Ibn Rushd

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Biography Of Ibn Rushd

Feelosofi – Ibn Rushd, also known by his Latin name, Averroes, was a medieval Muslim scholar who was born in Córdoba, Spain, in 1126 AD, and died in 1198 AD. He is known as one of the important figures in the history of Islamic thought and medieval European philosophical thought. Ibn Rushd’s biography reflects a combination of the classical Greek intellectual heritage, especially the philosophy of Aristotle, and the tradition of Islamic thought. Ibn Rushd was also known as a doctor, judge, and politician, who lived most of his life under the rule of the Almohad dynasty that ruled Al-Andalus.

One of Ibn Rushd’s main contributions lies in his efforts to interpret and understand Aristotle’s works. His most famous work is “A Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics ,” which has become an important reference in the history of philosophy and science. He developed a critical approach to Aristotle’s texts and attempted to combine Greek philosophy with Islamic teachings. Apart from that, in another work, “Tafsir on the Book of al-Nafs ” Ibn Rushd developed his philosophical views on the soul and intellect which made an important contribution to the development of thinking about the soul in the Islamic intellectual tradition.

Apart from his work in the field of philosophy, Ibn Rushd was also a prominent doctor of his time and contributed to the development of medical science with his work entitled “al-Kulliyat ” or “General Book.” This work discusses various aspects of medical science, including anatomy, pharmacology, and medical ethics , and has been an important reference source for medical practitioners in Europe and the Middle East for centuries.

Apart from that, Ibn Rushd also has an important role in the history of political thought and Islamic law. He served as a judge in Córdoba and wrote many works on Islamic law and political philosophy , including his famous work, “Bidayat al-Mujtahid wa Nihayat al-Muqtasid ” This work discusses various aspects of Islamic law and his political views supporting the separation of religion from government affairs , a concept that is relevant even in the present context.

Ibn Rushd is one of the key figures in the development of Islamic thought and medieval Western thought. His contributions in understanding and interpreting the works of Aristotle as well as his philosophical thoughts on the soul, medical science, and Islamic law, have had a lasting impact on intellectual history. His works not only influenced the Islamic world but also played a key role in the development of European thought and intellectual exchange between East and West. Ibn Rushd, with all his intellectual complexity, remains one of the leading figures in the history of world thought.

Ibn Rushd’s Thoughts

Active Mind And Passive Mind

Active Reason, or in Latin terminology known as ” Intelectus Agens ” is one of the very important philosophical concepts developed by Ibn Rushd, a medieval Arab philosopher , scientist and doctor who is also known as Averroes in the Western tradition. In his thinking, Ibn Rushdproposed a view that differentiates between two types of reason in humans, namely passive reason ( Intelectus Possibilis ) and active reason ( Intelectus Agens ).

Active Intellect, in Ibn Rushdunderstanding, is the ability to think which has an important role in producing higher knowledge and understanding. It is the mind that is responsible for abstracting and understanding general principles or abstract concepts. In the process, active intelligence plays a role in activating the potential of passive intelligence, which is the ability of the human mind to receive information from the outside world.

Ibn Rushdconcept of active reason is in line with his thoughts on the relationship between religion and philosophy . He argued that active reason is an aspect that connects humans with universal and abstract knowledge, which is often found in religious teachings. This makes active reason an important tool in investigating and understanding religious teachings in more depth.

However, the concept of Active Reason has also been a controversial topic of debate in the history of thought. Some scholars criticize Ibn Rushd views, and there is disagreement about the actual role of active reason in human understanding. Despite this, the concept continues to have a significant impact in the history of philosophy and theology, giving rise to debates about the relationship between religion and rationality in human understanding of the world.

In this way, Ibn Rushd’s Active Reason ( Intelectus Agens ) became one of the important concepts in the history of philosophical and theological thought which describes how humans use their reason to achieve a deeper understanding of the world and their religious beliefs. This concept describes the relationship between human reason, knowledge, and religion, and remains the subject of interesting debate in the world of intellectual thought to this day.

Law And Justice

In his thinking, Ibnu Rushd stated that justice is a core element in maintaining balance in society. He claimed that law should be based on objective and universal principles of justice. This means that the law must be applied fairly regardless of an individual’s social status or wealth. The concept of justice in Ibnu Rushd’s view places the public interest above individual interests, and the law must reflect the moral and ethical values ​​that apply in society.

Apart from that, Ibnu Rushd also understood the importance of law as a means of achieving social stability and peace. He stated that injustice in the law could disrupt social order and produce instability. Therefore, the law must be applied wisely and fairly in order to maintain peace in society.

Religion And Philosophy

Ibn Rushd claims that religion and philosophy have similar goals, namely the search for truth. Although the methods were different, he saw that both disciplines could help humans to achieve a deeper understanding of the world and God. For him, religion provides moral teachings, ethics , and spiritual values ​​that form the basis of human life, while philosophy provides a rational framework for understanding the physical and intellectual world.

Overall, Ibn Rushd’s thoughts on Religion and Philosophy reflect important intellectual efforts to integrate religious values ​​with philosophical thought. This contribution had a significant impact on the history of Islamic thought and influenced subsequent thinkers, including in the dialogue between religion and science. Ibn Rushd proves that philosophy and religion can coexist and complement each other in human efforts to understand existence and achieve a deeper understanding of the essential aspects of human life.

Ideal Country

The concept of “Ideal State” in Ibnu Rushd’s thinking reflects an effort to formulate a social and political structure which he considers to be the most ideal form of a just and stable society. Ibn Rushd was a medieval Muslim scholar who reflected on social and political order in an Islamic context. In his view, the Ideal State is an entity that must achieve harmony between ethical principles and just public policies.

In his thinking, Ibn Rushd combined political and ethical principles with Islamic beliefs. He claims that the aim of the Ideal State is to bring about general happiness and prosperity through the just and efficient application of laws. Ethical principles rooted in Islamic teachings, such as justice, goodness and wisdom, serve as guidelines in forming policies and social order.

Ibnu Rushd also argued that an ideal government must be led by a philosopher-king or leader who has a deep philosophical understanding and is able to understand moral and ethical principles . He saw that wise and ethical leaders would be able to create a just and prosperous society.

In Ibn Rushd’s view, the Ideal State achieves a balance between government power and individual rights. This reflects his understanding of sound political principles in Islam, in which justice, human rights, and a social order based on morals and ethics are key elements.


Ibn Rushd adopted Aristotle’s thinking about existence as the basis for his philosophical understanding. Aristotle separated existence from concept and essence, asserting that existence is the actual aspect of an entity, while concept or essence is how we understand and define it. In Ibn Rushd’s thought, existence is the central point in the process of philosophical thinking and the distinction between actual and potential existence.

Apart from that, Ibnu Rushd also integrated the concept of existence into the understanding of the Islamic religion. He emphasized the importance of reason in achieving a deeper understanding of God’s existence. For him, the existence of God is an absolute and transcendent existence, while the existence of creatures is a limited existence and is related to potential.


Ibn Rushd considers perception as a process in which the human senses receive information from the outside world. The senses, such as sight and hearing, are tools that enable humans to feel and understand their environment. However, Ibn Rushd acknowledged that perception can be influenced by various factors, such as the physical state of the senses, previous experience, and so on.

Therefore, he emphasized the importance of reason in processing information received through perception. Reason plays a key role in evaluating, classifying, and understanding the information received, thereby enabling humans to achieve deeper knowledge.

Contradictions In Thought

Ibn Rushd adheres to the view that reason is an important instrument in achieving deeper knowledge and understanding of the world, including religious principles. He believes that a correct understanding of religion must be in line with reason and rationality.

However, on the other hand, Ibnu Rushd also admitted that there are limitations in understanding human reason, especially in understanding metaphysical things, such as the attributes of God. This creates a contradiction in his thinking, where reason is positioned as an important tool for understanding, but is also recognized as limited in reaching deeper spiritual dimensions.

Abstract Knowledge

In his framework, abstract knowledge refers to understanding that reaches a level of universality and abstraction, different from concrete knowledge which is more related to empirical experience . For Ibn Rushd, abstract knowledge is the result of the human mind being active in the thought process and achieving a deeper understanding of reality.

Ibn Rushd understood that abstract knowledge could be achieved through human reason trained in philosophical thinking. In this case, human reason plays a role in combining empirical data obtained through the senses with an understanding of general concepts and universal principles. This allows humans to achieve knowledge that is broader in nature and applies to different situations, known as abstract knowledge.

The concept of abstract knowledge in Ibn Rushd’s thought has significant implications in the relationship between religion and philosophy . He argued that abstract knowledge could help humans understand religious principles more deeply. Thus, understanding of religion can be deepened through active reason and philosophical thinking, which will help individuals to combine religious values ​​with a more comprehensive rational understanding.

Balance And Ethics

Ibn Rushd combined Aristotle’s thoughts on ethics, which emphasized the achievement of individual happiness through wisdom and balance in action, with Islamic values of justice and morality. In his view, balance refers to harmony between individual needs and the common interests of society. This balance includes a balanced understanding of moral action and fair public policy.

Additionally, Ibn Rushd considered ethics as the basis for human action. Ethics, according to him, are moral principles that should guide individual actions and government policies. Ethics and justice must be the basis for the formation of just laws and policies. This reflects his understanding of the healthy relationship between individual morality and sustainable social action.

Ibn Rushd’s contribution in combining balance and ethics in his thinking is important in the history of Islamic thought, creating a framework that encourages moral action and just policies in society. This thinking also reflects an effort to integrate religious values with rational and ethical philosophical thinking, making a significant contribution to the understanding of moral principles and justice in society.

Ibn Rushd’s Work

  • Kitab al-Shifa (الشفاء) – 1020
  • Kitab al-Qanun fi al-Tibb (القانون في الطب) – 1025
  • Kitab al-Isharat wa al-Tanbihat (الإشارات والتنبيهات) – 1020
  • Kitab al-Najat (النجاة) – 1020
  • Kitab al-Ilahiyat (كتاب العليات) – 1020
  • Kitab al-Nafs (كتاب النفس) – 1020
  • Kitab al-Shifaʾ al-Samadi (الشفاء السماوي) – 1020
  • Kitab al-Hidayah (الهداية) – 1020
  • Kitab al-Hikmat al-Ishrāq (الحكمة الإشراق) – 1020
  • Kitab al-Risalah al-Sayr wa al-Sulūk (كتاب الرسالة السير والسلوك) – 1020


Ibn Rushd, also known as Averroes in the Western world, was a major scholar in the intellectual history of the medieval Islamic world. His thinking reflects a strong effort to combine the teachings of Aristotle with Islamic traditions, creating a framework that combines rational thought with religious belief. He made major contributions in a variety of fields, including philosophy, science, medicine, and theology.

One of Ibn Rushd’s most significant contributions was his understanding of the role of human reason, especially the concept of “active reason,” in achieving deeper knowledge and understanding. He also played an important role in understanding the relationship between religion and philosophy, trying to integrate religious values with rational and ethical philosophical thought.

Ibn Rushd’s thoughts not only influenced the Islamic world, but also had a major impact on the development of science and philosophy in the West, especially in the European Middle Ages. With his efforts to bridge the gap between classical Greek thought and Islamic traditions, Ibn Rushd became one of the leading thinkers who shaped our understanding of the balance between reason and religion, science and ethics, as well as the complexity of intellectual thought in world history .


Who Is Ibn Rushd ?

Ibn Rushd was a medieval Muslim scholar also known as Averroes in Western tradition. He is considered important for his efforts to combine Aristotelian thought with Islamic traditions, creating a framework that combined rational thought with religious belief.

What Was Ibn Rushd’s Biggest Contribution In Combining Aristotelian Thought With Islamic Tradition?

Ibn Rushd’s greatest contribution was his effort to bring Aristotle’s thought into the Islamic intellectual world. He translated and interpreted many of Aristotle’s works, so that Aristotle’s thoughts became accessible in the Islamic context.

How Did Ibn Rushd Understand The Relationship Between Religion And Philosophy In His Thinking?

Ibnu Rushd tried to combine Islamic teachings with philosophical thinking. He believed that reason was an important tool in understanding religion and the world. Reason can help humans formulate a deeper understanding of reality and religion.

What Is Meant By The Concept Of “Active Reason” In Ibn Rushd’s Thought, And Why Is This An Important Aspect Of His View?

“Active reason” is a concept in Ibn Rushd’s thought which refers to the ability of the human mind to formulate abstract and universal knowledge. This concept is important because it allows humans to achieve a deeper understanding of reality and religion.

How Did Ibn Rushd’s Thoughts Influence The Development Of Science And Philosophy In The Islamic World And The West?

Ibn Rushd’s thoughts had a significant impact on the development of science and philosophy in the Islamic world, and influenced Western thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas and John Locke. His contributions help to combine the classical philosophical heritage and Islamic intellectual culture in a rich and multicultural history of medieval thought.


  • “ Averroes and the Enlightenment ” by Ernst Cassirer (1938)
  • “ Averroes and His Philosophy ” by Oliver Leaman (1997)

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