[Slideshare] ahlan-wa-sahlan-(meaning in the design)

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[Slideshare] ahlan-wa-sahlan-(meaning in the design)

  1. 1. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))As reflected byUstaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail(Manager PERGAS - 2000)When PERGAS moved to WISMA INDAH(1999), the interior was designed and certainmeanings have been reflected, so as to explainthrough them, the ISLAMIC EDUCATIONfor which this centre aims to achieve in servingISLAM and the UMMAH.What are these … meaning?*PERGAS – “Persatuan Ulama’ dan Guru-guru Agama Islam Singapura”Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers’ Association
  2. 2. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))When PERGAS decided to move its office to WISMA INDAH, therenovation and design gave us an opportunity for expressing the ISLAMICPHILOSOPHY regarding EDUCATION.Although some architectural feature were designed with pragmatic andaesthetic considerations, yet I saw through many of these, symbols to expressphilosophical meanings. After all, everything in creations are but signs(AAYAT), from which meanings can be derived.This reflection was first written in Malay published in the commemorativebook inaugurating the opening of PERGAS at WISMA INDAH.Although some of its architectural features may have since been changed(renovation), perhaps lessons from it can still be documented here to benefit.May Allah s.w.t. illuminates our hearts and mind with knowledge (‘ILM),Faith (IIMAN) and wisdom (HIKMAH).
  3. 3. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))LIFT LOBBY IMMEDIATE FLOOR DESIGNThe first a visitor to PERGAS would experience upon exiting the lift, ishaving to step upon the lobby with a multi-colored, oddly shaped, arranged incrazy-tile design, flooring (see above).THE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  4. 4. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))This (design) is to symbolize the kind of environment our contemporary worldhas become. It wish to remind visitor, of where they had come from.It is to portray a very lively (vibrant), yet complex environment. Withmultifarious assortment of individuals, each with their uniqueness, strugglingto seek attention and competing for space.The tiles’ sharp edges, protruding into each other, the absence of harmony,aptly describe our modern materialistic life- style which make ‘individualism’(selfish motivation) as norm for success in many, with less regard towardsothers.Escape from this life-style may seem near impossible and one may be ‘forced’to adopt and adapt with the trend. It is indeed a maddening ‘rat-race’ wheremany can end up loosing their ‘humanity’.LIFT LOBBY IMMEDIATE FLOOR DESIGN
  5. 5. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))FLOOR DESIGN ACROSS THE LOBBYFurther ahead, the design changes. The floor across on the other side of thelobby is sandy-like comprising of fine granules, compacted to form a tranquillandscape. What separates the two contrasting spaces is a blue streak, styledlike a river of sort, that flows out from inside the building.THE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  6. 6. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))FLOOR DESIGN ACROSS THE LOBBYThe contrast between the two floor design, beckons the visitor to seek forThe contrast between the two floor design, beckons the visitor to seek formeaning. The message is that of hope, that from vibrant, noisy andmeaning. The message is that of hope, that from vibrant, noisy andcompetitive world, it is possible for transformation to occur.competitive world, it is possible for transformation to occur.The meaning – in this design - is that ‘river’ that we need to traverse is notThe meaning – in this design - is that ‘river’ that we need to traverse is notby cutting across (taking the easy short-cut) but to seek out for the sourceby cutting across (taking the easy short-cut) but to seek out for the sourceof this transformative and life changing river.of this transformative and life changing river.One has to go back to the source in order to then traverse over to theOne has to go back to the source in order to then traverse over to theother side. It is the ‘river’ which had caused the change in the landscape.other side. It is the ‘river’ which had caused the change in the landscape.One’s attention therefore is drawn to the door which invites entrance.One’s attention therefore is drawn to the door which invites entrance.Interestingly, the root word for “Interestingly, the root word for “SHARI’AHSHARI’AH ” also means “” also means “the source ofthe source ofwater; the pathway to the source; the revealed law, etc.water; the pathway to the source; the revealed law, etc.”.”.And this (entrance on his left) is what a visitor will see ….And this (entrance on his left) is what a visitor will see ….
  7. 7. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))INVITATION TO ENTER AND SEEK THE SOURCE OF WATERTHE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  8. 8. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))INVITATION TO ENTER AND SEEK THE SOURCE OF WATERAHLAN WA SAHLANAHLAN WA SAHLAN – “you are most welcome”– “you are most welcome”At the top of entrance is calligraphy from a Hadith of Prophet MuhammadAt the top of entrance is calligraphy from a Hadith of Prophet Muhammads.a.a.w. which means “s.a.a.w. which means “Whoever traverse upon a path to seek knowledge,Whoever traverse upon a path to seek knowledge,Allah will make easy for him the path to ParadiseAllah will make easy for him the path to Paradise.”.”By tracing the source, the visitor is liken as aBy tracing the source, the visitor is liken as a ‘seeker’ of knowledge‘seeker’ of knowledge uponuponSHARI’AHSHARI’AH. It is the basis of what Islamic education is all about. A. It is the basis of what Islamic education is all about. Atransformative program to ‘revive’ man with that life-giving water.transformative program to ‘revive’ man with that life-giving water.In seeking for its source, the student already had begun to be positivelyIn seeking for its source, the student already had begun to be positivelyinculcated with striving with discipline, effort with patient perseverance.inculcated with striving with discipline, effort with patient perseverance.As the river meanders in, it turns to the left where the ‘seeker’ is made toAs the river meanders in, it turns to the left where the ‘seeker’ is made towalk through a corridor with several arches.walk through a corridor with several arches.
  9. 9. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))TRAVERSING THE ARCHWAYIn retracing to seek out ‘the source of water’, visitor is made to walk throughthree archways (see above). Along this corridor are doors to many classrooms.Although the corridor itself is rather narrow, but note the arches which aresymbolic representation of those corridor commonly seen in many medievallearning centre buildings.THE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  10. 10. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))TRAVERSING THE ARCHWAYThis is not just any corridor - butThis is not just any corridor - but the corridor of learningthe corridor of learning..Islamic concept of education is all concerned withIslamic concept of education is all concerned with ADABADAB – “to– “to exudeexudediscipline in conformity to propriety - by putting things in their proper place, indiscipline in conformity to propriety - by putting things in their proper place, intheir proper order and quantum, in accordance with the state of one’s selftheir proper order and quantum, in accordance with the state of one’s self.”.”The arches symbolizes the various spiritual ‘states’The arches symbolizes the various spiritual ‘states’ AHWALAHWAL - a seeker of- a seeker ofdivine knowledge has to go through. As the student goes through thesedivine knowledge has to go through. As the student goes through thesearches, it is as though he has to strip off his lower and impure traits, stillarches, it is as though he has to strip off his lower and impure traits, stillattached to his base desire – layer by layer.attached to his base desire – layer by layer.Essentially, learning is a spiritual act involving our heart-soul. DivineEssentially, learning is a spiritual act involving our heart-soul. Divineknowledge is “knowledge is “ LIGHTLIGHT ” which the heart-soul can receive and reflect.” which the heart-soul can receive and reflect.Like a mirror therefore, keeping it clean and always ready, is essential andLike a mirror therefore, keeping it clean and always ready, is essential andvital. Failure in this preparedness, may even be harmful for the student.vital. Failure in this preparedness, may even be harmful for the student.
  11. 11. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))FOUNTAIN THE SOURCE WATERThe seeker then arrive at the source of the water from which the ‘river’ has itsorigin. It is like a FOUNTAIN, represented by tile-work (floor) designed intoa circular multi-pointed star motive. Also, the student now is in an open space,after having travelled through the previous constricted corridor. Next to thisare also present – a “CLOISTER (room)” and a spacious “GARDEN ”.THE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  12. 12. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))FOUNTAIN THE SOURCE WATERDue to constraint theDue to constraint the FOUNTAINFOUNTAIN is symbolically represented by the star-is symbolically represented by the star-design, from which the water begun to flow. The star signify that it’s origin isdesign, from which the water begun to flow. The star signify that it’s origin isRevelation –Revelation – WAHYUWAHYU – from above. Thus, unlike the earthly water, it’s– from above. Thus, unlike the earthly water, it’smysterious abundance and perpetual flow, can be appreciatively understood.mysterious abundance and perpetual flow, can be appreciatively understood.Here around theHere around the FOUNTAINFOUNTAIN, the seeker of knowledge now has to ceased, the seeker of knowledge now has to ceasedjourneying horizontally and to remain stationed – as though he has arrived injourneying horizontally and to remain stationed – as though he has arrived inthe garden –the garden – RAUDHAHRAUDHAH – as stated by the Prophet s.a.a.w. “– as stated by the Prophet s.a.a.w. “amongst theamongst thegardens of Paradisegardens of Paradise ((RIYAA-DHA-TIL-JANNAHRIYAA-DHA-TIL-JANNAH)” Thus, around this)” Thus, around thissymbolic fountain is decorated to resemble presence in a garden .symbolic fountain is decorated to resemble presence in a garden .And next to this is to be found a room – with frosted glass paneling in IslamicAnd next to this is to be found a room – with frosted glass paneling in Islamicmotive. This is a small cloister (room) for learning, devotional practices andmotive. This is a small cloister (room) for learning, devotional practices andlearning sessions with a teacher, face-to-face (learning sessions with a teacher, face-to-face (TALAQQITALAQQI).).
  13. 13. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))This room represents learning with theguidance and be under tutelage – “faceto face” with the MU’ALLIM(teacher). The mode is also termed asDZIKR – “the remembrance ” orreading text – AAYAT QAWLIYYAHThis represent the important aspect ofcontemplation and reflections – FIKR.When not with the teacher or recitingthe Divine text, they read and reflectupon the CREATION of the universe –AAYAT KAUNIYYAHTALAQQI ROOM (CLOISTER) TRANQUIL GARDENTHE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  14. 14. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))TALAQQI ROOM (CLOISTER) TRANQUIL GARDENTHE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARYThe learning here is for some duration, with knowledge ‘ILM and practice‘AMAL ; with being in the company of the learned ‘ULAMA , imbibingfrom them the noble disposition AKHLAQ AL-KAREEMA , seekingspiritual bestowals from Allah BAROKAH, and wisdom AL-HIKMAH.Not merely seeking knowledge but to also emulate, through serving themKHIDMAH, in serving Allah, His Messenger s.a.w. and AL-ISLAM
  15. 15. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))Along the wall will be posted the life and achievements of our past andcontemporary Islamic scholars ‘ULAMA ; contributions of the Islamiccivilization TAMADDUN ISLAM ; and other relevant motivationalinformation to inspire the student of Islam.The hallmark of traditional Islamic learning requires student, after adequatepreparation, to go into the world to apply their knowledge through service –KHIDMAH – for the UMMAH and to be beneficial to the world.Just as in entering PERGAS learning centre, to go out to serve theUMMAH and the world, it is our hope that students are sufficientlyequipped capable of conveying and sharing Islam – this message, symbolicalimplied by the various design along the corridor towards the exit.Along this corridor, watch out for the tiling design on the floor and otherfeatures and signs AAYAT , to be reflected and meaning to be learnt.
  16. 16. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))(FLOOR DESIGN) SPREADING ISLAMIC IMPRINTAs and when directed, the student has to then proceed with learning throughgaining practical experience. With the education and training received by nowthey would, INSHA-ALLAH, be able to impact others with AL-ISLAM,wherever they go. Thus – leaving IMPRINT – as seen along the corridor,which by the way, is now without arches (as in previous corridor) for them towalk through. A sign of some accomplishment in being educated.THE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  17. 17. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVEAlong this corridor too (on the right), notice the glass panel framed like anarch, but over-looking into the atrium space (outside). This symbolizes thatamong the student’s accomplishment is that his worldview has nowchanged to always be from an Islamic worldview – TASAWWURISLAMTHE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  18. 18. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))When walking along this corridor towards the exit, look ahead beyond theglass door at the pillars in the lobby. Attached on top of them are Arabiccalligraphy, positioned in a way which can be read by those walking out –(slanted away from view of those stepping out from the lift).These are actually important virtues which student of Islam are remindedthat they must strive to inculcate and uphold. It is a kind of code ofconduct, nay the Islamic command to be adhered to for the Islamicstudents.The most important desired outcome in ISLAMIC EDUCATION isthat of character and noble disposition – AKHLAQ-UL-KAREEMAStudents of PERGAS must remember the Arabic proverb “Knowledge iswhat is in the breast (heart of the person), not in lines (on paper andcertificates)” and “Knowledge is that which benefits”
  19. 19. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))AT-TAQWA AL-IKHLAS AS-SWIDQREMINDER TO UPHOLD ISLAMIC VIRTUESTAQWA : God-fearing ; piety ; sense of reverential fear of Allah, by doingwhat is commanded and refrain the forbidden, etc.IKHLAS : Sincerity; having purity of intention to seek only the approval ofAllah; negating other motives except in Allah and for Allah, etc.SWIDQ – to be true; truthful; acknowledging, upholding every truth, etc.THE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  20. 20. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))ASH-SHAJA’AH AL- ‘IFFAH AL-HILMREMINDER TO UPHOLD ISLAMIC VIRTUESTHE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARYSHAJA’AH : Courageous; bravery in championing truth and justice, tc.‘IFFAH : Modesty; chaste; purity; channeling desire towards what is rightand pure, etc.HILM – gentle, mild, forbearance; intelligent; patient perseverance, etc.
  21. 21. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))AL- ‘ADALAH AL-QUWWAH AZ-ZUHDREMINDER TO UPHOLD ISLAMIC VIRTUESTHE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY‘ADALAH : Justice; fairness; integrity; honesty; etc.QUWWAH : Strength; vigour; vitality; power; capable; firm, etc.ZUHD – ascetic; detachment from other than Allah; abstention, etc.
  22. 22. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))STEPPING OUT TO BE GRAINS OF SANDAs we proceed, the floor tiling design along thiscorridor tapers off into a sandy textured surface.This symbolizes the final result of the journey oflearning, a kind of desired transformation of thestudent who started as a self-centered, perhapswith attention-seeking personality (like that ofthe crazy-tile), to then become more disciplinedand orderly, until as though through the intensewashing and polishing, what remains is its trueessence – that of only a tiny grain of SAND.THE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  23. 23. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))STEPPING OUT TO BE GRAINS OF SANDSAND, though humble and almost unnoticed,they belong to that vital component, essentialfor any building. Minutely each granule may bedifferent, yet sand granule means nothing ifonly seen and scrutinized individually.Every granule seek to join with other, as sand,harmoniously bonding, as though loosing itsindividuality to now be identified with thewhole, concern with contribution in buildingand being a small part of something worthwhile.THE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  24. 24. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))STEPPING OUT TO BE GRAINS OF SANDLikewise, the learned are those who regardthemselves as little and insignificant, just likethat grain of sand in the vast Sahara desert.Through the process of natural cleansing whichproduce these minute granule, there may evenbe diamonds and gems. In essence they arevaluable and in reality brilliant, yet they remainhidden (unknown) KHUMUL, in the service ofthe UMMAH. To them, unity and service isdevoid of arrogance and ostentation.THE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  25. 25. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))STEPPING OUT TO BE GRAINS OF SANDThus it is that TAWADHU’ – ( humility ) withKHASHI-’AH (reverential fear) of Allah, hasbecome synonymous with the AKHLAQ ofthose who are truly the learned – ‘ULAMA.They would strive to become ‘selfless’ ,purifying and restraining their ego andcommanding self (NAFS); always cautious anddreading the entrapments of their own desires(HAWA’) and avoiding those who follow theirdesires.THE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  26. 26. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))STEPPING OUT TO BE GRAINS OF SANDFor them, they see even their small faults as greatand are ever worried, thus constantly seekingforgiveness. Whereas, even great deeds they mayhave done are regarded as little and insignificant.When they immerse themselves into society, theybecome like SAND – ready to join with others tobuild not destroy, ready to help in doinggoodness; strengthening unity and closing ranksamongst Muslims with genuine loveMAHABBAH and Islamic brotherhoodUKHUWWAH ISLAMIYYAH .THE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  27. 27. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))LIBRARY – LEGACY OF ISLAMIC SCHOLARSHIPA door to be opened Concealed behind this doorOn the way out, the student must notice a closed door, with a Qur’aniccalligraphy. Behind this door is a symbolic LIBRARY which has a staircaseleading upward.THE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  28. 28. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))This is to remind current Islamic students that reading, researching, revisingand writing are among the legacy of our ‘ULAMA, to be emulated.We must cherish, preserve and continue to peruse and study the books,especially those books transmitted by them as legacy - TURATH.Also, this underscore as symbol, the sheer genius and productivity of our‘ULAMA who were never idle but dedicated their lives entirely to thetransmission of knowledge. Whenever they were free from teaching andpreaching, they would read and write, do research, and had produced copioustexts, in volumes even, that still continue to benefit humankind.Incidentally, the staircase in the library symbolizes the elevation in ranks,which knowledge – through reading and writing – can bring.Indeed, love for books, cherishing and preserving them, by having their ownpersonal library, is one of hallmarks of Islamic scholarship to emulate.
  29. 29. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))In The Name of Allah, MostIn The Name of Allah, MostCompassionate, Most Merciful.Compassionate, Most Merciful.READREAD in the name of your Lordin the name of your LordWho created.Who created.He created man from a clot.He created man from a clot.READREAD and your Lord is Mostand your Lord is MostBounteous (Honourable),Bounteous (Honourable),Who taught (to write) with theWho taught (to write) with thepen. Taught man what he knew not.pen. Taught man what he knew not.QUR’AN : SURAH AL - ‘ALAQ : 96: 1-5THE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARY
  30. 30. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))FINAL OUTCOME OF TRANSFORMATIONTHE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARYSeekers of knowledge – TOLIB-AL-’ILM is also called a traveler - SAALIK.After completing his SAFAR RUHANI (journey of spiritual nature) is expectedto be drastically transformed. Contrast between the beginner and those whoaccomplished the journey successfully, is as the contrast in the above floor design.
  31. 31. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))THE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARYFINAL OUTCOME OF TRANSFORMATIONFrom this
  32. 32. FINAL OUTCOME OF TRANSFORMATIONTHE WALK-THROUGHTHE WALK-THROUGHCOMMENTARYCOMMENTARYTo become thisAll Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))AND ALLAH KNOWS ALLAND ALLAH KNOWS ALL
  33. 33. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013)) ””All praise is due to Allah, who hasAll praise is due to Allah, who hasguided us unto this; for we wouldguided us unto this; for we wouldcertainly not have found the right pathcertainly not have found the right pathunless Allah had guided us!”unless Allah had guided us!”
  34. 34. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013)) And salutations of Allah andPeace be upon the Messenger ofAllah, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullahand upon His householdand Companions .
  35. 35. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))”Glory to thy Lord the Lord, ofHonour and Power! (He is free)from what they ascribe (to Him)!And Peace on the Messengers!And praise to Allah, the Lord andCherisher of the Worlds.”
  36. 36. http://an-naseehah.blogspot.com/http://an-naseehah.blogspot.com/http://introductiontotauhid.blogspot.com/http://introductiontotauhid.blogspot.com/http://oyoubelievers.blogspot.com/http://oyoubelievers.blogspot.com/http://al-amthaal.blogspot.com/http://al-amthaal.blogspot.com/http://zhulkeflee-archive.blogspot.com/http://zhulkeflee-archive.blogspot.com/http://criteriaforaholybook-quran.blogspot.com/http://criteriaforaholybook-quran.blogspot.com/http://with-the-truthful.blogspot.com/http://with-the-truthful.blogspot.com/http ://muqaddam-nurul.blogspot.com/http ://muqaddam-nurul.blogspot.com/All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2013))All welcome to visit my web-blogAll welcome to visit my web-blog::

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