Who is Ibn Rushd?


Ibn Rushd is Abu Walīd Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Muhammad. He shares the same name with his grandson and consequently nicknamed al-Jadd (d. 520 AH ) ‘the Grandfather’ in order to differentiate him from his grandson. Ibn Rushd was amongst the most famous and influential Mālikī scholars of all time. Alongside the likes of Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, Abū al-Walīd al-Bājī and his own grandson Ibn Rushd al-Ḥafīḍ, he shaped the way the Mālikī school is understood. Born in Cordova Shawwāl 450 AH, he began learning the Islamic sciences with the luminaries of his time. His main expertise lay in Mālikī jurisprudence, a field in which he wrote extensively. His fame grew such that Ibn Bashkawāl (d.578) stated ‘The people entrusted to him their relevant concerns’. It was due to this expertise that some considered him to be a mujtahid.

The standing of a scholar can be measured in two ways: the students they produced and the works they left behind. Ibn Rushd al-Jadd’s stature is demonstrated in both ways. His students include the famous Mālikī polymaths Qāḍī ‘Iyāḍ (d.544) and Qāḍī Abū Bakr ibn al-‘Arabī (d.543). He authored many books containing his fatwas. The most famous is his commentary on the ‘Utibiyyah ‘al-Bayān wa al-Taḥṣīl’ published in twenty volumes is unparalleled and his Al-Muqaddimāt al-Mumahidāt Li-Bayān Mā Iqtadathū Rusūm al-Mudawwanah Min al-Ahkām al-Shar‘iyyāt Wa al-Tahsilāt al-Muhkamāt Li-Ummahāt Masāi’lihā al-Mushkilāt. Ibn Rushd passed away Jumādā al-Thānī 520 AH and was buried in Cordova.