(August 980 – June 1037)

This Persian physician, who pioneered modern medicine, is one of 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 several research areas such as: mathematics, astronomy, alchemy, geology, philosophy, theology and literature. Even poetry was not spared his intrusion. He was an outstanding logician who devised many new ways of observational studies. Unfortunately, half of the nearly 500 publications which he produced during his lifetime did not survive. Those valuables were lost amidst wars, debacles, and other upheavals which plagued the past millennium. Among Avicenna’s most notable works is the book titled The Canon of Medicine. This clinical encyclopedia was so useful that its editions remained in print, (as one of the standard texts at universities across the globe), for over 500 years 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 learned and practised (worldwide) well into the 19th century. Only the adherence to modern/evidence-based medicine in the 20th century finalized their decline. Avicenna’s contributions to science are often ranked alongside those of Euclid, Archimedes, and Liu Hui.


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