One of the unfortunate shortcomings of modem Western scholarship concerning the Islamic world is that while serious studies are often made of the intellectual and spiritual life of what is usually called the' 'medieval" period, when it comes to the contemporary era most of the studies are limited to the social, economic and political fields. A picture of the contemporary Islamic world is usually drawn depicting it as if it contained nothing of intellectual interest. Even the studies made in art and literature are usaully limited only to those individuals or trends that seek to innovate and break existing traditions while the surviving tradition is laid aside as if it did not exist, not matter how vital and active it might be. The bias inherent in most techniques and methods of current research to measure only change ignores permanence by definition no matter how significant the permanent and continuing traditions may be in reality. This a priori judgment of the significance of change and "evolution" vis-a-vis the permanent background of things, l combined with the still widely accepted image of the Islamic intellectual tradition as nothing more than a bridge between the Hellenistic world and medieval 'Europe,2 have prevented for the most part serious studies from being made about Islamic intellectual life in its more current phase.3