abida in the city

living it up

Ibn Sina (980-1037) May 8, 2008

Filed under: Muslim Scholar of the Week — sugary @ 12:24 am

Ibn Sina, known in Latin as Avicenna, was born Abu Ali al-Husin ibn Abdullah in the year 370H in Bukhara. He was given him the honorary title “Shaikhal-Rai’s” (Leader among Wise Men) by his compatriots and was the one of the most influential philosopher-scientist of Islam.
His corpus were 450 in number and the most outstanding were The Book of Healing and Qanun fi al-Tibb (Canon of Medicine). The Canon was made the standard medical text in many Islamic as well as European universities up until the 19th century.

The Canon of Medicine
The book is known for its introduction of systematic experimentation and quantification into the study of physiology,the discovery of contagious diseases and sexually transmitted diseases,the introduction of quarantine to limit the spread of infectious diseases, the introduction of experimental medicine, clinical trials, neuropsychiatry, risk factor analysis, and the idea of a syndrome in the diagnosis of specific diseases and hypothesized the existence of microrganisms.
It classifies and describes diseases,
with experimental medicine, evidence-based medicine, randomized controlled trials and efficacy tests and it laid out the following rules and principles for testing the effectiveness of new drugs and medications, which still form the basis of clinical pharmacology and modern clinical trials.


In chemistry, steam distillation was described by Ibn Sīnā. The technique was used to produce alcohol and essential oils.

As other muslim scholars, Ibn Sina studied other branches of science he was also an astronomer, Hafiz, logician, mathematician, poet, psychologist, physicist.

He refused to live life slow, stating that: “I prefer a short life with width to a narrow one with length”. On his deathbed remorse seized him; he bestowed his goods on the poor, restored unjust gains, freed his slaves, and every third day till his death listened to the reading of the Qur’an. He died in June 1037, in his fifty-eighth year, and was buried in Hamedan, Iran.

For more on Ibn Sina’s biography, corpus and works on him:


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