• Vol 11, No 1 (2020)
  • Architecture

Maintaining Social Sustainability through the Boundary Formation of Sacred Spaces in Moslem Dwellings

Samsu Hendra Siwi, Yandi Andri Yatmo, Paramita Atmodiwirjo

Corresponding email: yandiay@eng.ui.ac.id


Cite this article as:
Siwi, S.H., Yatmo, Y.A., Atmodiwirjo, P., 2020. Maintaining Social Sustainability through the Boundary Formation of Sacred Spaces in Moslem Dwellings. International Journal of Technology. Volume 11(1), pp. 133-143
136
Downloads
Samsu Hendra Siwi Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Yandi Andri Yatmo Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Paramita Atmodiwirjo Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Email to Corresponding Author

Abstract
image

This paper addresses the issue of social sustainability in the daily spatial practices in dwellings. In particular, it discusses the establishment of sacred spaces in the everyday activities of Moslems in their dwellings, as manifested through the boundaries between clean and dirty zones related to religious rituals. The study employed a qualitative approach and the use of a case study as the method. The case study consists of six Moslem dwellings in urban areas, using in-depth interviews and observations to obtain data about the activities and behaviors of the dwellers. The boundaries between clean and dirty zones were found to be established based on the journey of footwear in the house. The formation of these boundaries could be considered a mechanism for maintaining the place’s sustainability—a way to maintain the cultural identity of Moslems in their dwellings. The sustainability of sacred places was established through social agreement on the use of spaces and the boundaries defined for temporary spaces.

Moslem dwelling; Sacred spaces; Social sustainability; Spatial agreement; Temporary

Introduction

Sustainable development goals are defined by four inseparable sustainability aspects: environmental, economic, legal, and social sustainability (Suwartha et al., 2018). One of the goals of social sustainability is the achievement of well-being and quality of life through connection between the built environment and social experience (Vallance et al., 2011). The social sustainability goal will not succeed without the community, so it is important to understand the role of the community in maintaining sustainability and promoting well-being in the daily living environment.

Social sustainability emphasizes the preservation of social values, cultural traditions, and ways of life (Vallance et al., 2011). Culture interacts with cultural identity to influence both individual and collective values (Gudykunst et al., 1996). Cultural identity is an individual's sense of self that comes from the formal or informal membership of a group "that transmits and instils knowledge, beliefs, values, attitudes, traditions, and ways of life" (Jameson, 2007). It is important to consider cultural identity in order to understand a community’s values (Gudykunst & Nishida, 2000). Cultural identity is important as a frame of reference for how individuals define themselves and how they respond to their social relationships (Gudykunst et al., 1996). Therefore, it is important to maintain cultural identity in order to maintain the social sustainability of a particular community.

This paper addresses the issue of social sustainability as manifested in how societies maintain their cultural identities through daily spatial practices in their dwellings. Culture is built into the structure of space and place (Panjaitan, 2017). The main issue addressed in this study is how to maintain place sustainability in relation to cultural and religious practices. Specifically, the objective of this study is to explore the presence as sacred spaces within Moslem dwellings. The discussion of sacred spaces in dwellings is important because they are the medium that accommodates spiritual needs, which are ultimately related to the well-being of a dwelling’s inhabitants. A sacred spaces accommodates the relationship of a person or community with "the other." The presence of a sacred spaces is an important aspect of maintaining social sustainability in the dwelling since the dwelling needs to be the place inhabitants can instill the values of life. The study of sacred space and religion continues to intersect with everyday habits and behaviors; environmental beliefs, attitudes, and practices; social mobility, hybridity, and identity; relations between private and public space; and geopolitics and territorial imaginations (Della, 2015).

The idea of sacred spaces in general, is related to divinity. In any religion, a sacred spaces in the dwelling is often associated with the existence of a particular kind of object, like an altar or a family temple. As such, a sacred spaces is often a particular place to perform a religious ritual. However, in Islam, prayer can be performed anywhere as long as the particular spatial requirements are met. For Moslems, the practice of compulsory five-times-daily prayer means that many spaces can be considered sacred, as they may conduct their daily activities in different spaces throughout the day. The requirement for sacred spaces in Islam refers to the necessity for prayer activities to be in accordance with Islamic law, namely the requirement for cleanliness (places without najis and hadats) and an exact orientation to Kaaba. This is quite different from the concept proposed by Jackson and Henrie (2009), where the requirements of sacred spaces are to be divided into three levels: mystico-religious (related to beliefs), homeland (ancestral/homeland), and historical ties. Meanwhile, Levi and Kocher (2013) defines sacred spaces as a phenomenon of experience, behavior regulation, and aspects of identity. These broad understandings may explain various dimensions of sacred spaces; however, for the purpose of this study, we will focus on the establishment of sacred spaces as related to the requirement of cleanliness in Islamic law.

Conclusion

The agreement regarding the use of footwear in a dwelling is a way to establish the boundaries between clean and dirty areas, between sacred and non-sacred areas. The formation of these boundaries could be considered a mechanism for maintaining the space’s sustainability—a way to maintain the cultural identity of Moslems in their dwellings. The sustainability of sacred spaces is established through a social agreement on the use of spaces and the boundaries defined for temporary spaces. The boundaries are established through the acts of wearing, changing, and taking off footwear; the assignment of a particular room—the mushola—as a sacred space; and the laying of the sajadah on the floor for prayer. This suggests that the boundaries of a sacred space could be established as permanent as well as transitional and temporary. The agreement of the inhabitants regarding the use of and requirements for a sacred space is a way to maintain the social sustainability of the dwelling. It indicates that sacred spaces exist as a product of a society in relation to activity and time.

Acknowledgement

This research is supported by the BPPDN scholarship grant from the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education. The authors would like to thank all the informants for their valuable information for this study. 

Supplementary Material
FilenameDescription
R2-A-3764-20200102141646.jpg Abstract
R2-A-3764-20200102142442.jpg revision figure 1
R2-A-3764-20200102142515.jpg revision figure 2
References

Adams, K., 2015. Culture, Identity and Cross Cultural Adjustment. Available Online at http://www.tohoku-gakuin.ac.jp/research/journal/bk2015/pdf/no01_03.pdf, Accessed on July 6, 2019

Bell, C., 2009. Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Berry, T.R., Candis, M.R., 2013. Cultural Identity and Education: A Critical Race Perspective. Educational Foundations, Volume 27, 4364

Creswell, J.W., & Poth, C.N., 2016. Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage publications

Della, D.V., 2015. Sacred Space Unbound, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. Virtual Issue 13

Foster, N., 2014. Architecture Is an Expression of Values, The European: das Debatten-Magazin. Available Online at https://www.theeuropean.de/en/norman-foster/9114-the-role-of-architecture-in-todays-society?utm_medium=website&utm_source=archdaily.com Accessed on July 6, 2019

Franck, K., Lepori, R.B., 2000. Architecture Inside Out. London: Wiley-Academy

Gudykunst, W.B., Nishida, T., 2000. The Influence of Culture and Strength of Cultural Identity on Individual Values in Japan and the United State. Intercultural Communication Studies, Volume 9(1), pp. 118

Gudykunst, W.B., Matsumoto, Y., Ting-Toomey, S., Nishida, T., Kim, K.S., Heyman, S., 1996. The Influence of Cultural Individualism-collectivism, Self Construals, and Individual Values on Communication Styles across Cultures. Human Communication Research, Volume 22(4), pp. 510543

Huppert, F.A., So, T.T.C., 2013. Flourishing across Europe: Application of a New Conceptual Framework for Defining Well-being. Social Indicators Research, Volume 110(3), pp. 837–861

Henrie, R.L., 1972. The Perception of Sacred place: The Case of Utah and Other Sacred Places in Mormondom. Thesis of Master’s, Department of Geography, Brigham Young University.Provo. Available Online at https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/etd/4786

Halafoff, A., Clarke, M., 2018. Sacred Places and Sustainable Development. Religions, Volume 9(10), pp. 112

Jackson, R.H., Henrie, R., 2009. Perception of Sacred Space. Journal of Cultural Geography, Volume 3(2), pp. 94107

Jameson, D.A., 2007. Reconceptualizing Cultural Identity and Its Role in Intercultural Business Communication. Journal of Business Communication, Volume 44(3), pp. 199235

Lefebvre, H., 2001. The Production of Space. Donald Nicholson-Smith, (trans.), Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell Publisher Ltd.

Levi, D., Kocher, S., 2013. Perception of Sacredness at Heritage Religious Sites. Environment and Behavior. Volume 45(7), pp. 912930

Lamont, M., Molnár, V., 2002. The Study of Boundaries in the Social Sciences. Annual Review Sociology, Volume 28(1), pp. 167195

Mockbee, S., 2001. His Impact on Architecture. Available Online at http://samuelmockbee.net/impact/architecture/?utm_medium=website&utm_source=archdaily.com. Accessed on July 6, 2019

Ozaki, R., Lewis, J.R., 2006. Boundaries and the Meaning of Social Space: A Study of Japanese House Plans. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Volume 24(1), pp. 91104

Panjaitan, T.H., 2017. Hybrid Traditional Dwellings: Sustainable Systems in the Customary House in Ngada Regency. International Journal of Technology, Volume 8(5), pp. 841850

Rasouli, H.A., Kumarasuriyar, A., 2016, The Social Dimension of Sustainability: Towards Some Definitions and Analysis. Journal of Social Science for Policy Implications, Volume 4(2), pp. 2334

Seligman, M., 2011. Flourish. Toronto: Free Press

Sarwat, A., 2018. Terjemahan Matan Al-Ghayah wa At-Taqib: Thaharah (English trans., Sacred, Holy, Cleaness). Jakarta: Rumah Fiqih Publishing

Suwartha, N., Berawi, M.A., Surjandari, I., Zagloel, T.Y.M., Setiawan, E.A., Atmodiwiryo, P., Yatmo, Y.A., 2018. Creating a Sustainable Future through the Integration of Management, Design, and Technology. International Journal of Technology, Volume 9(8), pp. 15181522

Vallance, S., Perkins, H.C., Dixon, J.E., 2011. What is Social Sustainability? A Clarification of Concepts. Geoforum, Volume 42(3), pp. 342348

Yatmo, Y.A., Atmodiwirjo, P., Paramita, K.D., 2013. Whose Waste Is It Anyway? Journal of Urban Design, Volume 18(4), pp. 534552

Yatmo, Y.A., Atmodiwirjo, P., 2013. Spatial Strategies for Domestic Service Activities in Urban Kampung Houses. International Journal of Technology, Volume 4(1), pp. 24­33

Yudistira, F., Yatmo, Y.A., Atmodiwirjo, P., 2019. From Rigidity to Ephemerality: Architecture as a Socio-spatial Assemblage of Heterogeneous Components. A|Z ITU Journal of Faculty of Architecture, Volume 16(3), pp. 115129