Ta’wil: in Practices of Light


  • Narjis Mirza Auckland University of Technology




Philosophy, Ta'wil, Mulla Sadra, Quran, practice-as-research


This research is situated within an Islamic philosophical paradigm, with a series of experiments in studio art practice. In my investigation of Mulla Sadr?’s theory of systematic intensification, I was led towards Ta’wil, a unique method of interpretation, that is primarily used for interpreting the verses of the Quran. I extract this traditional Quranic method of interpretation, Ta’wil and translate it into a visual and collective dialogue, for a practice-oriented research. Keeping in view the traditional association of the method of Ta’wil towards the Quran, I suggest there is evidence that Ta’wil is a method that can be practised outside the interpretation of the text. It is a unique method of interpretation that performs in both physical and metaphysical worlds. Ta’wil is both a noun, as an object or happening in the physical, and a process of carrying a perceptible image (for example text of the Quran) towards higher and deeper understandings. I start my writing with a brief overview of my research area, moving towards Ta’wil in creative art practice. 

Author Biography

Narjis Mirza, Auckland University of Technology

Narjis Mirza is an installation artist and a PhD candidate at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. Her practice-led research brings together philosophy and spatial experiments of light, highlighting the transcendent philosophy of a Persian Muslim philosopher Mulla Sadra Shirazi. Narjis plans to expand the dialogue through concept films and light installations. Narjis completed her masters’ degree in media and design from Bilkent University, Turkey. She also received distinction for her Bachelors in Fine Arts at the National College of Arts in Pakistan. Narjis lives and works in Sydney and Auckland.


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How to Cite

Mirza, N. (2019). Ta’wil: in Practices of Light. Performance Philosophy, 4(2), 564–575. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2019.42242