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AL-RAZI (RAZES) 841-926 A.D.

Posted by Arqustany Putra Monday, November 16, 2009





His full name is Abu-Bakr Mohammaed Ibn-Zakaria Al-Razi, known to the Western World as Razes. He was born in Ray, a suburb of Tehran, the capital of modern Persia (Profile of Iran 1977, Sarton 1950). He first studied music which was his main interest in his early life. He was a skillful player on the lute. He then studied philosophy, and later medicine. But he was a better physician than a philosopher ,

He first became the Court-Physician of Prince Abu Saleh Al-Mansur, the ruler of Khorosan. Then he moved to Baghdad where he became the Chief Physician of the Baghdad Hospital and the Court-Physician of the Caliph. He had a good basis of physics and chemistry as well as medicine.

He published several books which were translated into Latin, French, Italian, Hebrew, and Greek. One of his main books is "Al-Mansuri" (Liber Al-Mansofis) which he dedicated to his patron Prince Al-Mansur. It was composed of ten treatises and included all aspects of health and disease. He defined medicine as "the art concerned in preserving healthy bodies, in combating disease, and in restoring health to the sick." He thus showed the three aspects of medicine namely, public health, preventive medicine, and treatment of specific diseases. he listed seven principles for the preservation of health:

1. Moderation and balance in motion and rest.
2. Moderation in eating and drinking.
3. Elimination of superfluities.
4. Improvement and regulation of dwelling places.
5. Avoidance of excessive evil happenings before they become uncontrollable.
6. Maintenance of harmony in ambitions and resolutions.
7. Acquisition of reticence through possession of good habits including exercise.

He also published another book called "Al-Murshid". In it, he emphasized the important lines of therapy that we mentioned earlier. He described the different types of fever including continuous, relapsing, and hectic. He stated that fever can be a symptom of a disease or a disease in itself. He introduced mercury as a therapeutic drug for the first time in history, which was later adopted in Europe. He realized that a man normally does not want to get sick, and he wants to recover as soon as possible. However, if a patient does not have the will or the desire to get well, the physician's hands are tied and cannot help him. He stressed the continued medical education of the physician. He advised him to record his own observations. He encouraged him to meet with other physicians to discuss medical problems. He recommended that the physicians should try solving these problems rather than depending on others for finding solutions.

Another book written by Al-Razi was named "Al-Hawi", which means the complete text. It was composed of 22 volumes. It was one of the main text books in the medical school in Paris, especially its 9th volume on pharmacology.

He wrote a treatise on measles and smallpox called "de Peste or de Pestilentia" which was translated to Latin in 1565 A.D. It is a masterpiece in clinical medicine (Browne 1962). It describes the clinical difference between the two diseases so vividly that nothing since has been added (Keys 1971).

Source: Ezzat Abouleish M.D
Contributions of Islam To Medicine

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