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Renowned Islamic scholar Hamza Yusuf speaks at AUS
Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, a prominent Islamic scholar and President of Zaytuna College in the United States, spoke on the Islamic civilization's contributions to science and technology at American University of Sharjah (AUS) yesterday, April 14, at the university's main auditorium.
In his lecture, entitled "Contributions of Muslims in Science and Technology," Yusuf spoke on the technological advances of Islamic civilization, its roots and its influence today. "We are technology creators by nature. But we are not only that. One of our inclinations is to ornament. This building was designed clearly with an aesthetic component. This desire to ornament the functional is embedded within the human species," said Yusuf.
"Civilization is a river with many rivulets that pour into this vast river. We have all these different civilizations, but the reality of it is that the idea behind civilization is really one―the idea of making life more bearable, creating civil environments, societies and cities where people can live together," he added.
Yusuf discussed specific contributions by Muslim scientists, in fields such as alchemy, distillation, cryptography and irrigation, among others. He also spoke of the numerous problems that technology has caused, such as ecological and social damage.
"Young people, you have an enormous responsibility," he said addressing the students. "Don't waste your time. It is like we are on the Titanic, and the band is playing on. We're upsetting the balance ecologically," said Yusuf.
Hamza Yusuf is the President and Cofounder of Zaytuna College, a non-profit, educational institution located in Berkeley, California, United States. Founded in 1996, Zaytuna College is the United States' first Muslim liberal arts college. Yusuf is a convert to Islam and was called "the Western world's most influential Islamic scholar" by the Guardian newspaper.
A capacity audience comprising students, faculty and members of the AUS community attended the lecture, which was organized by the Islamic Cultural Club at AUS.