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Paradise City: 
Islamic Gardens

Welcome to "Paradise City: Islamic Gardens," an inspiring and free exhibit by Muslims in Public Space—MiPs. This exhibit delves into the intricate concept of Islamic gardens, presented in two key sections. The first section features educational panels explaining the seven essential elements of Islamic garden design, offering insights into the spiritual and aesthetic principles that reflect paradise on earth. The second section showcases artwork submitted by the local community, each piece interpreting the themes and beauty of Islamic gardens in unique and personal ways.

This exhibit is part of Arts Etobicoke's "Roots" series, in collaboration with QuadReal Properties. "Roots" is a year-long exhibition series celebrating Toronto's cultural diversity. It features artists from various backgrounds—South Asian, Latin American, East Asian, Eastern European, Western European, Oceanian, African, and North American—who reflect on their origins and migration experiences while sharing their perspectives on making Toronto their home. Each exhibit within the series is thoughtfully curated to highlight the unique ways artists identify with their own and other cultures, fostering mutual understanding and collaboration within our community.

Join us at Cloverdale Common in Cloverdale Mall, located at 250 The East Mall, Toronto, ON M9B 3Y8. Experience the timeless beauty and cultural significance of Islamic gardens, while also engaging with the rich diversity of our community through the power of art. For more information, visit

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The Concept of Paradise in Islam

In Islam, the concept of paradise, or "Jannah," holds profound significance, symbolizing eternal peace, joy, and closeness to God. The Qu'ran vividly describes paradise as "gardens beneath which rivers flow," a metaphor that appears 36 times, emphasizing the lush, life-giving environment awaiting the righteous. This recurring imagery of gardens not only underscores the importance of water, greenery, and tranquility as divine rewards but also carries deep symbolic and cultural connotations.

Symbolic Significance of Gardens

Eternal Bliss: Gardens are universally recognized as emblems of natural beauty and tranquility. In the Qu'ran, they symbolize an everlasting state of happiness and peace, surpassing the challenges of daily life.


Spiritual Restoration: Gardens often provide a space for reflection and relaxation. In the Quranic context, they symbolize a place of spiritual restoration and renewal, where the faithful are rejuvenated by their proximity to divine presence.

Bounty and Sustenance: The references to flowing rivers and abundant vegetation in these gardens symbolize endless bounty and sustenance from God. This signifies a place where all needs are met and where there is no scarcity.

The 7 elements of Islamic Gardens

Islamic Gardens are thoughtfully designed to embody the Islamic vision of paradise, detailed in the Qu’ran. These gardens incorporate seven key elements: Quadripartite Layout, Water, Shade, Vegetation, Pavilions, Walls/Gates, and Reflecting Pools. Each element serves practical and symbolic purposes, reflecting their utility and deeper spiritual significance. The subsequent boards will delve into each element, exploring its relevance in the Qu'ran and illustrating it through specific examples. This exploration highlights both their aesthetic contributions and their profound meanings within Islamic culture.

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