After our posting on 35 DAZZLING ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE and WHEN MODERNISM MEETS ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE, we relook into Spatial Concept in Islam.

To gauge the Islamic spatial concept, one may study the Floor Plan of Prophet Muhammad’s house in Medina in 623 AD, in a space consisting of entrances, prayer areas, private rooms and covered area for companions.

001_Prophet House

These spaces subsequently evolved into domestic spaces according to Islamic teaching and guidance. The spatial organisation and circulatory behaviors provides an understanding to Islamic principles of privacy, modesty, and hospitality:

privacy, a safe and private place for personal and family’s sanctuary;
(a) privacy between neighbors׳ dwellings,
(b) privacy between males and females,
(c) privacy between family members inside a home, and
(d) individual privacy

modesty, a home with spaces for religious rituals and activities, further defined by humility in design through economical and sustainable designs, and;
(a) a balance of neighborhood wealth by not showing off one׳s wealth through excessive spending on a home (external area of a home), through The use of locally sourced materials rather than expensive imported materials.
(b) private spaces for religious activities and education.

hospitality, a dwelling with opportunities to extend hospitality to neighbours and enhance relationships with the society.

The hierarchy of private spaces above has broader understanding into privacy, allowing for broader applications to the homes of non-Muslims who wish to meet the design objectives shared by Muslims and non-Muslims, such as visual privacy from neighbors, thermal comfort, and use of sustainable and economical materials.

Frontiers of Architectural Research, Volume 4, Issue 1, March 2015, Pages 12–23, Privacy, modesty, hospitality, and the design of Muslim homes: A literature review by Zulkeplee Othman, Rosemary Aird, Laurie Buys.

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1 Comment

  • Zul Othman November 25, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Thank you for using my journal paper as your reference to this blog 🙂

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