CHAPTER 2: ISLAM AND ARCHITECTURE Architectural interpretation from the values of the al Quran and sunnah

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1 Citation: Yusof, Z. B. (2011). ISLAM AND ARCHITECTURE: Architectural interpretation from the values of the al Quran and sunnah. In M. M. Rashid (Ed.), Islam and Built environment (First edit., pp ). Kuala Lumpur: IIUM Press. CHAPTER 2: ISLAM AND ARCHITECTURE Architectural interpretation from the values of the al Quran and sunnah ABSTRACT Islamic architecture has become a subject of interest in recent years. Before understanding, this term one should understand what is Islam. According to Islamic Worldview Islam is a way of life for every Muslim where mankind submits their selves in peace with the rest of Allah creation. In other meaning, this religion is perfect which covers all aspect spiritual and material worlds. For Muslims, their role on earth is as khalifah, or trustee of Allah. The universe belongs to Allah and He has trusted us with its safekeeping. Architecture is an instruments or carrier, which builds building in existing universal setting for human comfort. The result might go well with the environment, or will appear as if something of a misfit, oddity, and offensiveness. In order to avoid these dilemmas, Islam becomes guidance in architecture. The result of integration between Islam and architecture cause the emergence of Islamic Architecture. Islamic Architecture means architecture, which follows the Islamic principle from Al Quran and Sunnah for the creation of built environment. The guiding principles are vast but several most common one such as privacy, rights of neighbors, sustainability, cleanliness, safety and few more. Since there are many types of buildings available, only house are taken as a subject of discussion in this research. The reason is house is individual units built by every human for their living. Keywords: Islam; Islamic Architecture; Al Quran; Sunnah

2 1.0 UNDERSTANDING OF ISLAM In order to understand the social and physical framework of Islam, which embodies criteria for evaluating a Muslim housing environment, it is important to analyze the Islamic legal system. Through its concept, sources and method of application, this system, which is called shari ah, is the origin of the principles of these frameworks. This chapter mainly discuss about the meaning of Islam, Architecture and Islamic Architecture. 1.1 THE CONCEPT SUBMISSION 1.1.1) Meaning of Islam According to Dr Abdullah Omar Naseef, the Arabic word Islam is rooted in the word silm or peace.it is commonly understood by Muslim and others as mean of submission or total surrender, that is surrender of the believer to Allah and His order (Abdul Wahid Hamid, 1989). Moreover, Islam has two cardinal meaning: submission of the whole self to God and the performance of devotional works should be devoted entirely to God and should conform properly to the Sacred Law. (He that chooses a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted by him, and in the world to come he will be one of the lost). (Al Imran 3:85)

3 (It is He who has appointed you viceroys in the earth, and has raised some of you in rank above others, that He may try you in what He has given you. Surely thy Lord is swift in retribution: and surely He is All forgiving, All compassionate (Al An am 6:165) The central concept of Islam is tawhid or unity, the unity of Allah. According to Marwan Al-Kaysi, tawhid is the absolute oneness and uniqueness of God and rejects all kinds of polytheism, whether primitive or evolved. (Say: He is Allah, One, Allah the Everlasting, who has not begotten, and has not been begotten, and no one is equal to Him)(Al Ikhlas 112:1-4) To Him belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth, all obey His will. And it is He who originates creation (Al Rum 30:26) Islam is primordial testimony of unity of all creation and the interlocking grid of the natural order of which man is intrinsically a part. Allah is unity and His Unity is reflected in the unity of humankind, and unity of man and nature. Unity cannot be discord, by setting one need against another; it is maintained by balance and harmony. In order to maintain the balance and harmony, Allah gave the responsibility to humankind as Khilafah which means successor and translated as vicegerent, agent, and steward to care for His creation. We offered the trust to the heavens, to the earth, and to the mountains, but they refused to bear it, and were afraid of it.man undertook to bear it, but he has proved unjust and foolish. (Al Ahzab33:72)

4 Every one of you is a steward and is responsible for his charge. A ruler is a steward and is accountable for his domain. A man is a steward for his household. A wife is the steward for her family. A servant is a steward unto his master and his well-being. Every son is steward unto his father and will be accountable for the safety of his father property and his wellbeing. (Narrated by Bukhari, Muslim) 1.2 ISLAMIC LAW (SHARI AH) According to Islam, the entire life of Muslims is subservient to the will of Allah and Muslim societies can never break from the law of God. The political order, social organization, culture, economic policy, and legal system of these societies must be tune with the code of guidance revealed by Allah in His Book (Qur an) and the tradition of the prophet (Sunnah). This code of conduct known as shari ah. Shari ah establishes standards for the orderly behavior of all aspect of Muslim life, both individually and collectively. It is translated as Islamic Law, denoting both the provision of law and its subsidiary applied sciences. It should be understood that shari ah is much more than an ordinary legal system or merely a religious doctrine and law. Shari ah prescribes directives for the regulation of the Muslim individual as well as society. These directives inspire various human activities such as religious ritual, personal behavior, morality, habits, family relationship, social and economic affairs, administration, the rights, and duties of citizens, the judicial system, the laws of war and peace and international relations. Al Ghazali defined the objective of shari ah as the promotion of welfare of people which lies in safeguarding their faith, their life, their intellectual, their prosperity, their property and concludes that whatever ensures the safeguard of these five serves public interest and it desirable. In its objectives of facilitating daily life, shari ah removes from people harmful, burdensome customs and superstitions. The principle is designed not only to protect man from evils, but also to benefit him in all aspect of life. These benefits apply to everyone, the rich and the poor, the rulers and the ruled, and the men and the women throughout the world and forever.

5 1.2.1 BASIC SOURCES OF SHARI AH a) The Holy Qur an The Qur an is the basic source of Islamic teaching and jurisprudence as it the word of God (Allah).It is the scriptural revelation of the will or laws of the God. The word al Qur an in Arabic literally means the book to be read. In the Qur an, Allah message is either informative or prescriptive. The information is about Himself and about His Creation. For example the affirmation of His Unity and stories containing the promise and the Threat); the prescriptions take the form of command, prohibition, or permission. The revelation of the Quran to the prophet helps him to solve religious matter. For example, whenever there was an important political, social, or religious incident during the life of the prophet, a Qur anic verse was revealed. This provided a strong connection between the Qur an and everyday life and its implementation. b) The Sunnah The Sunnah is the tradition of the prophet Mohammed. It comprises his deeds, words, and indirect commandments. In Arabic, Sunnah literally means the method. According to shari ah, it is what the prophet said and did. The contemporary Muslim scholar, Husaini, defines Sunnah as the model pattern and behavior. It demonstrates how the prophet thoughts and deeds were grounded in the eternal verities of the Quran as well as in the realities of the social and the natural environments in which he lived. The authority of Sunnah as a source of shari ah springs from the explicit declaration in the Quran which says,

6 And what Allah restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns - it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and orphans and the [stranded] traveler - so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you. And whatever the Messenger has given you - take; and what he has forbidden you - refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty. (Al Hashr 59:7) Primarily, the source of Sunnah is the hadith. It is the report of the prophet s code of conduct, or his action and sayings to any one of which a particular hadith may refer. In early days of Islam, the sciences of hadith were established for establishing the correct behavior a Muslim should practice. In making judgments, according to shari ah, the Sunnah comes after the Qur an. 2.0 ARCHITECTURE AND ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE 2.1 MEANING ARCHITECTURE Architecture is an art and science of designing buildings. In other word, it is an act of re-shaping the existing natural environment to suit the need and comfort of humankind. Just as the Quran emphasises setting up architecture on science so that it would be firm and strong and this emphasis on art. Allah says: say: who had forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah, which He had produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure (which he hath provided) for sustenance [Al A raf 7: 32]. Architectural beauty comprises the study of aesthetic balance:

7 And the earth - We have spread it and cast therein firmly set mountains and caused to grow therein [something] of every well-balanced thing. [Al Hijr15: 19]. Architects as designers possess the biggest responsibility as Khilafah in this world. All buildings and structures should respect the nature and the human need. Actually erecting building in Islam become a part of man s worship (ibadah) as vicegerent on earth and achieve the objectives of Shari ah for the preservation of religion, self, mental strength, progeny and wealth. According to the Islamic Tawhid worldview, constructed buildings are meant not only to meet some of the necessary requirements in relation to man s existence on earth, but also to facilitate, foster and stimulate his ibadah practices entrusted to him by Allah, thus helping him to elevate his status to a dignity above other creation and honorably live up to his reputation as the steward of creation. 2.2 ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE Islamic architecture is combination of both Islam and architecture. The meaning is architecture that purely based on the principle of Islam (Al Quran and Hadith). This meaning is widely accepted compare to other understanding, which is - architecture produce in the Muslim country and only Muslim society possesses it. For example, minarets, arches, and dome are some of architectural elements that associated with Islam and known as Islamic architecture. Islamic architecture based on the concept of unity, balance, and harmony that are the pillars of Islamic ethics. It does not relate to certain religious monuments or element of design but it relates to human culture, interaction, comfort, and environment. It is the architecture where the form serves its specific function (functional architecture.) Another meaning of Islamic architecture is hidden architecture. This architecture truly exists not seen as monuments or symbol visible to all and from all sides but only when entered, can be experienced. The hidden characteristic of the buildings symbolizes the humbleness in Islam. This can be seen from the Prophet mosque the principle mosque of Madinah which is simple and but serve its function.

8 Islamic architecture must contain human dimensions because Allah honoured humankind. Allah says: We have honoured the sons of Adam [Al Israa: 70]. In another verse Allah says: We have indeed created man in the best of moulds [Tin: 3]. Thus man is the first creation Allah created in the best of moulds and is considered as a standard of perfection in works carried out by mankind. CONCLUSION Islam and architecture is two different subjects but have strong relationship because one part of Islam falls under (ibadah) which is man as vicegerent on earth. It is mankind responsibility as vicegerent to design buildings that respect the natural surroundings. Combination of Islam and architecture introduce Islamic architecture. There are two different understanding of Islamic architecture. The first understanding associated with the dome and arches of Arabs countries. Where else another understanding is architecture that purely based on Islamic principle (sharia which is Al Quran and Sunnah. The second understanding is more truthful compared to the first one. The dome, arches, calligraphy and masyrabia are all the architectural elements of Islamic world not the principle that shape the design of buildings. The buildings should be design in considering all the aspects such as comfort, human need, environment and social interaction. All this aspect shows about way of life, which is closely related to Islam. Finally to conclude Islamic architecture is the architecture that responds to human need and sharia principles.

9 REFERENCES 1. Al Khail, The Quran And Sunnah As A Base For The Interpretation of Islamic Architecture, vol.1, Riyad, Hisham Mortada, Traditional Islamic Principles of Built Environment, London, Yusuf Al Qardawi, The Lawful And Prohibited In Islam, UK, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Man And Nature: Spiritual Crisis Modern man, Chicago, Harfiyah Abdel Haleem, Islam and Environment, London, Yusuf Al Qardawi, Diversion And Arts In Islam, Mesir, Aisha Abdurrahman Bewley, Al Muwatta of Imam Malik Ibn Anas: The Fist Formulation of Islamic Law, Mohammad Hashim kamali, The Dignity Of Man In The Islamic Perspective, UK, Mokhtar Stork, A-Z Guide To The Quran, Singapore, Abdul Wahid Hamid, Islam The Natural Way, London, Syed Hashim Ali Akhter, The Essence Of Islam, Chicago, Kulliyah of Architecture and Environmental Design, Journal of Islamic Built Environment, vol.1, Ahmed Farid Mustapha, Islamic Values In Contemporary Urbanism, Jeddah, 1986

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