Islam and the Plight of Modern Man





Within the last decade, man in the industrialised countries has observed that what he has believed since the Renaissance to be the path of progress may indeed be a direct road to the destruction of his environment and even of himself. Dr. Nasr’s book proposes nothing less than a complete solution to the resultant problems. He holds that Western science, by concentrating on an examination of the superficial, has lost touch with the truths and the traditions which inspired the great discoveries made in the Islamic world during the centuries of its supremacy. He attempts to show that the study of man himself has similarly deviated from the truth by ignoring his own essential nature. The author examines and expounds in detail the spiritual situation in his own country, Iran, as well as in the Arab world, India and Pakistan, and shows how in these countries there is a profound struggle between the Islamic tradition and Western ideologies and philosophical currents such as Marxism, evolutionism and existentialism. He also criticises those Muslims who have already attempted to modify their religion in order to reconcile it with false and transient beliefs and ideas. He shows how the whole movement of modern Western philosophy can be reversed by a return to the inescapable Divine Truth embodied in the Qur’an


Seyyed Hossein Nasr

(b. 1933)

Seyyed Hossein Nasr was born in Tehran, where he received his early education. He studied in the West and gained his BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his MA and PhD from Harvard University, where he studied the History of Science and Learning with special concentration on Islamic science and philosophy. In 1958, he returned to Iran to teach at Tehran University, where he was Professor of the History of Science and Philosophy. In 1962 he was visiting lecturer at Harvard University, and he taught there during the summer of 1965. During 1964-65, he was the first holder of the Agha Khan Chair of Islamic Studies at the American University of Beirut. He also served as Vice Chancellor of Tehran University and Chancellor of the Arya-Mehr University of Technology in Iran. He was the founder and first President of the Iranian Academy of Philosophy and is presently University Professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University, Washington D. C. and President of the Foundation for Traditional Studies. Professor Nasr has lectured in America, Europe, the Middle East, Pakistan, India, Japan, and Australia and was the first Muslim Scholar to deliver the Gifford Lectures. He is the author of over twenty-five books and five hundred articles in Persian, English, Arabic and French. His works have appeared in more than ten languages. His important contribution is three generations of scholars he has trained in the course of his fifty-year scholarly career in Iran and the West.


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