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Personalities Changed History: Ibn Rushd-Averroes!

Date Added: April 29, 2009 06:16:35 PM
Author: Leon
Category: Society

Personalities Changed History: Ibn Rushd-Averroes!

Author: hasan yahya

Personalities Changed History: Ibn Rushd-Averroes!

Hasan Yahya, Ph.D

In the 12th century, the famous Islamic Philosopher and Ibn Rushd, known to the West as Averroes, claimed that women were equal to men in all respects and possessed equal capacities to shine in peace and war citing examples of female warriors among the Arabs, Greeks, and Africans to support his case. In early Muslim history, examples of notable female Muslims who fought during the Muslim conguests and Fitna (civil wars) as soldiers or generals included Nusaibah bint Ka’b al-Muzayniyyah, Aisha, Khawla and and Um Umarah.

The same century witnessed the decline of Kalam school, it was attacked by both philosophers and orthodox. The most one who directly attacked Philosophy was Al-Ghazali, in his work, “Tahafut al-Falasifah” (The Incoherence of the Philosophers) not only produced, by reaction, a current favorable to philosophy, but induced the philosophers themselves to profit by his criticism. The reaction to Al-Ghazali’s book, brought two of the greatest philosophers that the Islamic school ever produced, namely, Ibn Bajah (Avempace) and Ibn Rushd (Averroes), both of whom undertook the defense of philosophy.

Ibn Roshd or (Averroës), was contemporary of Maimonides, closed the first great philosophical era of the Muslims. The boldness of this great commentator of Aristotle aroused the full fury of the orthodox, who attacked all philosophers indiscriminately, and had all philosophical writings committed to the flames. The theories of Ibn Rushd do not differ fundamentally from those of Ibn Bajjah and Ibn Tufail, who only follow the teachings of Ibn Sina and Al-Farabi. Like all Islamic Peripatetics, Ibn Rushd admits the hypothesis of the intelligence of the spheres and the hypothesis of universal emanation, through which motion is communicated from place to place to all parts of the universe as far as the supreme world—hypotheses which, in the mind of the Arabic philosophers, did away with the dualism involved in Aristotle's doctrine of pure energy and eternal matter. His ideas on the separation of philosophy and religion, further developed by the Averroes school of philosophy, were later influential in the development of modern secularism. Ibn Rushd is thus regarded as the founding father of secular thought in Western Europe.

It should be mentioned that this depiction of intellectual tradition in Islamic Lands is mainly dependent upon what West could understand (or was willing to understand) from this long era. In contrast, there are some historians and philosophers who do not agree with this account and describe this era in a completely different way. Their main point of dispute is on the influence of different philosophers on Islamic Philosophy, especially the comparative importance of eastern intellectuals such as Ibn Sina and of western thinkers such as Ibn Rushd.(451 words)

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About the Author:

Hasan Yahya, is an American Arab scholar, a poet, a professor of Sociology, resides in Lansing-Michigan, USA. Graduated from Michigan State University with two Ph.D degrees simultaneously, and taught in several colleges and universities in and out the United States. [LLC, JCC, MSU and Zayed University-UAE]. His research and experience about life change and satisfaction and race relations among minority groups between the generations. His philosophy covers moral issues and logic of religions and science. He presented papers at professional conferences on sociology, and education in general in comparative analysis. He ‘s an authority on Arab and Muslim cultures and populations. His research covers conflict management, on micro and macro level of social behavior and change in the Muslim world. He’s a columnist at wfol.tv, Malaysia, and TINA International News Agency, Michigan, USA. He authored 20 books and wrote 170 articles plus on sociology, psychology, politics, literature, IQ test measurement and short stories in both Arabic and English. In addition to two poetry Diwans. His recent book: “Arab Palestinians and Jews: Sociological Approach” published at Amazon, (2009). His articles may be found on articlesbase, amazines, or www.hasanyahya.com

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