Author: Hisham Mortada
Publisher: Curzon Pr
Publish Date: August 2003
Written with the non-Muslim reader in mind, this book analyses the principles and values established by Islamic tradition to govern the social and physical environments of Muslims. The author develops an understanding of Islam as a tradition of values rather than rules, clarifying the social dimension of Islamic tradition and dispelling the myth of Islam as simply dictatorial.
The picture of Islam that emerges from this work is of a way of life with social ideals. The pursuit of these ideals in early Muslim societies was reflected in the formation of the built environment. Recent Muslim architecture and urban planning have tended to discard these original ideals. It is argued here that a movement back to these ideals can contribute to harmonious social and physical environments. Relying on the Qur’an and Sunna, the basic sources of Islamic law, and using examples of the built environment of early Muslims in North Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia, the author explains how following these ideals can create an urban environment that responds to social and environmental variables. Islamic views on the controversial issue of modernization are also examined.
This book will be of interest to people in the fields of urban planning, architecture, sociology, anthropology, housing and built environment, as well as Islamic studies.