World Service visits Arundel,
in the South East of England, where we talk to John
Brookes, an authority on gardens of the Islamic world.
Geometry and water are two prominent features
in Islamic gardens, both have symbolic meaning.
The symbol of the garden, in general, is a powerful
one in the Koran. The story of creation unfolded in
a garden and God is considered to be the
also visit an Islamic garden in the heart of
London. It's a rooftop courtyard garden, part of the
Ismaili Centre. We are shown around by Professor Azeem
Nanji, Director of the Institute of Ismaili Studies.
the spiritual significance of the garden's geometrical
design and the importance of the courtyard - which is
viewed as a dividing line between the outer and inner
In the Islamic world gardens are seen as a place of
peace, an escape from the noise outside and the scorching
heat of the desert. Perhaps the best place on Earth
to feel close to God.
This idea could be widened to include the western world
where people increasingly need to escape from the noise
of the urban desert, into the peace and tranquillity
of a spiritually uplifting garden.