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The Christians and Jews who lived in southern Spain (Andalusia) at the period of Islamic control were treated fairly under these legal concepts.

These doctrines emanated from the Maliki School of jurisprudence. Both Averroes’ father and grandfather were Maliki judges.

The following is summarized text from Wikipedia.

The Maliki school enjoyed success in the Muslim west (Andalusia and The Maghreb). Under the Umayyad, the Maliki School was promoted as the official state code of law, and Maliki judges had free rein over religious practice. In return, the Maliki jurists were expected to support and legitimize the government’s right to power. This dominance in Andalus from the Umayyads, and then the Almoravids continued, with Islamic law in the region dominated by the opinions of Malik and his students. The stricter prophetic tradition in Islam, played a lesser role; few were well versed in it. The Almoravids eventually gave way to the Almohads, at which point Malikis were tolerated at times but lost official favor.

Averroes, while still in his youth, looked unfavorably on the logic that the Maliki School was offering. It was not a matter of ignorance of the school; for Averroes was known as a highly regarded legal scholar on Maliki law. In 1160, Averroes was made judge of Seville. In the following years he served as a jurist in Seville, Cordoba, and Morocco.



So, how is it that such a man would foster the birth of the 12th Century Renaissance in Europe?

We will need to look a little deeper.

Tomorrow: Averroes’ Princely Patron

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