The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Early Muslim medicine

Prophetic Medicine:

Prophetic Medicine (al-tibb) was a genre of medical writing intended as an alternative to the Greek-based medical system (See:Galen). Its authors were (usually) clerics, rather than physicians. They were known to have advocated the traditional medical practices of Prophet Muhammad's time (those mentioned in the Qur'an). Al-tibb therapy did not require the patient's undergoing any surgical procedures.

The Comprehensive Book of Medicine (Large Comprehensive, Hawi or "al-Hawi" or "The Continence") was written by the Iranian chemist Rhazes (known in Arabic as Al-Razi), the "Large Comprehensive" was the most sought after of all his compositions. In it, Rhazes recorded clinical cases of his own experience and provided very useful recordings of various diseases.

The "Kitab fi al-jadari wa-al-hasbah", with its introduction on measles and smallpox was also very influential in Europe.

The Mutazilite philosopher and doctor Ibn Sina was another influential figure. His The Canon of Medicine remained a standard text in Europe up until The Enlightenment and the renewal of the Muslim tradition of scientific medicine.

Ibn Nafis (d. 1288) described human blood circulation in 1628. This discovery would be rediscovered, or perhaps merely demonstrated, by William Harvey, who generally receives the credit in Western history. There was a persistent pattern of Europeans repeating Muslim research in medicine and astronomy , and some say physics , and claiming credit for it.

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