The Structure of Scientific Productivity in Islamic Civilization: Orientalists’ Fables

Asalaamualaykum everyone. I’ve just published my first article for Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research titled “The Structure of Scientific Productivity in Islamic Civilization: Orientalists’ Fables”. Below is a short abstract. You may download the pdf here.

The popular analysis (promulgated by Orientalists) on the rise and decline of scientific productivity in Islamic civilization dichotomizes the events of Islamic history as a conflict between religion and reason. This analysis has since come to be coined the ‘Classical Narrative,’ and suggests that the scientific successes of Muslims throughout history were based solely on foreign influences, whereas Islamic values and ideas were responsible for their decline. However, recent studies have shown this narrative to be invalid due to its inconsistent rendering of the historical data. On the contrary, a more coherent understanding of the data shows that scientific productivity among Muslims was both actively and passively bolstered by Islamic values through the rejection of Aristotelian natural philosophy. Despite these developments, the reasons behind the decline have yet to be fully ascertained. As such, this paper offers a summary and critique of the Classical Narrative, as well as revisionary constructs towards understanding the influences behind the rise and decline of scientific productivity in Islamic civilization.

How Feminism Undermines Islam and Gender Justice

Originally posted on ISMAweb.

On 6th April 2016, at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM), I and another brother by the name of Muhammad Kashmiri were invited to participate in an event called “Mars vs. Venus”, which goal was to “highlight the status of women in Islam and give a clear understanding of women’s rights and duties…also to point out the responsibilities of both men and women in making a better world and participating in achieving a bright future.”

Prior to the program, the organizers requested to have a meeting to discuss how we would contribute. I went with my wife to meet the organizers at the university library, who were made up entirely of women.  We sat for nearly two hours going over logistics and also what role I and Muhammad would be playing. Essentially, that night we all agreed that the program would begin at 8 pm, start with an opening speech by a woman, followed by academic lectures given by women, a spoken word performed by a woman, a play conducted by women (called “Her Confessions”), and then finally ending off at 9:45 pm with a debate between myself and Muhammad on the topic of “Do Muslim Women Need Feminism?” – followed by a short question and answer session with a shared panel between all the event participants. Despite Muhammad’s protest at being chosen to defend feminism, he accepted on the condition that he would be able to qualify himself during his opening speech. In other words, neither he nor I wanted to defend feminism – and the women organizers didn’t want us to either. Why? Because of the shared understanding between us that Islam was sufficient for granting women their rights.
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