This short study looks into the mind of the Ayyubid intellectual Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi, also known as al-Labbad, who was born in Baghdad in 1162 and died there in 1231–32 at the age of 69. The focus of this article is his famous book Kitāb al-Ifāda wa’l-i'tibār fi’l-umūr al-mushāhada wa’l-ḥawadith al-mu'āyana bi-arḍ Miṣr (The Book of Instruction and Admonition on the Things Seen [mushāhada] and Events Recorded [mu'āyana] in the Land of Egypt), which, as I argue, is al-Baghdadi’s clear manifestation of his “change of mind” in the fields of scholarship and methods of learning. It seems that a turning point in al-Baghdadi’s academic career occurred during the time he spent in Egypt and, perhaps even and more importantly, in front of the antiquities of Pharaonic Egypt. His descriptions of the pyramids, Sphinx, and huge sculptures of ancient Egypt demonstrate al-Baghdadi’s progressive method of looking at and interpreting nature and thus of rewriting history.
Shalem, Avinoam. "Experientia and Auctoritas: ʿAbd al-Latif al-Baghdadi’s Kitāb al-Ifāda wa’l-iʿtibār and the Birth of the Critical Gaze." Muqarnas: An Annual On The Visual Cultures Of The Islamic World 32 (2015): 197-212.