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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The concept of Rububiyyah and its application in the context of built environment

The concept of Rububiyyah

Tawhid Ar-Rububiyyah can be roughly translated as “Unity/Oneness of Lordship”. It pertains to Allah, and His lordship. Literally, Rububiyyah is from Arabic word; rabb (ربّ), which has three linguistic meanings, according to the oneummah.net. First is an owner, the rabb is the true and complete owner. In one hadith, the Prophet said: “if you find a camel in the desert, leave it till it meets its rabb (owner)”. Secondly, Obedience, the rabb is the one who is to be obeyed. In Surah Yusuf, Yusuf said to one of the prisoners: “you’re going to give your rabb khamar (the king) …”Lastly, Nourisher: The rabb is the one who nourishes and takes care of everything.

We combine these to get the Islamic definition of rabb: Allah is the one who creates, sustains, and owns the entire creation. He alone is the Master, the Controller, the Nourisher, the one who creates from nothing. He has the right to each and every atom of creation.

Rububiyyah in general meaning is Allah creates, sustains, nourishes, and owns everything, without exception. When Allah mentions himself as “Lord of the Worlds”, that is an example of general rububiyyah. In specific meaning, additionally, Allah provides spiritual substance to Muslims. When Allah mentions himself as the Lord of Musa or the Lord of Harun, or something similar, that is an example of specific rububiyyah.

All of Creation is under Rububiyyah

In Surah Baqarah, Allah says:”To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: everything renders worship to Him.” (Surah Baqarah, verse 116)

The application in the context of Built Environment

Built environment is the man made environment, it is everything humanly made, arranged or maintained. It is to fulfill human purposes in terms of needs, wants and values, it is also to mediate the overall environment. As a result, it will affect the environment context.

We know that, environment can exist without man but man cannot exist without the environment, but how many people understand the sentences? If only people could understand this, the world could be a better place to live in. This is happening in nowadays. Look at how the way people are setting up the industries. They will go into details in every aspect in minute details of running the industry, but no one bothered to pursue on the final part of handling waste which is just left out polluting the land, water bodies and the surrounding atmosphere.

Therefore, it is important to understand the relationship between Rububiyyah and the built environment, there is the rule concerning the relationship between man and the environment. There are many steps nowadays on how to take care of environment while still on the process of built environment such as Green Building, Natural Building and Passive Design.

Green Building

We can use green building or known as green construction or sustainable building. It refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle, from sitting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. The common objective is that green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by, efficiently using energy, water, and other resources, protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity, reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation

Natural Building

It is similar to the concept of green building but it is usually on a smaller scale and tends to focus on the use of natural materials that are available locally. Ways of achieving sustainability through natural building focus on durability and the use of minimally processed, plentiful or renewable resources, as well as those that, while recycled or salvaged, produce healthy living environments and maintain indoor air quality. Natural building tends to rely on human labor, more than technology. The basis of natural building is the need to lessen the environmental impact of buildings and other supporting systems, without sacrificing comfort, health or aesthetics

Passive Design
The definition of passive design is the design of a building taking into consideration all aspects of the climate and the environment to either heat up or cool down the occupants (to achieve thermal comfort) through natural means and not artificially to conserve energy used. The purpose of passive design is to minimize the energy consumption and to improve the thermal comfort. There are several principles that we should consider in order to produce a passive building design such as the orientation, materials, insulation, thermal mass, ventilation, and shading. To implement the passive design approach we should first understand the criteria of thermal comfort, analyze the local climate, and establish measurable energy performance targets.

As we know, environment also have rights in Islam, The Islamic legislation set a general rule for all people on this earth, which is not to cause any damage to this universe. The Prophet (PBUH) says: “’la darar wala dirar’ or ‘Let there be no harm or reciprocating harm. This hadeeth is present in the 40 Hadeeth of Imam Nawawi (RA), no.32. From this, it clearly shows that we are not allowed to create something that may cause harm to our surrounding. We can understand that the process of save the environment such as design passive, natural building and green building is important to make sure the process of built environment does not cause harm to environment.

There are also sources from Al-Quran that shows the important of take care of earth. In Surah Ibrahim verse 33-34. “And He subjected for you the sun and the moon, continuous [in orbit], and subjected for you the night and the day. And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favour of Allah , you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful.” It shows that, it is important to being grateful for the present of the earth means to take care of it, which is to use it in sustainable manners.

Regarding Islam’s glory in enacting laws that keep the environment clean, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says: “Whenever Muslims plant a tree, they will earn the reward of charity because of the food that comes from it; and likewise what is stolen from it, what the wild beasts eat out of it, what the birds eat out of it, and what people take from it is charity for them.“ In another narration: “It is charity for them till the Doomsday”.

In Quran also state the causes of not taking care of His earth. As stated in Surah al-Rum verse 41 “Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the need) that the hand of men have earned, that (Allah) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that may turn back (from evil).”
All things have been created in a due proportion and measure (carefully balanced). Once the balance is disturbed, we should expect the worst, such as global warming and other kind of environmental destructions.
Also in Surah Al-A’Araf verse 96 “And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah , We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning." 

In a nut shell, in order to take care of our environment, we need to understand the concept of Rububiyyah in context of built environment. So that, we can put and control our action towards in built environment in a line that is according to Islam.


Pictures Sources:Google

Disclaimer: This article is for my assignment on subject AQS1250 Introduction to the Processes of Construction. It is written based on owner's research and understanding. You are prohibited from using any of the content of this entry without credit it back to the owner to ensure the originality of owner's assignment. Your cooperation is highly appreciated. Thank you.

Siti Fatimah Azzahra Mohd Nazri