Throughout the Qur’an, gardens are evoked as symbols of paradise. A reward for the faithful, who will dwell in “gardens, beneath which rivers flow” (Qur’an 9:72), Islamic gardens use water and aromatic plants to provide a sensory experience for their visitors that encourages meditation and serenity.

The garden is also a popular theme in Sufi poetry, where it is a reflection of happiness, rest, and eternity.

Emma Clark is a garden designer and author who focuses on contemporary interpretations of these traditional principles. Join her as she discusses these oases of tranquillity, and explains how her work aims to translate the sacred symbolism of the Qur’anic Gardens of Paradise (Jannat Al-Firdaus) into beautiful, contemplative havens.

About The Speaker

Emma Clark

Emma Clark is a garden designer specialising in Islamic Garden and gardens of other sacred traditions. She has published two books on Islamic gardens: The Art of the Islamic Garden (2010), and a monograph, ‘Underneath Which Rivers Flow’, The Symbolism of the Islamic Garden, (1996) as well as many articles on Islamic art and architecture, gardens and the garden carpet. She is the lead designer for the garden at the Cambridge Mosque currently undergoing completion.