What an Islamic City Would Look Like?

As a person drives through the highway towards a city, one will notice that while driving through the natural setting one enters into a world that seems alien to the natural world. Tall buildings, trees and nature are the decoration pieces of the city, a lot of noise, pollution, an atmosphere of hustle and bustle, people moving in crowds.

Throughout Islamic history Muslim never built cities that seemed out of place from the environment. All three Abrahamic faiths teach us that the world has been created for our benefit. However, in the post Christian West there has been an attitude to “conquer” those natural forces of the world as expounded by Descartes, and Bacon. This attitude to see the earth as the “other”, and to bring it under the will of man, allowed man to change the landscape, cut the trees, create noise and environmental pollution, to do away with  animals, or to keep anything that makes the city look its own natural self. Basically, the cities do away with God and anything God made.

In Islam the landscape, the trees, the animals, the water, etc, all of it is part of God’s creation; it is a constant reminder of God. It would be inconceivable for Muslims to create an environment that does alienate man from the signs of Gods. In an ideal  Islamic city it would be possible to look at the clear sky at anytime, day or night, it would have to be an everyday experience. The background scenery in an Islamic city would be the creation of God. Here the sacred is what God created, not what man is creating.

In fact, in the Islamic mindset, the universe is alive, and even declares God’s perfection.

“Corruption has appeared in land and sea because of what people hands are earning”

City life today allows the people who make a living, to manufacture (with their own hands) items, which destabilize the environment. It would not been surprising; had the reigns of science and ethnology still been in the hands of the Muslims who would have been true to themselves, they would have not made cars as they are today. It would have not been a world that is oil dependent. The entire nature is dependent on the solar energy, this where the Muslims also would have focused on for the global energy needs.

The Islamic City would far less focused on the consumption of products as it main focus. There would hardly be billboards. Downtown would not be a combination of work and entertainment, right at the center of the city would be the Mosque (A prayer place). Instead of billboards playing the emotions of the people to buy things. Instead, ideally Muslims would make the city  more aesthetically pleasing with creative works all around the city that induce contemplation and reflection on the natural world and God. The atmosphere would not be of materialism, but rather one of contemplation and Meditation.

The central mosque is where everything good in the city happens. Muslims pray five times a day. The process starts by a call to prayer. People wash themselves with springs of water outside the Mosque. Then for the next fifteen minutes people would  calming be walking into the mosque. The prayer takes about ten minutes. The Mosque is the place to find someone when you need help. All the officials come to pray to. The local judge, the local administrator, the local treasurer have an open door policy. The mosque is a place where business and family civil law takes place. It is also a place where there are study circles going on all the time. Men of intellect spend there time in the mosque teaching. Around the Mosque one finds all sorts of social services, helping the poor, counseling, medical needs, etc, all for free. Most mosques would strive to offer all these social services. All the social services will be provided for by zakat (the poor tax every Muslim has to pay—that is 2.5% of one years savings) and the Friday collection of sadaqaat (voluntary charity), and other sadaqaat (voluntary charity). The mosque is also the place where the leader speaks to the entire community every week on the Friday sermon about the affairs of the city. The leader also calls upon the entire city for a town hall meeting in times of need. The Mosque makes it easier for families to know each other, for neighbors to know each other; People are in a habit to get worried about a person if the person is absent from the Mosque for a long period of time.

Around the Mosque one would find many activities happening like playgrounds, libraries, places for physical development centers, schools and educational institutions, All the food grown is organic in the area. Animals live side by side with humans. There are special guesthouses for people that have been traveling, which helps save on motel costs for people who travel to earn a living.

This whole atmosphere of everyone going to the Mosque drastically changes the schedules of the people. The emphasis is not on progress and financial growth. The market place is the not the center, humans are.

The economic structure is very secure and different. The employer-employee relationship is gone, now there are guilds with Master and apprentices. To dwell on this requires a separate paper, but in short, in the first case it is much more contractual and based on meeting certain minimum requirements of responsibilities. In the second case, the driving force is the relationship itself. This allows a lot more people to work independently and according to their own schedules.

As people walk by everyone is greeting everyone. Everyone makes it their duty to watch out for each other, the civic sense is very high. No billboards showing women in any seductive way. Women who choose to work mostly work from home. Working from home in the sense, that they have the right to be with there families. So a female can be a director of a whole region but she chooses to work from home, so she can also be close to her kids. When they are in the streets men make sure to give them their space. Giving women their private space is sacred. They usually travel in groups or with family members. When men address women they are extra cautious, almost sacred, to not offend them. Not all the prices are fixed in the market place, so men and women negotiate the price they like. Women go to the Mosque when they need to meet any of the authorities. There is a special support system for women if they have to get involved in the court system. Motherhood is sacred, paradise is under the feet of the mother, and just being a mother is an honor in itself.

Everyone takes military training for at least one year (men and women), after the completion of education. People have the right to carry weapons. Minorities (we would not consider them minorities but to use a commonly understood word) will the have the right to their own court systems in the local church, or synagogue, in which they can handle their own internal issues among themselves.

All this will create a much calmer, but more productive enviroment, which in turn will create an atmosphere where the fear of crime and crime itself will be significantly reduced.

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