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Green (Sustainable) Building-Quranic Idea

Green (Sustainable) Building-Quranic Idea
Asst. Prof. Dr. Qasim M. Shakir
University of Kufa/Faculty of engineering
Introduction
The green building is defined as the kind of buildings that aim to make the environment a better place to live and to rationalize the consumption of natural resources in order to preserve the wealth of future generations. It is characterized by its efficient use of energy and water, the adoption of renewable energy sources, the exploitation of rain water, the encouragement of recycling and the reliance on natural ventilation and lighting. So as to reduce the environmental pollution resulting from the activity of the condominium. They are aimed at better air quality, abundant natural lighting, green lighting, and noise control making these buildings a better place to work or live.

One may be surprised when he hears that the first one who called for the philosophy of green (sustainable) building was the Islamic religion in the Holy Quran and the words of the noble Prophet (pbuh) and the Holy imams after him. As we know above, green construction means providing a stable life in which the best conditions of life are healthy, no excessive consumption of natural resources to maintain the share of the coming generations . Here are some of the references in the Holy Quran, the instructions of the Holy Prophet and Imams in this regard.
Basis of green construction in the Holy Quran
1) Instruction to the economy
God said: i.e. Do not be prodigal, He considered the prodigals in the same level as the devils;
(وَلَا تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيرًا * إِنَّ الْمُبَذِّرِينَ كَانُوا إِخْوَانَ الشَّيَاطِينِ).
Because they waste the grace of God and deprive themselves and others of their benefit. And that the true believer is the one who takes from the grace of God as much as he needs. Then specify the type of spending saying that is required to be a compromise, not to be very little or with exaggeration”.
(وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ قَوَامًا (
Also saying give the rights when harvesting and do not be lavish because He does not like wasteful persons”.
(وَآتُوا حَقَّهُ يَوْمَ حَصَادِهِ ۖ وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ)
and that ” eat and drink and do not be prodigal, He does not like the extravagant”.
( وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ)
Qur’an ordered man to be economic in every resource of nature and called it” ((the grace of God))
(وكلوا من رزقه,اليه النشور)
In addition, He forbade waste and extravagance in it. The most important resources are water and air. At any time, all that God created in nature for the benefit of people and creation, it is the livelihood of God, which ends the verses of the waste.
2) Noise prevention and high sound
Quran has warned of the health and psychological damage caused by the high noise of the population. God ordered explicitly by the wise man Lukman, advising his son with good virtues, and reducing his voice to what he could by saying “, warning him to be characterized as the voice of the ass”
((واغصص من صوتك ان انكر الاصوات لصوت الحمير))
This became a more urgent necessity today because of the large increase in the population, the houses are very close from each other, the emergence of machines in various forms and the construction of streets, airports and industrial facilities. The noise meant by the Quran became not the voice of the people themselves, but the loud sounds in the non-appropriate times” as sleeping times” ,including the sound of television and construction machinery and car alarms. In this, a direction for the urban planning of residential communities, shops, factories, and noise-causing facilities should be outside the residential areas and away from them by an appropriate distance.
3)Encouraging agriculture and land management
The Arab community and other societies of the world lived a life of looting, pillage, and murder. The Quran came to urge people to work to earn sustenance, and what was urged was the cultivation of the land and its reconstruction. God described the peasants in many ways, praising them with the ( (المتوكلين
Whom depend on Allah after doing all the best.
(وعلى الله فليتوكل المتوكلون))
Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) explained it as” the farmers and Allah likes them. Moreover, when the Qur’an describes Paradise, He always focuses on describing the trees and rivers in it because the environment at which there are trees and rivers and rivers is the best place for human habitation.
4) Do not spoil the earth
God forbade two kinds of corruption, namely moral corruption;
((ولا تفسدوا في الارض بعد اصلاحها.))
and environmental corruption is the extermination of people and trees and animals;
((وَإِذَا تَوَلَّىٰ سَعَىٰ فِي الْأَرْضِ لِيُفْسِدَ فِيهَا وَيُهْلِكَ الْحَرْثَ وَالنَّسْلَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَسَادَ))
In Quran, God supports and encourages the planting of trees in general realizing the positive effects and benefits, including the air conditioning and the generation of oxygen, repel dust storms, barriers to sound, a source of the timber industry with many products. We should take care to plant trees in houses and sidewalks, provided that it does not affect the function of the street and the right of neighbors and pedestrians.
Basiss of Green Building in the words of the Holy Prophet and Imams.
The Prophet and the Imams, peace and blessings be upon them, came to explain and describe to the people what the Holy Qur’an has said of the guidance:
1) Resource economy
The Prophet forbade excessive in use of the most important elements of life, saying: “Do not be wasteful with water, even if you are on a flowing river.”. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) urges the economy as an effective weapon to overcome poverty;
(ما عال من اقتصد(
In addition, he said that, the well-resourced living is by the good management;
(قوامُ العيشِ حُسنُ التَّقدِيرِ، ومِلاكُهُ حُسنُ التَّدبيرِ)
Now, when countries suffer financial problems resort to the tight economy, which is called austerity.
In his blessed supplication, Imam Ali Ibn al-Hussain asks God to honor him with the grace of good spending, the conviction and non-being prodigal.
((وَاحجُبنِي عَن السّرفِ وَالازدِيادِ، وَقَوّمنِي بالبَذلِ وَالاقتِصادِ)).
They also, prevent from squandering even it is insignificant quantity because if it is gathered, it will became a significant. Imam Al-Sadiq said in this regard that the lowest waste is the waste of the rest of the water of the jug “pot”.
(أدنى الإسراف هراقة فضل الإناء)
In addition, he said that good management is very important to happy life.
) التَّقدِير ُنِصفُ العيشِ)
2) Conservation and non-polluting environment:
The Prophet and the Holy Imams asserted that polluting the environment at any time is an important manifestation of corruption in the earth. They even identified the places of defecation after most people were defecating in any place like cattle without the deterrent of a law or a prohibition against Ethics. He said: “Avoid three things: the faeces in the water, in the shade, and in the way of the people.”
.((اتقوا الملاعن الثلاث: البراز في الماء، وفي الظل، وفي طريق الناس))
Imam Ali forbade that one would weep in a running water not just stagnant water.
((لا يبولن احدكم في ماء جارٍ))
Imam Zayn al-‘Abdeen said that it is forbidden to defecate on the banks of rivers.
((يمنع التغوّط على شطوط الأنهار))
We notice that the Prophet and the imams have ordered not to pollute the three environments. Pointing that the most dangerous source of pollution is the faeces of man. We find them warned of polluting the land frequented by people to prevent the unpleasant scenes and water streams that they use, to prevent the spread of diseases and prevent of spreading bad odors in their places of residence. At present, sources of polluting the environment have become industrial pollutants of various kinds. The large number of people infected with dangerous diseases in our country is due to the spread of chemical and nuclear pollutants and weak treatment by the government in this field.
3) Encouraging agriculture and the revival of the dead land:
In order to strengthen the idea of establishing a civilized society in which people are safe, the Prophet called upon muslims to seek the halal livelihood to meet the needs of life and to comply with the command of God.
((فأمشوا في مناكبها ))
He urged for agriculture and tree planting, aware of the importance of this and its impact on the health and human psyche by saying: “if a muslim is planting a plant and a man, a bird or an animal eats from it this will as charity.
((ما من مسلم يغرس غرسًا أو يزرع زرعًا فيأكل منه إنسان أو طير أو بهيمة إلاّ كانت له به صدقة(( .
In addition, if the signs of the Doomsday appeared and you are carrying a palm tree, you have to plant it.
((إذا قامت الساعة وفي يد أحدكم فسيلة فليغرسها))
and he said (who planted a plant then it produced fruit, God will give him a reward as much as the fruit))
((من غرس غرساً فأثمر، أعطاه الله من الأجر بقدر ما يخرج من الثمر))
Also “Whoever reclaims” Plants” a dead ” barren” land ,it becomes his own.”
(مـــن أحيا أرضـــاً مواتاً فهي له)
The explicit orders issued by the Prophet to his commanders and army prevented them from cutting or destroying trees and must be preserved ((Do not cut trees if there is no urgent need for this)).
((ولا تقطعوا شجراً إلا أن تضطروا إليها)).
The Holy imams applied this in practice. Imam Ali was digging wells and planting grain and palm trees. In one narration, a man asked Imam al-Sadiq “I hear some people say that agriculture is disliked, his answer was ”Planting, it is the best way to earn a living”
)) ازرعوا واغرسوا فلا والله ما عمل الناس عملاً أجلّ ولا أطيب منه))
Imam Al-Baqir said: “My father used to say, the best thing to earn living is agriculture, because a man, a bird or an animal eat from it”. He Also said:” Whoever planted a tree and kept it until it fruit, everything in it has been eaten will be as a charity”.
((كان ابي يقول خير الأعمال الحرث يزرعه فيأكل منه البر والفاجر))
وعنه عليه السلام ((من نصب شجرة وصبر على حفظها والقيام عليها حتى تثمر كان له في كل شيء يصاب من ثمرها صدقة عند الله)).
Imam Al-Sadiq described the Peasants as treasures of Allah in this life. On the Day of Resurrection, they will be pleasant and will be called as “the blessed”
((الزارعون كنوز الأنام يزرعون طيبًا أخرجه الله عزّ وجل وهم يوم القيامة أحسن الناس مقامًا وأقربهم منزلة ويدعون المباركين))
Also, he said, Six things that the believer may make use of them beyond his death: a good boy asking for forgiveness from God for him, Quran he reads ,well he digs, a tree he plants, a stream of water he digs, Good habit may be followed by others)).
((سِتُّ خِصالٍ يَنتَفِعُ بِها المؤمِنُ بَعدَ مَوتِهِ: وَلَدٌ صالِحٌ يَستَغفِرُ لَهُ، وَمُصحَفٌ يُقرَأ فِيهِ، وَقُلَيبٌ يَحفِرُهُ، وَغَرس يَغرِسُهُ، وَصَدَقَةُ ماءٍ يجرِيهِ، وَسُنَّةٌ حَسَنَةٌ يُؤخَذُ بِها بَعدَهُ)).
and he called the Palm tree in many words it as our aunt;
(( استوصوا بعمتكم النخلة خيرا ))
4) Reducing loud sounds
The Holy Prophet said ((God does not like obscene, and who is shouting in the markets))
((إنّ الله لا يحبّ الفاحش المتفحّش، ولا الصيّاح في الأسواق))
All these evidence and many others confirm that the Islamic religion was the first that called to the economy aspect, which is the basis of the philosophy of green building. In last ages, the idea of green buildings began after the first energy crisis of the 1970s, specifically during the October 1973 war when the Arabs raised oil as a weapon in the battle for restoring the Arab territories occupied in the 1967 war. Then, several measures have been done to overcome that crisis. Amongst, was the order of the President of the United States, Richard Nixon, to search for alternative sources of energy, calling for the economy in energy consumption and more use of the idea of transport by rail. Important question was submitted about the merits of box buildings surrounded by glass and steel and required huge heating and expensive cooling systems. Claims for more energy-efficient buildings increased and the focus was on long-term environmental impact during the operation and maintenance of buildings.
Since then, it has started to think about a type of building that considers environmental requirements at every stage of the construction, namely design, implementation, operation and maintenance. These include vacuum design, energy and water efficiency, overall resources and the quality of the building’s internal environment, and then the study of the impact of the building as a whole on the environment. Thinking about improving the lives of the occupants, increasing the productivity of workers, saving energy and natural resources, reducing impact of building and using on the environment, protect it and improving the environment damaged in the past with enhancement of harmony with nature. Thus, the balance between the biosphere and the building’s inhabitants is achieved by the design and implementation of the building within the local climate in order to maintain the philosophy of Green building. The expansion of the use of this philosophy has been encouraged by the many researches that have confirmed that these buildings can provide 30% energy, 35% carbon emissions and 50% water consumption.
It is clear from the above and through a simple review of the Quranic verses and the hadeeth of the noble Prophet and Holy Imams, that the idea of green building, although it was not so called, is a Qur’anic idea but the Islamic nation didn’t adopt it efficiently. Then, hundreds of years later, other nations found it as the best solution to their suffocating crisis, calling to spread its applications and worked to use it in all areas of their lives.

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