Nature Faith and Environment

3 Mar 2011 - Viewpoint

By Yasmin Shariff 3rd March 2011 AJ

Shahed Saleem is right to point out that there is more to Islamic architecture than domes and minarets (AJ 19.04.12). There is also more to Islam than mosques. Islam does not separate the spiritual from the worldly and the concept of treating the earth and its creatures responsibly is fundamental to Quran.

If Muslims want to be true to their faith, then homes, mosques and community buildings should be designed to the highest environmental standards. Typical Islamic buildings from Zanzibar to Granada include many of the features we are struggling to incorporate into our code 6 or Passivhaus buildings. There is a whole spectrum of environmental techniques including rainwater collection, courtyards that assist passive heating and cooling, hydroscopic finishes to temper humidity, sun shading trees as well as strong geometry inspired by nature. The sound of gently running water is just as important as the call to prayer.

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