Image of trees.

Permaculture Design Certificate

“Zaytuna College sees itself as a pioneer in preserving the best of our past as the foundation for a better future. As part of that effort we are beginning courses in permaculture. Muslims have always endeavored to be good stewards of the earth and pioneers in food production. Join us as we endeavor to revive that aspect of our glorious past.” –– Imam Zaid Shakir

Permaculture is a natural extension of the mission of the College, which is to inculcate adab in the individual. Adab, as defined by Dr. Naquib al-Attas, is “putting things in their proper place,” and permaculture is the application of adab in the natural world. Thus, through the study of Permaculture we learn to organize our material environment. In the words of Dr. al-Attas, “When one puts trees and stones, mountains, rivers, valleys and lakes, animals and their habitat in their proper places, then that is adab toward nature and the environment.” Clearly, putting things in their proper place requires the recognition of an innate order or balance.

God tells us in Surah Rahman that He has created everything in balance, and commands us not to “upset the balance.” (55:9) Similarly, in Surah A’raf, we are commanded not to “cause corruption on earth after it has been set in order”. (7:56) Permaculture seeks to restore balance and order on earth in a manner that is consistent with a Qur’anic worldview and in conformity with our divinely mandated function as stewards of God on earth, khalifatul Allah fil ‘ard.

General Information
Monday, June 24 First Day of Instruction
Friday, July 5 Final Day of Instruction
Sunday, June 23 (12pm – 4pm) Move-in date for residential students
Saturday, July 6 by 12pm Move-out date for residential students
Sunday, June 23 6pm – 8pm Orientation & Welcome Session for All Students
Location Zaytuna College Upper Campus | 2770 Marin Avenue, Berkeley, California 94708


The Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course is an internationally recognized, 72-hour course which results in a Permaculture Design Certificate. The course provides an introduction to permaculture design as set forth by permaculture co-founder Bill Mollison.

The course covers sustainable living systems for a wide variety of landscapes and climates. It includes the application of permaculture principles to food production, home design, construction, energy conservation and generation, and explores alternative economic structures and legal strategies supporting permaculture solutions.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Theory and principles of Permaculture
  • Methods of design
  • Understanding patterns in nature
  • Water harvesting and management
  • Drought-proofing
  • Trees & their energy transactions
  • Eco-friendly house placement and design
  • Energy efficient architecture
  • Energy conservation techniques for cold climates
  • Earthworks & their use in earth repair
  • Soils
  • Soil rehabilitation and erosion control
  • Organic food production
  • Livestock
  • Aquaculture
  • Ecological pest control
  • Humid tropics
  • The temperate climates
  • Humid cool climates
  • Dry lands
  • Strategies for urban and rural settings
  • Recycling and waste management
  • Right livelihood
  • Catastrophe preparedness and prevention
  • Money and finance
  • Ethical investment
  • Bio-regional organization
  • Legal strategies and trusts
  • Effective working groups
  • Effective aid


Class Schedule: 

  • Week 1: Monday, June 24th to Friday, June 28th
  • Week 2: Monday, July 1st to Friday, July 5th

No classes are held on Saturday and Sunday. 
The schedule is subject to minor modification.

Download the course schedule here

Profile image of Rhamis

Rhamis Kent

A consultant with formal training in mechanical engineering (University of Delaware, B.S.M.E., 1995) and permaculture-based regenerative whole systems design, serving as a registered, certified Permaculture Design instructor with PRI Australia.

He also serves as a co-director of the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI), is a member of Permaculture Sustainable Consulting Pty. Ltd. (PSC), and is on the Supervisory Board of the Netherlands-registered non-profit Ecosystem Restoration Camps.

As of September 2017, Rhamis began functioning as founder and director of Agroecological Natural Technology Systems Ltd., a Companies House (UK) registered business (#10962612).

Rhamis has taught Permaculture Design (both formal certification and short Intensive courses) in Palestine/Occupied West Bank, Greece, Ethiopia, Yemen, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Australia, and the United States (Michigan, California, and Vermont). He has performed additional consultancy work on projects in Spain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Somaliland, and Western Sahara.


The PDC course is often a life changing experience. A well-taught PDC course can greatly impact the way we look at and engage with the world. In the past, graduates have gone on to make meaningful changes in their lives and communities.

This course will take place at Zaytuna College, which is an Islamic institution. All students attending the program are asked to abide by the College’s policies on general conduct and expectations. Please read our policies here.


Where will I be staying?

  • Residential participants will be accommodated in Zaytuna College dormitories. Residents will be assigned either a double or single occupancy room (based on availability). Double occupancy rooms will be assigned to persons of the same gender.
  • Non-residential students are responsible for their own accommodation.

What facilities are available in the dorm?

  • The dormitory is equipped with a communal kitchen, which includes with a stove and oven, multiple refrigerators, cupboard storage, and a microwave oven. There are four common bathrooms and showers on each of the two floors of the building. There is also a communal sitting area, an exercise room, and a quiet study room.
  • There is a coin-operated laundry service located in a separate building directly across from the dormitory in Sophia Hall. There is charge of $1.25 per load for the washer, and $1.00 for the dryer. We recommend you bring a supply of quarters.

Will meals be provided?

  • Residential students will be provided three meals a day during the week, but will need to provide for themselves over the weekend.
  • Non-residential students will be provided lunch only.
  • All meals will be prepared according to Islamic dietary laws. Ingredients will be organic and locally sourced when possible. Vegetarian options are available upon request; Please be sure to mention this at the time of registration.

Will there be parking?

  • Yes, course participants will have free access to ample parking space on campus for the duration of the course.

How can I get around in the area?

  • The campus is located at top of “Holy Hill”, which means walking can be a challenge. However, there is a bus stop near campus, which will take you to the UC Berkeley Campus or Downtown Berkeley.
  • All information can be accessed directly at this website
  • The bus you will need to take is the AC Transit Bus #65. The schedule is subject to change but the tentative times and schedule updates can be found at the aforementioned website under Euclid Ave/Grizzly Peak.
  • You can find information on transit fares here
  • Adult (19-64) is $2.25
  • Adult (19-64) with a Clipper Card is $2.15
  • General information on Clipper Cards can be found here
  • Order information can be found here

Do I have to be a Muslim to attend?

  • No! All are welcome.

Is there an age limit for attending the program?

  • Participants must be at least 15 years of age. Any participants below 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Who should I contact to learn more about the program?


Cancelation Policy
  • Cancellation prior to May 24 – full refund
  • Cancellation on/after May 24 – no refund

Please contact [email protected] for more information.