Ibn-e-Khaldun and other forgotten Muslim heroes

Published: April 9, 2012

Khaldun’s work was a definite break from the past as history was no longer merely an account of a king’s glorious conquest, an empire’s leaps in every facet of material civilisation or the magnanimity of individuals. PHOTO: AFP

The other day, I asked my sociology students a question. It was a simple question but one that carried an answer of profound significance.

‘Who is regarded as the father of social sciences by the absolute majority of contemporary academics?’

The answer that I was looking for was Ibn-e-Khaldun. But my class only came up with replies of Durkheim, Marx and Parsons. They were not aware of Ibn-e-Khaldun. They did not know that in the late 13th century, the Berber gave to the world what is today known as the ‘comparative method’; the foundation for contemporary social science.

Khaldun’s work was a definite break from the past as history was no longer merely an account of a king’s glorious conquest, an empire’s leaps in every facet of material civilisation or the magnanimity of individuals.

Contrary to Herodotus, Livy and Tacitus, Khaldun’s achievement was the first critical outlook on human society.

If it weren’t for a western academic by the name of Franz Rosenthal, most of the world today would have forgotten the genius of Khaldun. Rosenthal translated Khaldun’s work from Arabic into English, bringing the world’s attention to one of the most original thinkers of humanity. Bells ringing (think about the translation movement of the Abbasids!)

Muslims, for whom Khaldun should be a hero, are too embroiled in a war against ‘infidels’ to remember Khaldun. Madrassas which produced the likes of Ghazali, Maulana Rumi and Ibn-e-Sina now produce pupils who become chief commanders in virtually all terrorist organisations of the world.

How the wheel of history turns!

My students also did not know about Ibn-e-Sina, Al-Farabi, Al-Masudi, Ibn-e-Kindi, Al-Khwarzami or Ibn-e-Rushd.

My heart heaved heavily.

However, more pain was yet to come.

At the end of class, a student asked,

“Sir, if what you have revealed to us is correct, why is it that only nine Muslims have won the Nobel Prize?

The realisation dawned upon me. These kids are not to be blamed. The fates of Anwar Saadat, Naguib Mahfouz and Abdus Salam crossed my mind in the blink of an eye and I found my misery doubled.

What is there to discuss about the heroes of the past when we have already forgotten those of today?

Read more by Taimur here.

Taimur Arbab

Taimur Arbab

A former sub-editor at The Express Tribune, college teacher of Sociology and English Language and a graduate student at Aga Khan Institute for Educational Development, who leans toward the left side of the political spectrum and looks for ideas for his short stories and poems in the everyday happenings of life. He can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Asif Naeem

    Religion and science are contradictory.With the rise of Islamic fundamentalism has come the decline of science in Islamic countries.

    Revisionist history and living in the past will help no one. When people reject evidence and actively choose to believe in dogma , then that society is bound to suffer.

    The societies coming up with the most new inventions and advancement in science are those where there is freedom from religion.

    Minds which accept dogma as facts can’t advance a nation.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Thought provoking article.
    ‘ Nothing succeeds like success ‘and lets be honest the West is a success story while the East (Islamic world) is at best struggling to seek out a direction. So its but logical that you will automatically look at the success story for all types of reasons.Recommend

  • Yousuf Khan

    ” If we are going to teach ‘creationism’ as an alternative to evolution,then we should aslo teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction.” Recommend

  • Mir

    When i did a little research on muslim scholars of past i found that, they were freethinkers of their times, and they were challenging orthodoxy and puritanical movements of their times, just like Ghazali was challenged by Ibn e rushd or Averros whose work was recognised in west but not in muslim society because at that time muslim courts were underinflunce of those scholars who considered logic,philosphy,maths,sciences challenge to their orthodoxy, they burnt the books of free thinker muslim scholars and destroyed and distorted their work, the rulers at that time used orthodoxical view of Islam to establish and legitimise their rule just as Zia ul haq did Pakistan, when muslim free thinkers were discouraged consequently there were no research centres, laboratories left in muslim empire in later years and thus began downfall of muslims, and orthodoxy and puritanical views got stronghold. Recommend

  • Hasan Malik

    When I was in Pakistan i came to know that everything which exist today in the modern world is because of Islam and the only contribution done to the mankind is by Muslims and other just plagiarized and did nothing. Then i left Pakistan and i studied history and i came to know that actually Islam is only 1400 years old religion while Bronze age and many earlier civilization does exist before as well with a significant contribution to the what we are today. Anyway in Pakistan we will continue to debate and will teach our generations the biased versions of History and everything.
    Just like Yesterday i learnt about a rebel Dulla Bhatti whose elders were slaughtered mercilessly. by Mughals ad then Dulla fought against them but since Mughals are painted as saints in our history so Dulla Bhatti’s name is never mentioned. Muslims want to be a part of the modern world but at the same time they want to see everything in a Biased manner and they want to write history where they will always be glorified and they never want to learn anything from other nations at all.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    @Hassan Malik
    Islam is only 1400 years old but why Europe say they learned from muslims and why those books still exist in Eropeans libraries ????
    its not you but lang of education speaking if u learn arabic and persian then u know what it is
    lang is very powerful thing.Recommend

  • narayana murthy

    You take some non-entities from Islamic history and project them as heroes.

    You glorify nonexistent contribution of Islam to the children and tell them that in that time, people practiced true islam.

    This confuses the students. They tend to believe that all ills in the society can be eradicated using true Islam. And by following true Islam, they can bring back the former (imaginary) glory of the Ummat.

    This leads to finding what is true Islam. Then the claim that my Islam is truer than yours. Then the fight for the victory of the true Islam, which is of course only yours.

    Where does this leads one to, we all know – present day Pakistan.

    And think about it logically, there’s no such thing called as absolute truth. And Quran doesn’t even come remotely close to being partially true, let alone absolutely true. It’s vulnerable to interpretations, just like any other book by any other man. So, in search of this mirage, students waste their lives, being unproductive.

    You should watch some very very honest, brave talks by Tarek Fatah about the golden age of Islam, which according to him is a lie. Your own Hasan Nisar says the same (even though he appears drunk at times LOL).

    So, stop this act of glorifying the past and live in the present. And teach your students to live in present.Recommend

  • narayana murthy

    @Ali Tanoli who writes “its not you but lang of education speaking if u learn arabic and persian then u know what it is
    lang is very powerful thing.”

    Truth is truth, whether it is said in Urdu or Kannada or Arabic or English.

    If what you say is so true, then it should radiate the exact same knowledge whether it is said in English or Persian or Arabic.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    thanks god something productive and real about history from ET ……… Recommend

  • Ahmed

    actually Cultural progress is linked with Political supremacy …… without heroes like Ibn e Ziad, Abdul Rehman, Ghaznvi, Ghori, Ibn e Qasim and Saladin, it was not possible for Muslims to produce heroes like Khaldun and Ibn-e-Sina, Al-Farabi, Al-Masudi, Ibn-e-Kindi, Al-Khwarzami or Ibn-e-Rushd. Recommend

  • Ibraheem Mustafa

    The fates of Anwar Saadat, Naguib Mahfouz and Abdus Salam

    Anwar Sadat, Nagib Mahfouz and Abdus Salaam were poles apart from Imam Ibn Khaldun !Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/007Zone Habibies

    Thanks God some productive post from ET … :DRecommend

  • Arsalan J. Sheikh

    “Madrassas which produced the likes of Ghazali, Maulana Rumi and Ibn-e-Sina now produce pupils who become chief commanders in virtually all terrorist organisations of the world.”

    What utter ignorant RUBBISH. Can you name one major terrorist leader who studied in a madrassa? If you look at all of the major terrorists, they are mostly educated in good universities, and often in the West. It is EDUCATED muslims who are upset at the political grievances of their society that turn to extremism, not the uneducated.

    Try reading Who Speaks for Islam, written by John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed. It will tell you more about who the radicals are than silly hear-say.Recommend

  • Waqas

    If you study the islamic aqaid (tenets of faith) promoted by Ibne Khaldun and all these other muslim scientists you will discover that these are contrary to the orthodox perception. They were even dismissed as heretics by the contemporary ulema of that time.

    Today our so-called ulema only include deeniyaat in their understanding of the islamic concept of ilm. Jahalat hamara muqaddar hay bhai. Kuch nhin banega….Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Knowledge is a virtue, and those who cannot express or do not express it place themselves in the ranks of ignorents. Good thinking of the author to go back to history, perhaps he should also tell his students what the noble prize is all about? What does Noble prize signify? A noble prize of peace for the man who has ordered the extra judicial murders of Pakistani citizens in the autonomous tribal region of Pakistan, whose marines are entering Afghans houses at night and killing women and children during sleep? Should this be a prize for any muslim to be proud of? Why not organise a visit for Pakistani students to follow the footsteps of muslims in European oldest, visit the meditrenian countries which were intruded into by the muslim warriors and ruled, the liberian penunsala and itoday’s France upto Loir, the balkans, Budapest and the famous siege of the European capital Vienna. At the time the Ottoman power was superior to that in Europe in terms of not only military but also in education, science and architecture. Today’s Europe have constituions which reflect the values of not only christianity but that of muslims and jews as well; This compares to Pakistan where death sentence is has recently been extended to blesphamic remarks as well. And where excommunication of muslims, the greatest sin for a muslim; has been allocated to the legislators.
    Remember, the cradle of civilisation was in the middle east(not in Europe, Asia and Americas), where the three Ibrahimic religions were also born.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    @Narayana murthy
    Europe and america trys very hard to hide the truth from peoples like there priests did in history when they hide the true bible from the common man and only tells them what they want it so u can understand from this how they gonna say good about islam it is thank to internet now any ony one can search something.Recommend

  • narayana murthy

    @Ahmed and Habibies…

    What is so PRODUCTIVE abt the blog?Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Islam is only 1400 years old!

    Wow! A Muslim so ignorant!! Islam has ALWAYS existed. Islam was mankind’s first and true religion. All great scientists and thinkers were Muslims. That’s why one REVERTS to Islam, not CONVERT, as is the case with other religions.

    Thank you, author. My heart is filled with pain too given that we hardly appreciate the glory of Islam and all Islamic scientists who were inspired and driven in their work by the Light of Islam.Recommend

  • raw is war

    zzzzzzzzz. not again. one more topic on how great medival muslims were.Recommend

  • Ali Shahid

    I feel pigeonholing individuals in religions, castes and race is quite a anti-leftist , pro-rightist approach for someone like Taimur who claims in his blog to lean on left.
    I also believe, as he suggests like his ignorant students, that research facilities and educational standards in muslim countries are not edgy, competitive and top-of-the-notch to produce top-class results.
    Even our so-called muslim nobel prize winners have not been really world class, Einstein was the best. do we have anyone to his likes?Recommend

  • Adeel Barki

    Religious & science are never contradictory. Though there is a factor which weakens the believe of God on people who are not well aware of islamic studies. On other hand, this is also true that whatever human nature do not understands (scientifically), they put it in religious. Al-Farabi & all other scientists were always trying to relate science with religious no matter how much contradictory it becomes. If our directions are right, then there is nothing to worry about. There must be a confidence in religious believes and a thirst to combine it with science. If your religion is right, it will never put you on a contradictory path with science. Just like al-farabi, who was doing research with hindus when people were killing each other on religious believes. Many muslim scientists travelled beyond the boundaries of Muslim nations to find God in physics, science & astronomy. They studied other religions and learnt their histories just like christians do it today. Narrow thinking will take you nowhere but broader thinking will make you cross the rivers of knowledge with a belief of God at along.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    @Arsalan Sheikh
    Totally agreed man. all highly westren educated.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Contrary to Herodotus, Livy and Tacitus, Khaldun’s achievement was the first critical outlook on human society.. Ahem! You can only say that if they came after Khaldoun – who was also basically a historian with some sociological interests (you probably mean ‘In contrast to…). I acknowledge that Ibn Khaldoun made bold strides in creating the concept of a political economy, although his greatest contribution was the theory of rise and fall of civilizations (also used later as reference point by Turkish historians) showing how older and greater civilizations slide into decay, and are often conquered by (relatively) barbarians, who then begin to gradually absorb their more sophisticated aspects; this is an excellent reference point for those studying the conquest of India.Recommend

  • manish

    @Rex Minor:
    long before the abrahamnic religions were born anywhere, a brahamnic religion called hinduism toady had already taken roots in the indian subcontinent.

    it is a good habit to consult some fact before ptting up comments.Recommend

  • http://[email protected] Saima
  • Jawad Jutt

    A hero is a Hero. But we Muslims always differentiate like a Muslim Hero and non Muslim hero. Einstein, Newton, Tesla, Ford, Abraham Lincoln, Marconi, Picasso can never be our heroes as they are Non Muslims while Our Heroes first have to pass from a Rigorous test of Islamic Certification and then through the Constitution of Pakistan where likes of Abdus Salam are shunned out and then after careful assessment we choose our heroes. Bhagat Singh and Ranjit Singh were the local heroes but since they are non Muslims so were opted out from Pakistani history and India Embraces them gladly even though they were born in regions of current Pakistan.

    As long as Muslims kept on thinking like that they will always have a biased opinion no matter what.

    A Here is a Hero in my view. Anyone who do good to humanity and make contribution to science , literature and art is a Hero in my view. I hope everyone will understand that.Recommend

  • Mj

    Many of the esteemed ‘Muslim’ philosophers and scientists had very unorthodox views regarding religion. Although we celebrate them now, in their own time, they were accused of heresy, unorthodoxy, and atheism– some were jailed, a few had to migrate, and a few were killed. The rulers of those times were tolerant, but barely so. The same could not be said about the commoners, who had little to no exposure to the ideas of great thinkers, and were largely dogmatic. Even then, as is the case now, the sword of blasphemy accusations and public outrage was always hanging over the of philosophers and thinkers. For this reason, most of their works belie outward belief and carefully worded thoughts. In the intentional ambiguity regarding his beliefs, even Spinoza appears to follow the Muslim philosophers before him to avoid certain persecution.

    Hanifs are stumbling, Christians all astray
    Jews wildered, Magians far on error’s way.
    We mortals are composed of two great schools
    Enlightened knaves or else religious fools.

  • a 54321

    @Asif Naeem:
    LOL no they arent. there are TONS of things that were revealed/mentioned in the Quran that are proved true by science, CENTURIES after the Quran was revealed.Recommend

  • Ahmet katzoglu

    Whenever I read some Pakistani claim intellectuals as a part of “his history”, it is some obscure Arab guy in the “golden age” of Islam.

    What is your ethnic connection to this Arab guy? NONE.
    Why choose these obscure Arabs anyway? I am social scientist by profession educated at Oxford. And I haven’t heard about the guy who is supposedly the father of my field? Why this exaggeration. Arabs for the most part borrowed from the earlier civilizations of Greek, roman, indian and Chinese and really not the “father” of this or that.

    I am happy that we are Turkish who honor their ancestral identity first before dreaming about some islamIc golden age of Arabic nomads.


  • Jawad Jutt

    @Ahmet katzoglu:
    I absolutely agree. But the problem is not with the general public but the Mind set of our Politicians , Religious figures and people with weapons who are in power. We are working very hard to revive our identity but anyone who try to do that is threatened with dire consequences. I once tried to give some lectures on local heroes of this region and i was threatened by our Intelligence agency that anything not related to Islamic ideology will not only be counter productive but also be perceived anti Pakistani and i should be prepared to be in the grave in mountains of Margalla. I still remember the face of that Intelligence guy who threatened me but that is how things work in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Owais

    Muslims were Super Power because they have their Islamic state which Implemented their Ideology i.e. Islam. It was the Power of Islam which made them Super power.

    Now again Muslims can become super power if only if they implement Islam as complete systems of life i.e. Economics,Politics,Judiciary,Education,Social,foreign policy through the re-establishment of Khilafah

    see below links for more information:




  • manish


    what’s stopping you bro.

    just go ahead with it.

    although we just had a glimpse of one such islamic superpower just in the recent past.

    they were talibans in afghanistan.

    but for some unknown reason, they ran like a rabbit when bombarded by americans.Recommend

  • Rex Minor


    Sorry mate, I am the wrong address to teach you what you have not been taught in schools. I am sure the author had no intention to discuss religions. Ofcourse, long bfore the arrival of the Ibrahimic religion the practicing of worshipping sun, moon, and later moulded and cast figures of animal, was common in middle east as well!
    Besides,hinduism is not a religion never was and therefore todate the Indians belong to the group of people who were not enlightened with the arrival of Prophets, who brought the commandments of God almighty and freed the people in the middle east from worshiping statues and imaginary Gods. Indians , Budhists and shintus remain today in their ancient practices. More recently hinduism has made an opening for the atheists and agnostics to join in their midst. Perhaps one day, the hindu clergy shall decide to accept muslims and christians among them as well.
    Now, what was your question? You are not imagining that the human civilisation originated from India?

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • Rex Minor


    It is not that a muslim is so ignorant per ay. Should’nt your remark be pointed at an Indian or a Pakistani muslim? They are usualy not conversant with the arabic language and besides have suffered the humility of remaining almost two centuries of anglo saxon colonisation. They have a lot to catch up and to realise that instead of remembering the dead heroes, any body can make the effort in research work and should be able to achieve much greater discoveries than those in the history. There is so much not discovered yet? jJust use the brain which is very much under utilised verses its potential!

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    @Ahmet katszulgu
    YOu gotta read the Allama Iqbal of pakistan and read the jalaludin rumi of konya turkey.
    oh muslims what happend to u you have lost your identity and became arab, turkish, hindi
    persian shame man shame.Recommend

  • Rex Minor


    It matter not what others say about the Khalifa state, nor what what the musim states achieved in history. To day we have a statewhich claims to be a Khalifa state, namely Iran! With due respect, the majority of muslims as well as the western countries are not impressed with the Iranian form of Govt. This might be more suitabe for Iran, but no one would want to copy it. Let us be modest, modern, humble, and first learn what Islam is all about. It is love for the next one and compassion for the less previlaged one and solidarity with hmans. This unfortunately does not exist today in any muslim country !

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • kaalchakra

    “they ran like a rabbit when bombarded by americans”

    Is that why Americans are now running away like rats? Muslims must follow Islam and nothing else. Everything will become theirs by the power of Islam. Muslims must

    (1) Increase their numbers everywhere.
    (2) Remain Muslims.

    The rest will fall in place automatically.Recommend

  • hassan

    @Ibraheem Mustafa:

    Regarding the fates of Anwar Saadat, Naguib Mahfouz and Abdus Salam :

    Anwar Saadat: killed by his own islamist army officers

    Naguib Mahfouz: Islamists almost assassinated him, but he survived after getting stabbed; lived in poor health next 10 years under police protection.

    Abdus Salam : He fled Pakistan the moment he saw the beginning of persecution against his community, Ahmediya. Since he lived in London for the rest of life, he did not get assassinated. Died a natural death in 1996. (Death due to old age happens rarely to Islam celebrities.)Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Adeel Barki

    I absolutely agree. Islam is the Truth. Naturally, nothing true can contradict Islam.

    Ahmet katzoglu

    Just by having a Turkish name you do not become a Turk. You are a follower of Ataturk! . Real Turks were Arabs, spoke Arabic, and followed true Islam of the Quran. Inshallah in a few decades Islam will return to its home in Turkey. Then you too will realize that your ancestors were all Arabs and it is your duty to take pride in them!Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    All those who are so hyper about ‘ethnicity’ please get it that Islam does not believe in races. You may have different ‘nations’ if you like but there is only ONE RACE – of followers of Islam. Down with narrow-mindedness and small-heartedness. There is no Sindhi, no Balochi – these are the works of Shaitan.Recommend

  • Big Rizvi

    Yes, for the people of today, the only heros are Bin Laden, Khomeni and Zia. ‘Nuff said.Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    What is there to discuss about the heroes of the past when we have already forgotten those of today?

    Now since your student asked a question you weren’t prepared to reply. Let me give you the answer. Out of the nine only two were scientists… Pakistani Physicist and an Egyptian chemist. One was a Bangladeshi Economist the rest of them are peace prize winners may be fro the compromises they made, likes of Anwar sadaat, Yasser Arfat.
    The reality is since the past two century the Muslims all over the world are duffers in science and they don’t really care about it. Science and its understanding is only for grade among Muslims not for its advancements. if you conduct a servey among your own students Mr. Author of why the want to study the subject you teach they will tell you its the grades they want which will help them to be eligible to get jobs.
    The contributions of Ibn e khaldoon cannot be undermined. In fact contribution made by even Archimedes and other “infedels” are to be cherished as they gave the world knowledge irrespective of race, castes or religion.
    Yes Muslim scientists thought the world in a profound way but they never showed of that they were Superior as they were Muslims and others were worthless as they were not. Recommend

  • whatta whatta

    @ Ahmet: dude, are you are you graduated from Oxford coz if you have, there is no way that can be ignorant either abt Khaldun or his works—as far as i know, there are at least three courses taught about Khaldun in Oxford’s history dept–leaving nonetheless the countless references one has to take of him in courses related to sociology, pol economy etc etcRecommend

  • Hasan

    When we read about Newton, Galileo and other medievial scientists we do not read about their religion. Indeed the focus is always on the contributions they made to further the cause of science. The personal beliefs of these scientists may have motivated them to set about on the path to discovery and knowledge. We do not have to say that the Newton’s three laws of motion are an instance of Christian science.

    It makes no sense to focus on the religion of a scientist, scholar, artist etc when their contribution to a particular field is being discussed. Indeed it is stupid to do so.Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    “When we read about Newton, Galileo and other medievial scientists we do not read about their religion”

    Most respectfully, could it be that their religion is not worth reading about, that it does not promote the natural, systematic scientific temper; the freedom of speculation and inquiry and freedom from irrational inculcation of human mind during childhood; the diversity of mature opinions about natural phenomena; nor individual courage to take uncommon stands and offer radical new hypotheses without fear that Islam offers – all of which transformed Arabs from living in darkness and Jahilya to being great scientists with the arrival of Islam?Recommend

  • cynical


    You say ‘Islam always existed.’ You mean it was there even before our last prophet (PBUH).
    In effect you are saying that Islam was not founded by Hazarat Muhammad.Right?
    You must be a genius.Recommend

  • Cynical

    @Fahad Raza

    Very astute observation.Well put.Recommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    @Ahmet katzoglu:

    “I am happy that we are Turkish who honor their ancestral identity first before dreaming about some islamIc golden age of Arabic nomads.”
    Your ancestors? You mean, Attila the Hun, Chengiz Khan, Kubulai Khan or Hulagu? Beazit II’s wife was paraded in cage, with her clothes torn away, after the so-called Battle of Ankara by Taimur. Your Shamanist ancestors, were the biggest brutes known to humanity.

    Turkey, you ought to realise did not produce even a single intellectual, who contributed to mainstream Islam.

    . Recommend

  • http://NY ahmed

    If you are the teacher, then doesn’t it reflect on you that your students are so ignorant??Recommend

  • kaalchakra


    If I start a class in Islam exclusively for Kaffirs, will you promise to attend? Please.

    The earth and the moon, the sun and the galaxies, water and fire – all follow Islam. All are Muslim. All prophets in the past were also Muslim, till Allah sent his final message through Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) – who was the greatest of the prophets and like whom none has been and none shall be. In reality, every human child is born a Muslim. Unfortunately, in unIslamic households he or she is misled into other, unnatural religions.Recommend

  • http://www.mzahoor.blogspot.com maryam zahoor

    @Asif Naeem:
    If Islam and science are contradictory, are you suggesting that successful scientists such as Ibn-e-Sina, Al-Farabi, Al-Masudi, Ibn-e-Kindi, Al-Khwarzami or Ibn-e-Rushd were not practising Muslims?Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Cynical and others

    Kalchakra is not only genius intellectual, but an enlightened person in its entirety. Have you not yet felt it. I would not ignore or criticise out of hand what he writes. Read it very carefully and try to understand his thoughts.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • faraz

    @maryam zahoor

    Imam Ghazali declared that Ibn e Sina and Al Farabi are heretics in his book ‘Incoherence of Phislosophers’.

    Ibn-Rushd was declared a heretic and his books were burnt in the streets of Cordova. His was banished and the last great Muslim philosopher died in exile.

    All books of al-Kindi the great philosopher were confiscated.

    Most of the scientists were Mutazalits and considered heretics. Read some history.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Let me try to say in my words what Kaalchakra has already stated.

    The religion of christians, jews and muslims is the same in as much as that they all believe in and worship the same God. The jews refused to accept Jesus(pbuh) as the Prophet of God and the christians later declared that Jesus(pbuh) was the son of God. They also made figures of the prophet and his mother Myriam, and placed them in worship places. Neither jews nor christians accepted Prophet Mohammad(pbuh) whose task was to clarify the messages of God previously sent through Moses and Jesus(peace be upon them).

    In other words, as Kaalchakra states that all Prophets of God were muslims, the final one being Prophet Mohammad(pbuh).

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Pollack

    The author seems to put the religion of scientists and philosophers above their achievements and some how makes a fastidious connection between religion and achievements.. If the shoe is on the other foot, is Einsteins theory of relativity a Jewish invention? Mixing of religious ideology and science is dangerous and unfortunately people of the Islamic persuasion are relishing in cooking up this toxic mixture.Recommend

  • Cryptico

    I think what the author is trying to do over here is lament the disregard to critical inquiry that has become systematic of Muslim intellectuals as well as the overall lags that have occurred in Islamic lands, and rather than honouring those who still venture out on the untravelled road, how they are subsequently ostracised—the treatment meted out to Mahfouz and Saadaat should not have been the case—
    It is an astute insight, and the link that he makes between Khaldun and the general problem is quite terrific—you should write more Taimur! I enjoy reading your blogs— and this time,do write something for the ‘political spectrum’ to which you ascribe to…Recommend

  • Ahmet Katzoglu

    Some folks seem to have taken offense to my comments on the Arab worship that Pakistanis often do. Enough to vilify my Turko-Mongol ancestors (@abid khan and others).

    But just look at how many of you are named after my ancestors – yes, that includes you too Mr Khan (a turko-mongol name) , and you too author Taimur (a timurid name of the chagtai Turks who started the mughal dynasty). Yet, none of you have Turkish blood at all. (The only Pakistanis who have Turko-Mongol blood are the hazara who you can make out their central Asian Turkic ancestry by just looking at them.)

    Till the day my people are named after your ancestors, you have to accept the greatness and influence of my ancestors the Turks. Btw, I don’t see any rush from Turkish mothers name their kids Ram or Syam or whatever else your Hindoo ancestors where called. And that is why I and other Turks are more proud of our ancestral heritage than you folks, in a way you can never be.


    Ps what I found striking was that this whole big article about some Arabs didn’t even mention local Pakistani greats like panini who wrote the first formal grammar of any language and created formal language theory that is basis of all computer languages today. Even as a Turk i know panini who is considered one of the founders of linguistics (this time truly so). And he lived in KP not far from where this blog was written. (you may have guessed that I am linguist who studies Turko-Mongol altaic languages by profession:-))


  • hassan

    @Ahmet Katzoglu:

    Panini a Pakistani great ? (Wait, let me throw up and come back here…)Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Mr Katzoglu
    Your ethnic connection to arabs is that you have deleted ad and replaced it et in your first name. Besides you still pray in arabic language, if you do pray. Muslims all around the world have this bondage with arabi and arab language. They also go to perform Haj in Arabis and believe in Ummah, the solidariy with all muslims of the world. Read what the Oxford dictionary tells the world what a young turk is? If you are not acquinted with what Ibne-e -Khaldun contributed in the subject of social science, then you have placed yourself along with the students about whom the author wrote in the article. It is never too late to learn!

    Rex Minor

    PS Khan is not patented by Mongols or turks. It is used as a title for rulers in Afghanistan and pashtun tribes, a family name and simply means some one from a noble family. Recommend

  • http://www.mzahoor.blogspot.com maryam zahoor


    So there was no muslim scientist who was not a heretic? because there was even one who was not, it pretty much proves that a practising Muslim can be a scientist. Recommend

  • Hasan

    @kaalchakra: You assume thus that your religion is better than any other religion based on what ? One cannot argue that the Greeks, Egyptians and other civilizations of the past who achieved some degree of sophistication were inclined to do so because they had a religious motive to do so.

    Islam does not provide “freedom from irrational inculcation of human mind during childhood; the diversity of mature opinions about natural phenomena; nor individual courage to take uncommon stands and offer radical new hypotheses without fear” for there is no direct relation between these ideas and Islam.

    What I propose is that we need not introduce into science a religious aspect. Recommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    @Ahmet Katzoglu:

    “Some folks seem to have taken offense to my comments on the Arab worship that Pakistanis often do. Enough to vilify my Turko-Mongol ancestors (@abid khan and others). “
    As pointed out your very name Ahmet is Arabic but that hardly is real. Dimitros, or Moshe would be most likely to be a Katzoglu. Have you been going around and taking blood samples to determine the gene pool? While checking that it may be fruitful for you to check the DNA of the people who are forced by law to call themselves, an example: Mountain Turks = In fact they are Indo-Europeans, known to the rest of the world as Kurdistanis/Kurdi/Kurds. By bombing them every once in a while, are you paying respect to Hulagu or Chengiz Khan?

    You can check the number of horsemen who were constituted Selcuk invaders of Eastern Rome (Byzantium)? How many accompanied Osman Pasa while he descended on the Selcuks to wipe them off? Justinian made a great city called Constantinople. You added four minarets to Hagia Sophia Church and call it a mosque. And that was not the only church which was “Muslimised” by Selcuks or Ottomans.

    What happened to the millions of Greeks, Armenians etc. who inhabited Eastern Rome. All the blonds one sees walking on Constantinople streets, how can they be Central Asian Turks? Even the Germans who believed in ubermensch have abandoned the idea.

    Please read history, not the one published by Turk Tarih Kurumu but a slightly more neutral source could be revealing. You can check your blue blood too, an overwhelming number of your Queens (Valide Hanims) were, gifted, came as a part of a loot etc then ended up being a part of Harem Sara. Only if a son was born this Christian woman was then moved to main quarters. Not much of blue blood of your ancestors, in the inhabitants of Topkapi!

    After so many attempts, you would probably have realised by now why would the Europeans not touch you by ten foot pole.

    I agree that Pakistan due to very limited access and exposures to your people
    overestimates your country, despite it being not only racist but xenophobic as well. The more they learn about the reality they will discover that not even once have you supported Pakistan’s stand. It has been a one way street.Recommend

  • hassan

    The debate between owners of Turkish ancestry and Arabic ancestry is getting stimulating. I am sure people of both Turkish and Arab blood are noble.

    In the fond hope of finding some heroes, even with dubious merit, I hope they don’t ignore the fact that both Turks and Arabs have contributed immensely MORE to the Hall of Shame than to the Hall of Fame.

    PS: Please, ‘beheading’, ‘belly dancing’ and harem, though they are path-breaking, they really don’t count as contributions. Recommend

  • Mawali

    So then what is the answer to the question your unfortunate students posed to you about the nobel prize winners ?With bated breath, i await your response.
    BTW, Anwar Sadaat was a closed minded, shameless, miserable man. He and his predecessor are responsible to a great extent for the extremist movement in Egypt. Recommend