(August 28, 865 – October 6, 925)

Known to medieval Europeans as “Rhazes”, Abu-Bakr al-Razi was a top polymath, as well as one of the most admired scientists of the Islamic Golden Age. Prior to devoting his life to research and teaching, he worked as a general practitioner in both Persia and Arabia. But like all polymaths, his wide variety of interests swayed him. In addition to healthcare, he would explore other sciences and arts. He preferred researching extensively; and often in isolation. His accomplishments which spanned medicine, surgery, pharmacy, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, ethics, logic, philosophy, religion and literature, spawned out nearly 250 publications. A number of these monographs (such as Al-Mansuri and Al-Judari wa al-Hasbah) were later translated to Latin. And they helped European universities improve their standards by adopting better curricula. Excelling both theoretically and experimentally, al-Razi was unafraid to delve into dangerous and uncharted territories. These ventures eventually helped him pioneer discoveries in communicable diseases, paediatrics, obstetrics, gynaecology, and ophthalmology. In the process he became the first scientist to understand and describe several physiological processes, (including how the pupil adapts to varying light intensities, as well as being the first researcher who outline the pathological pathways of measles, chickenpox, and smallpox). He was also the first to correlate the importance of dietetics with that of therapeutics. Although his clinical feats are often emphasized, he proved to be equally proficient in various other fields. This explains why he is the eponym of all sorts of items: ranging from simple monuments to advanced research institutes.


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