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Ibn Sīnā/Avicenna

Born: 980 CE

Died: June 1037

Nationality: Turkish/ Persian

Ibn-Sina was born in Bukhara, Samanid Empire, in present-day Uzbekistan. He was one of the most significant thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age. Besides Philosophy and Medicine, Ibn-Sina’s corpus includes writings on Astronomy, Alchemy, Geography, Geology, Psychology, Islamic Theology, Logic, Mathematics, Physics and Poetry.

His most famous work is 14-volume The Canon of Medicine (Al-Qanun fit-Tibb) was a standard medical text in Europe and the Islamic world until the 17th century. The Canon is divided into five books of which the first and second discuss physiology, pathology and hygiene, the third and fourth deal with the methods of treating disease and the fifth describes the composition and preparation of remedies. The book is known for its description of contagious diseases and sexually transmitted diseases, plus quarantine to limit the spread of infectious diseases.

Avicenna had memorised the entire Quran by the age of 10. He learned Indian arithmetic from an Indian greengrocer and began to learn more from a wandering scholar who earned a living by curing the sick and teaching the young.

He achieved full status as a qualified physician at age 18. Most of his works were written in Arabic, however, some of them were written in Persian. One of his most famous books is the Book of Healing which became available in Europe in a partial Latin translation some fifty years after its composition, under the title Sufficientia.

Avicenna was a devout Muslim and sought to reconcile rational philosophy with Islamic theology. His aim was to prove the existence of God and his creation of the world through science, reason and logic. Avicenna's views on Islamic Theology and Philosophy were enormously influential, forming part of the core curriculum at Islamic schools until the 19th century.

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