Ibn Rushd (Averroes)


Ibn Rushd (Averroes) is regarded by many as the foremost Islamic philosopher. 

Abu’l-Walid Ibn Rushd, better known as Averroes (520/1126-595/1198), stands out as a towering figure in the history of Arab/Islamic thought, as well as that of West/European philosophy and theology. In the Islamic world, he played a decisive role in the defense of Greek philosophy against the onslaughts of the Ashʿarī theologians (Mutakallimūn), led by al-Ghazali (d. 505/1111), and the rehabilitation of Aristotle works. 

A common theme throughout his writings is that there is no incompatibility between religion and philosophy when both are properly understood. His contributions to philosophy took many forms, ranging from his detailed commentaries on Aristotle, his defense of philosophy against the attacks of those who condemned it as contrary to Islam and his construction of a form of Aristotelianism which cleansed it, as far as was possible at the time, of Neoplatonic influences.

In the Western world, he was recognized, as early as the thirteenth century, as the Commentator of Aristotle, contributing thereby to the rediscovery of the Master, after centuries of near-total oblivion in Western Europe. That discovery was instrumental in launching Latin Scholasticism and, in due course, the European Renaissance of the fifteenth century. Notwithstanding, there has been very little attention to Averroes’ work in English, although greater interest has been shown in French, since the publication of Ernest Renan’s Averroes et l’averroisme in 1852.


  • In the Age of Averroes: Arabic Thought at the End of the Classical Period. An international conference to be held at the Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London February 14 (Thursday)-16 (Saturday), 2008. Announcement


In Arabic:

  • Tahfut al-Tahafut the complete work Arabic :
    • Volume 1&2 (Arabic pdf) edited by S. Dunya in one file
    • A Critical Edition under the supervision of M.A. al-Jabari, Beirut 1997 (PDF)
    • the definative and critical edition is edited by M. Bouyges, Beirut.
    • Early printed Arabic edition included with Ghazali’s tahafut. (link)
    • In Latin translation (link
  • Commentaries on many of Aristotle’s works. Listing of works in print to come. Note that his commentaries come in three forms: summaries, middle commentaries, and grand commentaries. He also commented on Plato’s republic. Aristotle’s Politics was not available in Arabic. Also some of his works were lost and no longer available in Arabic but are available in Hebrew translation and transliteration.
  • Talkhiṣ Kitāb al-Jadal (Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Topics) available from GEBO (General Egyptian Book Organization) in Arabic, edited by C. Butterworth. 
  • Faṣl al-Maqal (The decisive treatise or Faith & Reason)  
    • Edited Arabic Version (PDF)
    • Critical Edition under the supervision of M. A. al-Jabari, Beirut 1997 (PDF)
  • al-Kashf ʿan manahij al-ʿadla fi ʿaqaid al-mila (Clarifying the systems of proof in the beliefs of the nation [of Muslims]): Critical Edition under the supervision of M.A. al-Jabari (PDF) Beirut 1998.
  • al-Ḍarurī fī iṣūl al-fiqh (Summary of al-Ghazali’s Mustaṣfa) Arabic (PDF). Also in word file. Courtesy of the Poloz family, Morocco.
  • Bidyat al-Mujtahid (comparative legal book): Arabic e-text (needs proofing) source: muhadith.org  (zip file). There are many editions of this book in print as its considered a primer on comparative fiqh (law). 
    • Arabic editions in pdf facsimile, link, link
      • English Language as the Distinguished Jurist Primer in two volumes, trans. I.A.K. Nyazee and is part of the Center for Muslim Contributions to Civilization series, Qatar, published by Garnet publishing, Reading, UK. volume 1, volume 2. NB: in pdf facsimile missing prefatory material including copyright page.

In English & other languages:

Works about him:

In Arabic:

In English & other languages:


  1. The Philosophy of Ibn Rushd. J.d. al-ʿAlawī. 
  2. Translation and Philosophy: The Case of Averroes’ Commentaries. C.E. Butterworth. (PDF)
  3. Averroistic Trends in Jewish-Christian Polemics in the Late Middle Ages. D.J. Lasker (PDF)
  4. The Twice-Revealed Averroes. H.A. Wolfson. (PDF)
  5. Infinite and Privative Judgments in Aristotle, Averroes, and Kant. H.A. Wolfson (PDF)
  6. Revised Plan for the Publication of a Corpus Commentariorum Averrios in Aristotelem. H.A. Wolfson (PDF) Also Corrigendum.
  7. Averroes on the Metaphysics of Aristotle. I. Husik (PDF)
  8. Remarks on Averroes’ Decisive Treatise. M. Madhi (PDF)
  9. Averroes’ Doctrine of the Mind. S.C. Tornay (PDF)

New Research published:

  • The relationship between Averroes and al-Ghazali: As it presents itself in Averroes’ Early writings, especially in his commentary on al-Ghazali’s al-Mustasfa. By F. Griffel, in Medieval Philosophy and the Classical Tradition In Islam, Judaism and Christianity Edited by J. Inglis, Curzon Press Richmond, Surrey UK (ISBN: 0-7007-1469-3) Pp 51-63. http://www.curzonpress.co.uk This paper presents new research based on newly found manuscript (al-Ḍarurī fī iṣūl al-fiqh) by Averroes. An anlysis of which presents quite a different picture then is traditionally thought of (namely the hostility towards al-Ghazali by Ibn Rushd).


  • B.A. Thesis by M. Aftab. Uses some of Ibn Rushd’s Arguments.


  • Ibn Rushd biography by Encyclopedia Britannica… (e-text)
  • Basic web biography… (link)
  • Ibn Rushd, Philosopher and theologian by Yousif F. Raslan. (link)
  • Ibn Rushd and the seeds of European Renaissance. by Heba Salloum. (link)
  • from Pak Center’s website: Ibn Rushd. (link)
  • Dr. A. Zahoor’s biogoraphy of Ibn Rushd. (copied widely on the net) (link)
  • Averroes bio in Greek. (link)
  • Ibn Rushd as a Physician. (link)
  • Tapestry Project-Averroes Page by Litsa E. Williams. (link)
  • Catholic Encyclopedia’s article on Averroes. (link)
  • Ibn Rushd and the Harmony of Religion and Philosophy (link)
  • The Islamic Scholar Who Gave Us Modern Philosophy (link)
  • The Literary Criticism of Ibn Rushd (link)
  • Ibn Rushd (Averroes) (link)
  • Ibn Rushd’s criticisms of the theologians’ arguments for the existence of God (link)


City of his birth and work:


  • Digital Averroes Research Environment – works
  • A bibliography of works on and by Ibn Rushd. by M. Atiyah (Arabic PDF). Source: Islamiat al-maʿrifa.
  • Chronology of the works of Ibn Rushd by J. Kenny O. P. (link)



The Movie:

  • Youssef Chahine’s epic drama: Destiny (Story of Ibn Rushd). Chahine’s reinterpretation of Ibn Rushd’s life. Starting Nour el-Cherif as Ibn Rushd with Mohammed Munir and Leyla Elwi.