Introduction by Majid Fakhry 1 1. On the knowledge of Transcendence 54 5. He studied Arabic letters Adab , jurisprudence Fiqh , Kalam, medicine and philosophy with a number of teachers, some of whose names are given in the sources. As a result of this meeting, Averroes was asked to expound the works of Aristotle for the use of the Caliph and was appointed religious judge qadi of Seville and shortly after chief judge of Cordova. In , he was appointed physician royal at the court of Marrakech. In the same year Averroes was exiled to Lucena, to the southeast of Cordova; though shortly after he was restored to favor.
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That question is important to him because too elaborate interpretations of Scripture destroy the faith of those he calls "the common people," i.
Averroes prefers to "err" on the safe side of a literal interpretation of Scripture. He argues In Faith and Reason in Islam, Averroes answers the question to what extent the Koran should be understood literally and, conversely, to what extent it should be "interpreted". He argues that Scripture the Koran was meant first and foremost for the common people. The Koran knows what it does when it talks to them in simple and concrete terms. And since the Koran does not set out to mislead people, even the "learned" as opposed to the "common people" can attain wisdom by studying its literal meaning rather than getting lost in their vain speculations.
The first four chapters of the book are long-winded refutations of what Averroes considers to be attacks on the authority of Scripture. He pegs his arguments on his main point that there are common people, on the one hand, and then there are learned people. The Koran is meant primarily for the common people and the learned people should learn from the literal meaning of Scripture rather than thumb their noses at it. Not only does Averroes side with the common people.
His approach also leaves the door open to progress: the common people may become more sophisticated over time. Averroes states that possibility more or less explicitly. For example, he quotes Mohammed: "Had Moses lived in my time, he could not but follow me.
It is only in the fifth chapter that we see why Averroes has earned the reputation of being one of the most brilliant thinkers in Islam. Once he has anchored his entire argument on the literal meaning of the Koran and has explained why he does so, Averroes does something remarkable.
In the fifth chapter he puts forward his view on five different problems, which are the creation of the worlds; commissioning messengers; divine decree and predestination; divine justice and injustice; and, resurrection and its modes. The remarkable thing is this: Averroes has already concluded that the literal meaning of the Koran shows that spiritual phenomena reflect or are reflected in concrete phenomena.
That is a game-changer. With the help of his unshakeable faith in his reading of the Koran, Averroes counters the argument that God had preordained every single act and happenstance in our lives.
It is exactly because of that intimate link between creation and Creator that it is also unnecessary for God to use miracles to prove that the prophets were sent by God. The fact that proves that Mohammed, in particular, was sent by God is simple: Mohammed, an illiterate Bedouin, could produce something as sublime as the Koran p. Once those basic truths have been established, the question of literal meaning versus interpretation becomes secondary.
As Averroes concludes in his discussion on resurrection: " Instead of getting caught in their interpretations, the learned should understand that great latitude when God speaks to people.
Faith and Reason in Islam: Averroes' Exposition of Religious Arguments
For a brief period starting from , Averroes was banished by Caliph Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur , likely for political reasons. By Averroes was in Marrakesh Morocco , the capital of the Almohad Caliphate, to perform astronomical observations and to support the Almohad project of building new colleges. The Encyclopaedia of Islam said the caliph distanced himself from Averroes to gain support from more orthodox ulema, who opposed Averroes and whose support al-Mansur needed for his war against Christian kingdoms. Monfredo de Monte Imperiali Liber de herbis, 14th century See also: List of works by Averroes Averroes was a prolific writer and his works, according to Fakhry, "covered a greater variety of subjects" than those of any of his predecessors in the East, including philosophy, medicine, jurisprudence or legal theory, and linguistics. Fasl al-Maqal "The Decisive Treatise" is an treatise that argues for the compatibility of Islam and philosophy. It combines ideas in his commentaries and stand alone works, and uses them to respond to al-Ghazali.
The remarkable thing is this: These online bookshops told us they have this item: The review must be at least 50 characters long. See if you have enough points for this item. Physical description xiv, p. From inside the book.