The 12th Century Thinker Who Shaped Philosophy

Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hatred, and hatred leads to violence. This is the equation.


Averroes, also known as Ibn Rushd, was a prominent medieval philosopher and jurist who lived in the Islamic world during the 12th century. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest Muslim thinkers of all time, and his works have had a significant impact on Western philosophy and theology.

Born in Cordoba, Spain in 1126, Averroes came from a family of scholars and jurists. He received a rigorous education in Islamic law, theology, and philosophy, and he quickly distinguished himself as a prodigious student. He studied under several prominent scholars of his time, including Ibn Bajjah and Ibn Tufayl, and he later served as a judge and a physician in his home city.

“A society should be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable member.”


Ibn Rushd is best known for his philosophical writings, which were heavily influenced by the works of Aristotle. He believed that philosophy and theology could complement each other, and he sought to reconcile Islamic theology with Aristotelian philosophy. He argued that reason and revelation were not in conflict with each other, but rather that they were two different modes of knowledge that could be used to reach the same truths.

Averroes also made significant contributions to the fields of logic and metaphysics. He developed a sophisticated system of logic that was based on Aristotle’s Organon, and he wrote extensively on the nature of existence and the relationship between cause and effect. His works on metaphysics were particularly influential, as they challenged many of the prevailing views of his time.

“Two truths cannot contradict one another.”


In addition to his philosophical writings, Averroes was also a prolific commentator on the works of Aristotle. His commentaries were widely read and studied in the Islamic world, and they were later translated into Latin and became important sources of knowledge for European scholars during the Middle Ages.

Despite his significant contributions to Islamic philosophy and theology, Averroes faced significant opposition from some members of the religious establishment. His views were considered controversial by some, and he was accused of heresy on several occasions. Nevertheless, his influence continued to grow, and his works remained influential long after his death.

“It is only the scientific spirit that can provide for us an impartial judgment about what we should do at every moment.” 


Today, Averroes or Ibn Rushd is remembered as one of the greatest thinkers of the Islamic Golden Age. His ideas on the relationship between reason and revelation continue to be studied and debated by scholars of philosophy and theology around the world. His legacy is a testament to the power of critical thinking and intellectual inquiry, and his contributions to the fields of philosophy, theology, and science continue to inspire and inform our understanding of the world around us.