IBN AL-NAFIS (1213-1288 C.E.)

Ala-al-Din Abu al-Hasan Ali Ibn Abi al-Hazm al-Qarshi al- Damashqi al-Misri was born in 607 C.E. of Damascus. He was educated at the Medical College-cum-Hospital founded by Nur al- Din Zangi. In surgery his teacher was Muhaththab al-Din Abd al- Rahim. Apart from surgery, Ibn al-Nafis discovered jurisprudence, literature and theology. He therefore became a renowned expert on Shafi’i School of Jurisprudence as well as a reputed doctor.

After acquiring his expertise in surgery and jurisprudence, he moved to Cairo where he was nominated as the primary at the well known Nasri clinic. Here he imparted teaching to a large number of health experts, encompassing Ibn al-Quff al-Masihi, the famous surgeon. He also assisted at the Mansuriya School at Cairo. When he past away in 678 C.E. he pledged his dwelling, library and clinic to the Mansuriya clinic.

His major assistance lies in medicine. His approach comprised composing comprehensive commentaries on early works, critically assessing them and adding his own initial assistance. His major initial contribution of large implication was his discovery of the blood’s circulatory scheme, which was re-discovered by modern science after a lapse of three centuries. He was the first to rightly recount the constitution of the lungs and provided a description of the bronchi and the interaction between the human body’s vessels for air and body-fluid. furthermore, he elaborated the function of the coronary arteries as feeding the cardiac muscle.

The most voluminous of his books is Al-Shamil fi al-Tibb, which was conceived to be an encyclopedia comprising 300 volumes, but it could not be completed due to his death. The manuscript is accessible at Damascus. His book on ophthalmology is mostly an initial assistance and is also extant. although, his publication that became most famous was Mujaz al-Qanun and a number of commentaries were in writing on this. His own commentaries include one on Hippocrates’ book. He composed some volumes on Ibn Sina’s Qanun, that are still extant. Likewise he wrote a commentary on Hunayn Ibn Ishaq’s publication. Another famous book embodying his initial assistance was on the consequences of diet on wellbeing. deserving Kitab al-Mukhtar fi al-Aghdhiya.

Ibn Al-Nafis’ works integrated the then living medical knowledge and enriched it, thus exerting great leverage on the development of health science, both in the East and the West. although, only one of his books was translated into Latin at early phases and, therefore, a part of his work stayed unidentified to Europe for a long time.

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