MulticulturalArchitecture:Readingsinto Asabiyyah and Umran concepts in Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah ABSTRACT: This studyreads into the Father of Sociology’s renowned book “Muqaddimah of IbnKhaldun.” Where Ibn Khaldun discusses his theories of culture andcivilization, setting forth his theory of Asabiyyah and Umran. Following theguides of Ibn Khaldun’s theory, this study aims to study the physical formationof a two civilization that has taken place in the medieval Constantinople andthe latter Istanbul of the Ottoman empire within the same geographical limits. Ibn Khaldunwrote in his Muqaddimah about the social context of each land-dwellinggatherings, formulating a cyclical pattern of civilizations. This pattern, asstated in the first part of the study, explains the rise and fall of eachcivilization and the effect of their physical environment of the repeated cycleand the possibility of riding civilizations’ outcomes to proceed within thesame curve of prosperity.
The firstpart of this study focuses on Ibn Khaldun and his book, following anexamination of the theory of Asabiyyah and Umran. This part questions theaccuracy of this theory and its applicability on historical civilizationsextent. While the second part of the study reads into the history of the Greekand Romans whom have taken the rule of that locus, followed by the Seljuks andtheir background existence and their march towards the west.
The last part ofthis study will be shedding light upon the physical environment of the Ottomansafterwards, reading into the Asabiyyah theory and its relation to the outcomeof the two previous civilizations, questioning the extent of relatability ofthe theory and the physical environmental formation of that era. INTRODUCTION:Interdisciplinary Architecture studies: Integratingtheoretical with empirical sectors is something we, architects, can relate tofollowing the history of Architecture and the theories that were built uponconceptual approaches that turned up to be empirically produced eventually. Yet,integration between Sociology and Architecture didn’t seem to take place untilrecently. The problem stated by Judith Blau was that “the theory that guides the research and that isproduced by research is pitched at too abstract a level to be of much use,”1which doesn’t seem to fit with the empirical outcomes of Architecture. Untilthe world started turning into a small village, with globalization trendingout, and the sources of knowledge becoming more wide-range and moreapproachable and accessible, only then Architects started highly benefitting fromthe Social studies into their sector.
While psychiatrics can help architectsunderstand persons, sociologists have the ability to help architects understandsocieties on a more complex level. Ibn Khaldun:Ibn Khaldun, a historian from NorthAfrica, a Tunisian-born, Andalusian-Hadrami origin. After graduating from theUniversity of Zaytouna he lived in various cities of North Africa, where hewent to Biskra and Granada and Bejaia and Tlemcen, he also went to Egypt, whereSultan Zaher Barquq honored him by granting him the rule of Al-Malkiya district.
He died in 1406 at the age of seventy-six years and was buried near Bab Al-Nasrin northern Cairo, leaving a legacy that still remains today. Ibn Khaldun isthe founder of modern sociology and a scholar of history and economics. IbnKhaldun have worked in the regime of many countries in the Northern West ofAfrica, and witnessed so many coups through his life. It wasn’t until he movedto Egypt that he started sparing more time for learning and writing. Muqaddimah: The introduction is a book writtenby Ibn Khaldun in 1377 as a “preface” to his greater book “Book of lessons,Record of Beginnings and Events in the history of the Arabs and Berbers andtheir Powerful Contemporaries”.
The Muqaddimah was subsequently regarded as aseparate encyclopaedic work, dealing with all fields of knowledge from theShari’a, history, geography, economics, architecture, sociology, politics andmedicine. In which he addressed the conditions of human beings and the differencesof their nature and environment and their impact on humans. He also discussedthe evolution of nations and peoples and the emergence of the state and thereasons for its collapse, focusing on the interpretation of the concept of Asabiyyah.In this book, Ibn Khaldun preceded other thinkers and theorists by many basicsand ideas to be considered the founder of sociology, preceding the Frenchphilosopher Auguste Conte.
TheMuqaddimah can be summed up in a set of theories and foundations developed byIbn Khaldun to make him the true founder of sociology contrary to the claims ofWestern scientists that the true founder is the French Auguste Conte, and byreading the Muqaddimah, three basic concepts confirms that, that humansocieties are thriving according to specific laws and these laws allow somepredictability of the future if studied and interpreted well, and that thisscience (the science of Umran as he called) is not affected by individualincidents, but affected communities as a whole, and finally Ibn Khaldun statesthat these laws can be applied to communities living in different times,provided that the structures are the same in all. Thus, Ibn Khaldun wasconsidered the founder of sociology and the first to put it on its modern basisthough the Muqaddimah. He has reached remarkable theories in this science aboutthe concepts of Umran and Asabiyyah, the building of the states, the phases ofits rise and its fall. Asabiyyah& Umran concepts: The law or concept of Asabiyyah andUmran is the jewel that of which the book of Muqaddimah took its special carein the field of Sociology. This concept is applied to different human societies,reading between its prosperity and rise, and its fall and demise. This is thelaw that Ibn Khaldun believed is the crux of rising communities andcivilizations. Unlike the “strata of society” that’s believed to be the centre ofhistorical philosophy according to the Marxism, or the “movement of lifebetween birth and death”by Oswald Spengler, or the “conflict of ideas” by Friedrich Hegel, or “theability to respond to the natural or humanistic challenges” by Arnold Toynbee2.The Asabiyyah concept states that the tribe or the nomadic society and itsAsabiyyah “bond” is the starter pack of a civilization, that leads towards Umran “prosperity”,that in case of achieving, causes consequently a decline in the Asabiyyah in acivilization, which leads to the downfall of it, and so it goes following acertain pattern of rise and fall.
Ibn Khaldun also states that the civilizationthat risen from religions has thrived further more than those who have risenupon Asabiyyah alone, claiming that when Asabiyyah is catalyzed by religions,it gains more power and control. Compatibility:Thispaper aims to study the context of the rise of the Byzantine civilization andtheir urban production in the far west of Asia, compared with the Seljuksrising in middle Asia, according to the theory of Asabiyyah and Umran.Furthermore, the paper then studies the outcomes of the urban production of theOttomans, the civilization that took place after the collision of the twocultures. LIMITS OF STUDY:- Theavailability of the context of rising of each civilization within the researchscope and their urban productions.- Thepossibility to address a sociological philosophical theory on physicalformations. LITERATURE REVIEW:1.
Ibn Khaldun. Al-Muqaddimah.1377:Described in the Introduction section.2.
Abu-Hantash, Tawfiq F. IbnKhaldun and the City: A Study of the Physical Formation of Medieval Cairo.Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1989:”This essay is an application of IbnKhaldun’s theories of culture and civilization to a study of the physicalformation of medieval Cairo. The study is based on the premise that the city isan historical process governed by an underlying set of cultural conditions.Those conditions manifest themselves in the physical form of the city.” Tawfiq Abu-Hantash. Abu-Hantash’s study covers the samefocal points of this paper. The application of Ibn Khaldun’s theory on aphysical formation on a historical city and civilization are the common fieldsthat the two studies share.
Abu-Hantash followed a citation of Ibn Khaldun inhis Muqaddimah book where he mentions Cairo city to be a concrete example ofhis Asabiyyah and Umran theory. Abu-Hantash also benefited from the historian Al-Maqrizias a source of historical information to further apply his investigation on thecity of Cairo.3. Jones, Paul. TheSociology of Architecture: Constructing Identities. Liverpool UniversityPress; 2011.”Focusing on the mobilization ofarchitecture in periods of social change, The Sociology of Architecture usescritical sociological frameworks to assess the distinctive force added topolitical projects by architects and their work.” Paul Jones.
The politically-led architectureproducts of different nations, and their effect of constructing identities indifferent social contexts.4. Dietrich, Kurt.
Sociologyand Architectural Design. RAIC SYLLABUS.”The design of our environment,with the exception of some current trends, has largely been essential indefining our culture and sub-cultures, while providing a long-term replicationof cultural ideals in built form.” Kurt Dietrich. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: Thisresearch will be taking a Hermeneutic methodology, analyzing “Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun” book andinterpreting its data to extract the needed information to apply on a CaseStudy of Istanbul (Constantinople) as an Observational methodology. REFERENCES:1. Ibn Khaldun. Al-Muqaddimah.
1377.https://goo.gl/YfZEqM2. El-Sayed, Walid Ahmed; IbnKhaldun. Philosopher of Social Architecture and Materialistic Architecture.Alsharq Al-Awsat Journal, Arabic; 2001.
https://goo.gl/MCJP483. Bin Haj Tahir, Naji. Urbanizationand Civilization for Ibn Khaldun. Alrashad Magazine, Arabic.https://goo.gl/PyQvVK4. Abu-Hantash, Tawfiq F.
IbnKhaldun and the City: A Study of the Physical Formation of Medieval Cairo.Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 1989.https://goo.gl/9G2xTE5. Almamori, Hamza Salman. Architecture and Society. University ofBabylon.
https://goo.gl/3W4gyC 1Blau,Judith. The Context and Content of Collaboration: Architecture andSociology. Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of the Association ofCollegiate Schools of Architecture, Inc.; Journal of Architectural Education(1984-), Vol.
45, No. 1 (Nov., 1991), pp. 36-40.2 EmadduldinKhalil – The Summary of Ibn Khaldun’s Idea About the State, a meeting in Hiwarchannel published on YouTube. https://goo.gl/TTWbcM