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Title

STRUCTURING ELEMENTS OF THE MUSLIMS’ ISLAMIC AND HISTORICAL CITIES

Pages

 Start Page 71 | End Page 76

Abstract

 Many scholars see Islam as an urban religion, which favors communal practice on individual worship. Although, piety is the only source of appraisal, it is widely accepted that most of Islam's teaching is best practiced in an urban setting. This means that Islam has been a religion with a strong urban orientation. Regarding this, an assumption took shape that, whilst rural peoples or desert anchorites could indeed be faithful Muslims, the good Islamic life could best be lived in an urban community where (as an obvious manifestation of group solidarity) the faithful could gather in a congregational mosque for Friday worship. For this reason, it is not surprising that Islam made particular emphasis on the urban form and design of the city enabling it a greater functionality and responsiveness to meet the socio-economic and cultural needs of the community. From this point, this study investigates the main approaches to the concept of ISLAMIC CITY to narrow the view to the specific one which encompasses all factors affecting the structure of the Muslims Historic cities in general. This has been done through literature review and content analysis of them. The results show that the formation of the design concepts of the ISLAMIC CITY is closely bound up with Islamic cultural values and beliefs. These are mainly rooted in the essence of the Islamic law (the holy Koran and the Sunna–the main source of the Islamic law and its cultural values) which regulates all aspects of the lives of Muslims. From this point, the realization of the Islamic law can be traced in all levels and in all contexts of the built form, which resulted in a particular spiritual dimension with a thoroughly religious character for the ISLAMIC CITY. Apart from those general notions, the work discussed has made clear that we no longer can rely on the notion of the ISLAMIC CITY as a typical one for all Islamic lands because each region has different natural and socio-cultural circumstances which require particular approaches namely socio-spatial one. This means that the Muslims historic cities are highly place specific and its shaping principles and STRUCTURING ELEMENTS need to be conceived from natural laws expressed through weather conditions and topography, religious and cultural beliefs and social principles (social organization of the urban society).

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