Al-wazir Abu Al- ‘Ala’ Zuhr

Died on 1130

Abu Al- ‘Ala’ studied at Cordova at the school of Abu Al-Aina, a doctor who came from the Orient to Spain. He was even more successful as a physician than his father. He was attached to the court of al-Mutamid, the last ‘Abbadid king of Seville (ruled from 1068 to 1091), and after the-conquest of Seville by the Berber Murabitin (Almoravides) in 1091, he became wazir to the Yusuf ibn Tashfin (who ruled until 1106). His usual name, Al-wazir Abu Al- ‘Ala’ Zuhr, was corrupted by early Latin translators into Alguazir Albuleizor (and variants). He died in Cordova in 1130-1131, and was buried in Seville.

His main title to fame is the fact of being Ibn Zuhr’s father, but he deserves to be remembered for his own activity. He wrote a number of medical books: Kitab al-khawas, Book of (medical) properties; Kitab al-adwiya-l-mufrada, Book of simple drugs; Kitab al-‘idah, Book of explanation; Kitab hall shukuk al-Razi ‘ala kutub Jalinus, Solution of al-Razi’s doubts with regard to Galen’s works (which proves if needs be that the Muslims were very critical of Greek science); Mujarrabat, Experimental facts (Medical observations); Maqala fil-radd ala Abu ‘A1i ibn Sina fi mawadi’ min kitabihi fi-l-adwiya-l-mufrada, Discourse of refutation of a few points in Ibn Sina’s book on simple drugs; Maqala fi basthi lirisala Ya’qub itn Ishaq al-Kindi fi tarkib al-adwiya, Discourse wherein is explained al-Kindi’s letter on the composition of drugs; Kitab al-nukat al-tibbiya, Main principles of medicine. The last named is almost certainly identical with another work of his, the Tadhkira, or Reminder, which he wrote for his son ‘Abd al-Malik (Avenzoar) when the latter was travelling in Morocco. It is a practical guide containing special references to climatic and pathological conditions in Marrakech; complementary information on various medical subjects; and also deontological advice. This treatise has sometimes been ascribed, wrongly, to the son.