For many Muslims, gardens reflect the bounty of God and the blessings of life. Through the long history of Islam, there has been an outpouring of poetry and art that engages with spiritual topics, among them gardens as an embodiment of paradise, both earthly and heavenly. So too, extensive poetry, art and literature have been created that presents gardens as secular realms of social intercourse, pleasure, romance, and diplomacy, as well as a retreat from the hardships of work, conflict and a harsh environment.
One nearly universal element that finds multiple expressions is water. Water is an essential ingredient found in virtually all of the gardens of the Islamic world.
The statement that “Water is the gift of God to man and the earth” can be found in the Qur'an. In Islamic culture, originally an agricultural society, a significant amount of technology and law was devoted to water. Not surprisingly its use and deployment has been explored extensively in gardens of the Islamic world, and artistic devices produced to exploit its many changeable characteristics of movement, sound, reflection, and refraction through channels, runnels, falls, cascades, sheets, sprays, basins, tanks, pools, ponds and lakes are among the glories of this rich and diverse heritage.