2me,’” thus physicians understood and believed their work to be truly the work of God.
Though many of these physicians were not Arabic by birth, they did “live within thesphere of Islamic culture and have helped in a most enduring way to shape this [Islamic]culture and to give it its particular stamp.”
Early Islamic medicine owes much of its foundation to the Greeks. Hellenisticthinkers such as Euclids, Hippocrates and, most importantly, Galen, were the foundingfathers for much of Islamic medical thought. During the 8
century CE, Greek workswere just beginning to be translated. However, less than a century later all of Galen’sworks had been painstakingly transformed into Arabic tongue.
As Galen’s work spread throughout the Dar al-Islam, his theories on topics such as humors, metabolism,digestion, and blood flow permeated through the doctrines of Islamic medicine.
Theinfluence of Hippocrates can also be seen in Islamic medicine, through the well-knownHippocratic Oath, which was a required pledge of all Islamic physicians. AlthoughHippocrates was a key figure in the development of Islamic medicine, his complete set of writings were never fully translated into Arabic.
With the translation of Greek works,Islamic scientists and physicians were then ready to expand the original ideas and critic previous Greek writings based on their own experiences.
In Abu Bakr ar-Razi’s later work, he criticized parts of Galen’s writings in his book,
Doubts Against Galen
The Umayyad Caliphate, which lasted from approximately 661-750 CE,saw the very first translations of Greek scientific writings into Arabic. However, it was
Abul Fadl Mohsin Ebrahim,
Organ Transplantation, Euthanasia, Cloning, and Animal Experimentation
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Ullman, 11, 15.
Paul Lunde, “Science: The Islamic Legacy” in
Science: The Islamic Legacy
(Washington D.C.: AramcoPublishing, 2006), 5.
Azim A. Nanji, editor,
The Muslim Almanac
(Detroit, MI: Gale Research Inc., 1996), 202.