Letter is a Veil, Veil is a Letter

Text: “Letter is a veil, veil is a letter”, a saying form the “Book of Spiritual Stayings” (Kitab al-Mawaqif) of the Islamic mystic al-Niffari (d. 965)

Size & script: 210x290mm, Thuluth, Ijazah

Materials and tools: thick green paper, white paper for the roundel, golden gouache, black ink, reed and metal nib pens

A small work made in 2004. It relies on the mirror usage of the word “Letter” above, and reminds of the Islamic mysticism view that letters are but symbols that obscure true nature; knowledge is acquired by intuition and illumination, and not by means of reason clothed in words.