Abu Bakr Mohammed Ibn Yahya Ibn Bajjah (Avempace)

 

Died 1138

Medicine, Philosophy

 

Abu-Bakr Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn al-Sayigh known as Ibn Bajjah, was an Andalusian-Arab Muslim astronomer, philosopher, physician, physicist, poet and scientist who was known in the West using his Latinized name, Avempace. He was born in Zaragoza in what is today Spain and died in Fes, Morocco in 1138.

His thoughts had a clear effect on Ibn Rushd and Albertus Magnus. Most of his writings and book were not completed (or well organized) because of his early death. He had a vast knowledge of Medicine, Mathematics and Astronomy. His main contribution to Islamic Philosophy is his idea on Soul Phenomenology, but unfortunately not completed.

His beloved expressions were Gharib and Mutawahhid, two approved and popular expressions of Islamic Gnostics.

Ibn Bajjah was also a renowned poet. In his explanation of the Zajal E.G. Gomes writes: "There is some evidence for the belief that it was invented by the famous philosopher and musician known as Avempace. Its chief characteristic being that it is written entirely in the vernacular. ” (Emilio Gracia Gomes in his essay “Moorish Spain")

Though many of his works have not survived, his theories on astronomy and physics were preserved by Maimonides and Averroes respectively, which had a subsequent influence on later astronomers and physicists in the Islamic civilization and Renaissance Europe, including Galileo Galilei.