Ibn Rushd’s _The Decisive Treatise_: A Text for Political Reform

Presented by Ayesha Omar

Monday, 2 November, 2020 - 16:00

Ibn Rushd’s the Decisive Treatise (1126–98) is widely acknowledged as an important text for understanding his legal ideas, with some scholars describing this text as a legal opinion (fatwa) issued for the Malikite jurists of that period. Contrastingly, I argue that the Decisive Treatise forms part of Ibn Rushd’s broader vision for political reform, and should thus be reconsidered as an important text for understanding his ideas on political authority. Whilst Ibn Rushd persisted in advancing the Almohad policy of reform, by calling on the religious scholars who occupied an important space in Almohad society to relinquish their narrow positions on how to understand and interpret Islamic Law, he went further in devising his own guidelines for reform. This constituted an argument that Greek ideas, and the wisdom of the ancient philosophers, are not only compatible with Islamic principles but also stand to offer much-needed guidance.

This chapter is from my monograph.

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