So, what is really at stake with the claim that 1400 years of scholarship — involving hundreds of millions of teachers and students — was fundamentally mistaken about a critical component of theology, while the true, correct understanding could only fully be known through the “illumination” of the past 40-50 years of modern science? What kind of impact would there be to the collective Muslim psyche if it were accepted that 40 years of science trumps 1400 years of Islamic intellectual effort? In fact, what would this mean for the very notion of tradition itself? An epistemological coup d’état of this magnitude would no less than eviscerate the tradition-centric, transmission-based Muslim ethos at large. Unfortunately, this coup is well underway.
Comparing and contrasting Islamic intellectual discourse with the western empirical sciences. Does critiquing the latter undercut the former? Here is part of an edited conversation I had on this topic, where I make a first attempt at distinguishing Islamic and scientific/naturalistic intellectual discourse and their respective rational-normative projects.