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IBN-MAIMON (MAIMONEDES) 1135-1204 A.D.

Posted by Arqustany Putra Thursday, November 19, 2009




In 1135, Musa Ibn-Maimon (Moses Maimonides) was born in Cordova, Spain (Minlcin 1968). His father was a Rabbi and had a great influence of Moses in his interests and future achievements. During that period, the Jews had a golden era in Spain. Minkin (1968), a renowned scholar and an eminent Rabbi wrote "It was Mohammedan Spain, the only land the Jews knew in nearly a thousand years of their dispersion, which made the genius of Moses Maimonides possible."

In1160 A.D., Moscs emigrated to North Africa to the city of Fas where be studied medicine. In 1165 A.D., he left to Palestine. However, he was dissatisfied with the cultural atmosphere. Therefore, he went to Egypt where he stayed until he died in 1204 A.D. He was buried in Teberias, Palestine.

Maimonides first started his career as the Rabbi of the jewish Comniunity of El-Fostat city, the capital of Egypt at that time and part of old Cairo now. Later on in life, he practiced medicine. He became an eminent and respected physician. He served both Kings Salah-El-Din (Saladin) and his elder son Sultan Al-Malik Al-Afdel during his short reign (1198-1200 A.D.). He had the confidence of both. During Salali-El-Din war with King Richard, the Lion-Hearted, the latter fell sick. Although those two kings were at war, they had respect and admiration of each other. Saladin sent Ibn- Maimon to Richard to treat him. After being, cured. Rictiard asked Ibn- Maimon to join his court. But the latter politely declined and preferred to stay with Saladin (Minkin 1968).

Ibn-Maimon's impact on the Jewish religion is very important. He wrote classical work in the Jewish religion including codification of the Jewish laws (Black and Roth 1970). Hc also wrote in philosophy. His book, "Dalalat Al-Hai'ran" (The Guide of the Perplexed) is an important achievement which was welcomed not only by those of the Jewish faith but also by Moslems and Christians alike. He was affected by his contemporary Ibn- Rushd, and by Aristotl'e, but he tried to unite logic and faith. He wrote his book in Arabic. He did not live long enough to see the Hebrew translation of his book which would have given him a great satisfaction.

In medicine Ibn-Maimon did two important things: First, be translated many Arabic books into Hebrew which were than translated into Latin and other European languages. An example of these books is the Canon of Avicenna. Second, be wrote a few books of his own. One of them is "Magala fl Tadbir Al-Sihha" (Regimen Sanitatis) which stressed proper diet, personal hygiene, and moderation in the pleasures of life. It was in the form of letters to the Sultan Al-Afdel. The other was "Kitab" Al-Fusal fi Al-Tibb" (Fisul Musa). This was a collection of 1,500 aphorisms extracted from Galen writings together with forty-two critical remarks. Moses also wrote a book on poisons and their antidotes (Al-A'sar 1971).

When he died, the Jewish Community in Egypt built a synagogue named after him. Some Jews, up-till-now, stay overnight in this synagogue in hope of receiving healing through the spirit of this great physician (Minkin 1968).

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

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