In another era, it would have been enough to invoke the lack of historical-intellectual precedent to discredit the so-called scientific exegesis (al-tafsir al-'ilmi) which burst into view toward the end of the nineteenth century--the century of deluge, which witnessed the colonization of nearly the entire Muslim world. Such an argument does not find traction in our progressivist times, but it is well worth considering certain aspects of the colonial predicament for a better understanding of the scientific exegesis of the Qur'an. This may shed light on the genre by highlighting the context which produced a deep-seated inferiority complex in the Muslim mind toward Islamic intellectual tradition and an awe for modern Western science, both of which are characteristic features of modern scientific exegesis. Let us note that by the time scientific exegesis appeared as a fully differentiated field, the discourse on the relationship between Islam and science had already witnessed a break with Islamic intellectual tradition and modern Western science had already achieved the stature of an arbitrator in matters which were, by definition, beyond its scope. Thus, anything that could not be explained on the basis of the so-called laws of nature was considered suspect, to say the least: miracles, supra-rational events, and concepts such as the Divine hand directing human and natural events according to the custom of God (Sunnatu' Llah) had all suffered a rationalistic reductionism.