not to waste. When the man asked that even while taking ablution we can waste, the Prophet (pbuh) said: Yes, even if we take ablution at a flowing river. We must remember that being an architect / planner / designer is a very much tricky job because in doing the job some behavioral patterns are imposed on users, partly or

completely. In other words, sometimes users are forced to behave in certain ways due to the ways buildings are planned / designed / built.

Showing off (Arrogance, Haughtiness)

Sometimes people build, display their creativity / talent / wealth / status in order to show off and thus impel others to admire them, which often leads to jealousy / slandering / backbiting / fitnah , etc. Showing off is a very dangerous sin. Hadith: He who has as little as an atom of a tendency to show off (arrogance, takabbur) will not enter Paradise. Quran strongly accuses the People of the Prophet Hud, Ad, of doing exactly this. They used to build monumental buildings on high places and next to main roads in order to show off their material strength and wealth so that others could see them and thus admire their achievements. They did not need such buildings. They built them in order to amuse themselves. (al-Shuara 123-140)

Also, the story of the Prophet Salih and his people Thamud. The Thamud people used to carve out their houses inside rocky mountains in order to stay permanently on earth (as they falsely hoped). They also did this out of their arrogance. They all failed to be thankful to God for His blessings upon them.

3) Unhealthy competition
Once there are first and second sins the third one inevitably occurs. And once the third one occurs people tend to stop at nothing. All other sins are easily committed. So bad is this sin for communities that according to one hadith competition in building and rising buildings is one of the signs that the Day of Judgment is near.

Sins directly or indirectly related to un-professionalism, poor attitude, mediocrity, lack of interest to master needed professions, poor execution of work, corruption, cheating, dishonesty, etc.

Madinah Market during the Prophets Time (Chapter 6: p. 226-239 Here we learn: 1. The importance of work in Islam 2. The importance of conducting business in Islam 3. The role of the market (trade/economic institutions) in social development 4. The inseparability between business / trade / work and spirituality 5. Planning issues

Muslim inconveniences in Jewish markets in Madinah. Two incidents( p. 226.. Upon migration (hijrah)

Muslims used to avail themselves of the existing Jewish markets in Madinah. However, due to the nature of Jewish dealings and their overall attitude, such markets soon proved unsuitable for Muslim use. (p. 226) - In Madinah prior to hijrah, Jews played a very prominent role in business. - Why Jews in Madinah??? - The Muslim market was positioned on the northwest side of Madinah. - How strategic was it: - 1. The market was positioned near the main natural entrance to Madinah. P. 229-230 This means that whoever enters Madinah for whatever reason he will firstly come into contact with the Muslim market and to go to Jewish markets

he will have to go further south. However, since the Muslim market was known as a well-supplied, professional and clean market people would naturally remain there without proceeding to Jewish markets whose reputation was not so clean. This way, the Jews received a serious blow that diminished their role in Madinah and its economic life. Having the market in this position meant a psychological and strategic longterm victory for Muslims. 2. The spiritual element in the significance of the markets location. The market was near yet far from the Mosque, the community development center (or it was far yet near to it). What does it mean? The market must be far due to the type of activities in it

and due to the smell, noise, etc. originated from it; but it cannot be fully detached from the Mosque. Thus, it was positioned next to the housing area. Firstly we have the Mosque, then housing area and then immediately the market. Through the housing area symbolically the market is connected to, inspired and supervised by the mosque. This means that the market could be regularly visited by the people who patronize the mosque not only for business or shopping but also for the purpose of al-amr bi al-maruf wa alnahy an al-munkar. The market cannot be left on its own since it is very much prone to some unethical practices if not closely monitored. P. 232-235