Ibn al-Akfani

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Muḥammad ibn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Akfani, is mostly remembered by Arabic bibliographers as a physician and an encyclopedic mind. He was born in 1286 in the city of Sinjār (present-day northern Iraq) and spent most of his life in Cairo, where he worked in the 13th-century Al-Mansuri Hospital and died a victim of the plague in 1348–49. More than 20 books are attributed to Ibn al-Akfani, half of which are devoted to medicine and related subjects. He is mainly famous among later Arab writers as the author of an extensive encyclopedia of sciences known by the title Iršād al-qāsid ilā asnā’ al-maqāsid (The easy guidance to the more shining destinations) and that probably was inspired by al-Fārābī’s encyclopedia. Ibn al-Akfani also wrote on logic, astronomy, mathematics, and, as in this work, gemology.

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