He is one of the world’s foremost Muslim Intellectuals and author of more than 40 books on science, religion and contemporary culture. He is listed on Prospect Magazine’s “Britain’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals “ and has been described as “Britain’s own Muslim Polymath”.
Currently, Ziauddin Sardar is Chair of the Muslim Institute, a learned, fellowship society that promotes knowledge and debate, and editor of Critical Muslim, an innovative quarterly on contemporary Muslim ideas and thought. He is also the Director of the Centre of Postnormal Policy and Futures Studies, East West Chicago, and the editor of its journal East West Affairs.
He has been described as a ‘critical polymath’ and works across a number of disciplines ranging from Islamic studies and futures studies to science policy, literary criticism, information science to cultural relations, art criticism and critical theory. He was born in Pakistan in 1951 and grew up in Hackney, East London.
Ziauddin Sardar has worked as science journalist for Nature and New Scientist and as a television reporter for London Weekend Television. He was a columnist on the New Statesman for a number of years and has served as a Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and as a member of the Interim National Security Forum. Ziauddin Sardar has published over 45 books. The Future of Muslim Civilisation (1979) and Islamic Futures: The Shape of Ideas to Come (1985) are regarded as classic studies on the future of Islam. He pioneered the discussion on science in Muslim societies, with a series of articles in Nature and New Scientist and a number of books, including Science, Technology and Development in the Muslim World (1977), The Touch of Midas: Science, Values and the Environment in Islam and the West (1982), which is seen as a seminal work, The Revenge of Athena: Science, Exploitation and the Third World (1988) and Explorations in Islamic Science (1989). Postmodernism and the Other (1998) has acquired a cultish following and Why Do People Hate America? (2002) became an international bestseller.
Ziauddin Sardar’s two volumes of biography and travel, Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim (2004) and Balti Britain: A Provocative Journey Through Asian Britain (2008) have received wide acclaim. Reading the Qur’an (2011), which began as a Guardian blog, has been described as a ‘mini masterpiece’. And Future: All That Matters is probably the only accessible introduction to futures studies. He has also authored a number of study guides in the Introducing series, including the international bestsellers Introducing Islam and Introducing Chaos. Two collections of his writings are available as Islam, Postmodernism and Other Futures: A Ziauddin Sardar Reader (2003) and How Do You Know?: Reading Ziauddin Sardar on Islam, Science and Cultural Relations (2006).
Ziauddin Sardar has written and presented numerous television programmes – most recently ‘Battle for Islam’, a 90-minute documentary for BBC2 and ‘Dispatches’ on Pakistan for Channel 4. His earlier programmes include ‘Encounters with Islam’ (1985), a series of four shows for BBC and ‘Islamic Conversations’ (1994), a series of six programmes for Channel 4. He was a regular Friday Panel Member on ‘World News Tonight’ on Sky News (2005-2007).
Formerly Editor of Futures (1999-2012), the monthly journal of policy, planning and futures studies, he is now consulting editor of Futures. He was a long-standing columnist on the New Statements and has contributed to the Guardian, the Times, the Independent and numerous other newspapers and magazines.
Currently, Ziauddin Sardar is Chair of the Muslim Institute, a learned, fellowship society that promotes knowledge and debate, and editor of Critical Muslim, an innovative quarterly on contemporary Muslim ideas and thought. He also edits East West Affairs, ‘a quarterly journal of North-South relations in postnormal times’.
Widely known for his radio and television appearances, he writes an occasional ‘Credo’ column for the Times. His history of Mecca: The Sacred City will be published by Bloomsbury in the autumn of 2014.