The Landscape Guide

Islamic Garden see also

Asian gardens design and history overview - Sacred Gardens

When Islam burst upon the world in the 7th century, it came from a poor, dry and empty land (now known as Saudia Arabia) without a significant tradition of stone architecture. In becoming expert, at miraculous speed, Islamic scholars, craftsmen and designers drew upon the knowledge of Europe and Asia - particularly the Western Roman Empire and the Sassanian Empire of Persia. They also imployed craftworkers from these civilisations and garden design was one of the design traditions which flourished in this situation. The date 622, in the Christian callender, is that of the Hegira and start of the Islamic calendar – the departure of Muhammad from Mecca

The Koran makes extensive use of the garden as a symbol of the paradise which awaits the faithful:

2.82   And (as for) those who believe and do good deeds, these are the dwellers of the garden; in it they shall abide.

9.72   Allah has promised to the believing men and the believing women gardens, beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual abode; and best of all is Allah's goodly pleasure; that is the grand achievement.

51.15   Surely those who guard (against evil) shall be in gardens and fountains.

It was believed that God is the greatest perfection possible and that the nearer all design should be as near to perfection as it can be. Mathematical principles, squares and circles are also perfect and should be incorporated in design.

See Marie-Luise Gothein's chapter on Byzantine and Islamic gardens