It was a mentality of duly applying the precept of following the religion of Islam and inventing civilization that caused Muslims to know no limits or constraints when it came to originality and creativity while inventing and using the legitimate matters of culture and civilization, with architecture being their integral part. However, when it came to religion: its permanent belief system, standard practices and the body of spiritual values and principles, there was no room whatsoever for any slightest compromise or disregard in relation to their proper interpretation and application. There was no room at all for inventing in religion because Islam had been perfected by Allah, so doing anything like that would have implied opposition to the authority of Allah and His will. Allah says on this: “…This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion.” (al-Tawbah, 3).
In the new phase of the mosque’s existence, which was marked by a partial institutional decentralization, there came about three patterns in the mosque’s relationship with the newly modeled social, political, educational and religious institutions. Those three patterns were as follows.
Following the full institutionalization of many roles and functions of the mosque, the Muslim society and the way it functioned underwent quite a few drastic changes from what it used to be. There became many independent socio-political, educational and religious institutions which were responsible for advancing, guiding and administering the society. Those institutions gradually evolved from the simple and rudimentary roles and functions which were performed by the mosque institution since the earliest days. Their evolution went hand-in-hand with the evolution of the Muslim society and its civilizational and global aspirations, goals and challenges. Following the latest developments, the Muslim society became a complex and multi institutional one. The mosque institution, despite its most prominent and most influential position in society, was just one of many institutions. However, most of those institutions still clustered around the central mosques in Muslim cities and towns -- where in fact they initially had been conceived and whence they had originated -- while a few other institutions were positioned elsewhere due to the reasons related, mainly, to the unavailability of appropriate and strategic spaces in the central point of a city or a town with a principal mosque (jami’) in it. Some institutions stood away from the central mosques and the cities’ inner focal points, furthermore, due to the fact that their functions would be optimized and their objectives better accomplished if they were positioned somewhere else clear of the bustling and congested nucleuses of the city centers. Some examples of the institutions which were positioned farther than the city centers dominated by the main mosque (jami’) were those institutions which did not always serve the interests of all the strata of society, such as hospitals, detention and rehabilitation centers, specialized educational establishments, etc.
Building the City and its Main Features
The very site that has been selected for the new city is reported to have been a common field known as al-Mubarakah that was shared by many people - according to al-Tabari, sixty of them. Al-Mansur bought the land from its owners in a manner that satisfied them. There stood various big and small settlements surrounding the city. They, at a later date, became totally soaked up by its rapid development, and as such constituted the city’s immediate suburbs.