Interdisciplinary Reflections on the Epistemic Value of Poetry in the Commentary, Philosophical and Mystical Approach of ‘Allameh Tabataba’i

Nafiseh Mustafavi


This research, in order to explain the place of poetry in ‘Allameh Tabataba’i’s epistemological system, studies his commentary (Tafsir), philosophical and mystical works. This qualitative research was conducted by analytical-descriptive method. ‘Allameh's epistemological approach in various sciences is completely relative. In the philosophical approach, poetry is a rhythmic imagination-based expression and is of the type of innovative sciences and is one of the five types of analogy that have no argumentative authority or epistemic value. In the commentary approach, poetry is based on imagination and is not compatible with the truth of revelation and the status of divine mission, and ‘Allameh used poetry only to confirm the use of the literal meaning. In accordance with religious ahadith and traditions, the criteria of reprehensible poetry are those useless poems or lahv al-hadith, and false poems with delusive content and untrue fantasies. In the mystical approach, the ability of cryptography and ambiguity to hide some heavy meanings, imaginary imitations of rational meanings to facilitate education, verbal attraction to attract the maximum audience, are other reasons for ‘Allameh’s and others’ interest in poetry.


Allameh Tabataba’I; Poetry; Knowledge; Interpretation

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