While building and observing others do the same, and while using houses, the Prophet (pbuh) taught his followers that in the realm of housing the function of the house is paramount. It is more important than the sheer form. It is more important how a house functions than how it looks like. It is more important that a house functions as a lively and dynamic family development center, regardless of how it looks like, than that its exaggerated and embellished form leaves a nice impression on neighbors or passers-by, but leaves in terms of its expected function much to be desired. The sophistication of the function in a house easily makes up for the simplicity of the form rendering it as marginal, whereas the sophistication of the form cannot mask or compensate for the flaws and defects of the function. It may even cause such flaws and defects to be more conspicuous and wanting. The Prophet (pbuh) alluded to the importance of the function and the overall life and soul of the house as a leading criterion in determining whether a house is good or otherwise, when he said: “The best Muslim house is the one where an orphan is treated kindly, and the worst Muslim house is the one where an orphan is treated harshly.”
As a general principle, in Islamic architecture the function with all of its dimensions: physical, intellectual and spiritual, is preferred over the form, especially if the latter is divorced from the former. This, however, by no means implies that the form plays no role in Islamic architecture. It does play a prominent role, but its relevance is a supportive one supplementing and enhancing the function. The form is important, but in terms of value and substance it always comes second to the function and its wide scope. The form follows, enhances and facilitates the function; it is not the other way round.
However, the form cannot be taken lightly, or be totally neglected, as such may have a serious negative effect on the function. The two are interrelated and intertwined. They depend on each other, needing each other for their respective self-expression and self-attainment. Without the function, there will be no form, and without the form, there will be no function either. Without the function, the form will be superfluous, worthless and dead. Without the form, on the other hand, the function will be unfeasible and reduced to a mere abstract theorizing, fantasizing and a wishful thinking. Thus, each and every architectural idea and expression must be a synthesis of both the form and the function, each one of them performing their respective tasks. Indeed, the relationship between the form and function in a building is like the relationship between the body and soul in a person. The function to a building is what the soul to a person is, and the form to a building is what the body to a person is.
Moreover, there must be the closest relationship between the ideals that underpin the form of buildings and the ideals that underpin their functions, with which the users of buildings must be at ease. A rift or a conflict between the two is bound to lead to a conflict of some far-reaching psychological proportions in the users of buildings. In this way, the roles of the form become equivalent to the roles of the function.
The houses of the Prophet (pbuh) and those of the first Muslims in Madinah were the first examples of this philosophy in architecture, in general, and in housing, in particular. Their houses aimed at the sophistication concerning the function, but in terms of the form, they insisted on having only as much as was necessary for meeting the requirements of the function. Anything above that was deemed as unnecessary. It was deemed as the squandering of precious time, energy and people’s limited resources. As such, it could upset one’s focus on one’s continuous and demanding intellectual and spiritual development. Giving too much attention to the form of the houses could get in the way of the required performances of the houses and the people in relation to the personality and community building processes that were of a great importance in the initial, and thus most crucial, phases of the development of the Madinah city-state.
Towards this end are some of the Prophet’s ostensibly disapproving traditions (hadith) on housing which must be carefully studied and must be placed in their proper perspectives. Superficial readings will not help. Such a methodology can easily create confusion about the Prophet’s stance on housing, building and architecture in general. Some of those traditions of the Prophet (pbuh), some explicitly on housing and others on building in general including housing, are as follows:
1. ‘Atiyyah b. Qays reported that the main building material in the houses of the Prophet’s wives were date-palm branches. When once the Prophet (pbuh) went off for a military expedition, Umm Salamah, one of the Prophet’s wives who was wealthy, replaced date-palm branches with bricks. When the Prophet (pbuh) returned, he asked: “What is this?” She replied: “I wanted to protect myself against the people peeping at me.” At that, notably without asking Umm Salamah to pull down what she had built, the Prophet (pbuh) said: “O Umm Salamah, the worst thing for which the wealth of a believer could be spent is building.”
2. The Prophet’s uncle al-‘Abbas b. ‘Abd al-Mutallib once built a compartment, however, the Prophet (pbuh) asked him to demolish it. When he asked if it is better for him to demolish it or to give it away as charity, the Prophet (pbuh) told him: “Demolish it.”
3. “When Allah intends bad for a servant of His, He (as a mode of punishment) makes handling or molding bricks and the soil to be easy for him so that he could build.”
4. “When Allah intends humiliation for a servant of His, He (as a mode of punishment) makes him spend his wealth on making buildings.”
5. “He who builds more than what is sufficient for him, will be asked on the Day of Judgment to carry the extra of what he had built.”
6. “Every act of kindness is a form charity. Whatever a person spends on his family is written for him as charity. Whatever a person does to safeguard his honor is written for him as charity. Whatever a person spends, if he leaves it to (if he does it for) Allah, Allah is the Guarantor, except for building and wrongdoing.”
7. “All wealth that is spent is for the sake of Allah, except (wealth spent for) building. In it, there is no good.”
8. “When a person raises a building more than seven cubits (3.5 m), he is called out: ‘O the most immoral one, where to…?”
9. “Every building is a misfortune for its owner, except what cannot, except what cannot, meaning except that which is essential.”
However, these and other similar traditions of the Prophet (pbuh), some of which are authentic and some of which are seriously questionable, do not represent his total or actual view of building, be it houses or any other segments of the built environment. The Prophet (pbuh) did not regard building as intrinsically wrong. These traditions are conditional. They are meant for those building activities which are superfluous or are meant for a proliferation and competition rooted in bragging, showing off, materialism and jealousy. They are meant for building activities which are based on intentions and goals that go against the spirit of the Islamic message. They are meant for those building activities which are bound to bring upon their executors more damage than benefits.
This principle applies not only to all the types of building activities but also to all actions of men. It is for this, certainly, that people’s actions are judged solely on the basis of their intentions, as said by the Prophet (pbuh).A deed that stems from a wrong intention is always wrong no matter how it is presented or seemed on the exterior. In Islam, neither the end nor the means could vindicate a bad intention.
The benefits of legitimately erected buildings areto be maximized by all means. They are not to be diminished or obstructed by associating with buildings some damaging perceptions and functions. One’s wealth constitutes a major portion of what one has been assigned from this fleeting world, which is to be meticulously managed for the benefits of both worlds. Both wealth and built environment are to be perceived only as means; neither one represents an end in itself. If one possesses a positive perception about wealth and the notion of creating buildings, which, in fact, reflects one’s positive total worldview, one is then able to recognize that whatever wealth he has been granted is sufficient for him. He will, furthermore, easily understand how much and what type of built environment he needs so that the execution of his divinely inspired life engagements is supported and facilitated. Hence, a believer will always be content with unassuming buildings, above all if they are private ones, thus allowing him to make use of his wealth for some other wholesome purposes, both personal and communal. This way, restraining the tendencies towards the crimes of wastefulness, greed, jealousy, ill feeling, haughtiness, and so forth, in a person will become a much easier proposition. It goes without saying, therefore, that the biggest fault, as well loss, is that one exhausts all the resources and amenities that Allah has bestowed upon him for the momentary joy and pleasures of this world, while procuring nothing, or very little, for the Hereafter. Definitely, true believers are immune to this agonizing scenario.
Moreover, if superficially studied and wrongly understood, the implications of some of the mentioned traditions plainly contradict the mainstream practices of the Prophet (pbuh) and the practices of his companions and those who came afterwards. As they contradict the total body of the Islamic value system, which is unacceptable. This is an important thing because it is commonly accepted as an Islamic tenet that the Muslim community shall under no circumstances agree on an error. One of the Prophet’s companions, ‘Abdullah b. Mas’ud, is reported to have said: “What Muslims end up regarding as a propriety, Allah too regards it that way; likewise, what they end up regarding as a sin, Allah too regards it as such.”
Without doubt, no Muslim, including the Prophet (pbuh), ever viewed building as an inherently wicked domain. On the contrary, every true Muslim, including the Prophet (pbuh), regarded building as an inevitable and if properly construed and applied a potentially useful thing. No civilized life on earth can be imagined without a built environment, and no fulfillment of man’s most noble purpose on earth without it would ever be possible. Just like many other life’s pursuits should building be regarded: challenging and tricky but innately innocent and susceptible to becoming either bad or good depending on how and for what reasons they are taken up. Hence, the mentioned traditions are to be examined against the backdrop of the contexts in which they have been presented, of the person or the persons who were the main protagonists in those contexts, of the Prophet’s linguistic styles, of the Prophet’s specific intentions and objectives, if it is possible to be ascertained, due to which he might have wanted to say something particular for a particular person and in a particular situation, and most importantly, against the backdrop of the general and universally agreed upon body of Islamic teachings and values and the words and deeds of the Prophet (pbuh).
In his book “Deterrents from Committing Big Sins”, Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad b. Hajar al-Haythami categorized building beyond one’s needs and in response to some other serious transgressions as the two hundred and eleventh (211th) big sin (kabirah). His argument is that although creating needed buildings is necessary and invited, the building activity can be adulterated with a number of major vices which renders it a big sin itself. The Prophet’s well-recorded reactions to such acts unequivocally indicate that he viewed them on a par with the other big sins. As a support for his thesis, Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad b. Hajar al-Haythami quotes most of the Prophet’s traditions mentioned above.
The Prophet’s houses were an example of the simplicity of the form. A partial description of the Prophet’s houses is given by Ibn Sa’d in his al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, due to a narrator named ‘Abd Allah b. Yazid, who saw them just before they were knocked down by the order of caliph al-Walid b. ‘Abd al-Malik from Syria in the year 88 AH / 707 AC who wanted to enlarge the Prophet’s mosque. “There were four houses of mud brick, with apartments partitioned off by palm branches plastered with mud, and five houses made of palm branches plastered with mud and not divided into rooms. Over the doors were curtains of black hair-cloth. Each curtain measured 3 by 3 cubits (1.5 m). One could touch the roof with the hand.” Several other eyewitnesses have given similar accounts on the matter, which are recorded elsewhere.
Umar b. al-Khattab while once visiting the Prophet (pbuh) at home gave the following account on the simplicity of the Prophet’s houses, as well as on what was the Prophet’s attitude towards the matter. Umar said: “I visited Allah's Messenger (pbuh) and he was lying on a mat. I sat down and he drew up his lower garment over him and he had nothing (else) over him, and that the mat had left its marks on his sides. I looked with my eyes in the store room of Allah's Messenger (pbuh). I found only a handful of barley equal to one sa' and an equal quantity of the leaves of Mimosa Flava placed in the nook of the cell, and a semi-tanned leather bag hanging (in one side), and I was moved to tears (on seeing this extremely austere living of the Holy Prophet), and he said: “Ibn al-Khattab, what makes you weep?” I said: “Apostle of Allah, why should I not shed tears? This mat has left its marks on your sides and I do not see in your store room (except these few things) that I have seen. Persian and Byzantine sovereigns are leading their lives in plenty, whereas you are Allah's Messenger, His chosen one, and that is your store!” He said: “Ibn al-Khattab, aren't you satisfied that for us (there should be the prosperity) of the Hereafter, and for them (there should be the prosperity of) this world?” I said: “Yes”.
Nevertheless, the houses of the Prophet (pbuh) — many of them if not all — were far bigger and roomy than what appears to many people who erroneously perceive them as small huts or no more than mere tiny rooms rather than adequate houses, for most of such houses must have had — at least and in accordance with the standards and norms of the day, of course — a bathroom, a kitchen, a sleeping room, a room (place) for visitors, a storage, etc. All these are necessities, indeed, not only desirable for a normal and decent living, but also necessitated by some religious tenets, such as privacy protection, orderliness and hygiene.
There is nothing wrong in making a spacious and comfortable house for the sake of facilitating the attainment of some noble goals in it, while at the same time staying away from the influences of vice and sin. Admittedly, a big house can function better than a small one. The former’s potential is a lot greater. The functions of a big house can easily be increased and diversified, something that is very difficult to achieve with a small house. It stands to reason that an excessive and unnecessary asceticism in housing, whereby the required performances of the house institution might be severely affected, is not recommended. Hence, the Prophet (pbuh) once said that of man’s happiness are a good wife, a spacious house, a good neighbor, and a good mount. Similarly, he also said that the house is where potentially both fortune and misfortune lie. Fortune lies inside the house when, along with a few other factors, it is spacious, and misfortune comes to the house when it is narrow.
The Prophet (pbuh) himself prayed to Allah to forgive him, make his house more spacious and bless his sustenance.
Once a companion Khalid b. al-Walid complained to the Prophet (pbuh) that his house was too small to accommodate his family. At this, the Prophet (pbuh) asked him to build more rooms on the roof of the existing house and to ask Allah for abundance.
Besides, when Umar b. al-Khattab visited the Prophet (pbuh), as in the aforementioned hadith (tradition), though he was moved to tears by the simplicity of the Prophet’s living and the state of his houses, yet he reported that he found the Prophet (pbuh) in one of his houses in his attic to which one must climb by means of a ladder made of date-palm. At the end of the ladder, the Prophet’s servant, Rabah, through whom Umar had beforehand obtained the Prophet’s permission to enter, was sitting. After the visit, Umar climbed down with the Prophet (pbuh). While Umar had to do so catching hold of the wood of the palm-tree, the Prophet (pbuh) did the same with such ease that he seemed as though he was walking on the ground; he needed not hold anything for support.
If truth be told, had the Prophet’s houses been as small and inconvenient as alleged by some people, his life and that of his household would have been seriously disturbed and interrupted, as there were always those coming to him for various purposes: to serve him, to visit him and his family, to learn from him, to ask questions, to seek counsel from him, etc. It would have been especially so during the early years when scores of hospitality manners, plus general rules of cultured social ethics, were yet to be consolidated in the hearts and minds of many individuals. In reality, every period of the Prophet’s mission was pretty much susceptible to this kind of discomfort for him, sometimes more and sometimes less, because scores of people from different places in the Arabian Peninsula never ceased to throng Madinah (the trend actually kept intensifying as time was passing by) accepting Islam and offering their allegiance to the Prophet (pbuh). Before the doors of the Hijrah became closed after the conquest of Makkah, some people would habitually seek to settle themselves in Madinah having embraced Islam and pledged their allegiance, whereas the others, after spending some time as the Prophet’s guests and the guests of the state, would return to their respective tribes and communities henceforth maintaining strong relationship with the center.
In his book “History of Madinah Munawwarah”, Muhammad Ilyas asserted that each of the Prophet’s houses had a residential part as well as a tiny backyard: “The backyard was enclosed by the branches of palm trees and unbaked bricks. Blankets of hair were thrown on them to ensure privacy in the yard. The door of each Hujrah (apartment) was not built from an expensive wood. Each door had a rough blanket hanging there for privacy. Hence each Hujrah reflected humbleness and modesty. The dimension of each Hujrah was approximately 5 meters by 4 meters and the backyard was 5 meters by 3.5 meters. A person standing in a Hujrah could touch the ceiling with his hand. Hasan Basri said, ‘I had not yet come of age and I used to visit the Hujrah. I could touch the ceiling with my hand when I was standing in a Hujrah’.”
On average, Madinah houses during the Prophet’s time were divided into several sections, each section functioningdifferently. A typical house was big enough to have a bathroom, a kitchen, a bedroom, a room for visitors, a storage for food, weapons, firewood, and other necessary items, a stable for some domestic animals (horses, donkeys, or camels) serving as a mode of transportation as well as a source of sustenance. The houses that belonged to extremely poor families, or to those who were bent on out-and-out asceticism, had fewer rooms and, as such, had to be multi-functional. The Prophet’s storage had to be big enough to accommodate as many dates as would cover the needs of his family for a whole year, in addition to other food articles which had to be stored therein sporadically, such as cereal, meat, etc.
Some households had their own wells, while others had to share bigger public ones. Some small-scale production and business activities were conducted in a number of houses. Virtually all houses had some adjoining unroofed spaces which functioned differently. Many had inner courtyards for the reasons relating to various environmental factors, privacy protection, recreation, etc. However, there were some houses which were very large and their courtyards so airy containing date-palm trees. The stables of some of such houses contained many horses and even camels. Some large houses even functioned as guesthouses. In them, the Prophet (pbuh) used to accommodate the members of some of his delegations which came from outside Madinah. Following the migration from Makkah to Madinah, and prior to the completion of the Prophet’s mosque, which was the Prophet’s and the people’s top priority, and which later served as a lively community center, some of the big houses in Madinah were intermittently used for some urgent mass social and educational gatherings and purposes.
The external walls of Madinah houses were generally built of mud bricks. Rooms were partitioned of by palm branches plastered with mud. Mud bricks may have been used for this purpose as well. The ground was covered with mats made of date-palm branches. In some instances, rare though, carpets were used. It was not odd if some portions of a house were bare or strewn with pebbles. Stone must have been used as a building material in various situations and in different measures, as it was plentiful and had some desirable technical advantages, such as resisting weathering, firmness and durability.
By and large, roofs were made of palm-leaves. Mud must have been added so as to mitigate rain dripping onto the ground, something that could be a hazardous disturbance during the cold rainy season. Some roofs might have been made even of timber or any other strong and permanent material, and were designed in such a way as to be utilized for other benefits, such as sleeping during hot nights, drying dates, etc. It seems, in part, as though towards this end is the Prophet’s counsel against sleeping on an exposed and unsafe surface, alluding thereby to the significance of both privacy and safety. Some houses have been surmounted even by domes. Even the roofs of some houses of the Prophet (pbuh) might have been made of something stronger than just palm-leaves.
Once it rained in Madinah for a week, which was an unusual weather condition. Since the main building materials for the framework of many houses were mud bricks and date palm leaves and timber, the prolonged raining spell had some devastating effects on such houses. Some of them in the end started to fall apart. The people then pleaded with the Prophet (pbuh) to pray to Allah and ask for the situation to come to an end.
The most common furnishing components found in Madinah houses were: cupboards, leather dining sheets, leather mats, mats made of palm leaves, leather bags, pillows and cushions made of leather or any other suitable material which on occasions was decorated, trays, plates, jugs, vessels, utensils, baskets, beds some of which were very strong and raised of the ground, covering sheets or blankets, benches and even dining tables, although less regularly, lamps (even though many a house for quite sometime might have been illuminated by burning up fronds), a kind of cooking stoves, hooks on the walls for hanging different objects, etc. Having carpets could have been a normal thing in rich families, because when a companion Jabir b. Abdullah got married, the Prophet (pbuh) asked him whether he had gotten one. Jabir replied that he was so poor that he could not afford it. At this, the Prophet (pbuh) said: “You shall soon possess them.”
In conclusion, most Muslims during the initial phases of the Prophet’s mission, with the Prophet (pbuh) leading the way, were neither interested in, nor capable of, erecting bigger and more elaborate houses than what they actually possessed. That is fairly understandable though, if we take into account the climate, environment and geography of Arabia, as well as the lifestyle of the first Arabs. Creswell wrote: “Arabia, at the rise of Islam, does not appear to have possessed anything worthy of the name of architecture. Only a small proportion of the population was settled, and these lived in dwellings which were scarcely more than hovels. Those who lived in mud brick houses were called ahl al-madar, and the Bedawin, from their tents of camel’s-hair cloth, ahl al-wabar.”
In terms of architectural profound knowledge and building technology, the same trend, by and large, continued, showing little improvement, subsequent to the migration of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the first Muslims from Makkah to Madinah where they embarked on the creation and development of the city-state of Madinah and sowed the first seeds of an impending marvel called Islamic civilization. However, despite their civilizational commitments, the first Muslims could have neither time nor interest to set out on mastering some more sophisticated styles of building. They were engrossed in two by far more pertinent tasks: the task of spreading the message of Islam to people, and the task of cultivating the more urgent and desired aspects of civilization than those relating to building. Certainly, advancing the existing building styles was at the outset an important, but not the most important, undertaking of the Muslims. Additionally, according to some principles with reference to the growth of civilizations, it was natural for Islam as is for any other religion or ideology that a certain amount of time was required in order for the purest forms of its art and architecture to manifest themselves. It follows, due to this rule, that even if the Muslims from the very beginning had committed themselves to gaining mastery of sophisticated architectural styles and to evolving some purest forms of Islamic architecture, the same would have been considerably delayed.
When we say that the earliest examples of Islamic residential architecture were extremely simple and that the early Muslim mentality was not much inclined towards cultivating some refined building styles, that does not mean that the first Muslims, under the aegis of the Prophet (pbuh) and revelation, were adhering to certain religious norms and that those who came after them plainly violated them by erecting some relatively stylish and elaborate houses and other buildings. Nurturing an exclusive identity of Islamic architecture was evolving proportionately to the development and expansion of Islamic culture and civilization. Since it would not have been on even terms with the growth and competency of other civilizational constituents generated by the community, nurturing an exclusive identity of Islamic residential architecture, and architecture in general, was not at all feasible during the early days of Islam. As such, seldom did the first generation of Muslims give a serious thought to it. They aptly looked at it as both a superfluous thing and a possible hindrance to the current mission that was engrossing the whole community. Later, however, things changed and the matter asserted its utility as well as pertinence to the life of Muslims, and it was not long before Islamic architecture, in particular Islamic residential architecture, evolved as one of the most discernible features of Islamic civilization securing the endorsement of both the religious and intellectual leaderships in the process.
Finally, evolving some intricate housing styles at the early stages of Islam’s existence was not at all a priority. This, coupled with both the Arabs’ relative incompetence and indifference to doing so, should by no means be viewed as an impediment and a stain in the history of early Islamic civilization. Rather, such was a very natural thing. The whole issue ought to be observed against the backdrop of the total message of Islam, as well as against the backdrop of the socio-political and economic laws that govern the birth and evolution of human civilization in general and those laws that governed the birth and evolution of Islamic civilization inspired by Allah’s last revelation to mankind through the seal of prophets, Muhammad (pbuh), in particular.
 Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dawud, Book 41 (Kitab al-Adab), Hadith No. 5218.
 Ibid., Kitab al-Wahy, Hadith No. 1.
Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Kitab Musnad al-Mukaththirin min al-Sahabah, Hadith No. 3418.
 Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad b. Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Zawajir ‘an Iqtiraf al-Kaba’ir,http://www.al-islam.com.
 K.A.C. Creswell, A Short Account of Early Muslim Architecture, (Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press, 1989), p. 4.
Al-Samahudi, Wafa’ al-Wafa’, (Beirut: Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-‘Arabi, 1997)vol. 1 p. 516 – 517.
Muslim, Sahih Muslim, Book 009, Number 3507, 3508.
 Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad b. Hanbal, Kitab Musnad al-Makkiyyin, Hadith No. 14830.
 Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din, translated into English by Fazlul Karim, (New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan, 1982), vol. 2 p. 164.
 Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al- Da’wat, Hadith No. 3422.
 Muhammad Uthman ‘Abd al-Sattar, al-Madinah al-Islamiyyah, (Kuwait: ‘Alam al-Ma’rifah, 1988), p. 333.
 Muhammad Ilyas Abd al-Ghani, History of Madinah Munawwarah, (Madinah: al-Rasheed Printers, 2003), p. 93.
 Spahic Omer, The Origins and Functions of Islamic Domestic Courtyards, (Kuala Lumpur: International Islamic University Malaysia, 2008), p. 108-114.
 Al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 7, Book 64, Hadith No. 270.
 Al-Kattani, Al-Taratib al-Idariyyah, (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-‘Arabi, 1980), vol. 1 p. 445-446.
 Mukhtasar Tafsir Ibn Kathir,Ikhtasarahu al-Sabuni Muhammad ‘Ali, (Beirut: Dar al-Qur’an al-Karim, 1981), vol. 3 p. 489.
 Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Adab, Hadith No. 2781.
 Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Adab, Hadith No. 4559.
 Al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Wudu’, Hadith No. 150.
 Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad b. Hanbal, Baqi Musnad al-Mukaththarin, Hadith No. 12481.
 Muslim, Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Libas wa al-Zinah, Hadith No. 5188.
 K.A.C. Creswell, A Short Account of Early Muslim Architecture, p. 3.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Islamic Art and Spirituality, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987), p. 14.