IBN SINA (AVICENNA)

IBN SINA (AVICENNA) – Best known for his work “The Canon Medicine”

Abû ‘Alî al-?usayn ibn ‘Abd Allâh ibn Sînâ’, known as Abû Alî Sînâ or, more commonly, Ibn Sina, but most commonly known in English by his Latinized name Avicenna (propably because Avicenna sounds m…ore western than Ibn Sina) (Greek: Abitzianos), (c. 980 – 1037) was a Persian polymath and the foremost physician and philosopher of his time. He was also an astronomer, chemist, geologist, Hafiz, Islamic psychologist, Islamic scholar, Islamic theologian, logician, paleontologist, mathematician, Maktab teacher, physicist, poet, and scientist.

Ibn Sina studied medicine under a physician named Koushyar. He wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived. In particular, 150 of his surviving treatises concentrate on philosophy and 40 of them… concentrate on medicine. His most famous works are The Book of Healing, a vast philosophical and scientific encyclopaedia, and The Canon of Medicine, which was a standard medical text at many medieval universities. The Canon of Medicine was used as a text-book in the universities of Montpellier and Louvain as late as 1650.

Ibn Sina developed a medical system that combined his own personal experience with that of Islamic medicine, the medical system of the Greek physician Galen, Aristotelian metaphysics (Avicenna was one of the main interpreters of Aristotle),… and ancient Persian, Mesopotamian and Indian medicine. Ibn Sina is considered the father of modern medicine and clinical pharmacology particularly for his introduction of systematic experimentation and quantification into the study of physiology, his discovery of the contagious nature of infectious diseases, the introduction of quarantine to limit the spread of contagious diseases, the introduction of experimental medicine, evidence-based medicine, clinical trials, randomized controlled trials, efficacy tests, clinical pharmacology, neuropsychiatry, the idea of the syndrome, and the importance of dietetics and the influence of climate and environment on health.

He was also the founder of Avicennian logic and the philosophical school of Avicennism, which were influential among both Muslim and Scholastic thinkers. He is also considered the father of the fundamental concept of momentum in physics, an…d regarded as a pioneer of aromatherapy for his invention of steam distillation and extraction of essential oils. He also developed the concept of uniformitarianism and law of superposition in geology, for which he is considered to be the ‘FATHER OF GEOLOGY’.

George Sarton, an early author of the history of science, wrote in the Introduction to the History of Science:

One of the most famous exponents of Muslim universalism and an eminent figure in Islamic learning was Ibn Sina, known in the West …as Avicenna (981-1037). For a thousand years he has retained his original renown as one of the greatest thinkers and medical scholars in history. His most important medical works are the Qanun (Canon) and a treatise on Cardiac drugs. The ‘Qanun fi-l-Tibb’ is an immense encyclopedia of medicine. It contains some of the most illuminating thoughts pertaining to distinction of mediastinitis from pleurisy; contagious nature of phthisis; distribution of diseases by water and soil; careful description of skin troubles; of sexual diseases and perversions; of nervous ailments.

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