*My novel has been in hiatus due to research and teaching. This first novel will be completed in 2021.
What is Asia? Was Asia backwards? Before Europe, did modern culture exist? While the reader is placed in a world of discovery, this novel reveals an intercultural pre-modern Asia, well before colonialism.
The novel traces the story of Abū Bakr al-Rāzī. One of history's most renowned clinicians, Rāzī was also an accomplished alchemist and even dabbled in philosophy (find the short article written by Mujeeb on him). This novel, however, does not focus on Rāzī's youth or his accomplishments, but rather exposes the reader to an intercultural, international Asia through the final journey of Rāzī, a journey that taught one of the medieval world's most knowledgeable men of his ignorance and the wisdom of others, including children, women, and other cultures. Read a short snippet from chapter one:
Although Rāzī was already 70 years old, besides traveling in the deserts of Arabia and Persia, he had never been east, but now he would have to travel to the land of the moon. There was no dearth of routes leading away from the city of Baghdad, considered to be the center of the world. But how could one reach the land of the moon? Rāzī thought to himself.
On the orders of the Caliph Maʾmūn, measurements of the Earth had been recorded and reaching the moon by land had been deemed impossible. How then could Rāzī make his way to the land of the moon? The truth is that Rāzī had met many travelers traveling through Baghdad and with each he had learned conflicting narratives of the land of the moon. Long before Ibn Battūta and Zheng He, Rāzī lived in a world where mysteries ruled the tenth-century information highway, more commonly known as the Silk Road.
The story focuses on Rāzī's encounter with new forms of knowledge, new cultures in the world, and self-discovery. Along the journey, he will meet different individuals who will change his perspective of the world.
If you are interested in learning more about the novel or its publication, please check back here regularly for updates.
**I am now drawing up the story line for a second novel, which will be set after this novel.