9. Buildings erected by Arabs, with very few exceptions,

quickly fall into ruins.



The reason for this is the Bedouin attitude and unfamiliarity with the crafts, as we have mentioned before.96 Therefore, the buildings (of the Arabs) are not solidly built.

There may be another aspect, more pertinent to the problem. That is, as we have stated,97 that the Arabs pay little attention in town planning to making the right choice with regard to the site (of the town), the quality of the air, the water, the fields, and the pastures (belonging to it). Differences with respect to these things make the difference between good and bad cities as regards natural civilization. The Arabs have no interest in these things. They only see to it that they have pastures for their camels. They do not care whether the water is good or bad, whether there is little or much of it. They do not ask about the suitability of the fields, the vegetable plots, and the air, because they (are used to) moving about the country and importing their grain from remote places. In the desert the winds blow from all directions, and the fact that the Arabs travel about guaran­tees them winds of good quality. Winds turn bad only when people settle and stay in one place and there are many superfluities there.

One may cite the Arabs' planning of al-Kufah, al-Basrah, and al-Qayrawan. All they looked for when planning (those cities) was pasturage for their camels and nearness to the desert and the caravan routes. Thus, (those cities) do not possess a natural site. They had no sources from which to feed their civilization (population) later on. Such a source must exist if civilization is to continue, as we have stated before.98 The sites of (those cities) were not naturally suited for settlement. They were not situated in the midst of nations capable of repopulating them (once their original population started to disintegrate). At the first intimations of the disintegration of (Arab) power and of the disappearance of the group feeling that protected them, (those cities) fell prey to ruin and disintegration and were as if they had never been. "God decides, and no one can change His decision." 99