Beware Pseudo-Scholars & Half-Baked Knowledge!


The Humble "I"

tumblr_md1w1eooHu1rvnjwto1_500The best proverbs manage to capture important ideas in just a few words. One well-worn Arab proverb has it that: nisf al-‘ilm akhtaru min al-jahl – ‘Half-baked knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance.’ ‘The greatest enemy of knowledge,’ insists Steven Hawking, ‘is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.’ In the scholastic tradition of Islam there is the concept of ta‘alum, of ‘feigning knowledge’: claiming to be well-versed in religious matters merely by reading books, rather than by learning, studying and dialoguing with seasoned scholars. And so very often, such half-baked knowledge can be more corrupting and dangerous – to both the individual and the society – than simple, plain ignorance. Permit me to elaborate:

The whole notion of how a little knowledge can deceive a person into thinking they are more expert than they actually are has, I think, been wonderfully stated in a poem by the English poet, Alexander Pope. In his An Essay on Criticism (1709), he says:

A little…

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Categories: Islam

7 replies

  1. Hmm- a certain Caribbean Muslim apologist comes to mind.


    • The one who proclaimed the theory of relativity as shirk?


    • Do you have proofs for this Abu Talha? For me this seems like the Tabekian method of lying about opponents in order to discredit them.


    • That’s actually what you do about Shaykh Atabek, Rider. I’m talking about Bilal Phillips, who did indeed call Relativity as shirk. I was asking if that’s whom Paulus was referring to.

      Get a life.


    • Oh I thought you meant Abdullah Faisal.

      I don’t care much about Bilal Phillips. But still, I am sure that Atabek doesn’t understand the theory of relativity. Phillips should not talk about things he doesn’t understand but at least he has some taqwa and baraa’. Atabek is loyal to everything that comes from the kuffar.

      The theory of relativity is absolutely accepted from an Islamic viewpoint anyway.


    • Look Abu Talhah, my point is that this discrediting tactic has a purpose. By pointing out a stupid thing Bilal Phillips said about one scientific issue the Tabekians try to push other scientific theories to Muslims.

      The attempt works in the following way:
      >Bilal Phillips does not understand the theory of relativity and calls it shirk
      >>Bilal Phillips and others do not understand other scientific theories
      >>>Bilal Phillips and others do not understand the theory of evolution and call it kufr

      From this follows that the theory of human evolution can be accepted and everyone who opposes it is an idiot. That is the way his plots work. Sounds stupid and paranoid from my side? Yes, but it works indeed this way. All of Atabek’s success is due to such methods.

      Atabek believes in human evolution. He wants to legitimise it by discrediting everyone who disagrees.


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