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Muhammad Ibn Rushd (Averroes)
1126 (520 After the Hegira, according to the Islamic Calendar) born
in Cordova, Spain
He studied law and medicine.
1169 (565 AH) he was appointed a judge in Sevilla; he also translated
Aristotle's book de Anima (Of the Soul) during this year.
1171 Ibn Rushd was transferred to Cordova, where he held the position
of a judge (Qaadi) for ten years. During that time, he wrote commentaries
and interpretations on the works of Aristotle, among others on Metaphysics,
and on Plato's Politeia.
1182 (578 AH) he was called to Marrakesh to work as a physician for
the Caliph there, but he was soon transferred back to Cordova with the
title of Great Qaadi (Chief Judge).
Ibn Rushd fell out of favor with the Caliph due to the opposition that
theologians had raised against his writings. He was accused of heresy,
interrogated and banned to Lucena, close to Cordova. At the same time,
the Caliph ordered the books of the philosopher to be burnt, with the
exception of his works on Medicine, Arithmetics and Elementary Astronomy
(around 1195). Somewhat later the Caliph revoked the banishment and
called Ibn Rushd back to Marrakesh. The works of Ibn Rushd also aroused
admiration in Europe, even among those theologians who saw a danger
for religious faith in his writings. In the XIIIth century, Ibn Rushd
was condemned by bishops from Paris, Oxford and Canterbury for reasons
similar to those that had caused his condemnation by the orthodox Muslims
On December 10, 1198 (Safar 9, 595 AH) Ibn Rushd died in Marrakesh.
Ibn Rushd fiel infolge
des Widerspruchs, den die Theologen gegen seine Schriften erhoben hatten,
in Ungnade und wurde, nachdem man ihn verschiedener Häresien angeklagt
hatte und einem Verhör unterzogen hatte, nach Lucena bei Cordoba
verbannt. Gleichzeitg befahl der Khalife, die Bücher des Philosophen
mit Ausnahme der Schriften über Heilkunde, Arithmetik und elementare
Astronomie zu verbrennen (um 1195). Wenig später hob er den Verbannungsbefehl
auf und berief Ibn Rushd wieder zu sich nach Marrakesh. Die Kommentare
des Ibn Rushd erregten auch hohe Bewunderung in Europa, selbst bei den
Theologen, die in seinem System eine Gefahr für den Glauben erblickten.
Ibn Rushd wurde im XIII. Jahrhundert von den Bischöfen von Paris,
Oxford und Canterbury verurteilt aus Gründen ähnlich denjenigen,
die seine Verurteilung bei den orthodoxen Muslimen Spaniens bewirkt
in Cordoba, Spanien
Der Verein wählt den Namen IBN RUSHD. Ibn Rushd, in der westlichen
Welt als Averroes bekannt, war ein wichtiger arabischer Denker, Wissenschaftler,
Arzt, Richter und Philosoph. Er lebte von 1126 bis 1198 in Andalusien
und Marrakesch. In Gedenken an IBN RUSHD und seine Ideen - insbesondere
des freien Denkens - ist der Verein IBN RUSHD, Verein für Freies
Denken, offiziell 8oo Jahre nach seinem Todestag, am 10.Dezember 1998
RUSHD Fund for Freedom of Thought
One hundred years ago, Khayr ad-Din at-Tunisi, Mohamed Abduh and Gamal
ad-Din al-Afghani called for progress, social reform and enlightenment
in the Islamic Arab world. At that time, catching up with the dominant
Western civilisation, still seemed feasible.
Nowadays the gap between the two cultures seems impossible to overcome.
During the past six centuries, the credit for research, discoveries
and inventions, in philosophical and scientific questions is entirely
the West's. Acknowledging this is very painful for those whose ties
of culture are with the Arab World. It is frightening to see that the
Arab World did not render any service - neither to itself nor to mankind
- throughout all this time.
The West is controlling the world on a military, cultural and economical
level by using its leading superiority consisting in knowledge, science
and reasonable thinking. Throughout the whole world, Western Culture
has assumed the leading role. The cultures of the Third World and the
Arab Culture became just one follower circling in its orbit.
This is a position demanding to be overcome. But in order to be an even
match with the Western World, the Arabs need to understand from where
Western Culture generates its strength instead of just mimicking the
West by using its products. They should think about applying a different
kind of Western values, which lead to economical and social development,
namely values that grant dignity for all citizens. So far, they find
all kinds of social and religious excuses when they are confronted with
those values: equality, human rights, dignity and justice for all.
Western Culture was not alone in bringing forth these values. Human
minds from all cultures always contributed their knowledge, among them
Arab thinkers who translated and digested, improved and developed the
knowledge of preceding cultures and thus contributed their product to
the current culture. A climate of freedom of thought and tolerance towards
somebody else's thoughts is the foundation for such a productive development
of culture. Adopting these main principles would not imply adapting
to the West: most civilized cultures elevated these same thoughts to
a principle. They are global human values. For the Arab World, this
would mean a reorientation towards itself, consisting in reviving thinkers,
such as Abul Ala' al-Maarri, Ibn Sina, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Tufail
and many others who have largely contributed to humanity.
It is high time that members of the Arab Culture contribute to humanity
again: Instead of being consumers only, the Arab peoples need to be
makers of culture again. They need to be renewers instead of only being
followers. The only way to achieve this goal is to establish internal
order; i.e. to cultivate things in common, to be aware of their unity.
Beginning with childhood the sense of belonging to the Arab Culture,
to the Arab Nation, needs to be re-installed in an atmosphere of freedom
of thoughts and tolerance. To really be able to contribute to the world's
culture again, the mental attitude towards creativity, work and productivity
in the Arab World must become more serious. People need to be encouraged
in their creativity in searching for new dimensions and horizons to
find solutions to the problems they have. These might be solutions that
nobody ever thought of before, and that might go against tradition.
But the struggle between advocates of the cultural heritage and supporters
of the new will bring about stimulating discussions and encourage finding
realistic answers. Thus, a new reality could evolve that might henceforth
be characteristic of the Arab World. It is for this reason that we welcome
an open and free dialogue. We believe the dialogue between all political
views can be successful if freedom of thought is guaranteed.
The IBN RUSHD FUND has been founded to achieve the afore mentioned goals.
It is an independant fund not influenced by any government or religion.
The Fund is a liberal fund holding up aspirations for progress in the
Arab World, for liberty and equality, human rights and social justice.
It will support independent thinkers, artists and scientists by annually
The fund bears the name IBN RUSHD. Ibn Rushd, in the West known as Averroes,
was an important Arabic thinker, scientist, physician, judge and philosopher.
He lived from 1126 A.D. until 1198 A.D. in Andalusia and Morocco. In
commemoration of Ibn Rushd and his ideas - especially freedom of thought
- the IBN RUSHD FUND for Free Thought was officially founded on December
10, 1998, exactly 800 years after his death.
die freiheit des denkens-
seine gleichzeitige intensive mitwirkung für die
westlich neue gedanken aus dem alten griechische philosophy und seine
interpretationen. in arabisch von www.ibn-rushd.org
die vorreiter anfang des 20. jahrhundert.
al-afgahni und cheir al-din al-tunisi
in arabisch von www.ibn-rushd.org
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