Because of the remarkable developments in the Abbasid state in the first half of the 3rd AH century (the first half of the 9th AC century) when the city of Baghdad was in its prime and when the city of Samarra, a new temporary Abbasid capital, was founded, theorizing about the principles and methods of urban planning and general development in Islam was gaining its momentum. At any rate, the Islamic idea of planning, development and urbanization is as old as the Muslim community. Its fundamental principles have been comprehensively laid in the Holy Qur’an, as well as in the sayings and practices of the Prophet (pbuh). Certainly, the best example of the earliest Islamic planning, development and urbanization is the establishment of the Muslim community in Madinah in the wake of the migration (Hijrah) from Makkah. Henceforth, the matter was evolving steadily, corresponding with both the rapid spread of Islam throughout the world and the incredible growth of the civilization and cultures inspired by the Islamic worldview and its value system. However, it was not till towards the middle of the 3rd AH / 9th AC century that urbanism, urban development and city life commenced to be a considerable concern of some Muslim scholars’ speculative and philosophical thought. The reasons for this were related to the changes and developments of Islamic eclectic society, at the center of which stood the mosque institution as the society’s engine of growth, as well as to the expansion and diversification of Islamic socio-economic thought that resulted from the former.
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-expression
One may wonder what roles and functions the mosque assumed subsequent to the institutional decentralization in the Islamic society, which, after all, was unavoidable. The truth is that the mosque continued to play the role of a community center, but some of its roles and functions had to be modified, adjusted and even scaled down, some roles and functions being more affected by this modus operandi and others less. Nonetheless, all this was deemed natural and ordinary, as well as intrinsic to the dynamic evolution of Islamic culture and civilization, in general, and the mosque phenomenon as a nerve center of the former, in particular. Nobody is known to have objected to this inevitable process which was unfolding merely according to the encoded laws and norms of the development of human society, to which the Muslim society was not an exception. People knew very well that they first, and then the mosque institution (the epitome of Islam and its struggle), stood at the heart of the process, influencing it and also being influenced by it. People knew, furthermore, that the whole course of the evolution of Islamic society and its institutions was about them and their own holistic transformations and progression. The institutions were there just to accommodate, facilitate and further stimulate the growth and fruition of people and their cultural and civilizational agendas and undertakings. In other words, the Islamic institutions, as both concepts and sensory realities, signified the means, while the total wellbeing of Muslims and the realization of their life mission signified the ultimate goal towards which every Muslim initiative and endeavor, both individual and collective, was directed. The only critical issue that was preoccupying the Muslim mind, firstly during the process of the institutionalization of the mosque’s diverse roles and functions, and then during the process of the partial institutional decentralization, was how best to oversee and regulate the ongoing social processes and how best to harmonize between the “mother” mosque institution and the other outgoing social, educational and religious institutions which originated from the former. This was so because the inevitable ongoing processes were intended to be dealt with sensitively and to be put in people’s good stead. They were meant to be cultivated into a great societal advantage and an asset, rather than their prospects and challenges to be taken lightly, or to be mismanaged, and to thus evolve into a societal hazard and liability. And finally, they were meant to be a source of Muslims’ strengths and not a source of their weaknesses.
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.