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TitleDesign Criteria for Mosques and Islamic Centers: Art, Architecture and Worship
ISBN 139780750667968
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size8.0 MB
Total Pages95
Table of Contents
                            1
	Dedication
2
	Copyright
	Contents
3
	Preface
4
	About the authors
5
	The synthesis of form
		Diaspora and the urban mosque
		The primacy of worship
		The problem of esthetics
		Summary: place, image, and people matters
6
	Orientation: addressing the urban context and the direction to Makkah
		The wall facing Makkah
		Urban design considerations
		The site planning process
		Site design
		Site amenities
		Zoning and place making
		The request for proposals (RFP)
		Summary
7
	The design of the sanctuary (musalla)
		The sanctuary (musalla) of an urban mosque
		Space, form, and order of the musalla
			The locally detached musalla
			The musalla in an urban mosque
			The musalla in the islamic center
		Estimating the area of a mosque
		Recommended design criteria
		Descriptive models and concept examples
8
	The concept of space and geometry
		The shape of space
		A commonsense approach
9
	The architecture of women's space
10
	Glossary
		A
		B
		D
		F
		H
		I
		J
		K
		M
		O
		Q
		R
		S
		T
		U
		W
11
	Bibliography
12
	Index
		A
		B
		C
		D
		E
		F
		G
		H
		I
		J
		K
		L
		M
		N
		O
		P
		Q
		R
		S
		T
		U
		V
		W
		Z
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Untitled


In memory of Ayesha Muhammad

(d. 2006 CE/1426 AH)

and

Hajjah Mufeedah Abdul Karim

(d. 2006 CE/1426 AH)

inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un

To the extended (Anz) family

and

To Hajjah Hakimah Abdulmalik

Page 47

Untitled


Design Criteria for Mosques and Islamic Centers
modern sociology and anthropology, umran means ‘ the cumula-
tive social heritage (ideas, attitudes, and activities) of a group
as objectifi ed in institutions and conventionalized activities in
a particular time and place ’ . The principal mode is to: ‘ live,
inhabit, dwell, continue, and remain in a place; to become

inhabited, stocked, or cultivated (not necessarily in an opposite
state to nature), and to be in good repair (sustainable, ongo-
ing process); cultivate, build, institute, promote, observe, visit,
or aim at a thing or place (substantiated meaning and telos ) ’
(Kojiro, 1989).
40

Page 48

Untitled


The design of the sanctuary
(musalla )

According to Lefebvre, the goal of a mosque’s designers is to shape or refl ect the perceptions of the practitioner, but how a
space is actually used or ‘ lived ’ cannot be controlled or predicted. A mosque planning committee and their chosen architect
can attempt to shape perceptions by their choices; however, the users of the mosque ultimately determine how the mosque
functions within, and are often the dominant infl uence on the external appearance as well.

Vincent F. Biondo II,
The Architecture of Mosques in the US and Britain (2006)

The sanctuary ( musalla ) of an urban mosque

The text of the hadith describes the mosque of the Prophet
Muhammad built in the seventh century CE at Madinah, Arabia;
from all accounts it functioned as a place of public worship, a seat
of government, education, and a refuge for any destitute é migr é .
The Prophet’s mosque was originally a simple orthogonal walled
space, with an open courtyard with two or three doors and a shaded
prayer enclosure or musalla to one end facing Makkah. The musalla
was supported by columns, which were spaced at regular intervals
to hold up the roof structure. The simple structure would become
the paradigm for future mosques, which were built following the
expansion of Islam in the fi rst century after the death of the Prophet.
In general the Muslim community takes its historical precedents
and religious traditions quite seriously; this very much describes the
development of the plan of the masjid-Jami , away from Madinah.
The plan was developed and refi ned to what we fi nd today in most
countries of the Muslim world, in Europe and America.

In many ways the space of the urban mosque is not created
ex nihilo , cultural and religious meaning are suggested through
the aesthetic confi guration and the production of space. Two
telling examples are the Grande Mosqu é e de Paris (1926) and
the Islamic Cultural Center of Washington DC (1957); both
buildings are imbibed with sets of esthetic dualisms, which lay
claim to the universal function of the edifi ce, in tandem with a
culturally specifi c regional style infl uenced by the patron, client,
and architect (Kahera, 1999, 2002a; Gale, 2004; Nasser, 2004).
Likewise, Henri Lefebvre (1991) in The Production of Space
speaks of analogous spaces, repellent spaces and utopias or
spaces occupied by the symbolic, the ideal, and the imaginary.

Hayden (1997) also writes about ‘ connecting the history of
struggle over urban space [and the] poetics of occupying particular
places ’ . Eesthetic values of a sanctuary ( musalla ) are often confused

by what meaningful relationship pre-exists with an immigrant’s
emotional struggle, experience and prior religious practice before
coming to the west. Hamidou Kane’s (1961) novel L’Aventure
ambigu ë convinced us that the potential to become displaced, con-
fused and off-balance already existed as early as the 1960s among
immigrant Muslims who were migrating to the West in the post-
colonial era. In his narrative, he describes the disorientation of a
Senegalese Muslim who set forth from the heart of his native land
only to fi nd himself at the periphery of French society, estranged
from God and country. And if we also consider the sensibilities
attached to Diaspora and esthetic consciousness – dress, language,
diet, religious practice, and other various facets of everyday experi-
ence and identity – we recognize the problem is rooted in several
affi nities tied to memory and accustomed to daily routine or ritual.
Memory is crucial because it is used as a mechanism for maintain-
ing various habits and customs, thus keeping them alive through
isolation or free from the contamination, and making them mutually
exclusively meaningful to the immigrant community.

Hayden (1997) outlines the elements of space and how they
connect people’s lives but more importantly how the power of
an urban landscape nurtures public memory. In discussing the
plight of urban Muslims in Toronto, Isin and Siemiatycki (2002)
offer a number of relevant points that are applicable to our discus-
sion. They argue that ‘ this specifi c struggle was one of many for
Toronto’s growing Islamic population seeking appropriate places
of worship ’ . To this end, they ask, ‘ How do we interpret these con-
fl icts that are simultaneously about space, identity, faith and fate,
and that are increasingly visible in urban politics? ’

To place the sanctuary ( musalla ) in context requires a discursive
reading of architectural praxis and coming to grips with a number
of extant cultural tropes. For example, the technical virtuosity that
an architect and designer can use to translate the historical model for
the plan of an urban mosque is made possible through the profound

3
41

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Index
I
Ibn Khaldun , 39
Identity , 5 , 41
Ijtihad (independent reasoning) , 75
Imagery , xiv
Imam (prayer leader) , 49 , 75
Integration , xiii , 20 , 34 , 45
Inonic , xiii
Isin and Siemiatycki , 41
Islamic art , 54
Islamic Law ( see also Shari-ah 3, 39, 75 )
Islamic Center ( see also marakiz )
Inscription , xiv

J
Jumma (Friday Prayer) , 49 , 81

K
Kabah , 7 – 8 , 19
Kahera, Akel
Kane, H , 41

L
Landscape , 27 , 41
Library , 49
Line ( khatt ) , 54
Le Febvre , 41
Levant , 13 , 17
Levi-Strauss, Claude , xiii
London Central mosque (UK) , xiv , 67
London Regents Park mosque (UK) , 42 – 46 , 61
Liturgical requirements , 73
Lynch, Kevin , 20

M
Madina , 41
Maghrib (North Africa) , 7
Mandi mosque , 15 – 17
Mannheim mosque (Germany) , 24
Masjid , xiii – xiv , 7 , 76
Marchant, Paul , 53
Mathematics , 54
Materials , 54
Macrocosm , 56
Makkah (Mecca) , xiii , 8 , 19 , 24 , 50 , 54 , 56 , 76
Marakiz (Islamic Community Center) , 8 , 42 , 48
Memory , 41
Mihrab , xiii , 43 , 58 , 80
Mimbar , 58
Modus Operandi , 73
Mosqu é e de Paris , xiv , 41 – 42
Monotheism , 56 – 57
Mourning processions , 9
Musalla (sanctuary) , 5 , 29 , 41 , 45 – 51
Muslaha (Public interest) , 75
Musi , 54c

Muslim Art , 7
Muslim parades , 8 – 9
Munich mosque (Germany) , 5 , 43
Muqarnas , 55
Mystical tenets , 54
Myth of return , xiv

N
Nature , 40 , 53 , 60
New Jersey Mosque and Community Center (USA) , 25 – 26 ,

30 – 33 , 35 – 46 , 69 – 71
New York Islamic Cultural Center (USA) , xiv , 42 , 68
Non-iconic , xiii
Norberg-Schulz, C. , 8
Numbers , 54
Numerical relationships , 54
Nyang, Soliman , xiv

O
Order , 54
Ornament , xv , xiv
Ontological axis
Ontological rule
Ottoman mosque , 11
Oxford Center for Islamic Studies (UK) , 55

P
Paris, Grand Mosque , 4 , 27 , 38 , 41 , 61 , 64
Parking , 24 , 32
Prayer times , 26 , 48 – 50 ( see also Jumma , Friday Prayer )
Prophet’s mosque , 74
Prophet Muhammad , 41
Prostration
Programming the project , 42 , 48 – 51
Place-making , xiv , 17 , 34 , 36
Profane world , 56
Principles of geometry , 56
Posture ( asbah ) , 46 , 54 , 59
Poetry , 54

Q
Qiblah , xiii , 8 , 19 – 20 , 26 , 45 , 48 , 50 , 56
Qur’an , 6 – 7 , 19 , 46 , 54 , 60 , 73 , 76 , 79 – 80

R
Ramadan , 26 , 46 , 50
Religious identity , xiv
Religion , 54
Request for proposals (RFP) , 39
Rome Islamic Center (Italy) , 34 , 42 , 63
Rossi, Mario , 61
Ruskin, John (Seven Lamps of Architecture) , xv

S
Sacred art , 60
Sacred geometry , 55
92

Page 95

Untitled


Index
Sacred (spiritual) place , 5 , 42 , 56 , 60
Sanctuary ( see Musalla )
Science , 54
Shari-ah (sacred law, Islamic law) , 3 , 75
Site , 20 , 23 – 29

site amenities , 32 – 34
site planning and design , 20 , 28

‘Smart design’ , 28
Social pattern and behavior , 20 , 60
Somerset Islamic Center (Kentucky, USA) , 47
Space , 54
Spatial order , 60
Sub-Saharan mosque , 10 , 15
Sunnah , 73 , 75
Sustainability and environmental design , 23 , 26 , 32 , 36 , 39 , 54
Synagogue , xiii
Symbolic value , xiv
Symbols , 54
Synagogue , 45
Synthesis , 1 , 7 – 8 , 51 , 53

T
Tauhid (unity) , 56 – 57 , 60
Tessellation (pattern) , 7 , 53 – 60
Toledo Islamic Center (Ohio, USA) , 74
Topophilia (affection for place) , 39
Toronto mosques (Canada) , 3
Trajectory ( ramy ) , 54

Transcendence , xiii
Tunis mosque , 12

U
Urban mosque , xiii – xv , 1 – 2 , 7 – 8 , 19 , 42 , 46
Urban context , 19ff.
Urban design and space , 24
Urbanism , 7 – 8 , 54
Unity ( see Tauhid )
Universe , 54
Umran (culture) , 39 , 76
Urf (what is socially accepted) , 39

V
Van Hattum, Rabia , 17

W
Washington DC, Islamic Cultural Center , xiv , 4 , 5 , 34 , 41 , 57 ,

61 – 62
West African mosque , 10 , 13 – 17
Worship ( ibadah ) , xiii – iv , 1 , 7 – 8
Women , 50 , 73

Z
Zoning , 34 , 42
93

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