Why Scientific Intellect Fall Behind In Muslims? A Conflict Between Two Scholars

Photo by Nouman Younas on Unsplash

“ There was once a civilization that was the greatest in the world.”

Ms. Carly Fiorina

The way work had been done during the golden age of Muslims in fields of medicine, philosophy, astronomy, optics, chemistry and many other branches of knowledge were remarkable.

At the same time, the amenities of the world were not that rational and liberal giving enough freedom to the minds which could raise questions of which the mystical answers had been compelled by the state or by religious leaders. Muslims nourished the plant of Philosophy and Science as it had been already sown by Greeks. They conserved it and kept it alive. The 2/3 names of stars are Arabic. The algebra and algorithm were inventions of Arab Muslims.

And there has been enough stress on the importance of learning and knowledge in the Sacred book of Muslims Holy Quran. The first prophecy on Prophet Muhammad was to make him read.

But then after the 13 century, we saw a rapid fall of scientific thought in Muslims. There had been the degradation of rationalism and scientific intellect in Muslim societies.

There had been a tough dispute between two scholars of that era: Ibn Rushd and Ghazali.

Ghazali affiliated to the major school of thought in the Sunni sect i.e Hanfi wrote a book Tahafut –ul-Falsafa(Inchorence of philosophy) and then in many other manuscripts, he wrote that solving math is a satanic deed and designated one of the biggest names of science and philosophy in the Muslim world as apostates*.* The conflict was that according to Ghazali: knowledge from a supernatural source is the most purified and human reasoning and mind are not that capable to decipher the universe.

In response to it, Ibn-Rushd the father of rationalism penned down Tahafut-al-Tahafat (Incoherence of Incoherence) and presented his ideas that there could be two approaches towards explaining and deciphering universe . One of them is religious mysticism and another one is the power of reasoning.

In the long ran, Ghazali’s ideas overpowered and the fall of scientific thought and critical and analytical thinking started in Muslims

The way the Islamic Madrassas were teaching changed drastically, the idea of inaugurating critical thinking in students by pedagogy faded over time. critical thinking which is all about the curiosity of Why and How were changed to Who, What, and When. The downfall of critical and analytical thinking was the root cause of the fall of scientific intellect in Muslims. The consequences are that out of 14.7 million Jews received 27% of Noble prizes in Science. On the other hand, there are nearly 1 billion Muslims in the world and they have won only 3 Noble prizes in Science.

As Neil DeGrasse Tyson says:

“I lose sleep every night wondering how many secrets of the universe lay undiscovered because one-sixth of the population of the world is not a participant on the exploration frontier”

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