Ibn Rushud (Averroes)

Ibn Rushud (Averroes)

 Ibn Rushd (Averroes) Date: Monday, July 05, 1999 10:08 PM

MSA-EC – http://sunnah.org

IBN RUSHD (AVERROES) by GF Haddad

Someone quoted “Encarta Online” about Averroes:

http://encarta.msn.com/index/conciseindex/36/03665000.htm

————————begin quote ————- Averroes, in Arabic, Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Rushd (1126-1198), Spanish-Arab Muslim philosopher, jurist, and physician, born in Cordoba, Spain. His view that reason takes precedence over religion led to his exile in 1195 by the caliph of Morocco and Spain. ————————- end quote ————–

This is what the Islamic sources say about him:

Ibn Rushd the grandson (520-595) was the foremost authority of the Maliki school of Law in Cordoba in his time both in the law and its principles. There was no one higher than him in the matter of legal ruling (fatwa) for crucial issues. Here are some testimonies on him:

- Al-Dhahabi in Siyar A`lam al-`Ulama’ (15:452) quotes al-Abbar as saying: “No one of his scholarly perfection, his erudition, or his high manners was ever raised in Andalus.”

- Ibn Usaybi`a in Tabaqat al-Atibba’ wa Tarikh al-Hukama’ (2:75) says: “He was the peerless authority of his time in the Law and knowledge of juristic differences, and he excelled in medicine… speculative theology, and philosophy.”

- Ibn Farhun in al-Dibaj al-Mudhahhab (p. 379) states: “On top of all this he was of examplary modesty… he gained eminence in his life through the office of judge in Cordoba, and although kings held him in great awe and respect he never sought after honor nor material gain.”

- Ibn `Imad in Shadharat al-Dhahab (4:320): “He excelled in the Law, heard hadith, mastered medicine, and embraced speculative theology and philosophy until his erudition became proverbial in the latter. He authored works together with intellectual brilliance and diligent work night and day. He authored numerous works in jurisprudence, medicine, logic, mathematics, theology. He died in Marrakesh.”

- Makhluf in Shajarat al-Nur al-Dhakiyya (p. 146 #439): “The Qadi of the Congregation, Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Abi al-Walid ibn Rushd (520-595)… [After mentioning the above reports:] He was severely tried through exile and the burning of his valuable books in the last days of Ya`qub al-Mansur’s rule due to religious and political matters they had attributed to him. Then he was pardoned, but he lived for only one year after his pardon.”

None of these sources mentioned that Ibn Rushd the grandson held the simplistic view that “reason takes precedence over religion” or that it “led to his exile in 1195 by the caliph of Morocco and Spain.” The last excerpt shows that the latter construction is deceptive and misleading.

Most of Ibn Rushd’s works are available in Arabic and many have been published:

Bidaya al-Mujtahid (fiqh of the Four Sunni Schools) Fasl al-Maqal fi ma bayn al-Shari`a wa al-hikma min al-Ittisal (Relationship of Law with Philosophy) Al-Damima (Addendum to the preceding) Fasl min Kitab al-Sihha fi al-Kulliyyat (Book of Medicine from Aristotle’s Universals) Al-Kashf `an Manahij al-Adilla fi `Aqa’id al-Milla (Islamic Doctrine and Its Proofs) Al-Kulliyyat (Aristotle’s Universals) Muqaddimaat Ibn Rushd (Marginalia on al-Tannukhi’s Great Compilation of Maliki Fiqh) Tahafut al-Tahafut (refutation of al-Ghazzali)* Talkhis al-Khataba (oratory) Talkhis al-Safsata (sophistry) Talkhis Kitab al-Hass wa al-Mahsus and Talkhis Kitab al-Nafs (Aristotle on the Soul) Talkhis Kitab al-Jadal (Aristotle on Logic) Talkhis al-`Ibara (Rhetoric) Talkhis Kitab al-Shi`r (Aristotle’s Poetics) Talkhis Kitab al-Maqulat Talkhis ma Ba`d al-Tabi`a (Aristotle’s Metaphysics) Rasa’il (Epistles)

* _Tahafut al-Tahafut, aw Tahafut al-Mutahafitin_ (“The inconsistency of [al-Ghazzali’s book] ‘The Inconsistency [of the Philosophers]’, or: The inconsistency of the contradictors”):

1st edition: Cairo, al-Matba`a al-I`lamiyya, 1302=1883 2nd edition: Cairo, al-Matba`a al-Khayriyya, 1319=1901 3rd edition: Cairo: Mustafa Baba al-Halabi, 1321=1903 4th edition: Beirut: Catholic Press, 1930 (680 p.) 5th edition: Hyderabad: Da’ira al-Ma`arif al-`Uthmaniyya, 1945 6th edition: Cairo: Dar al-Ma`arif, 1964-1965 (1072 p.)

GF Haddad Qasyoun@cyberia.net.lb

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