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4) Elaborate the components of the Islamic city.

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your explanation with diagrams.
In the name of Allah, most gracious most merciful. Islam is a
monotheistic and abrahamic religion articulated by the Holy Quran and the
techings and sayings of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) the last prophet of Islam.
Islam is not a new religion but the same truth that god revealed through all
his prophets to every people. For the fifth of worlds population Islam is both a
religion and a way of life. Islam according to Fischel (1956) and Hassan
(1972), is an urban religion. Religious practices, beliefs and values, especially
those relating to organisation and authority, emphasized the social gathering
and discouraged nomadism and dispersing. Early islamic towns, such as
those of the Maghreb like Al-Fustat, Tunis, and Rabat were erected to preach
Islam, playing the role of "Citadel of Faith" (Fischel 1956, p. 229). They were
dedicated to receiving new converts, in a similar way Medina received
migrants from Mecca. Hodgson (1974) called them Dar-El-Hijra, a place
where Muslims came to put into practice the Islamic life, and through them
Islam spread to Asia, Africa, and southern Europe. Consequently, a number of
thriving towns emerged due to this religious role.

Concept of Islamic City

Generally, "city" is a large and permanent human settlement. Although
there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town in a general
english language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative,
legal, or historical status based on local law. Cities generally have complex
systems for sanitation, utilities, land usage, housing and transportation. In
arabic definition, city means Madaratun, Madinah, Baldatun, Fustat and Misr.
Madinah term can see as an example because Madinah term derived from
Madana word that combined (common) by Mudun or 'in Mada that bring
Bandar meaning or name to Yathrib (Hj. Hassan Bin Haji Ahmad, 2010).
Municipal involve development a town or town in a province which involve
expansion and function improvement that are existing to one level that is
more satisfying to meet requirements of the population in town (deBlij &
Murphy A. B, 2003). Municipal occurred due to city development or town
from centre until central exterior. Islam municipal is city formation process
which emphasized Islam religion elements. There are three key element that
become penduan line in Islamic Bandar formation namely Ukhuwwah
formation and social integration, town convey reminder (Kubur) message,
and development that is balanced between people and environment. Islam
municipal born since Rasulullah S.A.W's rule and continues at Khulafa alRasyidin ruling era' after Rasulullah S.A.W.'s death. First Islamic municipal

formation is Madinah city who become 'Role Model' to whole world Islamic
countries especially Middle Eastern country.

The Concept of the Enviroment in Islam

In Islam, all things have been created with purpose and in proportion and
measure, both qualitatively and quantitatively, (al-Qamar, 49). Concerning
the environment, which is Gods creation too, its role is dual: to worship its
Lord and Creator, and to be subjected to man whom it surrounds. Whatever
is in the heavens and on earth, declares the Praises and Glory of Allah: for He
is the Exalted in Might, the Wise (al-Saff, 1). There are many verses in the
Holy Quran which repeatedly and in different styles testify this truth. The
Prophet (pbuh) said that the phrase subhanAllah which means glory be to
Allah is the prayer of the created world and everything in it, its glorification
and praise of Allah (tasbih), and with it the whole of the created world
receives sustenance.

The Meaning of Islamic Architecture

Islamic architecture is an architecture whose functions and, to a lesser
extent, form, are inspired primarily by Islam. Islamic architecture is a
framework for the implementation of Islam. It facilitates, fosters and
stimulates the Muslims ibadah (worship) activities, which, in turn, account
for every moment of their earthly lives. Islamic architecture only can come
into existence under the aegis of the Islamic perceptions of God, man,
nature, life, death and the Hereafter. Thus, Islamic architecture would be the
facilities and at the same time, a physical locus of the actualization of the
Islamic message. Practically, Islamic architecture represents the religion of
Islam that has been translated into reality at the hands of the Muslims. It also
represents the identify if Islamic culture and civilization. Islamic architecture
exists because of the existence of Islam. Moreover, in so many ways it serves
the noble goals of Islam. Islamic architecture serves Muslims too, in that it
aids them to carry out successfully their vicegerency (khilafah) mission on
earth. Islamic architecture aims to help rather than obstruct Muslims in
fulfilling that which they have been created for.


Islamic urban byelaws are used by the Islamic planners while planning
cities and are also used to resolve the conflicts between people relating to
construction and land ownership and usage. Firstly, harm. The spirit is that
on should exercise one's full rights on whatever is duly his, provided that his
action will not do any harm to others. Secondly is privacy, literally it refers to
personal clothing and private area of the house. It also refers to the privacy
of communication. The privacy of others must be respected and its invasion
is prohibited. Next, rights of usage. This principle is used in resolving
conflicts related to ownership and rights of party walls, location of windows
and door. Fourth, the width of streets, a public street should have a minimum
width of 7 cubits (3.23m - 3.50m). The basis of this width is to allow to fully
loaded camels to pass. It is preferred that the height be also 7 cubits (3.23m
- 3.50m) as this corresponds to the maximum vertical height of the camel
with highest load. Fifth, any public street should not be obstructed by
temporary or permanent obstructions. Sixth, water should not be barred from
others, it means people must share water, and the owner must give to other
any surplus water he has for drinking or irrigation. This principle resulted in
public water fountains in the streets of Islamic cities. Seventh, the right of
usage of exterior setbacks belong to the owner of the house or building
which abuts it. And the last is sources of unpleasant smell, and uses that
generate noise should not be located adjacent to or near masjids, this
influenced the layout of the souq (market) which was built typically adjacent
to the major city mosque.

Figure 1: Guidelines for the evolution of city laws


The first principle that defined much of the character of the Muslim city
is the adaptation of the built form and plan of the city to natural
circumstances expressed through weather condition and topography.
These were expressed in the adoption of concepts such as courtyard,
terrace, narrow covered streets and gardens.
Giving the mosque the central position in spatial and institutional
hierarchies. The cultural beliefs separating public and private lives
regulated the spatial order between uses and areas. Narrow streets and
cul-de-sacs separating private and public domains, while the land use
emphasized the separation of male and female users. Consequently,
economic activity that involved exchange and public presence was
separated from residential (private dwellings) use and concentrated in
public areas and in the main streets.
The street plan seems to have followed vastu shastra text which
contains directions for constructing buildings and for laying out and
dividing settlements of different kinds.
The Muslim city also reflected the rules of Sharia (Islamic Law) in terms
of physical and social relations between public and private realms, and
between neighbours and social groups. The privacy principle was made
into a law which sets the height of the wall above the height of a camel
The social organisation of the urban society was based on social
groupings sharing the same blood, ethnic origin and cultural
perspectives. Development was therefore directed towards meeting
these social needs especially in terms of kinship solidarity, defence,
social order and religious practices.

The Components of An Islamic City

The essential elements and morphological components of an Islamic city
can basically be classified into two types; with individual or amalgamated
character. Attempt has been made to define them in a hierarchical order.
a) Medina (Traditional City):
It is the Arabic name for an urban settlement. It is used in reference to
the whole urban complex, or to its older part if it is physically
differentiated from later additions which are usually identified as Rabat
(suburbs) or by another name differentiating them from the Medina
b) Jamia Masjid (The main Mosque):
It occupied the heart of the town and was usually surrounded by the
Suq (market). This was where the weekly Friday prayers were held and
attached to it was the Madrasa providing religious and scientific
education. The main mosque was the focal point around which all the
activity and development of the city started.
c) Suqs (Markets):
Located outside the main mosque provided the economic activity in
the town. Goods sold were usually spatially distributed corresponding
to their nature. The central area was also the gathering of other public
activities such as social services, administration, trade, arts and crafts
and baths (Hammam) and hotels (Funduq and Waqala). Due to
economic reasons, Suqs were one of the major factors that shaped the
formation of Islamic cities throughout history.
d) Kasbah (Citadel):
This term is primarily used in North Africa and also previously in Muslim
Spain. It is essentially a citadel, which being attached to the wall
surrounding a fortified town (Madina), remains sufficiently independent
to continue the resistance, even after the fall of the city, or to serve as
a refuge for the governor if the population revolts agains his personal
authority or that of the prince that he serves. A Kasbah usually
contained within its walls in addition to the palace of the sovereign, his
confidants and the dwellings of his dependents, one or more mosques,
the fiscal services, the guards barracks, baths, prisons, shops and even

markets. It was usually located in the high part of the town near the
e) Residential Quarters:
They were described by Eikelman (1981) as clusters of households of
particular quality of life based on closeness (Qaraba) which is
manifested in personal ties, common interests and shared moral unity.
They were usually dense and each quarter had its own mosque used
only for daily prayers, Quranic school (Madrassa), bakery, shops and
other first necessity objects. They even had their own gates which
were usually closed night after last prayers and opened early morning
at early morning at night after last prayers and opened early morning
at early prayers time such was the case of Algiers and Tunis.
f) Shara or Tarik Nafid (Street Network)
The first term is equivalent to street and the latter to thoroughfare i.e.
throughway. An essential component of a mature Islamic city is that it
should have a system of streets characterized by a network of citywide thoroughfares connecting the main gates to the core of the city
(specifically to the major city mosque and the adjacent Suq complex).
Also, a subsidiary network connecting the residential quarters to the
central place. This was a network of narrow winding streets consisting
of public and private and semi-private streets and cul-de-sacs.
g) Sur (Fortification or Rampart):
The city wall or ramparts surrounding the Medina for defensive
purposes was called a Sur. It was essentially a well defended wall
surrounded the town with a number of gates.
h) Bab (City Gate)
The term means gate or door. The earliest gateways of muslim fortified
enclosures were simple straight-through entrances defended by a
machicoulis and pair of half round flanking towers. But with the
passage of time and development of the Islamic city, a new type
appeared with a bent entrance, which was employed for the
strategically more important gates of the outer wall. This bent
entrance was called Bashura.
i) Burj (Watch Towers):
These are the fortified towers which are strategically located along the
ramparts and form part of the defence system.
j) Khazzan (Water Storage):
The term is used for a water-storage facility. This could be a large
public facility such as the one that was located on the west side of the
Medina receiving water from the aqueduct and connected via a conduit

to the core of the Medina. However, the term also refers to private
water cisterns usually located under the courtyard of a house for
collecting rainwater, which are commonly known in Tunisia as Majel.
Islam municipal is still practiced in majority of the Islamic countries
even on small scale. In displaying Islam municipal, it make grand mosque as
a city centre. Furthermore, it inevitable to have a modern design form, but
spirituality elements should be moulded to become a religious icon.

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