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Gardens Beneath Which Rivers Flow

The Central outdoor space and
the upper level Fountain
Water in the Muslim Constructed Landscape

Ashraf M. Salama, 2010

This article was first published in: Faith & Form, Volume 43, Issue 3, 2010, PP.30-36. An article in a theme issue of Faith and Form: Sacred Landscape.

The Muslim faith emerged in a desert culture that thirsted for water, which was praised and prized as a rare yet breathtaking phenomenon. The faith spread across lands where great civilizations had already prospered: in the fertile valleys of the Nile in Egypt, of the Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq, and eventually of the Indus in India and of southern Spain. Water played multiple roles in relating the holy Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad to Muslim culture, from being a landscape element in mosques, mausoleums and palaces, to its use for irrigation and for everyday living. This article highlights selected manifestations of the use of water as one of the important elements that shaped the built environment of Muslims.

Gardens Beneath Which Rivers Flow: Water in the Muslim Constructed Landscape


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