In Islam, the issue of privacy is of paramount importance. Privacy is one of the factors that influence most the ways Muslims perceive, plan, build and use their houses. As a person’s shelter and private sanctuary, as his place of delight as well as a microcosm of human culture and civilization, the house phenomenon is a person’s fortress where he easily can retire from the hassle of the outside world and then unobstructed enjoy a world of his home that he freely crafted for himself. One’s home, which one’s house must stand for, Islam teaches, is thus one of the greatest blessings of Allah upon man. It is also one of the most essential means by which man can make his stay on earth a pleasant, comfortable, consequential and purposeful one, and on which man’s implementation of his earthly khilafah (vicegerency) mission largely depends. Painstakingly guarding one’s privacy both at one’s personal and family levels, with neighbors, friends, visitors and between the family members right inside the house, as well as in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual spheres of one’s total being, is vital in ensuring that the house as a comprehensive family education and development center functions properly and helps, rather than impedes, people in their discharging of their life assignments. A companion of the Prophet (pbuh), Abdullah b. Umar, reported that the Prophet (pbuh) prayed every morning and every night to Allah asking Him to cover his ‘awrah, that is to says, to help him conceal, apart from the private parts of his body, all his flaws and everything else in his life that he could possibly be ashamed of.
Indeed, a house which supports and helps its occupants to successfully and peacefully do what they have been created to do, with its philosophy, purpose and mission mirroring and hence promoting the philosophy, purpose and mission of its occupants’ lives, is a house which functions properly. But a house which contradicts and hampers its occupants to successfully and peacefully do what they have been created to do, with its philosophy, purpose and mission not mirroring and hence not promoting the philosophy, purpose and mission of its occupants’ lives, is a house which functions incorrectly. The latter house is a liability, rather than an asset, to its people. Its negative aspects and their equally negative effects, in the long run, are more detrimental for the complete wellbeing of its people than what may appear to a casual and heedless observer. It is thus very natural and logical that a solid compatibility between the principles and values which Muslims exemplify in their daily dealings, and the principles and values which their houses exemplify, is fervently encouraged and advocated, and the opposite, that is, the incompatibility between the two, in equal measure, opposed and rescinded.
Having said this, a house that strongly promotes and facilitates the total enjoying and safeguarding of the privacy of the family is a house which, by and large, functions properly. However, a house which compromises this matter, with which more than a few foremost Islamic teachings and values are linked up, is a house which, by and large, does not function properly. There is something seriously wrong with such a house. Therefore, some corrective measures are advised to be taken, not only to correct the existing flaws, but also to prevent the same and other similar flaws from recurring in housing. Nonetheless, the lack of privacy protection in people’s houses must be firstly seen and understood as a serious problem, which will result from properly and continuously educating both the professionals and the ordinary people. Only then will a solution for the stated and disturbing problem be genuinely sought. No solution can ever be found for something which is not clearly identified as a problem in the first place.
Thus, Islam forbids such wrongdoings as invading one’s privacy, seeking people’s failings and faults, peeping into one’s house without his permission, entering one’s house without seeking permissions to enter, and the like. The ways houses are planned, designed and built must aim to prevent people from perpetrating such unethical acts. Conversely, houses must invite and encourage people to perform the virtues that stand at the diametrically opposite sides of those denounced acts.
Allah says: “O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and saluted those in them: that is best for you, in order that you may heed (what is seemly). If you find no one in the house, enter not until permission is given to you: if you are asked to go back, go back: that makes for greater purity for yourselves: and Allah knows well all that you do” (al-Nur 27-28).
“O you who believe! Let those whom your right hands possess and those of you who have not attained to puberty ask permission of you three times; before the morning prayer, and when you put off your clothes at midday in summer, and after the prayer of the nightfall; these are three times of privacy for you; neither is it a sin for you nor for them besides these, some of you must go round about (waiting) upon others; thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, and Allah is Knowing, Wise. And when the children among you have attained to puberty, let them seek permission as those before them sought permission; thus does Allah make clear to you His communications, and Allah is knowing, Wise.” (al-Nur, 58-59)
The Prophet (pbuh) also said: “…Do not trouble or gibe your Muslim brothers; do not pursue their faults, for he who pursues his brother’s faults, his faults will be pursued by Allah …”
“He who encroaches on a dwelling without the permission of its occupants, he allows them to puncture his eye.”
“If someone is peeping (looking secretly) into your house without your permission, and you throw a stone at him and destroy his eyes, there will be no blame on you.”
It has been reported that a man peeped into a house of the Prophet (pbuh) through a hole while the Prophet (pbuh) was scratching his head with a Midrai (a certain kind of comb). On that the Prophet (pbuh) said (to him), “If I had known you had been looking, then I would have pierced your eye with that instrument, because the asking of permission has been ordained so that one would not see things unlawfully.”
Covering and safeguarding the ‘awrah, or private and secret parts and dimensions, of the human body as well as the whole of the human life, the Prophet (pbuh) regarded as a serious religious, safety and security matter. Thus, in several of his traditions, the Prophet (pbuh) referred to the concealing and guarding of the human ‘awrah alongside a number of other safety and security issues which are central to a happy living. The ‘awrah protection in the life of a believer, in the most comprehensive sense of the term, is thus on a par with all the other requirements needed for ensuring the wellbeing of people and society. It even supersedes in importance many of them.
A companion of the Prophet (pbuh), Abdullah b. ‘Abbas, said that Allah screens, i.e., hides away people’s failings and forgives them (satir), and He loves screen(ing) (sitr). It is only appropriate that people strive to do the same while living together and interacting with each other.
The Prophet (pbuh) said that whoever sees or comes across an ‘awrah (a fault, shortcoming, or a shameful deed, aspect or a feature of another man and his life) and then covers or conceals it, such an act is tantamount to bringing a killed female child, which was killed by means of being buried alive in the sand, back to life. In other words, such is one of the noblest acts that are abundantly rewarded by Allah.
The house and all that is happening inside it is so private that even those who exercise the chore of enjoining good and forbidding evil (al-amr bi al-ma’ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar) cannot trespass on its domain by means of spying and without seeking permission. Both Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali and Ibn Taymiyah are of the view that prying into the secrets of a sinner is prohibited. One should not enquire what is occurring in a house. Only when a sinner’s unlawful acts that he commits in his house become known, should an action based on wisdom and beautiful counsel be taken. This approach is regarded as one of the major principles of the task of enjoining good and forbidding evil (al-amr bi al-ma’ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar).
The Prophet (pbuh) warned the people not toback-bite one another, and that they do not search for the faults of one another, for if anyone searches for the faults of his fellow Muslims, “Allah will search for his fault, and if Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in his house.”
Once caliph Umar b. al-Khattab, while going at night in the city, heard sounds of songs in a house. He got over the wall and found that there was a woman singing and a pot of wine near a man. Umar said: “O enemy of Allah, have you thought that Allah will keep your sin concealed? The man said: “O Commander of the faithful, you have come yourself. Don’t be hasty in judgment. I committed one sin this time, but you have committed three sins. Allah said: ‘Don’t spy.’ You have committed spying and therefore committed one sin. Allah says: ‘It is not righteousness that you should come to the houses by their back-doors.’ You have come overstepping the wall and so you have committed another sin. Allah says: ‘Don’t enter a house other than your own houses till you seek permission and greet their inmates’. You have entered my house without permission and greeting”. Umar said: “If I pardon you, will it do any good to you”? The man said: “By Allah, o Commander of the faithful, it will do me good. If you pardon me, I will never do it again.” Then Umar pardoned him and went away.
On another occasion, while secretly traversing the city of Madinah in the grim midnight, the caliph Umar b. al-Khattab saw a light in a house. He then proceeded towards it. When he came near, he found that a man was intoxicated with drinking wine. Umar then was reminded by one of his companions that he was about to commit spying, so Umar withdrew and went away.
Ahmad b. Hanbal in his Musnad reported that a companion of the Prophet (pbuh), Uqbah b. Amir, during the reign of one of the early caliphs, prevented a man from calling the police to investigate, convict and punish some of his neighbors who, as he believed, were consuming alcohol inside their houses. Uqbah b. Amir told the man that he rather should conceal the actions of his neighbors, because he had heard the Prophet (pbuh) as saying thatthe act of concealing the faults of a fellow man, in terms of goodness and reward, is practically the same as bringing a killed female child, which was killed by means of being buried alive in the sand, back to life.
Certainly, seeing the house institution as a guarded earthly heaven helps the outside world to stay unaffected by the sins committed inside it by its inhabitants. Only when the effects of such sins become obvious, threatening to transcend the frontiers of the house and have an impact on the outer realm, does it become obligatory upon society to act and cancel them. It is extremely wise that in doing so the zeal and urgency of society be proportionate to how damaging the influence of the sins committed is.
By the same token, seeing the house as a guarded earthly heaven helps its inhabitants to stay away somewhat effectively from the impacts of the wrongdoings that are intermittently endemic to the outside world. Its inward-looking form and its blank outer walls with minimal openings symbolically signify the house’s isolation from the outside world, as well as its immunity to all the bad influences that it may contain. It appears as if such houses with their unique form and function give the cold shoulder, so to speak, to the negative influences of the outside, vowing that their role as a family development center can withstand the onslaught and can present their inhabitants with other better alternatives. It is for this that our understanding of the house is a broad one making it rather a family education and development center which is capable, in concert with other societal establishments, of transforming entire communities. And if need be, the house institution, to a large extent, can function on its own in furnishing its occupants with guidance, ability and audacity to act properly and eventually succeed in life.
Surely, it is because of this that the Prophet (pbuh) advised that during unprecedented commotion(s) (fitnah), the people, among other things, keep to their houses. Narrated Abdullah b. ‘Amr b. al-‘As: “When we were around Allah’s Prophet (pbuh), he mentioned the period of commotion (fitnah) saying: “When you see the people that their covenants have been impaired, (the fulfilling of) the guarantees becomes rare, and they become thus (intertwining his fingers).” I then got up and said: “What should I do at that time, may Allah make me ransom for you?” He replied: “Keep to your house, control your tongue, accept what you approve, abandon what you disapprove, attend to your own affairs, and leave alone the affairs of the generality.”
Sufyan al-Thawri, who died in 161 AH / 777 AC, described his time as the time of loneliness and staying in a corner of the house, lest one mightbecome infected with some social ailments of the day. For the same reason, another sage said that one’s assembly within one’s house is the best assembly because “you will not find anybody there and nobody will find you there.”
So private a realm is the house that even Satan who had vowed that he will try everything possible, everywhere and on every occasion to perturb and mislead man, could be kept at bay from it. Jabir b. ‘Abdullah reported Allah’s Prophet (pbuh) as saying: “When a person enters his house and mentions the name of Allah at the time of entering it and while eating the food, Satan says (addressing himself): You have no place to spend the night and no evening meal; but when he enters without mentioning the name of Allah, the Satan says: You have found a place to spend the night, and when he does not mention the name of Allah while eating food, he (the Satan) says: You have found a place to spend the night and evening meal.”
Abu Malik al-Ash’ari narrated: “The Prophet (pbuh) said: “When a man goes into his house, he should say: “O Allah! I ask You for good both when entering and when going out; in the name of Allah we have entered, and in the name of Allah we have gone out, and in Allah or Lord do we trust.” He should then greet his family.”
The Prophet (pbuh) also said: “Do not make your houses asgraveyards. Satan runs away from the house in which the Qur’anic chapter al-Baqarah is recited.”
“In the Qur’anic chapter al-Baqarah there is a verse which is superior to all the other verses in the Qur’an. If it is read in a house where there is Satan, Satan will run away from that house. That verse is the Ayah al-Kursi (the Verse of the Throne).”
Without a doubt, the house is a private realm where its inhabitants alone are in charge. They and nobody else dictate who can enter and who cannot, what should take place inside and what should not. Not even the angels are excluded from this rule. No matter how much the inhabitants of a house wanted angels to patronize their house, yet it is their actions and the function of the house that either attract the angels to, or hold them off, the house. The Prophet (pbuh) said that the angels do not enter a house which contains a picture or an image, a dog, or a man who is impure by sexual defilement.
Moreover, Abu Musa, a companion of the Prophet (pbuh), reported the Prophet (pbuh) as saying: “The house in which remembrance of Allah is made and the house in which Allah is not remembered are like the living and the dead.”
Even the house residents when entering their house do so with some ethical guidelines, thereby showing their respect for the inviolability of thehouse institution and the standards and values upon which the same rests. This applies not only when there is someone in the house, but also when the house is empty. Hence, if one enters his house when it is empty, or any other unoccupied house, one should say: “Peace be upon us and on the righteous servants of Allah.”
The Prophet (pbuh) also advised: “When anyone of you is away from his house for a long time, he should not return to his family at night.” The reason for this is that if one returns at night unannounced, his return might take his wife and other family members by surprise. They may be thus found in a condition which they are not happy about. The wife will have no enough time to beautify herself and get ready to welcome her husband.
Allah says in the Qur’an: “…It is no virtue if ye enter your houses from the back: it is virtue if ye fear Allah. Enter houses through the proper doors: and fear Allah: that ye may prosper” (al-Baqarah, 189).
Not only when entering their houses should the people observe a proper course of action, but also when leaving them, thus signifying a transit from an inner world to an outer one. This transit entails a lot of implications for one’s demeanor and spiritual concentration. Umm Salamah, one of the Prophet’s wives narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) never went out of her house without raising his eye to the sky and saying: “O Allah! I seek refuge in You lest I stray or be led astray, or slip or made to slip, or cause injustice, or suffer injustice, or do wrong, or have wrong done to me.”
The Prophet (pbuh) also said, as narrated by Anas b. Malik: “When a man goes out of his house and says: ‘In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah; there is no might and no power but in Allah,’ the following will be said to him at that time: ‘You are guided, defended and protected.’ The devils will go far from him and another devil will say: ‘How can you deal with a man who has been guided, defended and protected?”
Before entering other people’s houses, seeking permission from, and giving salam to, their occupants is required. Permission is to be sought three times by saying: “Peace be upon you. May I enter?” If after a third time permission was not granted, the visitor is to go back, even if he knew that there was someone in the house. Abu Musa, a companion of the Prophet (pbuh), once sought permission to enter the house of Umar b. al-Khattab. Having done so three times without receiving any reply, Abu Musa returned. Thereupon, Umar asked someone from his household to let Abu Musa in, but he was no longer in front of the door. Umar later asked Abu Musa why he left, and the latter replied that he had heard the Prophet (pbuh) saying: “If one of you seeks permission to enter three times and does not receive it, one is to go back.”
The Prophet (pbuh) once wanted to visit Sa’d b. ‘Ubadah. At the entrance to Sa’d’s house the Prophet (pbuh) sought permission by saying: “Peace and Allah’s mercy be upon you.” Sa’d b. ‘Ubadah was in the house and he replied: “Peace and Allah’s mercy be upon you too.” However, the Prophet (pbuh) did not hear the reply so he uttered the same two more times, to which Sa’d b. ‘Ubadah replied, but again the Prophet (pbuh) did not hear. Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) returned. Sa’d b. ‘Ubadah hastened after him, and when he reached him, Sa’d b. ‘Ubadah told the Prophet (pbuh) that he had heard all his greetings and duly replied all of them. However, he deliberately replied inaudibly so that the Prophet (pbuh) would not hear them and so multiply his greetings (supplications) for Sa’d, knowing that the Prophet’s supplications are accepted by Allah. Then, Sa’d b. ‘Ubadah took the Prophet (pbuh) to his house and offered him raisins.
When seeking permission to enter someone’s house, the Prophet (pbuh) did not face the door of the house squarely. He faced its right or left corner saying: “Peace be upon you; peace be upon you!” That was because the Prophet (pbuh) did not want to catch sight of the inside of the house once the door is opened, as most houses at that time were simple in terms of their form and arrangement of inner spaces.
It has also been suggested that the Prophet (pbuh) thus behaved because there were no curtains on the doors of many houses at that time. Before Islam, entrances on the houses in Arabia often had no doors. There were only curtains hanging. Despite this, however, seeking permission before entering a house was nonexistent. Seldom was somebody concerned about the subject of privacy, as a result of which running into a husband and wife finding them indulged in some intimate affairs was frequent. The most that one was expected to say upon entering was “I am in”, or “Here I am”, and the like.
So therefore, we may infer, the houses in Arabia following the commencement of the Prophet’s mission had four types of entrances: (1) entrances with doors which had supplementary curtains for screening the house interior when doors are opened; (2) entrances with doors which had no supplementary curtains; (3) entrances without doors but with curtains; and (4) entrances with neither doors nor curtains, which, to all intents and purposes, must have been a rarity. However, after Islam had introduced the concept of privacy protection, the situation started to change gradually so that the requirements of the new Islamic lifestyles were duly met.
It goes without saying that any act of building, which could endanger the privacy of a neighbor, one way or another, was always deemed so offensive that it as a rule would not be given a go-ahead until the potential danger was done away with and the affected party had expressed satisfaction. While discoursing on the rights of neighbors, Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali stated that one of such rights is: “…Don’t look at the inner side of his house from the top of your roof.”
It has been reported to this effect that a man from al-Fustat in Egypt complained to caliph Umar b. al-Khattab that one of his neighbors had erected an (additional) room with such a design and plan that it enabled him to encroach through a window on the privacy of the former’s household. The caliph then instructed ‘Amr b. al-‘As, his governor in Egypt, to investigate the matter: if the room owner really meant to disturb his neighbor by means of building the room, the same must be destroyed. However, if he meant no harm, a bed is to be placed beneath the problematic window, and if a man with average height standing on it could not see through, the window is to remain as it is. But if he could see through, the window must be shut.
Sahnun, the qadi of Qayrawan in Tunis from 234 AH / 848 AC until 240 AH / 854 AC, on one occasion was asked about a man who wished to construct on top of his shops a masjid (mosque) with a terrace from which the surrounding houses could be easily overlooked. Sahnun’s answer was that a screening parapet must be added to the terrace, and unless that was done, no prayer shall be allowed to be conducted in the masjid.
When Umayyad caliph, Walid b. ‘Abd al-Malik, decided in the year 88 AH / 707 AC to rebuild and enlarge the mosque of the Prophet (pbuh) in Madinah, he introduced the idea of the minaret for the first time to it. Four minarets stood at the mosque’s four corners. One of the minarets was directly and clearly overlooking the house of Marwan b. al-Hakam, one of the late Umayyad caliphs, which was positioned within a short distance of the mosque. When another Umayyad caliph, Sulayman b. ‘Abd al-Malik, while performing the pilgrimage from Syria, visited the house, it happened that a mu’adhdhin (he who calls for prayers) called for a prayer but overlooked the caliph who was somewhere in the house proper. For obvious reasons, the caliph promptly ordered the minaret to be demolished.
Therefore, the doctors of the shari’ahalways insisted that the platform of minarets, or the roofs of mosques if there are no minarets, be surrounded by adequately high parapets, lest the mu’adhdhin should see some people in their houses. Some go so far as to assert that sometimes and in particular areas the mu’adhdhin in order to climb the minaret must be blind. An example is Kufah where its officer in charge of maintaining public law and order (al-muhtasib) once insisted that blindness be added to the list of the necessary conditions for becoming the mu’adhdhin. The scholars generally do not specify blindness as a condition, but do not view it as a snag either, provided a trustworthy person always notify such a mu’adhdhin of prayer time, as they do with regard to many other chores that an individual or group must discharge on behalf of others. By the way, one of the Prophet’s mu’adhdhins was Abdullah b. Ummi Maktum, who was blind.
Also, some scholars suggest that the mu’adhdhin be blindfolded whenever climbing minarets so that he could not see people in nearby houses, thus inflicting damage on them. Some others, however, would just insist that the mu’adhdhin lowers his gaze, as a result of his piety which, among other things, qualified him to be the mu’adhdhin. The mu’adhdhin is not to allow anybody else to accompany him to the mosque’s minaret.
Saleh al-Hathloul said on the subject of privacythat generally in Islamic cities throughout Muslim history “limits were placed on the physical forms of buildings in order to protect privacy. For instance, in the case of doors and windows that looked upon neighboring houses, two types were recognized in convention: new (hadith) openings, which were to be sealed, and preexisting ones (qadim), whichwere left as is. However, even if the opening was not sealed, one would not be allowed to use it to look upon his neighbors, and was to be prevented and penalized if he did not respect the privacy of his neighbors.”
Saleh al-Hathloul continued by saying that, for example, “in Tunis, many cases regarding the invasion of privacy were brought to court. Sources show that judges would order openings that invaded the privacy of neighbors to be sealed. In a related case from Medina in 981 AH / 1573 AC, a man complained to the court about his neighbor who had opened windows in his upper chamber on the grounds that these windows caused him damage by denying him privacy in his house. After examining the case and confirming the damage, the judge ordered that the windows be closed. The house owner, however, appealed to the judge, stating that intrusion on his neighbor’s privacy was not his intention when placing the windows, but rather that he needed them to bring in the sun and ventilate his chamber. The judge, consequently, appointed a group of experts to search for a solution. They recommended that the man raise his windows to about 220 cm above floor level, so that the inhabitants of that house could not look into the neighbor’s house, even if standing on top of a chair.”
 Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Adab, Hadith No. 4412.
The Prophet (pbuh) was infallible, however, he used to constantly ask Allah’s mercy and forgiveness not because he sinned but because he possessed an exceptional sense of humility, appreciation and shyness. He used to say: “I love to be a thankful and appreciative servant”.
 Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Birr wa al-Silah, Hadith No. 1955.
 Muslim, Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Adab, Hadith No. 4016.
 Al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Diyat, Hadith No. 26.
 Ibid., Kitab al-Libas, Hadith No. 807.
 Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad al-Mukaththirin min al-Sahabah, Hadith No. 4554.
 Mukhtasar Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Ikhtasarahu al-Sabuni Muhammad ‘Ali, (Beirut: Dar al-Qur’an al-Karim, 1981), vol. 2 p. 618.
 Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Adab, Hadith No. 4247.
 Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din, translated into English by Fazlul Karim, (New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan, 1982), vol. 2 p. 238. Ibn Taymiya, Al-Amr bi al-Ma’ruf wa al-Nahy ‘an al-Munkar, (Beirut, Dar Ibn Hazm, 2002), p. 26.
 Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Adab, Hadith No. 4862.
 Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din, vol. 2 p.153.
 Ibid., vol. 2 p. 152.
 Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad al-Shamiyyin, Hadith No. 16805.
 Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Malahim, Hadith No. 4329.
 Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din, vol. 2 p. 174.
 Ibid., vol. 2 p. 174.
 Muslim, SahihMuslim, Kitab al-Ashribah, Hadith No. 5006.
 Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Adab, Hadith No. 5077.
 Muslim, Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Salah, Hadith No. 1707.
 Mukhtasar Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 1 p. 229.
 Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Libas, Hadith No. 4140.
 Muslim, Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Salah, Hadith No. 1706.
 Malik b. Anas, al-Muwatta’, Book 53, No. 53.3.8.
 Al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Nikah, Hadith No. 171.
 Ibid., Kitab al-Nikah, Hadith No. 173.
 Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Adab, Hadith No. 5075.
 Ibid., Kitab al-Adab, Hadith No. 5076.
 Mukhtasar Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 2 p. 596.
 Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Adab, Hadith No. 5158.
Mukhtasar Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 2 p. 596.
 Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Adab, Hadith No. 5166a.
 Ibid., Kitab al-Adab, Hadith No. 5167.
 Ibid., Kitab al-Adab, Hadith No. 5167.
Mukhtasar Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 2 p. 597.
 For details see: Abu Abdullah Muhammad b. al-Rami, al-I’lam bi Ahkam al-Bunyan, (Tunis: Markaz al-Nashr al-Jami’i, 1999), p. 33-101. Saleh al-Hathloul, The Arab-Muslim City, (Riyadh: Dar al-Sahan, 1996), p. 102-113.
 Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din, vol. 2 p. 164.
Muhammad Uthman ‘Abd al-Sattar,al-Madinah al-Islamiyyah, (Kuwait: ‘Alam al-Ma’rifah, 1988), p. 335.
Ibid., p. 335.
Al-Samhudi, Wafa’ al-Wafa, (Beirut: Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-‘Arabi, 1997), vol. 2 p. 526.
Muhammad Uthman ‘Abd al-Sattar, al-Madinah al-Islamiyyah, p. 334.
Al-Zuhayli, al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuh, (Damascus: Dar al-Fikr, 1989), vol. 1 p. 547.
Saleh al-Hathloul, The Arab-Muslim City, p. 102-108.
 Saleh al-Hathloul, Legislation and the Built Environment in the Arab-Muslim City.