Contextualism in Mosque Architecture: Bridging the Social and Political Divide

Mohammad Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi


The expression of architecture in mosques in the non-Muslim worlds may have added to the problem of alienization of Muslims to the host community. The Muslim community has misunderstood the idea of ‘sacredness’ of form in allowing revivalistic foreign traditional architectural language to be part of the mosque architectural language. This sets up the mosque being totally not in context with the surrounding urban fabric. This paper outlines the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad about the importance of being part of a larger society of man and even to love all man regardless of their faith. Hence, this paper puts forward the position that mosque designers must rethink their design ideas towards the values of inclusivity in Islam.


mosque; contextualism; Islam

Full Text:



T. Ramadan, The Quest for Meaning: Developing a Philosophy of Pluralism. England: Penguin Books, 2012.

A. F. Musa, “Arguing For a Secular State,” Free Malaysia Today News, 2012.

A. S. Tamimi, Rachid Ghannouchi: A Democrat within Islamism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

A. A. M. bin I. bin A.-M. Al-Bukhari and M. M. Khan, The Translation Of The Meanings Of Sahih Al-Bukhari. 9 vols. Beirut-Lebanon: Dar Al Arabia.

M. I. Al-Tirmidzi and M. Zuhri, Tarjamah Sunan At-Tirmidzi, Vol. 5. Kuala Lumpur: Victory Agencie, 1993.

M. I. Anas and A. A. Bewley, Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik. Granada, Spain: Madinah Press, 1992.

A. H. A.-D. M. Al-Qushayri and A. H. Siddiqi, Sahih Muslim 4 vols. Lahore, Pakistan: Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, 1976.

A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad: A Translation Of Ibn Ishaq Sirat Rasul Allah. Oxford: Oxford University press, 1982.

W. J. R. Curtis, Modern Architecture Since 1900. New York: Phaidon Press, 1996.

M. T. M. Rasdi, Architecture and Nation Building: Multiculturalism and Democracy. Singapore: Partridge, 2015.

M. T. M. Rasdi, Rethinking Islamic Architecture. Selangor: Gerakbudaya, 2006.

M. T. M. Rasdi, Rethinking the Mosque in Modern Muslim Society. ITBM, 2014.

M. T. M. Rasdi, Thoughts of Islamic Architecture in the World and Malaysia. Malay: Dewan Bahasa, 2014.

M. T. M. Rasdi, Wright’s Organic Architecture from the Perspective of the Sunnah. Malay: Dewan Bahasa, 2014.

B. C. Brolin, Architecture in Context: Fitting New Buildings with Old. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1980.

T. Burckhardt, The Essential Titus Burckhardt: Reflections on Sacred Art, Faiths, and Civilizations. World Wisdom, Inc, 2003.

S. H. Nasr, “Religious Art, Traditional Art, Sacred Art: Some Reflections and Definitions,” in Features in The Essential Sophia, S. H. Nasr and K. O’Brien, Eds. World Wisdom, Inc, 2006.

C. Hillenbrand, Islam: A New Historical Introduction. Thames and Hudson, 2015.

S. Al-Ash’ath, Sunan Abu Dawud. 3 vols. Translated by Prof. Ahmad Hasan. New Delhi: al-Madina Publication Limited, 1985.

Ghazali, Bimbingan Mu’minin pada Mencari Redha Rabbil-’alamin. Al-Maktabah At-Tijjariyyah Al-Kubro, (S.l.), 1979.

A. A. Elias, “Golden Rule in Islam to Love For Humanity What You Love For Yourself,” 2013. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 17-Jun-2013].



  • There are currently no refbacks.