(August 980 – June 1037)

This Persian physician, who pioneered modern medicine, is among the most famous of all the great Islamic scholars. His referral name, “Avicenna”, is probably a Western corruption of his real surname, Ibn Sina. As a polymath, he delved into vast fields such as: mathematics, astronomy, alchemy, geology, philosophy and theology. Even literature was not spared his intrusion. He was an outstanding logician who devised new ways of observational studies. His correspondences with his mentor, Abu Rayhan Al-Biruni, and his protégé, Ahmad Ibn Al-Ma’sumi, are well-documented. They gave clues regarding the level of corporations between the top researchers of that period. Unfortunately, half of the nearly 500 publications which he produced during his lifetime did not survive. Those valuables were lost amidst wars and other upheavals which plagued the past millennium. Among Avicenna’s most notable works is an all-encompassing book titled The Canon of Medicine. This clinical encyclopedia was so useful that its revised editions remained in print, (as standard university texts across the globe), for half-a-millennium after his death. Another of his books, The Book of Healing, was imported, translated, and widely used across Europe, (under the Latin name of Sufficientia), for more than half-a-century. Avicenna’s global influence endured for several centuries. His methods were learnt and practised (worldwide) well-into the 19th century. Only the adherence to the modern practises of intrusive researches, which characterize evidence-based medicine in the 20th century, finalized their decline. Avicenna’s contributions to science are often ranked alongside those of Copernicus, Archimedes, and Liu Hui.

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