The spiritual essence and symbolic significance of gardens of paradise (i.e. formal Islamic gardens) have often been overshadowed by modern observations focusing on their physical attributes. But these gardens are not merely earthly landscapes but profound reflections of the divine. Drawing upon Plato's theory of forms, we find that our world is filled with symbols, and human interactions reflect what our souls once comprehended in a previous existence. Gardens, with their unmistakable spiritual nature, are tangible reminders and impressions of paradise on earth. This article considers the garden’s symbolic significance across all major monotheistic religions, and the garden as the original sanctuary, from the time God created humankind. It recalls the earliest recorded imitations of paradise from the era of Cyrus the Great and examines the various iterations of paradise gardens through the age of Islam, all of which seek to manifest the promised paradise recurrently mentioned in the Quran. These gardens hold the key to unveiling deeper spiritual truths and serve as a bridge between the visible and invisible realms.
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