(Islamization of knowledge is an official doctrine of the International Islamic University Malaysia)
This paper discusses the prospect of Islamizing the housing phenomenon in the context of the Muslim architectural reality. The paper concludes that such a task is an extremely serious, demanding and multifaceted one. It requires major contributions and high-spirited concerted efforts of many parties from across the wide spectrum of society: government, educators, practitioners, professional bodies, NGOs, members of the business community, students and the general public. In this paper, the focus is made on the role of education and educators and, to some extent, practitioners. In the process, the remarkable spiritual dimension of housing in Islam, and the importance of its proper handling, both at the conceptual and practical planes for the success of the project of Islamization, are emphasized. Islam distinguishes between the house, as a physical component, and home, as an aura, environment and ambiance generated by the former. In Islam, the house is an institution. It is a family development centre. Muslim architects, planners, structural engineers and final users alike, should perceive the house phenomenon as a sheer means, an instrument, a carrier of the spiritual, not a goal itself. The paper seeks to enhance people’s awareness as to the significance of correctly conceptualizing Islamic housing and how some of the fundamental aspects of its potential revival could be related to the notion of Islamization of knowledge.
Read more: Towards an Islamization of Housing
A traditional courtyard house in Cairo, Egypt.
The following are some practical suggestions which should feature in nearly all Muslim houses. A number of the proposed Muslim housing features can be incorporated into Muslim houses and their renovations at little or minimal cost. Some features, indeed, cost nothing. They are about more effective and more creative use of features and spaces that may already exist and are common in most houses.
The proposed suggestions are as follows:Read more: Suggestions for Designing and Building Muslim Houses
Basic infrastructure and other functional services such as accessibility roads, recreational, welfare and commercial services in the Hausa traditional cities specifically the housing areas seemed largely inadequate. These services were rather concentrated in the planned areas. However, a recent infrastructural development to integrate these services due to popular demand in the Katsina traditional city presented challenges among which necessitates relocating residents to pave way for provision of intercity road network and other social amenities such as pipe born water and electricity. The aim of this research is to identify residential environment preferences which will seek to provide similar environment with their traditional built environment at two levels; the neighborhood and individual houses. Analysis result indicates the residents most preferred architectural elements and neighborhood facilities which directly reflects their socio cultural and utilitarian values. It is hoped that the outcome of this research will provide both theoretical and physical framework for policies which borders on community relocation in future. Through the integration of identified preferences, users will have a sense of belonging, identity and self-expressionRead more: Housing Correlates Preferances For Development-Induced Relocated Residents In The Katsina...
(A replica of the Prophet’s mosque and some of his houses. Courtesy of the Hadarah Tayyibah Exhibition held in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, in 2010-2012.)
Introduction: the houses in Madinah
Not all houses in Madinah, during the Prophet’s time, were same. By and large, most houses were characterized by several notable features, the most important one of which perhaps was their moderate spaciousness. As we are absolutely sure that loftiness was not their trademark, we are likewise in no doubt that spaciousness, as much as needed and in line with the standards of the day, was their underlying quality.
Our argument is based first and foremost on the Prophet’s saying to the effect that of man’s happiness are a good wife, a spacious residence, a good neighbour, and a good mount.Read more: The Houses of the Prophet (PBUH)
It is paramount that Muslims, while holding fast to the guidance of the holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s sunnah, critically and thoroughly examine both their past and present-day conditions, the findings of which will have to constitute the core of their educational systems, socio-economic and political philosophies, as well as any reformatory and revivalist tendencies and movements. Such an ethos will shape their unique and respectable identity, and the identity of all that is associated with them.Read more: Islamic Housing and Critical Thinking