The Origins of Islamic Science - III
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8. Alchemy and Chemistry
Alchemy (Ar. al-kimiya'), which was variously associated with ancient art, mythology, gnosticism and religion had its origin in antiquity. Some alchemic texts were written in hieroglyphs on steles and these texts were forbidden to be divulged. Mysterious and controversial as were the etymologies of ‘alchemy', so was its association with Greek philosophers, such as Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates and Aristotle, and the Roman physician Galen. The attraction for Arabs was no less strong. The names of Khalid bin Yazid and Jabir ibn Hayyan were closely linked with this pseudo-science. The ancient champions of alchemy believed that it could transform base metals into precious ones and produce an elixir of life, among other things. The Umayyad Prince Khalid was attracted by its mystery and had an ancient Egyptian book on alchemy translated into Arabic with the help of an Egyptian monk, Marianus.
Although Jabir ibn Hayyan (Latin Geber, d. ca 803 CE) was the most famous Arab alchemist, the names of Ja‘far al Sadiq (d. 765), Dhu'l-Nun al-Misri (d.861) and Abu Bakr al-Razi (b.250/864) are also associated with alchemy. It is a short step from alchemy to pure chemistry. Jabir did laboratory work in chemistry and his research has entered the history of science. Al-Razi accepted Jabir's theory regarding sulphur and mercury components of metals and described his chemical apparatus and laboratory research. According to al-Razi, chemical procedures comprised distillation, solution, calcination, evaporation, crystallisation, sublimation and filtration . His laboratory work advanced the science of pharmacy.
Among other alchemists were the Spanish Arab Maslama al-Majriti (d.1007) and al-Jaldaki (d.1341CE). Al-Jaldaki, author of a book on precious stones (Kitab Anwar al-durar fi idah al-hajar) analysed the theory of elixir -its essence, unity, qualities, distillation and purification.
Figure 17: Ottoman astronomers studying the moon and the stars in a miniature dating from the 17th century held in a manuscript owned by Istanbul University Library. (Source).
Ibn Sina (Avicenna) repudiated alchemy's value as science, arguing that the transmutation of metals was impossible, though dyes might be transmuted. Ibn Khaldun also scorned alchemy. Jabir too, in his numerous books and epistles  on alchemy, though praising the magical things it could produce, claimed that it only produced false gold and was incapable of creating a miracle. Although pretensions of alchemy were seriously challenged, the laboratory methods of the alchemists led to the discovery of new chemical products and some technological procedure useful in everyday life, including perhaps, pharmaceutical products. Alchemic speculation produced intellectual fermentation.
Many Arabic books on alchemy/chemistry were translated into Latin. Julius Ruska acknowledged that: ‘We can never stress enough that the Latin Alchemy of the Latin West owes nothing to the Greeks, to the Arabs it owes more or less everything. For decades we have persisted in studying fragments from the alchemists as if the contents and essence of Latin alchemy could be explained by it... It was not the Greek alchemists but the translations from original Arabic works which paved the way to Western development' .
Our knowledge of the history of Islamic medicine in the ancient and medieval Middle East is mainly based on biographical sources, such as Ta'rikh al-Hukama (History of the Physicians and Philosophers) by Ibn al-Qifti and ‘Uyun al-Anba' fi Tabaqat al-Atibba' (Sources of Information on the Classes of Physicians) by Ibn abi Usaybi'ah, besides some fragmentary references in literary works.
In pre-Islamic Arabia medicine consisted of herbal and natural remedies. The Prophet Muhammad's statements regarding cleanliness, diet, sickness and cure were collected together in books, which came to be known as Tibb al-Nabawi (or the Prophetic medicine) but little is known about how this medicine was practiced. The Shi‘ite Muslims added to the medical canon with Tibb al-A'immah or medicine of the Imams (Leaders).
There is also some indication of foreign medical influence reaching Arabia from neighbouring lands, such as Persia, where the Arabian physician al-Harith ibn Kaladah al-Thaqafi  studied medicine in Jundishapur, the ancient seat of a hospital and medical college. Persian, Indian and Nestorian physicians were said to have practised at the Jundishapur hospital and to have translated various medical books from Indian and Syriac texts into Pahlavi. However, recent research  has questioned whether a hospital and medical school ever existed at Jundishapur in Ahwaz. Instead, it is claimed that Jundishapur had only an infirmary, and no medical school. What interests us here, however, is that al-Harith ibn Kaladah al-Thaqafi studied medicine in Jundishapur. Significantly, Ibn Kaladah was a contemporary of the Prophet Muhammad, and though his existence has recently been doubted, he was a real person. It is known that he originated in Ta'if and belonged to the tribe of Thaqif. His link with the Jundishapur centre suggests a Persian influence in the advancement of the early Arabian medicine. Harith was reported to have met the Prophet during the Farewell Pilgrimage, to have cured a sick Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas. Harith's conversion to Islam, however, has been questioned. From the little we know of his medical theories, it is possible to conclude that his "main point was the Arab view that excess of diet was the main cause of all disease. He also recommended the simplest possible way of life. Diet should be of the plainest. Water is to be preferred to wine and salt and dried meat to fresh meat. The dietary should include fruit. The hot bath should be taken before meals" .
There is also evidence to suggest that a physician, Ibn Abi Rimthah, used surgery to remove a mole from the Prophet's back . For this, according to al-Qifti, Ibn Abi Rimthah was given the title of ‘Tabibu-Allah' (literally God's physician), whereas al-Harith b. Kaladah was known as the ‘physician of the Arabs' (Tabib al-'Arab), just as al-Kindi was called the philosopher of the Arabs (Faylasuf al- ‘Arab).
Figure 18: Diagram of the eye from Risner's edition of Opticae thesaurus. Alhazeni Arabis libri septem Opticae thesaurus... (Basilea, 1572), the first edition of the Latin translation of Ibn al-Haytham's Kitab al-manazir, the most important and most influential Arabic treatise on physics, that exercised profound influence on Western science in the 16th and 17th centuries. Sarton calls Ibn al-Haytham "the greatest Muslim physicist and one of the greatest students of optics of all times." (Source).
During the Umayyad period (660-750 CE), parts of North Africa, Spain, eastern and northern Persia, and the Indian province of Sind were being conquered. Such conquest started a process of gradual integration of the Arabs with non-Arabs, between Muslims with non-Muslims, and allowed the intrusion of non-Muslim ideas (including Greek, Persian and Indian secular traditions) into the formation of literature and science. It was at Jundishapur that ancient Indian writings on toxicology were translated from Sanskrit into Arabic (e.g. Kitab al-Sumum, according to Hajji Khalifah). Elsewhere, it has been claimed that knowledge of Indian drugs, including poisons, spread from Jundishapur to the Middle East. ‘Ali b. Sahl Rabban al-Tabari (d. ca 240/854-5CE), in the first systematic medical work in Arabic, Firdaws al-Hikmah (The Paradise of Wisdom), expounded upon the Arab knowledge of Indian medicine, and Syriac and Greek medical literature during the 9th century CE. Elsewhere, the belletrist al-Jahiz (d.255/869) also acknowledged the advances made by Indians in the sciences of astronomy, mathematics and medicine and pharmacology . Modern research has also discovered that contact existed between the Arabs and the Chinese, and that Chinese medical herbs were used in West Asia. It has been suggested that the Arab polymath al-Kindi indicated in his pharmacopeia that Arab physicians were already using Chinese herbs during the 9th century CE. A century later, Ibn Sina recorded that seventeen medical herbs imported from China were currently in use and that even the Chinese pulse theory was applied by some physicians. Chinese medical influence reached a peak in Persia and the rest of the Middle East during the era of the Ilkhanids (1256-1335), when Rashid al-Din Fadlullah, the wazir of Ghazan Khan (1295-1304 CE) had some Chinese medical books translated into Persian, including Tansuk-Nama .
Among the earliest notable translations into Arabic during the Umayyad period were the Kunnash (Pandects) of Ahron al-Qass, a Priest of pre-Islamic Alexandria. The translator was a Basran-born Jewish Physician, Masarjis or Masarjawaih  who lived, according to Ibn al-Qifti, during the reign of ‘Umar II (d. 101 AH/720 CE) and who was credited with writing medical treatises, including Kitab Qawi al-At'imah (a treatise on food) and Kitab Qawi al-Maqaqir (a book on drugs). A book on the Substitution of Remedies (Kitab fi Abdal al-Adwiyah) was also attributed to Masarjawaih, but modern commentators, such as Max Meyerhof, have rejected the claim. Little is known of Masarjawaih's medical practice, but we know that he prescribed eating raw cucumber on an empty stomach for a patient who complained of constipation.
In Damascus, during the Umayyad era, some events of medical significance included the amputation of a leg infected with gangrene. In this rare case the leg belonged to a celebrated Arab, namely ‘Urwah ibn al-Zubayr, a brother of ‘AbdAllah ibn al-Zubayr ibn al- ‘Awwam. While visiting (ca 85 AH/785 CE) the Umayyad prince al-Walid, he became afflicted with gangrene (al-ikla)  in his foot. ‘Urwah lived for another eight years, after the leg was amputated in the presence of al-Walid b. ‘Abd al-Malik, the future Umayyad Caliph (r.86-96/705-15 CE) and died in Madinah in 94 AH/713 CE. This celebrated amputation was also recorded by Abu 'l-Faraj al-Isfahani in his entertaining literature Kitab al-Aghani, and Ibn al-Jawzi in his Dhamm al-Hawa'.
It is clear from our sources that Islamic science and medicine developed rapidly in Baghdad under the early ‘Abbasid Caliphs, especially al-Mansur, Harun al-Rashid and al-Ma'mun. Among the prominent medical personalities of this period were members of the Bukhtishu‘ family who moved from Jundishapur and established a prosperous medical practice in Baghdad. The translation into Arabic by the physician Hunayn ibn Ishaq and his son, Ishaq b. Hunayn, and others, of medical treatises, mainly from Greek, brought Arabic medicine under the Hellenistic medical influence. In particular, the translations of Hunayn made the works of Hippocrates and Galen available and shaped the Arabic medical vocabulary in classical Arabic. Hunayn's original medical treatises include Kitab al-Masa'il fi'l-Tibb (a book on medical problems) and Kitab al-‘Ashar Maqalat fi 'l-‘Ayn (Ten Treatises on the Eye), both of which became standard works during the 9th and 10th century. The first was used by the Hisbah officers (municipal officials) to assess the professional qualifications of physicians. Hunayn also edited the translation of Istafan bin Basil of the Materia Medica of Pedanius Dioscorides (1st century BCE). This was variously titled as Hayula ‘ilaj al-Tibb, Kitab al-Adwiyah al-Mufrada and Kitab al-Hasha'ish, during the 3rd century AH/9th century CE. This translation provoked a number of commentaries and these served as the most valuable works of Arabic pharmacology. Al-Biruni's Kitab al-Saydalah (The Book of Drugs), which records 850 drugs, survives in a modern edition. The most notable Arabic book of this genre is Kitab al-Mughni fi'l-Adwiyat al-Mufradah (a treatise on simple drugs) by the 13th century Andalusian Ibn al-Baytar. This records 1400 drugs of mineral, vegetable and animal origin.
The publication of medical works by Muhammad ibn Zakariyya' al-Razi (Latinised Rhazes) (d. 313 AH/925 CE), Ali b. ‘Abbas al-Majusi, the Andalusian surgeon Abu 'l-Qasim al-Zahrawi, the ophthalmologist ‘Ali ibn ‘Isa, and Abu ‘Ali Ibn Sina, hailed by his contemporaries as the prince of the physicians (Ra'is al-atibba'), marked a high point in Islamic medicine.
Between the 9th and 14th centuries, Islamic medicine and pharmacology advanced to such a point that some medical works which were translated into Latin in Toledo and southern Italy influenced the development of medicine in medieval Europe. The achievements of this Golden Age are worth noting.
Al-Razi, the great medical systematiser of all Muslim medical authorities, derived his surname from his native city Rayy, where he became the chief physician of the hospital, later holding the same position in Baghdad. Al-Razi (d. 313 AH/925 CE), was the greatest clinician and pathologist of his time. His notebooks, which comprised 25 volumes of Kitab al-Hawi fi'l-Tibb (The Comprehensive Book of Medicine), were translated into Latin as the Continens by the Jewish physician Faraj bin Salim or Farraguth in 1279 CE. However, al-Razi's magnu opus, according to some, was not al-Hawi, but Kitab al-Jami' al-Kabir (the Great Medical Compendium). Besides this, a treatise on Smallpox and Measles (Kitab al-Jadari wa'l-Hasbah), which was translated into Latin and other European languages as Liber de Pestilentia, earned him international recognition. Other medical works included Kitab al-Hasa fi 'l-Kula wa-'l-mathana (Stones in the kidney and bladder) and Kitab al-Mansuri (Latin Liber Medicinalis ad al Mansorem), which was dedicated to his patron Mansur ibn Ishaq, the Samanid governor of Rayy. He also wrote a book on psychic therapy, Al-Tibb al-Ruhani (lit. Spiritual Medicine) , in which he provided insights into the theory and practice of clinical and psychiatric medicine. Like Galen, he believed that a physician should also be a philosopher, but his independence was articulated in his Shukuk 'ala Jalinus (Doubts about Galen). His "clinical records did not conform to Galen's description of the course of fever. And in some cases he finds that his clinical experience exceeds Galen's" .
After al-Razi, another influential figure in Islamic medicine was ‘Ali b. ‘Abbas al-Majusi (Latin Haly Abbas) whose famous Complete Book of the Medical Art (Kitab Kamil al-Sina'ah al-Tibbiyah), also known as Kitab al-Maliki (Latin Liber Regius), was written while he was director of the ‘Adhudi Hospital in Baghdad. The work contained important observations on medical theories and diagnoses and was a dominant text throughout the East. A contemporary of Haly Abbas, Abu 'l-Qasim al-Zahrawi (in Latin Abulcasis/Albucasis), who served the Andalusian Caliph Abd al-Rahman III al-Nasir (300-350/912-961) in Cordoba. He wrote Kitab al-Tasrif li-man 'ajiza 'an al-Ta'lif, a medical encyclopaedia, dealing with 325 diseases. The part of this book devoted to surgery described cautery, incisions, bloodletting and bonesetting . All surgical methods together with the tools were illustrated.
In the history of Islamic medicine, Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Sina (known in the West as Avicenna) was a towering figure. Born at Afshana near Bukhara in 370 AH /980 CE, he died at Hamadhan in 428/1037CE. Like al-Razi, he was a great physician and philosopher and wrote a dozen medical works, although the historian Ibn al-Qifti listed a few more. Among these were A Book of Healing (Kitab al-Shifa'), in 18 volumes, Kitab al-Qanun fi 'l-Tibb (The Canon of Medicine) in 14 volumes, Kitab al-Adwiyah al-Qalbiyah (Medicine of the Heart)), Kitab al-Qawlanj (Book of Colic) and a mnemonic in verse for physicians, al-‘Urjuzah fi 'l-Tibb. Ibn Sina's full bibliography includes 270 titles. However, his magnum opus was Kitab al-Qanun fi 'l-Tibb or The Canon of Medicine, which was, according to Goichon, ‘the clear and ordered "Summa" of all the medical knowledge of Ibn Sina's time, augmented from his own observations" . This Canon (Qanun), through its European translations, became ‘a kind of bible of medieval medicine, replacing to a certain extent the works of al-Razi. It was printed in Rome as early as 1593, shortly after the introduction of Arabic printing in Europe .'
It is tempting to compare the stature of Al-Razi and Ibn Sina as medical authorities of the pre-modern world. It has been aptly noted that Al-Razi made his original contribution in the practice of medicine, whereas Ibn Sina gained prominence in medical theory. Despite their greatness, both were subjected to harsh criticism by al-Ka‘bi and ‘Abd al-Latif Baghdadi respectively. Islamic medicine declined after the death of Ibn Sina, but many commentaries on and epitomes of the Canon (Qanun) were made by successive generations of physicians. Among the commentaries, the most notable was that of Ibn al-Nafis (d. 687/1288), the chief physician in Cairo, who composed Sharh al-Qanun, a commentary on the entire Canon, and Mujiz al-Qanun and an epitome Sharh Tashrih al-Qanun, which he devoted to comment on its anatomical and physiological aspects, It is in the latter that Ibn al-Nafis described his discovery of the lesser or pulmonary circulation of the blood, which made him famous.
Within a century of his death, Ibn Sina's works began to appear in European translations. Between 1170 and 1187, Gerard of Cremona translated the Canon of medicine at the order of Frederick Barbarossa. Even lesser works of Ibn Sina were translated, including the Sufficientia by Gundisalvus, whilst Armengaud translated Canticum de Medicina (Urjuza fi'l-tibb) with Ibn Rushd's commentary on it; and Arnold of Villanova did the same in De Virivus Cordis. Michael Scot, in collaboration with Andrew the Jew, translated some works of Ibn Sina into Latin between 1175 and 1232 CE. The death in 1285 of Farraguth, the translator of Al-Razis' Continens, brought the era of Latin translations to an end. The Universities of Montpellier and Bologna, taught the works of Al-Razi and Ibn Sina in their medical schools. "From the 12th to the 17th century, Rhazes and Avicenna were held superior even to Hippocrates and Galen" . Al-Razi is depicted in the stained glass of the chapel in Princeton University, and in the University of Brussels lectures on Ibn Sina were given until 1909.
Al-Razi's book Diseases in Children may justifiably earn him the title of father of paediatrics. Ibn al-Jazzar (d. 984 CE) of Tunisia also wrote on the care for children from birth to adolescence, though this work was later surpassed by the Cordoban ‘Arib ibn Sa‘id, whose treatise on gynecology, embryology and paediatrics was published in Andalusia.
In the dusty conditions of the Middle East, eye diseases were common and Muslim physicians developed special skills for treating blindness. Although most medical books devoted a separate chapter to eye diseases, monographs were also written on the subject. One early work on ophthalmology was Hunayn ibn Ishaq's ‘Ashar Maqalat fi'l-'Ayn (Ten Treatises on the Eye), which remained a standard for many centuries. However, the most important book was ‘Ali ibn ‘Isa's (d. 400/1010 CE) Dhakhirat al-Kahhalin (Treasury for Ophthalmologists), which was translated into Latin as Tractus de Oculis Jesu Ben Hali.
The transfer of scientific knowledge from Arabic into Latin contributed to the European Renaissance.
It is well known that the institution of the hospital is closely linked with the history of medicine and has its origins in antiquity . Although care for the sick began to take place in Middle Eastern temples in the second millennium BCE, Islam resurrected the idea of caring for the sick in the 7th century CE. When the Arabs conquered Egypt, they found a medical school and hospital in Alexandria. On conquering Persia, an infirmary was discovered in Jundishapur, where, according to some, there existed a hospital and medical school. The existence of these medical institutions, however, is open to question. At the beginning of the 8th century, Caliph al-Walid b. ‘Abd al-Malik (r.705-715 CE) reportedly built a maristan or hospital in Damascus, the exact nature of which is not known, though it was probably a sanatorium for lepers and other chronically sick people.
The history of Islamic medicine and hospitals began during the ‘Abbasid Caliphate. The name of Yahya al-Barmaki, Harun al-Rashid's Prime Minister (wazir), was associated with the foundation of the first hospital in Baghdad. Since then, many hospitals have been built in the ‘Abbasid capital, including Bimaristan al-Sa‘idi (Sa‘idi hospital) or Bimaristan al-Mu‘tadidi (ca 279/892) on the east bank of Tigris, for which Caliph al-Mu‘tadhid (d. 289AH/902) allotted 450 dinars per month. It was the only hospital in Baghdad at the time; another hospital, the Bimaristan al-Sayyidah, was built by the Queen Mother, Shaghab, in 306/918 CE in al-Mukharram (306/918); its expenses perhaps did not exceed more than 600 dinars a month. Another hospital, built in the same year by Caliph al- Muqtadir bi-Allah (d. 320/932), was known as Bimaristan al-Muqtadiri at the Syrian Gate of Baghdad. Caliph al-Muqtadir's "good wazir" ‘Ali ibn ‘Isa also built a hospital at his own expense. In 329/940, the Amir al-umara' Bajkam built a hospital at the Basrah gate in Baghdad, and the chief adviser to this hospital was the physician Sinan b. Thabit ibn Qurrah. The hospital of Ibn al-Furat was built (ca 313/925). In 372/982, west Baghdad's celebrated Adhudi hospital, linked to a medical school with twenty four staff physicians, was built by the Amir Adhud al-Dawlah. Waqf property was allocated to its maintenance. In fact, all these hospitals were supported by charitable endowments (waqf, pl. awqaf). In Damascus, the Nuri hospital was the most famous; in the capitals of Egypt, Fustat and Cairo, hospitals were built by Ibn Tulun in the 870s; Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi founded the Nasiri hospital and the Sultan Qala'un established Bimaristan al-Mansuri (ca 1284).
Salah al-Din was a particularly important founder of hospitals in Egypt and Syria. He built one each in Cairo, Alexandria, Jerusalem and Damascus. Sultan Salah al-Din's 21 court physicians included eight Muslims, eight Jews -including Cordoba-born Maimonides (Musa b. Maymun) who produced Aphorisms (Kitab al-Fusul)-, Ibn Jumay‘, and at least five Christians and a Sabian. Hospitals offered free treatment to all and physicians were recruited from both the Muslim and non-Muslim community (ahl al-Dhimmah/Dhimmis). Arab hospitals were built elsewhere, including Marrakesh in 1199 CE and in Granada in 1397 CE. Andalusian-born Ibn Rushd (Averroes), author of the Kulliyat (Latin Colliget) and Ibn Tufayl worked at Marrakesh. These prototype hospitals , which some Muslims regarded as a glory of their civilization, shaped the development of hospitals in Europe and Africa.
11. Notes and References
 Cf. W. M. Watt, The Influence of Islam on Medieval Europe, Edinburgh University Press, 1972, pp. 30-43; 60-71; 82-4;
 Alexander Hellemans et al., The Timetables of Science: A Chronology of the Most Important People and Events in The History of Science, Simon and Schuster, Rockefeller Centre, New York, 1988,p. 20.
 Ibid, p. 38.
 C. A. Qadir, Philosophy and Science in the Muslim World, Croom Helm, London and New York, 1988, pp. 15-41.
 Ibn Qutaybah, al- Ma'arif, Beirut, Dar Ihya' al-Turath al- ‘Arabi, 1970.
 Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi, Mafatih al-‘Ulum, Cairo, Al-Sharq Publications, 1342/1923-4, pp. 2-154.
 Jamal al-Din Ibn al-Qifti, Ta'rikh al-Hukama', ed. Julius Lippert, Leipzig, 1903, 2 vols., (reprinted in Baghdad and Cairo).
 Ibn Qutaybah, op. cit., p. 9.
 Ibid, pp. 9-10.
 Ibid, p. 12.
 Ibid, pp. 14-27.
 Ibid, p. 26.
 Published as Husam Muhi El-Din al-Alousi, The Problem of Creation in Islamic Thought, The National Printing and Publishing Co, Baghdad, 1965.
 Katib Celebi, Kesf el-Zunun, Istanbul 1941, p. 199. Ahmad al-Qalqashandi, Subh al- A'sha, vol. 1, Cairo, 1913, pp. 412-36.
 Sulayman b. Ahmad al-Tabarani, Kitab al-Awa'il, (Dar al-Furqan, Beirut),1983, pp. 1-127; Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Al-Wasa'il Ila Maarifat al-Awa'il, ed. ‘Abd al-Qadir, Cairo, 1990, pp. 15- 200. See also The Book of Curious and Entertaining Information The Lata'if al- Maarif of al-Thaalibi ( translated with Introduction and Notes by C. E. Bosworth), The University Press, Edinburgh, pp. 38-9.
 The Book of Curious and Entertaining Information The Lata'if al- Ma‘arif of al-Thaalibi ( translated with Introduction and Notes by C.E. Bosworth), The University Press, Edinburgh, pp. 38-9.
 Ibid, p. 40.
 S. Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (tr. and ed. J. Starchey), W. W.Norton & Co., New York, 1961, p. 44.
 Franz Rosenthal, ‘Ishaq ibn Hunain's Ta'rikh al-Atibba', in ORIENS, Leiden, vol. 7, 1954, pp. 61, 70.
 Al-Jahiz, Al-Bayan wa'l-Tabyin, ed. Sandubi, Cairo, 1926, vol. 1, p. 213.
 M.A.J. Beg, Wisdom of Islamic Civilization - A Miscellany o f Islamic Quotations, Kuala Lumpur, 1986, p. 87. M. Ullmann, ‘Khalid b. Yazid ‘ in The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Leiden, 1978, vol. 4, pp. 929-30. Ibn al-Qifti, Ta'rikh al-Hukama', ed. Lippert, Leipzig, 1903, p. 440.
 ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al-Khuza‘i, Takhrij al-Dalalah al-Sam'iyah, Cairo,1401/1981, pp. 65-69.
 Al-Qur'an, Chapter al-A ‘raf, Verse 7.
 M. Hamidullah, in The Muslim World Book Review, vol. 1, No.3, Leicester, 1981, p. 15.
 Ibid, p. 15.
 Sayyid Ahmad al-Hashimi, Mukhtarat al-Ahadith al-Nabawiyah wa'l- Hikam al-Muhammadiyah, Cairo, n.d. (1950s), p. 69.
 Ibid, p.93; cf. also A.J. Wensinck, Concordance et Indices de La Tradition Musulmane, E.J. Brill, 1962, vol. 4, p. 10.
 Ibid., p. 93. Wensinck, op. cit., vol. 4, p. 321.
 Ibid., p. 100.
 M.A.J. Beg, Wisdom of Islamic Civilization, pp. 35-6.
 Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah (tr. F. Rosenthal), vol. 2, p. 437.
 Ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi, al- 'Iqd al-Farid, Cairo, 1940, vol. 2, p.208. Cf. also M. A. J. Beg, Wisdom of Islamic Civilization (A Miscellany of Islamic Quotations), Kuala Lumpur, 1986, p. 57.
 Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History (tr. F. Rosentahal), Princeton, N.J., 1980, vol. 3, pp. 143-47.
 Patricia Crone, Pre-Industrial Societies ( New Perspectives on the Past),Blackwell, Oxford, 1995, p.97. The author of this book notes that "In the Muslim world, for example, the religious scholars did not fear lay participation in religious knowledge for the simple reason that they were laymen themselves, not members of a hierarchy sealed off from the lay society: their authority rested on mastery of learning available to anyone; they simply had more of it than the rest. But here as elsewhere knowledge had to be controlled. ..Muslim scholars were happy to share religious learning with everyone who wanted it, but they were suspicious of different types of learning associated with different exponents (such as doctors and philosophers); obviously had these types of learning won out, their own knowledge would have been devalued, meaning loss of income and prestige alike."
 Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History (tr. F. Rosentahal), Princeton, N.J., 1980, vol. 3, p.150.
 Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, Tibb al-Nabawi, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, circa 1957, pp. 334.
 Al-Suyuti, Tibb al-Nabi (The Medicine of the Prophet), tr. Cyril Elgood, OSIRIS, Brussels, 1962.
 M.A.J. Beg, Wisdom of Islamic Civilization, Kuala Lumpur, 1986, p. 57 (citing Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih, al- ‘Iqd al-Farid, Cairo, 1940, vol. 2, p. 208).
 Quoted from Muhammad Asad's monthly journal Arafat, Lahore, 1946-7,in M.A. J. Beg (ed.) The Image of Islamic civilization, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1980, pp. 66-7.
 Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, the Qur'an and Science (translated from the French by Alistair Pannell), Paris edition, 1977; English edition, North American Trust Publications, Indianapolis, 1979.
 Ibid, p. vi.
 Ibid, pp. 242-8.
 Ibid, p. vi.
 Al-Khuza‘i, Takhrij al-dalalat al-Sam‘iyah, pp. 159-69. The Prophet's secretaries who wrote down the Revelation were ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Ubayd ibn Ka‘b and Zayd ibn Thabit. When all of these four amanuenses were absent, others took their place, for instance Mu ‘awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, Khalid ibn Sa ‘id ibn al-‘As, Aban ibn Sa‘id, al- ‘Ala' ibn al- Hadrami and Hanzalah ibn al-Rabi'.
 Bucaille, op. cit., p. vi.
 Ibid, p. ix.
 Al-Qur'an: Chapter 54: Verse 7.
 Ibid, Chap. 32 : Verse 5.
 Ibid, Chap. 70: Verse 4.
 Ibid, Chap. 21: Verse 30.
 Ibid, Chap. 31: Verse 31.
 Ibid, Chap. 16: Verse 14.
 Ibid, Chap. 55: Verse 58.
 Ibid, Chap. 55: Verse 22.
 Ibid, Chap. 21: Verse 33.
 Ibid, Chap. 36: Verse 42.
 Ibid, Chap. 49: Verse 13.
 Ibid, Chap. 20: Verse 53; Chap. 13: Verse 53.
 Ibid, Chap. 36: Verse 36 ; Chap. 53: Verses 45-46.
 Ibid, Chap. 86: Verses 6-7.
 Ibid, Chap. 2: Verses 222-223; Chap. 65: Verse 4.
 Ibid, Chap. 21: Verse 30. Some scholars and scientists interpret an acquatic origin of life to include a reference to semen.
 Ibid, Chap. 10: Verse 4.
 Ibid, Chap. 55: Verse 10-13.
 Ibid, Chap. 16 : Verse 66.
 Ibid, Chap. 16: Verses 5-8.
 Ibid, Chap. 85: Verse 1.
 Ibid, Chap. 2: Verse 164.
 Bucaille, op. cit., pp. 251-2.
 Sir Mohammad Iqbal, Six Lectures on the Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, ( Kapur Art Printing Press), Lahore, 1930, p. 177.
 Ibid, p. 176.
 Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Islamic Science. An Illustrated Study, photographs by Ronald Michaud, World of Islam Festival Publishing Company Ltd., London, 1976, p. 9.
 George Sarton, ‘Science' in Mid-East: World-Center, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, ed. Ruth Nanda Anshen, Cooper Square Publishers, New York, 1975, p. 273.
 Dimitri Gutas, Greek Thought, Arabic Culture : The Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement in Baghdad and Early Abbasid Society (2nd-4th/8th-10th Centuries), Routledge, London and New York, 1998, pp. 22-3.
 Ibid, p. 22.
 Ibn al-Qifti, Ta'rikh al-Hukama' (History of Philosophers and Scientists) ed. J. Lippert, Leipzig, 1902/3, p. 220.
 Ibn al-Qifti, op. cit., p. 220. See also D.R.Hill, Islamic Science and Engineering, Edinburgh University Press,1993, p. 11.
 Ibn al-Qifti, Tarikh al-Hukama', ed. Lippert, p. 270.
 D. Pingree, ‘Ilm al-Hay'a, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Leiden, vol. 3, 1986, p. 1137; see also S.H. Nasr, Islamic Science, op. cit., p. 97.
 Ibid., pp. 158-60.
 Richard Walzer, Greek Into Arabic : Essays on Islamic Philosophy, Bruno Cassirer, Oxford, 1962, pp. 6-9.
 Ibn al-Qifti, op. cit., pp. 441-3.
 Ibid, pp. 171-7; Sulayman ibn Hassan ibn Juljul al-Andalusi (well-known as Ibn Juljul), Tabaqat al-Atibba' wa'l-Hukama'( Les Génerations des Médicins et des Sages), ed. Fu'ad Sayyid, Cairo, 1955, pp. 68-72.
 G. Strohmaier, ‘ Hunayn ibn Ishaq al-‘Ibadi', The Encyclopaedia of Islam, vol. 3, Leiden, 1986, p. 578.
 Ibn al-Qifti, op. cit., pp. 117-8.
 Ibid, pp. 262-3.
 George Makdisi, The Rise of Colleges, Edinburgh University Press, 1981, pp. 24-5. Cf. also Ahmad Shalaby, History of Muslim Education, Dar al-Kashahaf, Beirut, 1954, pp. 73-89.
 Ibid, pp. 26-7.
 Abdelhamid I. Sabra, ‘The Exact Sciences', in The Genius of Arab Civilization: Source of Renaissance, Phaidon, Oxford, 1975, p. 121.
 George Sarton, Science, in The Mid-East: World-Center, New York, 1975, p. 269.
 Ibid, p. 274.
 Ibid, p. 275.
 Muhsin Mahdi, "Postface: Approaches to the History of Arabic Science",in Encyclopaedia of the History of Arabic Science, edited by Roshdi Rashed and Régis Morelon, Routledge, London and New York, 1996, vol. 3, p. 1027.
 Ibid, p. 1026.
 Régis Morelon, "General Survey of Arabic Astronomy", in Encyclopaedia of the History of Arabic Science ed. R. Rashed et al., op. cit., vol. 1, pp. 1-57.
 David A. King, "Astronomy and Islamic Society: Qibla, Gnomonics and Timekeeping", in Encyclopaedia of the History of Arabic Science, op. cit., vol. 1, p .147.
 Ibn al-Qifti, op. cit., p. 57.
 Ibid, pp. 160-61; 170; 242; 256; 286;328.
 Ibid, p. 357.
 G. Saliba, "Arabic Planetary Theories after the Eleventh century", in Encyclopaedia of the History of Arabic Science, op. cit., vol. 1, p.74.
 Gül A. Russell, "The Emergence of Physiological Optics", in Encyclopaedia of the History of Arabic Science, op. cit., vol. 2, p.701.
 Ibid, p.703.
 Sandra Benjamin, The World of Benjamin of Tudela : A Medieval Mediterranean Travelogue, Madison, Teaneck, (Associated University Presses), Cranbury, NJ. and Ontario, Canada, 1995, pp. 197-8.
 Abu ‘AbdAllah Muhammad ibn Ahmad b. Yusuf al-Katib al-Khwarizmi, Mafatih al- 'Ulum, Cairo, 1342/ 1923, p. 114.
 Ahmad S. Saidan, ‘Numeration and Arithmetic', and André Allard, "The Influence of Arabic mathematics in the medieval West", in Encyclopaedia of the History of Arabic Science, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 331-2 and p. 561.
 J. H. Kramers, ‘Science in Islamic Civilization' in Analecta Orientalia Posthumous Writings and Selected Minor Works of J.H. Kramers, E.J. Brill,Leiden, 1956, pp. 127-29.
 Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Science and Civilization in Islam, Dewan Pustaka Fajar, Malaysia, 1984, p. 160.
 Amr bin Bahr al-Jahiz, Kitab al-Bayan wa'l-Tabyin editor Sandubi, Cairo,1926, part III, p. 211.
 G. C. Anawati, "Arabic Alchemy", in Encyclopaedia of the History of Arabic Science, op. cit., vol. 3, pp. 857-8; see also p. 868.
 The Arabic Works of Jabir ibn Hayyan (edited with critical notes by Eric John Holmyard), vol. 1, part 1 (Arabic text), Paris 1928.
 Robert Halleux, ‘The Reception of Arabic Alchemy in the West', in Encyclopaedia of the History of Arabic Science, op. cit., vol. 3, pp. 896-7.
 Ibn al-Qifti, Ta'rikh al-Hukama (ed. J. Lippert), Leipzig, 1903,pp. 161-2. See also Ibn Juljul, Tabaqat al-Atibba' wa'l-Hukama' ed. F. Sayyid,Cairo, 1955, pp. 54-6.
 Emilie Savage-Smith, ‘Tibb', The Encyclopaedia of Islam, vol. 10, Fascicules 171-2, Leiden, 1999,p. 452. The author claims that there are no reliable sources to prove that there was either a hospital or a medical school at Jundishapur; what existed there was an infirmary in which Graeco-Roman medicine was practiced.
 Cyril Elgood, A Medical History of Persia and the Eastern Caliphate: From the Earliest Times to the year A.D. 1932, Cambridge, 1951, p. 66.
 Cf. Ibn Juljul, Tabaqat al-Atibba' wa'l -Hukama' ( Les Générations des Médicins et des Sages) ed. Fu'ad Sayyid, Cairo, 1955,pp.57-8. Emilie Savage-Smith, "Medicine", Encyclopaedia of the History of Arabic Science op. cit., vol. 3, p. 908.
 M.A.J. Beg, ‘Arab Impressions of Ancient Nations and Civilizations', Wisdom of Islamic Civilization, Kuala Lumpur, 1986, pp. 101-2.
 Cf. F. Klein-Franke and Zhu Ming, "Tibb: 2. Medical Exchange between China and the Islamic World", The Encyclopaedia of Islam, vol. 10, Leiden, 1999, pp. 460-461.
 Ibn al-Qifti, op. cit., pp. 324-6; Ibn Juljul, op. cit., pp. 61-2.
 Ibn Qutaybah, al-Maarif (ed. by Muhammad Isma'il ‘AbdAllah al-Sawi), Beirut 1390/ 1970, p. 98.
 Ibn Juljul, op. cit., pp. 77-80; Ibn al-Qifti, op. cit., pp. 271-7.
 L.E. Goodman, "Al-Razi", The Encyclopaedia of Islam, vol. 8, new edition, E.J. Brill, Leiden,1994, p. 476.
 Emilie Savage-Smith, "Medicine", in Encyclopaedia of the History of Arabic Science, op. cit., vol. 3, p. 920.
 A.M. Goichon, ‘Ibn Sina', The Encyclopaedia of Islam, vol. 3, Leiden, 1986, p. 942. For a list of Ibn Sina's works, see Al-Qifti, Ta'rikh al-Hukama', pp. 413-26.
 Martin Plessner," Science", in The Legacy of Islam, ed. J. Schacht and C.E.Bosworth, Oford University Press, London, 1974, p. 449.
 Cyril Elgood, op. cit., p. 207.
 M.A.J. Beg, ‘The Origin and Growth of Hospitals in Islamic Civilization', Muslim Education Quarterly, vol. 13, No. 4, Cambridge, UK, 1996, pp. 73-77. Cf. also Françoise Michaeu, ‘The Scientific Institutions in the Medieval Near East', Encyclopaedia of the History of Arabic Science, op. cit., vol. 3, pp. 991-2; 999-1001.
 Aydin Sayili, ‘The Emergence of the Prototype of the Modern Hospital in Medieval Islam', Bulletin, Uç Ayda Bir Çikar, Turk Tarih Kurumu, Ankara,Turkey, 1980, pp. 280-6.
* Ph.D. (Cantab), FRAS (London), Visiting Research Scholar at Cambridge University, UK.
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by: Dr. Muhammad Abdul Jabbar Beg, Mon 30 August, 2010