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Canceled: Permaculture Design Certificate Course

May 31 to June 13, 2020

 “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

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Adab, as defined by the contemporary Malay philosopher Naquib al-Attas, is “putting things in their proper place,” and permaculture is the application of adab in the natural world. Through designing sustainable and self-sufficient agricultural ecosystems, 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; and animals and their habitat in their proper places, then that is adab toward nature and the environment.”

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 consistent with a Qur’anic worldview and in conformity with our divinely mandated function as stewards of God on earth, khalifatul Allah fil ‘ard.

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Course Overview

The Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course is an internationally recognized, 72 credit-hour course that results in a certificate. The course provides an in-depth introduction to permaculture design, as set forth in the 1970s by Bill Mollison, the Australian biologist and author credited as the “father” of permaculture.

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.

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Course Schedule

Week 1: Monday June 1st to Friday June 5th
Week 2: Monday June 8th to Friday June 12th

Date Event
Sunday May 31 (12pm – 4pm)

Move-in date for residential students

Sunday May 31 (6pm – 8pm)

Orientation and welcome session for all students

Monday June 1

First day of instruction

Friday June 12

Final day of instruction

Saturday June 13 (by 12pm)

Move-out date for residential students


Zaytuna College Upper Campus | 2770 Marin Avenue, Berkeley, California 94708

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

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About the Instructor

Rhamis Kent is a consultant with formal training in mechanical engineering (University of Delaware, BSME, 1995) and permaculture-based regenerative whole systems design. He serves as a registered, certified permaculture design instructor with the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) in Australia.

He also serves as a codirector of the PRI, is a member of Permaculture Sustainable Consulting Pty. Ltd., and is on the supervisory board of the Netherlands-registered nonprofit Ecosystem Restoration Camps.

Rhamis Kent 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.

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What to Expect

The PDC course can be a life-changing experience. A well-taught PDC course can have a significant impact on how we look at and engage with the world. Past graduates have gone on to make meaningful changes in their lives and communities.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Residential participants will be accommodated in Zaytuna College dormitories. Residents will be assigned either a double- or single-occupancy room (based on availability). Female students will be housed in the Al-Alusi dormitory, located on the upper campus, at 2770 Marin Ave. Male students will be housed in the Euclid dormitory, located on the lower campus, at 1712 Euclid Ave (the College will provide a shuttle service from the lower campus to the upper campus in the morning, and back to the lower campus in the evening for male students). 
  • The College does not provide couples’ housing for married students.  
  • Nonresidential students are responsible for their own accommodation.
  • Both dormitories are equipped with a communal kitchen, which includes a stove and oven, multiple refrigerators, cupboard storage, and microwave oven. There are common bathrooms and showers with private stalls, communal sitting areas, quiet study rooms, and high-speed internet access.
  • There is a coin-operated laundry service at the upper campus, located in Sophia Hall, a separate building directly across from the dormitory. There is a charge of $1.25 per load for the washer and $1.00 for the dryer. We recommend female students bring a supply of quarters. The Euclid dormitory, on the lower campus, has free laundry facilities on site. 
  • Residential students will be provided with three meals a day during the week but will need to provide for themselves over the weekend.
  • Nonresidential students will be provided with 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  mention this request at the time of registration.

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

  • The upper campus, where the course instruction will take place and where female students will be housed, is located at the top of the Berkeley Hills. Given the high elevation of the location, walking anywhere is typically not convenient. However, a bus stop is located near the campus, and the bus will take you to the UC Berkeley campus, downtown Berkeley, and the Zaytuna lower campus.  
  • The lower campus is located on the north side of the UC Berkeley campus. It is a 10- to 15-minute walk from downtown Berkley, and a 15-minute bus ride from the upper campus. 
  • 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.

No all are welcome

Participants must be 18 or older. Given the rigorous nature of the course, in order to promote a positive learning environment for all, we encourage you to attend only if you are interested in the subject matter and fully committed to the program.

Please email [email protected] for any further questions about the program.