URBAN PLANNING: AN ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE AZILA AHMAD SARKAWI AND ALIAS ABDULLAAH, (2008). SHAH ALAM, ARAH PENDIDIKAN SDN BHD. 1. 0 INTRODUCTION Islam offers solution in every aspect of life, as housing also would not left behind. However, the directions of application are not stated directly but there must be a deepened study and explanation by the Islamic scholars. To mention about Islam, as to make it simple, everything that provides convenience accordingly to the situation and condition is considered Islamic.
In Islam, house is a place to rest, relax body and mind, enjoy legitimate worldly delights, worship, teach, learn and propagate the message of Islam. As Allah S. W. T said in Quran: “And Allah has made your habitations homes of rest and quite for you…”(An-Nahl:80) This assignment therefore will discuss on the characteristics that should be taken into account when considering housing design according to Islamic values and perspective.
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Those will be based on two assigned readings which written by Ahmed Farid Moustapha on ‘Islamic Values in Contemporary Urbanism’ and Majdah Zawawi on ‘Crime Prevention Through Safe City Planning: An Islamic Perspective’. 2. 0 THE OVERVIEW Chapter 5: Islamic Values in Contemporary Urbanism by: Ahmed Farid Moustapha. The author mentioned that rapid development in industrial activities has changed the nature of society pre-industrial age hoping those will be implemented in contemporary urban design.
It was been highlighted that Islamic sharia, climatic constraints, local building materials, the social and economic situation and available technology are the influence factors. Furthermore, he added with the aspect of contemporary urbanism and later provides some proposals for the current design of urban area by incorporating Islamic value and principles. Summary Currently, whether in eastern or western area, urban development has become a major issue in temporary society. Most of the government pay attention to the issue and spent most of their budget on new development project.
The rapid development in industrial activities in particular has led to complex social, economic, technical and political transformations that have affected the value and the physical form of cities, town and village. In Islam, Sharia or Islamic Law presents all the basics, which define guidelines for human in life. The objective of Sharia is preservation, through the observation of its guidelines of: the spiritual contentment of man the physical and mental wellbeing of man and his descendants, and the correct way of dealing with property.
All this is critical aim to creating the healthy and virtuous individual, family, society and eventually the ideal world. There have no doubt that these general principle have affected urbanism, since it is impossible to imagine preserving and developing the spiritual and mental capabilities of oneself and children, family and society as a whole, in polluted physical environment that has no organization or it spoilt by crime and evil. There have many factor affected by urban development in Muslim World, they are Islamic Sharia, Climate Constrains, Local Building Materials, The Social and Economic Situation and Available Technology.
Urbanism in Islam are based on some Sharia Principle, Sacredness of family Life and the Support of Children, Limiting the Relationship of sexes Outside the family Circle, Protecting Rising and Educating Children, Public Health, Enjoyment of Life, Economy, Avoiding Squander. Muslim shapes their physical environment based on some principle where directly affecting urbanism, they are privacy, building heights, building form, external space, statues, pictures and monuments, architecture, social interaction.
Present physical forms of Islamic cities are affected by some circumstances such as, economic development, new invention particularly the automobile and elevator, industry and population migration. Islamic Urbanism is the correct approach to urban planning, design and architecture for all mankind. Its concealments all aspect of human life and will create a better living of life. Chapter 7: Crime Prevention Through Safe City Planning: An Islamic Perspective by:Majdah Zawawi This chapter prevailed type of crimes and how the urban form related to the crime occurrence.
The value of a city being questioned and the transition zone that take place within the city during the dark has been crystallized. The author also emphasized on crime prevention through value related concept and briefly touched on crime prevention through environmental design. She believes that the value of a person and community give status good or bad of a city. Thus, the value must be started at early stage; at home. The safe city concept also been incorporated with the Islamic perspective and later further explains on function of mosque in building society Summary
Many of urban problems including crimes that experience today result from an unbalanced approach to development, where physical development has been given priority over spiritual, cultural and social requirements. Therefore, safety in cities is now a global concern when crime in cities is increasing. A safe city can be perceived as a sustainable city, where community can live in more inclusive and secure environment. According to Federal Department Town and Country Planning, safe city defined as a city that is free from all physical, social and mental threats.
The environment is always in a preserved condition and will not create an environment that encourages untoward incidents that disrupts harmony. Residents are always in a safe, harmonious, healthy and happy. Safe city also can describe as a city which was created with a specific plan, which strives to avoid dystopia and work towards utopia. A perfect city, free from threats or even fear of crime and provide security of life and property to its dwellers are elements of safe city. It’s not only provided protection but reduces crime and allows economic enterprises and community life to flourish.
There have three important aspects related to safe city planning, they are crime maybe prevent through correct and effective environmental design, the corporation between the people, government private sectors and non-government sectors and educating the younger generation and community on safety and crime prevention method. The emergence of safe city concept was started at the Safer Cities Programs 1996. The programs were aimed for addressing urban insecurity and contribute to the culture of crime prevention.
Local Authorities is believed to play a vital role in the development of community-wide planning strategies for crime prevention, as they are in strategic position to initiate and coordinate the programs. Some strategies for a safer city also has been outlined by strengthening capacity to address and reduce crime, promoting crime prevention initiatives, encouraging city networks for experts exchange, preparing and implementing capacity building programs and targeting three main areas of prevention; actions aimed at group at risk, situational prevention and reform the criminal justice system.
Plus, the key to prevent crime is by having partnership between local governments and other stakeholders as this may ultimately eliminate violence, crime and insecurity. The root causes of crime were identified; economic, social, policing and justice, urban planning and maintenance, substance abuse and crime. Economic identified as a factor due to the increment poverty level in families because income would be significant in determining out comes and living conditions.
In the light of social causes, ineffective parenting and socialization issues as key contributing features in crime, where the most extreme example is child abuse and much of this violence committed by parents and caregivers. Furthermore, it was discovered in 16 percent responses to policing and justice in community safety survey such as not enough community policing and police on the streets and non-accountable sentencing. While in the aspect of urban planning and maintenance, some instances that lead to the crime are bad traffic planning, poor lighting, and abandoned buildings.
In Islamic perspective the creation of safe city must essentially begin with the manifestation of the most central part of Muslim’s faith. The development should put mosque as the focal point of the city, commercial center should be situated around or near to the mosque, create a hub of activities, such as schools, sport complex, shopping center, art gallery in close proximity to the mosque, and residential area should situated outskirt of the city but not too far from the city center and designed in such a way as to promote neighborly relation.
An Islamic city is about living together Muslim and even non-Muslim to ensure the fulfillment of a happier and safer life. When individual play their own roles and maintain their duties and fulfill the right of others, an intricate balance is created. It is this balance that ensures peace and harmony prevails in the city. 3. 0 CHARACTERISTIC OF HOUSING DESIGN ACCORDING TO ISLAMIC VALUES AND PERSPECTIVE Shari’a as the etiquette conduct in Islamic teaching aims creating the healthy and honorable individual, family, society and eventually the ideal world through preservation.
There is no doubt those principles rooted from home, where the structure of house is built which means the way the house is designed and functioned somehow create sense of such environment ultimately produce a certain level of quality person. The following are some characteristics or principles that need to be considered when designing a housing that eventually results in housing compound and create a neighborhood: i. Privacy This aspect is strongly emphasized in Islamic housing as privacy is a basic requirement for the preservation of the family, not only covering aurah of the dwellers but also gives comfort to them.
Somehow rather, privacy may create the sense of safety within the dwelling unit. As stated by Ahmed Farid Moustapha (2008), privacy enabled both males and females to enjoy living in the dwelling and allowed them to perform their activities in its spaces without the invasion of neighbors. The design of the house also should be able to protect the female in terms of spatial arrangement for not invading their privacy. Proper number of bedrooms must be provided accordingly to the number of children in the family, meaning which the bedroom for boys and girls must be separated.
For instance of privacy, visual privacy is preventing the visual intrusion from outside, by abolishing any house external elements. The entrance door should not be opened opposite to or near each other unless if the door is separated by a wide street and have heavy traffic. The house windows overlooking other people’s houses are not allowed and the ground floor windows must be placed above eye level on the street. Privacy would be the reason of having introvert design in Islamic housing instead of extrovert design which widely practiced nowadays.
For instance, the element of courtyards and interior gardens are not only design as the element of the house for the sake of Islamic architecture, but it is beyond the physical term. Those components promote privacy of the residents as they can do their activities outside of the roofed building but within the vicinity of their housing lot. This is clearly different with contemporary placement of yard whereby current design would prefer front yard or backyard instead of courtyard. So, how would the privacy of the dwellers can be preserved especially those houses located long the main road that definitely generate more traffic of human and transport? This is however may reduce the level of comfort of the resident and make the house does not meet the basic requirement of housing. Consequently, the sacredness of family life might hardly to preserve. Hence, family privacy in all regards is encouraged and there is the general desire not to encourage external openings that allow others to see into the dwellings, which is reflected in building elevations (Ahmed Farid Moustapha, 2008). ii. Building Form
Since Islam encourage the introvert composition, less attention given to the exterior compared to interior. But still, both are applying the concept of humility while designing interior as well as exterior. The exterior building form must not excessive that lead to riya’ upon other neighbors. The form of the house also must be functional for not wasting any kind of form, space or design. Plus, the design must encourage the dwellers in remembrance of Allah. The design and form of house should be different among each other to allow variety in form, color and size of unit and spaces.
The structural design and construction details also may permit horizontal or vertical expansion. iii. Building Heights The height of the building should not affect the neighbors negatively. This is quite an issue in most country especially in the area with medium and high density where several stories of building would prevent air and sunlight from reaching the neighbors. This issue may arise when a high rise flats of apartments build adjacent to the low rise or landed housing area, when a neighbor renovate his or her house apparently block the sunlight into the immediate neighbor’s lawn or may be garden.
The principle of ‘no harm no harming’ always is the base in designing houses and housing area that is to protect the right of the neighbor as thought in Islam. Apart from that, extending dwellings higher than surrounding dwellings is not allowed which would facilitate visual intrusions into other dwellings. iv. Safe The housing design must be safe to be occupied in the aspect of physical and emotional form. The design must be strong and not vulnerable, that is also should be able to protect dwellers from any threats or even fear of crime.
Safety of the dwellers is of primary concern that must ensure their beliefs, lives, honor and property are well guarded (Majdah Zawawi, 2008). The house must not bring harm to the neighbor’s and environment as well. To some extent, both authors believe that cul-de-sac in neighborhood might be able to help in promoting safe neighborhood. v. Optimize Space Islam does not allow any form of wastage. Therefore, any space that left empty without proper function is not allowed in Islamic housing design. Each particle of resources must be used accordingly. vi. Health It is known among Muslim that cleanliness is part of iman.
Thus, the provision of house must incorporate with the element of cleanliness for example bathroom, toilet, individual sewerage and drainage. The clean house would help to maintain the health level of the dwellers which then might not obstruct their ability to perform ibadah in their house. vii. Social Interaction As mention by Majdah Zawawi (2008), Islam has promoted the concept of brotherhood. Based on this concept all Muslims are brothers. This promotes a caring society. Therefore, design of the house should enable an increase ‘face to face relationships’, social contacts and solidarity.
Social interaction can be seen in two aspects; within the house and within the neighborhood. This value is badly needed in both level especially in urban area as everybody busy with their own works and matters until forgot to tie-up the relationship among family members and society. At family level, the design of the house may provide an area for family gathering like spacious living room and congregational prayer as this may promote the culture in the family. The practice of congregational prayer vividly recognized as a method to reunite the members of family or society.
Therefore, for broader aspect, a house must be built with the presence of mosque within its vicinity. In Islam, mosque plays a vital role in most aspect of Muslim life. By the existence of the mosque perhaps it may assists in creating bonding among the neighbors and emerge the sense of belonging among the residents. A house also functions to prepare individual with noble value as human. In order to achieve that, the importance of Islamic education is unquestionable which there for urge the design of the house that should promote home education.
If the home education is successful to inculcate Islamic value within the family members, it will lead to better society living environment, indeed a safer neighborhood. viii. Climatic Constraints Climatic condition must be obeyed in Islamic way as it to avoid wastage from build a house that incompatible to local climate, which therefore would results uncomfortable among the dwellers. In other words, the design should be in proper way coherence to the local climate as house is the place where people get their rest and perform their ibadah. ix. Local Building Materials
The usage of local material in building a house would provide adaptable house to the local condition especially climate. In natural, those materials available in its particular area can be considered strong in facing the local climate. Thus, it would not waste there sources as the materials are long lasting and economical to use. 4. 0 CONCLUSION Islamic teaching as an essential requirement for Muslim social life so it especially taking into account the intensely close family life of Muslims Islamic housing design does not have director clear translation or definition.
However, it does incorporate Islamic principles in the process of designing as well as the result of the design. The design of housing can be said Islamic as long as it adheres on Islamic requirements and basic preservation, and of course provision of convenient, comfort, safe and protection are vital to the dwellers of the house. Thus, Islamic housing is a blend of the belief system, teachings and values of Islam, and the prerequisites and influences of indigenous cultures, climates, topographies, building materials, talents, technologies, and economies.
The former is characterized as universal, total, permanent, immutable, and absolute. REFERENCES 1. Azila Ahmad Sarkawi and Alias Abdullaah, (2008). Urban Planning: An Islamic Perspective. Shah Alam, Arah Pendidikan Sdn Bhd. 2. Islamic Values In Contemporary Urbanism, Azila Ahmad Sarkawi and Alias Abdullaah, (2008). Urban Planning: An Islamic Perspective. Shah Alam, Arah Pendidikan Sdn Bhd. 3. Crime Prevention Through Safe City Planning: An Islamic Perspective, Azila Ahmad Sarkawi and Alias Abdullaah, (2008). Urban Planning: An Islamic Perspective. Shah Alam, Arah Pendidikan Sdn Bhd. 4. Federal Department Town and Country Planning (JPBD).