By Dr. Spahic Omer
The Islamic theory of general planning and development is as old as the Muslim community. Its fundamental principles have been comprehensively laid in the Holy Qur’an, as well as in the sayings and practices of the Prophet (PBUH) . Certainly, the best example of the earliest Islamic development and city planning is the establishment of the Muslim community in Madinah in the wake of the migration (Hijrah) from Makkah. Henceforth, the matter was evolving steadily, corresponding with both the rapid spread of Islam throughout the world and the incredible growth of the civilization and cultures inspired by the Islamic worldview.
In this study, I attempted to identify and examine some principles of Islamic urban planning and development, which the Prophet (PBUH) under the aegis of revelation had bequeathed to the subsequent Muslim generations. Central to the study are some vital city planning and development issues as advanced by the Islamic perception of reality, truth, the world, space and time, and which the young Muslim mind was then intensively acquainting itself with. The issues discussed are: the philosophy of the Islamic city, the mosque institution, provision of social amenities, spirituality and development, peaceful coexistence with the environment, housing, the marketplace, and open spaces. By exploring these subjects, the strength and soundness of the fundamentals of the first Muslim community clearly come into sight, as does the visionary disposition of the Prophet (PBUH) to development, leadership, sustainability and management.