In the old Islamic urban setting muftis and qadis played an important role in setting any crisis concerning the built elements in their community. There were no specific written guidelines to help each individual in fabricating their built environement; it was up to each individual to build his dream house any way he likes. However, individuals realized that they did not have absolute rights to do as they pleased. Rather their rights were restricted in order not to conflict with the rights of others or of society. Once an immediate neighbour or neighbours protested, they brought their case to the mufti or qadi to settle it once and for all. The authority, with the cosideration of the public interest (maslahah), would give a judgement in favour of what was in the best interests of the people and society of that time and place. Hence the importance of the axiom la darar wa la dirar that is applicable regardless of time and place.