Averroes , also known as Ibn Rushd or Ibn Roschd or, Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rushd was a Spanish- Arabic philosopher , doctor , lawyer and scholar who inhabited the Andalusian region of southern Spain in the Middle Ages . After his death, the Averroism movement grew around his teachings, and his work greatly influenced the subsequent development of the Scholastic school in Western Europe.

  • When was he born:  04/14/1126
  • Where he was born:  Córdoba, Al-Ándalus, Almohad Empire
  • When he died:  12/10/1198
  • Where he died:  Marrakech, Almohad Empire

Who was Averroes?

He was a renowned and important Spanish- Arab philosopher , a thinker who wrote on Islamic philosophy, theology, medicine, astronomy , physics , jurisprudence, and law . He was known as The Commentator for his comments on Aristotle .


In the Islamic world, he was instrumental in defending Greek philosophy against the orthodox Ash’arite theologians led by al-Ghazali. Although during his life his philosophy was considered controversial in Muslim circles , it had an even greater impact on Western European thought , and he has been described as the founding father of secular thought , becoming known as ” The Commentator ” in the West. Christian.

  • Biography of Averroes
  • Thought
  • Contributions of Averroes
  • Importance
  • Works of Averroes
  • Phrases

Biography of Averroes

Averroes was born in 1126 in Córdoba, Andalusia, the capital of Muslim Spain . He came from a family of Maliki legal scholars and both his grandfather, Abu Al-Walid Muhammad, and his father, Abu Al-Qasim Ahmad, were the main judges of Córdoba under the Almoravid dynasty who ruled the region until it was replaced by the Almohads in the mid-twelfth century.

His education followed a traditional path beginning with studies in hadith , linguistics , jurisprudence, and scholastic theology . He was influenced by the philosopher Ibn Bajjah . His medical education was directed by Abu Jafar ibn Harun of Trujillo, and he showed a clear aptitude for medicine .

In 1169, Averroes became qadi or religious judge of Seville, and then, in 1172, chief judge of Córdova . Throughout this period he wrote many legal commentaries and treatises on legal methodology, legal declarations, sacrifices, and land taxes.

He was a friend of Ibn Tufail , a philosopher and official medical advisor to the Caliph Abu Yaqub Yusuf . Ibn Tufail introduced Averroes to the caliph, and the prince was so impressed by the young philosopher that he employed him, first as chief judge and later in 1182 as chief physician.  He also commissioned Averroes to write a series of commentaries on Aristotle’s texts , which became one of Averroes’ main legacies to Western philosophy . Averroes died on December 10, 1198 in Marrakech, Morocco , and his writings found new audiences after his death, mainly in Christian worlds.and Jewish .


He always defended philosophy and reason as the sources of truth , however, by professing Islam, he opposed religious knowledge . He thought that God had created the world from eternity and that his will was perfect and that therefore creation was also eternal.

Based on the thought of Aristotle , God for Averroes was the creator of the entire universe , the first immobile, immaterial motor , it was a pure and actual act . He thought that the soul is divided into two different parts, a perishable individual known as the passive intellect and the other divine and eternal, the active intellect .

Contributions of Averroes

The main contributions that Averroes made to the world are the following:

  • His contribution to science was based on three specific areas, in Law, Medicine and Astronomy.
  • He wrote an important work on Islamic law, the Bidaya, which was the basis for the foundations of law and which involved the comparative analysis of the different Islamic legal schools.
  • He wrote treatises like the Book of the generalities of medicine, widely spread in the Renaissance.
  • He showed the need to develop a physical and not only mathematical astronomy, which was based on the empirical observation of the sky, since he was not convinced with the theories of Ptolemy.
  • He carried out a strict philosophy of Greek science, seeking especially a return to an integral Aristotelianism.
  • He established four types of intellect: material (receptive), habitual (allowing everything to be conceived), agent (efficient and formal cause of knowledge) and acquired (union of man with the intellect).


Its importance and influence on the thought of Europe was decisive. Many Jews were in charge of spreading their comments on the works of Aristotle in addition to influencing Christian scholasticism .

He sought how to clarify the thinking of the human being and how the universal and eternal truths are formulated by perishable beings. He located the origin of intellection in the sensitive perception that individuals have.

His vindication of philosophy , his enormous contribution in the scientific field and his innovative spirit that inspired his thinking, has been one of the most important precursors of modern European culture .

Works of Averroes

Among his main works we can mention the following:

  • Aristotle’s Anima Commentary .
  • Refutation of the rebuttal or Destruction of destruction.
  • On the harmony between Religion and Philosophy .
  • Distinguished jurist .
  • The comments to the ” Corpus aristotelicum “
  • Major comments to the Second Analytical , Physics, De Cohelo et Mundo, Anima and Aristotle’s Metaphysics .
  • Plato’s Republic Exhibition .
  • The Commentaries to Ptolemy, Alexander of Aphrodisias, Nicholas of Damascus, Galen, al-Farabi, Avicenna and Avempace.
  • The treatise De Substantia Orbis .


Some of the most famous phrases of Averroes are:

  • Four things cannot be hidden for long: science , stupidity , wealth and poverty .
  • Who talks about things that do not concern him, hears things that he does not like.
  • The woman is only the imperfect man.
  • All religions are human works and, deep down, equivalent; is chosen from among them for reasons of personal convenience or circumstances
  • Being beautiful and loved is the condition of many women. Being ugly and knowing how to make oneself loved is the highest expression of a woman’s genius.
  • In nature nothing is superfluous .

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