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Available online at www.sciencedirect.com ScienceDirect Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 170 (2015) 359 –
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com ScienceDirect Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 170 (2015) 359 –

Available online at www.sciencedirect.com

ScienceDirect

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 170 (2015) 359 – 368

- Social and Behavioral Sciences 170 (2015) 359 – 368 AcE-Bs2014 Seoul Asian Conference on Environment

AcE-Bs2014Seoul

Asian Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies

Chung-Ang University, Seoul, S. Korea, 25-27 August 2014

" Environmental Settings in the Era of Urban Regeneration"

Exploring the Islamic Garden Concept as Inspirational Landscape Design

Haza Hanurhaza Md Jani * , Nor Zalina Harun, Mazlina Mansor, Ismawi Zen

Kulliyah of Architecture and Environmental Design, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract

This paper presents a review on the Islamic garden concept in the context of a heterogeneous society. The aim of this paper is to understand the Islamic garden concept in response to the heterogeneous society in Malaysia. The finding of this research will help to improve the understanding and appreciation towards the Islamic garden concept, as well as the implementation of the concept in the landscape design. It is hoped that the paper can relate to the idea of Islamic garden concept as an inspiring landscape design in creating an environmental setting in the era of urban regeneration.

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

© 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Centre for Environment-

(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies (cE-Bs), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying,

Behaviour Studies (cE-Bs), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.

Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.

Keywords: Islamic garden; landscape design; heterogeneous society

1. Introduction

The Islamic Empire spanned from the seventh to the 16th century (Safei Hamed, n.d.). It starts from the establishment of the first Islamic State in Medina to the peak of the Ottoman Empire. The Islamic civilization dominated an era, encompassed half the world, and shaped the history of the human race (Spahic Omer, 2005). Through the influences of the Islamic rulers, several prominent Islamic gardens were developed, for instance, in Western Asia (Iran, Turkey, and the Arabian Peninsula), Southeastern Asia (India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan), The Middle East (Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia) and Europe Spain (Granada, Cordova, Seville and Toledo). The development of the Islamic garden expanded from one region to another, and some of the remaining

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +0-000-000-0000 ; fax: +0-000-000-0000 . E-mail address: hanurhaza@gmail.com

1877-0428 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies (cE-Bs), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.

doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.046

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evidence manages to be preserved. However, the physical evidence may have gradually lessened due to change of ruler and the falls of Islamic governance, especially after the Ottoman Empire. Nevertheless, the Islamic gardens such as the Generalife Al-Hamra, Spain; Mughal garden and Taj Mahal, India are among the cherished gardens during the Islamic civilization that remain as a legacy of the influential era of Islamic rulers. Hence, this suggests that the developments of the Islamic garden are well-known and recognized by the whole world. However, the uncertain question is; i) What is Islamic garden and how to differentiate the characteristic of the Islamic garden with other prominent garden such as the France and Japanese garden and ii) Will the implementation of the Islamic garden concept be accepted by the heterogeneous society, specifically in the Malaysian landscape design. Therefore, further elaborations on the questions elaborate in this paper.

2. Problem Statement

There are several issues regarding the understanding of Islamic garden from both global and local perspectives have been identified from the literature. These issues suggest that the lacking of comprehension and appreciation of Islamic garden due to the inadequate references and physical evidences on the topic. Some issues highlighted are:

There are several prominent early Islamic gardens, for instance, the Generalife Al-Hamra, Spain, Taj Mahal, India, Mughal Garden and Pakistan (Wescoat, 1990; Delgado et al., 2007; Solmaz Mohammadzadeh Kive, 2012). These gardens are among the cherished gardens during the Islamic civilization that remain as a legacy of the influential era of Islamic rulers. However, the essence of the Islamic garden may have gradually lessened as the prominent garden was developed ages ago, and there is a deficiency in physical evidence to support that the essence of Islamic garden has been adapted in other parts of the world. Islam is the second largest religion in the world; hence, this suggests that the Islamic garden should be among the principles to be followed in garden design. However, the preliminary ground research suggested otherwise. This issue lies on the fact that there is inadequate guideline for people to refer to and continue the idea of the Islamic garden, in term of the essence or physical representation. As such, for people to maintain the essence of the Islamic garden into the present time, a study on the Islamic garden has to be conducted for future reference. The prominent Islamic gardens focused more towards the Middle East countries, as the area is predominantly with Muslim society; therefore, the garden evolved around the city was developed based on the Islamic principles. Nonetheless, this research will shed light on the Asia perspective on the idea of Islamic garden, specifically in Malaysia. Malaysia is an Islamic country, consisting of a heterogeneous mix of ethnic groups, with three main groups of races which are Malay, Chinese and Indian. According to the Department of Statistic Malaysia 2010, the ethnic compositions are as follows, (67.4% Malay, 24.6% Chinese, and 7.3% Indian). Although Malaysia is recognized as heterogeneous society, Islam remains as the state religion and the predominant society is Muslim. Since Malaysia consists of several ethnicities, the question remains on how to adapt the concept of the Islamic garden in response to the local environment and heterogeneous society. Previously, before the colonial intervention, Malaysia is developed based on the Islamic principle, whereas Islam is the only reference to guide in every aspect of human life. However, in order to achieve the independence, the federation of Malay agreement was formulated by British-Malay Pleno conference between June and December 1946 and Malaysia officially achieved independence on 31 st August 1957. Nevertheless, for Malaysia to obtain their freedom, the country has to surrender three important influences aspects, namely the government, legal and education system. Those three influences aspects that were previously according to Islamic guidelines have changed to the British system, which are legal system (Syariah to Civil system), education (Islam to British system) and government system (Sultan to

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Westminster parliamentary system). Nonetheless, the country still declares Islam as the state religion in order to protect the freedom of religion. These changes might have contributed to the loss of the Islamic garden design from the early time of Malaysia, before the colonial intervention. Therefore, based on the above, it is essential to determine the relevance of the Islamic garden from the local context, Malaysia. A study on the issues of the Islamic garden needs to be undertaken to ascertain the understanding and appreciation towards Islamic garden are still being practiced. For that reason, this paper is developed in order to maintain and continue the legacy of the Islamic rulers.

2.1. Aim

The aim of this study is to understand the Islamic garden concept in response to the heterogeneous society in Malaysia.

2.2. Objectives

The objectives are as follows:

To understand the development of the Islamic garden concept To explain the relationship between Islamic garden concept and the heterogeneous society To examine the relevance of the Islamic garden concept in response to the heterogeneous society in Malaysia

3. Literature Review

In order to define the Islamic garden; it is important to firstly develop the understanding on the Islamic city-state, as the keywords are inter-correlated between one another. The first establishment of the Islamic city-state was the Medina city during the sixth century. It was called as the first Islamic city-state due to the formation of the first Islamic law which is the Medina charter. The purpose of the charter is to encourage peace among the heterogeneous societies, and the establishment of the Medina charter manages to bring the multi-tribes and multi-ethnicity together under the influence of Islamic philosophy and laws. The Medina charter was first established in the 622 AD, by the Prophet Muhammad PBUH for the citizen in Medina. The charter is perceived as a tool for conflict resolution, due to the intense fights among the tribes during the time (Nagy, 2002; and Yildirim, 2009). It was the first written constitution that took accounts the well-being of Muslim and non-Muslim, and it specifically identified the parties involved in the conflict in Medina. Besides, the charter was explicitly designed to suit the heterogeneous society in which the rights of the citizen are equally highlighted, and they have the same rights to offer their opinion on the governmental matters (Kassim Ahmad, 2007). Before the establishment of the Medina charter, Medina was formerly known as Yathrib. There are countless number of tribes in the city; thus, the fight over supremacy and authority are constantly happening and never ending battle. There is no mutual understanding between the tribes as each leader is trying to imprint their power, such as in the politic, economic and social aspect (Ismail Albayrak, 2010). The city was ruled by an anarchy system that was governed by tribalism and force. These have led to several misunderstanding among the tribes. Thus, the community is in constant tension between independence, hostile tribes. However, after the establishment of the charter, the condition of the Medina city has changed. The community has reached a mutual understanding between one another and everyone is bound by the same law, the Medina charter. The content of the charter manages to unite a multi-tribe, multi-religious and multi-ethnicity in Medina. Therefore, the success of the charter is acknowledged by

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everyone and it is perceived as guidelines for an Islamic city-state, until the present time (Nagy, 2002; and Yildirim, 2009). In the selected verses, the Quran emphasizes on the existence of mankind, with a different background, such as racial, cultural and religious diversity. The differences are acknowledged in the Quran. ‘Oh, mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Lo! The noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct (Taqwa)…’ It also suggested that all human beings deserve to be treated equally regardless of gender, race or tribes, and there are no races that are superior over another. The main objective of Medina charter was to achieve unity between Muslim and non-Muslim as well as to provide protection against enemies. Hence the charter is the perfect example of Islamic law and philosophy that are being accepted freely by a heterogeneous society. Therefore, the question of adapting the Islamic garden into the city or garden planning in the heterogeneous society is no longer an uncertain issue, as the success of the Medina charter has proven the relevance of the implementation.

3.1. The Islamic Garden

Formerly, the Islamic garden was designed as the earthly symbol of paradise. The term Islamic garden was first acknowledged during the establishment of the Persian garden in the seventh century (Haaga, 2005). It is claimed as the basis for the Islamic garden and the inspiration of the Persian garden has been adopted in several other prominent Islamic gardens, for instance, the Moghul gardens in Kashmir, India and the Alhambra and the Generalife, Southern Spain. The influence of the Spain garden has spread throughout the world until the 20th century, and the evidence of the influence can be traced for instance, the revival garden in California and Mexico. The Islamic garden promotes the concept of simplicity, and; therefore, the sense of the Islamic garden are well adapted in the modern world. Petruccioli (1998) states, the inspiration for the Islamic garden, first catch the attention of the European culture during the 17th century. The Islamic garden is perceived as one of the seductive symbols of a new exotic world, describes as a place where the novel taste for space and decoration was freely expressed. The influence of the Islamic garden can be seen through the garden design in Florence and the Royal Pavilion of Brighton, England. In the 19th century, the expansion of the Islamic garden’s influence has become a glamorous fashion whereby it was selected as one of the official architectural styles in the World Fairs. The influences of the Islamic garden continue throughout the 19th century until the beginning of the 20th century, before it slowly disappears due to the modern movement. The flow of the development of the Islamic garden is presented as follows:

5 th Century The Pre-Islamic Era. Before the establishment of the Islamic city

7 th Century The Formation of the Persian Garden

16 th Century The Establishment of the Mughal garden, Kashmir, India

19 th Century The influence of the Islamic garden throughout the world

6 th Century The Establishment of the first Islamic city state, Medina 14 th Century
6 th Century
The Establishment of the
first Islamic city state,
Medina
14 th Century
The Establishment of the
Generalife and Al-
Andalus garden Spain
17 th Century
The recognition of the
Islamic garden by the
European culture
20 th Century
The interference of
the modern
movement in the
Islamic garden
Fig. 1. The development of the Islamic garden

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It is discovered that the establishment of the Islamic garden starts around the seventh century. The earliest design of the Islamic garden emphasized on the concept of privacy in the garden design (Germeraad, 1993). Throughout the century, the implementation of the Islamic garden has slowly been adapted into the garden design. There are several prominent Islamic garden recognized after the establishment of the Persian garden which is the Mughal garden, Kashmir and Al-Andalus, Spain. Nevertheless, what is the term applied to for a garden with the Islamic basis or philosophy before the creation of the Persian garden? Islamic garden or garden in general is part of the open space created for public uses. Before the creation of the Persian garden, the garden is referred to only as part of an open space. After the development of the Islamic city-state, several Muslim rulers start to embed the Islamic concept into the garden design for instance, the fourth Mughal Emperor Jahangir (1569-1627) who constructed the black pavilion in Kashmir (Sajjad Kausar, 2005). Seyyed Hossein Nasr et al., (1993) highlighted on the term ‘Islamic’ by Gulzar Haider. The basis on an Islamic environment or garden is not through the development of patterns or structures. However, the atmosphere that the garden encourages is the key element that defines the Islamic garden. It is the environment that stimulates the memory of God and displays the values embedded the concepts of tawhid (ones of God), Khalifah (vicegerent), khilqat (environment), jihad (devotion), adl (fairness), ibadah (worship), ilm (knowledge) and jamal (beauty) highlighted in the al-Quran. Therefore, any garden that supports the similar values is considered Islamic (Gulzar Haider, 1984).

3.2. Heterogeneous Society (Malaysia as the local context)

The heterogeneous society in this study refers to the case study area which is Malaysia. According to Snodgrass (1995), “Malaysia is the veritable model of heterogeneous, multi-ethnic, or plural society.” The statement describes the population of the country that comprises of multiple ethnicities, dominated by the Malays (62 percent) and is recognized as an ethnically heterogeneous country. Ataul Huq Pramanik (2002) supported the statement by addressing Malaysia as one of the successful heterogeneous country under Muslim rulers. He further explains the extent of the Islamic force in the context of a heterogeneous society in Malaysia. Ethnicities comprise of different background; culture and tradition come together under the influence of a Muslim Country are bound by fundamental core values of Malays based on justice (al adlwa al ihsan), tolerance (al-tasamuh) and compassion (al-Rahmah) to achieve a peaceful country (Anwar Ibrahim in Osman Bakar, 1997, pp 11-17). As Mahathir (1999) pointed out, Malaysia is a country dominated by Muslims, who prefers to protect their friends and enemies from humiliation, and this has become the strong bond that holds the heterogeneous society in the country. Oh John (1967) describes heterogeneous society as a population with diverse ethnic background surrounded with numerous capacities and aspirations. However, due to the different ethnic background, there is a possibility of political instability. It was pointed out that Malaysia is a society of great diversity and contrast in term of geography, economics, culture, religion, community, and language. Hence, the possibility of political instability is still a questioning issue. However, Economic Planning Unit (2004) defines heterogeneous as ‘multiracial’ consist of several races, namely, the Malays, Chinese, Indian and others races; and Malaysia is the example of the heterogeneous society that can maintain the racial harmony for almost 57 years. Norliza Mohd Isa (2011) emphasizes on the similar perspective on the definition of the heterogeneous society, as a country, with diverse culture that practiced multi-religious. From the local point of view, Malaysia is an excellent example of a heterogeneous society’s predominant by the Muslim. Dissimilar situation happened in Pakistan, Muntzra Nazir (2008) expresses on the issue of federalism on governance and political management in the country even after sixty years of freedom. Federalism is the attempt to accommodate the heterogeneous society in the county to accommodate

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divergent regional, ethnic and linguistic identities. Pakistan is now working hard to resolve their issues in keeping the unity in diversity and to promote harmony. Based on the discussion, heterogeneous society can be described as a multicultural, multiracial and multi-religious society within a community or country. According to the literature, it can be stated that there are advantages and disadvantages for a country with heterogeneous societies, however, the success and failure is rather subjective. Therefore, in general, the term heterogeneous implies the idea of having different elements. Merkel and Weiffen (2012) describes heterogeneous as the socio-cultural complexity and differentiation of social structures in modern societies. Previously, most research indicates the concept of heterogeneous as ‘sub-culture division’ or ‘plural’ (Kuper and Smith, 1969; Singh and Rex, 2003; Mohd Anuar Ramli and Mohammad Aizat Jamaludin, 2012; and Merkel and Weiffen, 2012). Nevertheless, the term still revolves around the similar definitions mentioned. Medina was a place with diverse and heterogeneous society even before the arrival of The Prophet PBUH. The charter was created to bring ‘unity’ among the citizens as it promotes equality and provides protection regardless race, tribe or gender. Hence, the Medina charter is the finest example of Islamic law acknowledged by Muslim and non-Muslim, and the content of the charter manages to unite a multi- religious and multi-ethnicity (heterogeneous) in Medina. Medina charter upheld the rights of the citizens encompass public or private matters. Human rights are identified and highlighted in the charter. In the context of a heterogeneous society in Malaysia, Medina has a similar characteristic which is the Islamic city-state. Based on this, it can be suggested that it is relevant for the Islamic garden to be acknowledged

in Malaysian heterogeneous society.

3.3. The Relationship of the Islamic Garden and the Heterogeneous Society in Malaysia

Malaysia is known with its heterogeneous society as it comprises of three main ethnicities namely the Malays, Chinese and Indian (Department of Statistic Malaysia, 2010). Hence, the cultural diversity is no longer a new subject to the country as peace and unity are among the principles upheld by all citizens. Although there are cultural differences, Islam is recognized as the state religion and the predominant society is Muslim. Under the influence of the fourth Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, he rejected the idea of Western values and promotes the Asian values instead which highlights three aspects namely feudalism, Islam and traditional customs. The purposes of the Asian values are to ensure anti- western imperialism, strong government and protection of the community through the influence of Malay-Islamic (Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani et al., 2009). As to continue the efforts, the fifth Prime Minister suggested the concept of Islam Hadhari. Islam Hadhari is an approach to change the secular paradigm to tawheed paradigm, with the intention of uniting the Ummah as promoted by the Quran and Hadith (Mohamed Sharif Bashir, 2005). Currently, Malaysia is governed by the sixth Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Haji Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak (2009 until present). Under his supervision, he proposed the concept of One Malaysia, with

a similar concept introduced by the Prophet Muhammad PBUH through the development of Medina charter (Yusri Mohamad Ramli and Ghani Jusoh, 2012). Medina is an example of a heterogeneous society. According to Ismail Albayrak (2010) historical records suggested that at that time, there were approximately 4500 Jews and 4000 Pagan Arabs, in addition to the 1500 Muslims living in Medina. Therefore Medina was known as a place of diversity and pluralistic society. Thus, the implementation of

the concept of One Malaysia is rather relevant to Medina charter in term of the city-state as Islamic country and heterogeneous society. Through countless of efforts, these gestures speculate that Malaysia is

in the process of bringing and applying back the Islamic way of governance system with reference to the

first Islamic law, the Medina charter.

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4. Methodology

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This study is based on qualitative research methodology. The document analysis is adopted in the study, in order to have a better understanding on the issue. The document analysis is a form of qualitative research in which the documents are interpreted around the assessment issue. There are two types of document analysis, namely the interpretation of the primary and secondary document (Mogalakwe, 2006). However, this study focuses only on the secondary documents. The documents are divided into three sections namely; the Islamic garden concept, the Islamic city planning and the heterogeneous society (refer to Figure 2).

Document Analysis
Document Analysis

Document Analysis

Document Analysis
Document Analysis
society (refer to Figure 2). Document Analysis Primary Document: Direct information gathered by the
society (refer to Figure 2). Document Analysis Primary Document: Direct information gathered by the

Primary Document:

Direct information gathered by the researcher eg:

interview (face to face)

Secondary Document:

Indirect information gathered by the researcher eg: journals

Indirect information gathered by the researcher eg: journals Findings: Conceptual Frameworks In order to achieve the

Findings:

Conceptual Frameworks In order to achieve the aim and objectives of the study

Islamic Garden Concept

Islamic City Planning

Heterogeneous Society

Fig. 2. Document Analysis

The outcome of the study is presented in the form of conceptual frameworks. The finding of this study will help to improve the understanding, perspective and appreciation towards the Islamic garden concept, as well as the implementation of the concept in the heterogeneous society, Malaysia. The categorization of the research structure is as follows:

Table 1. Research Structure

Aim: The aim of this study is to understand the Islamic garden concept in response to the heterogeneous society in Malaysia.

Objectives

Variables

Methodology

Outcomes

To understand the development of the Islamic garden concept

Islamic garden

1.The Islamic garden concept

Findings gathered from the literature review

To explain the relationship between Islamic garden concept and the heterogeneous society

Islamic garden

1.The Islamic garden concept

Conceptual frameworks on the relationship between Islamic garden and the Islamic city- state

Heterogeneous

2.The Islamic city planning (Medina charter)

society

To examine the relevance of the Islamic garden concept in response to the heterogeneous society in Malaysia

Islamic garden

1.The heterogeneous society

Heterogeneous

society

Conceptual frameworks on the relationship between Islamic garden and heterogeneous society

366

5. Findings

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The findings are divided into two main sections based on the variables highlighted from the objectives of the study, which are the Islamic garden and the heterogeneous society. It is discovered that the earliest sign of the Islamic garden begins in the seventh century. The Persian garden is most probably the main influence of the Islamic garden concept as it manages to inspire other garden design such as in Mughal garden, Kashmir. Nevertheless, the garden is described as Islamic when the environment encourages remembering God and displaying the Islamic values into the garden design. The Islamic values comprise of eight principles which are the ones of God, vicegerent, environment, devotion, fairness, worship, knowledge and beauty. These are among the principles promoted in the Islamic garden design. Through the literature on the Islamic city-state and Medina charter, it is realized that the heterogeneous society accepts the Islamic law (values and principles) since the 622 AD. Hence, the issue of trying to embed the Islamic garden into the garden design of a heterogeneous society is proven relevance. Besides, in the heterogeneous country such as Malaysia, the country is bound by the fundamental core values which are justice, tolerance and compassion. Therefore, these have become the strength of the heterogeneous society in the country. Based on these, the conceptual frameworks on the findings are presented as follows:

Islamic City-State KEY: The Medina charter Islamic Garden Heterogeneous Society in Malaysia Ones of God
Islamic City-State
KEY:
The Medina charter
Islamic Garden
Heterogeneous Society in Malaysia
Ones of God
Fairness
Vicegerent
Knowledge
Compassion
Environment
Devotion
Justice
Worship
Beauty
Tolerance

Fig. 3. The conceptual framework of the Islamic garden and heterogeneous society

6. Conclusion

The Islamic garden starts from the early century after the establishment of the Islamic city-state, Medina in the 622 AD. Through the inspiration of the Persian garden in the seventh century, the idea starts to spread out until it reaches the early 20th century where the modernization has slowly interfere with the Islamic garden concept. The Western approach has become the current trending. This situation has caused the Islamic garden to slowly disappear. Other than that, the falls of the Muslim empire are one of the reasons that cause the decreasing number of the Islamic garden. This has led to the limited access to the physical evidence of the Islamic garden. Hence, the study on the Islamic garden is perceived as an important strategy in order to preserve the legacy of the Muslim empire. Other than that, it is important to

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highlight that the Islamic garden is not limited to the pattern, form or structure. The Islamic garden promotes the environment that can stimulate the appreciation towards God. The statement suggests that any gardens that have the eight principles will be considered as Islamic garden. In response to the heterogeneous society in Malaysia, it is identified that Malaysia as a Muslim country comprises of a heterogeneous society. Through the efforts of the current and previous Prime Minister, it is discovered that Malaysia is in the transition process of creating an Islamic environment. Therefore, the ideas of implementing the Islamic garden into the heterogeneous society in Malaysia is perceived as relevant and encourage effort to support the governance approach in creating an Islamic environment.

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