Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

“The idea of Paradise as a garden is one of man’s oldest ideals. Since the beginning of history, most probably in prehistory, societies which had nothing else in common shared the concept of Paradise as the ideal garden, a secure and everlasting garden…”
Elizabeth Moynihan, Paradise As A Garden in Persia and Mughal India, 1980

“Here is a picture of the Garden promised to the pious: rivers of water forever pure, rivers of milk forever fresh, rivers of wine, a delight for those who drink, rivers of honey clarified and pure, [all] flow in it; there they will find fruit of every kind; and they will find forgiveness from their Lord.”
The Qur’an, 47:15 (translation by M.A.S. Abdul Haleem)

Taj Mahal

Unidentified, Indian; collection of Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

“Because paradise is described as a shady garden with four gardens and four streams, it might seem logical to assume that this provided Muslim architects with the blueprint for the Islamic chahar bagh [four gardens]. But the four-part division and the metamorphosis of the simple irrigation canal into a defining element in garden organization predates Islam…Hence, it is not the form that reflects a specifically Muslim conception of paradise, but rather the description of paradise that reflects a preexisting vocabulary of garden forms.”
D. Fairchild Ruggles, Islamic Gardens and Landscapes, 2007

“The Koran…promises entrance to the Garden of Paradise to anyone slain fighting for the ‘Way of God.’…This Paradise, a series of walled gardens, is Allah’s reward to god-fearing men and women, the humble and the almsgivers, the forgiving and those who have suffered for God’s sake.”
Elizabeth Moynihan

“Always, remember to pray if possible before reaching the target or say something like ‘there is no god but God and Mohamed is His Prophet.’ After that, God willing, we will meet in Paradise.”
—document found in 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta’s luggage