One of the primary aspects of an Islamic garden is that it is a sanctuary, originally an escape from the harsh arid landscape into an oasis of shade and water. A contemporary Islamic garden in the city echoes this escape since it offers an ‘oasis’ of green and calm within noisy and polluted surroundings. A recent statistic (January 2012) stated that 80% of the world’s population now live in urban environments, and thus more than ever do we need havens of green and quiet.
Indeed, the only word spoken in the Qur’anic gardens of Paradise (Jannat al-firdaus) is Salaam, ‘Peace’. Thus, Emma’s design practice focuses always on the ultimate aim of creating this green retreat, often with water flowing: the outer beauty and stillness nurturing the inner soul of the visitor who, God willing, is given a taste of the peace and contentment of the eternal Heavenly garden.