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Muslim First Report

Muslim First Report

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Published by Shahzad Shameem

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Published by: Shahzad Shameem on May 21, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/21/2012

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1
I.
 
 A.
During the Middle Ages, Muslim scholars and scientists made manyadvancements in the medical field that were later transferred and adopted into toEuropean society through Spain.
 B.
Although the Middle Ages were, for Europe, a timeof intellectual stagnation, this generalization of the period does not hold true whenlooking at Arab lands. Intellectual institutions flourished, healthcare systems wereimplemented, and rulers were more interested than ever before in the patronage of Islamic arts and sciences.
C.
Through the lives of Ibn Ishaq, ar-Razi, Ibn Sina, al-Zahrawi, the impact of Islamic medicine can be understood.
 D.
Likewise, it is through thecommon thread of Islam, that intellectual knowledge, was transferred first to Spain andthen came to be understood throughout the rest of Western Europe.
II.
 
 A.
There has been a debate among scholars as to whether the term Arabicmedicine, or Islamic medicine, is a better title for the advancement of medical field inArab-speaking countries during the Islamic “Golden Age,” which lasted roughly from themiddle of the 6
th
century CE up until the beginning of the 14
th
century CE.
1
 B.
While it istrue that many physicians of the time, such as ar-Razi and Ibn Sina, were not Arabs, butrather Persians, their following of the Islamic faith is what identifies this advancement of medicine as an Islamic achievement.
2
Islamic physicians realized their moralresponsibility, and their duty to God in their profession. They followed the Hadiths andthe Koran in their practices. The Koran states that ‘“when I am ill, it is He who cures
1
Richard C. Martin, editor,
 Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World 
(New York: Macmillan ReferenceUSA, 2004), 445.
2
Manfred Ullman,
 Islamic Medicine
(George Square, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1978), xi.
 
2me,’” thus physicians understood and believed their work to be truly the work of God.
3
C.
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.”
4
 
III.
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
th
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.
5
 
 A.
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.
 B.
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.
6
 
C.
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.
7
In Abu Bakr ar-Razi’s later work, he criticized parts of Galen’s writings in his book,
 Doubts Against Galen
.
8
IV.
 
 A.
The Umayyad Caliphate, which lasted from approximately 661-750 CE,saw the very first translations of Greek scientific writings into Arabic. However, it was
3
Abul Fadl Mohsin Ebrahim,
Organ Transplantation, Euthanasia, Cloning, and Animal Experimentation
(Kano, Nigeria: The Islamic Foundation, 2001) 17.
4
Manfred Ullman,
 Islamic Medicine
(George Square, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1978), xi.
5
Ullman, xi.
6
Ullman, 11, 15.
7
Paul Lunde, “Science: The Islamic Legacy” in
Science: The Islamic Legacy
(Washington D.C.: AramcoPublishing, 2006), 5.
8
Azim A. Nanji, editor,
The Muslim Almanac
(Detroit, MI: Gale Research Inc., 1996), 202.
 
3not until this caliphate was overthrown by the Abassid Caliphate that rapid developmentsin Islamic medicine truly occurred.
 B.
Under the Abassids, the Bayt al-Hikmah, or RoyalLibrary, was created in Baghdad and became a center for Islamic medical studies.
9
During the late Abassid Caliphate, Muslim medicine survived through the funding of rivaling princes and institutions of learning, “which flourished even with thedisintegration of the unitary empire and the establishment of local dynasties and principalities.
 
C.
Advances in surgical procedure and licensing of physicians are just afew of the signs of progress, which occurred during this time. Another contributing factor for the advancement of Islamic medicine was the process of papermaking, which hadderived from the East. This invention was noticed by the Arabs in 751 CE and instantlycreated a medium for the spread of Islamic medical research and knowledge.
V.
A very instrumental figure in the transmission of Greek medical thought intothe Islamic world was Hunayn Ibn Ishaq.
 A.
He was born the son of an apothecary in 808CE, who sent him to Baghdad, determined that he would study medicine.
 B.
Hetranslated Galen and Hippocrates into Arabic under the patronage of various caliphs andelites. His work shaped the Arabic language into a scientific language by introducing“analytical-syntactical constructions, which made Arabic into an instrument capable of expressing complicated and abstract ideas.”
 
C.
He did not merely translate the works of others, but he was the author of many medical sources as well. He is said to have
9
Muhammad Salim Khan,
 Islamic Medicine
(Boston: Routledge and Keagan Paul, 1986), 11, 14.
10
Nanji, 197, 198.
11
Paul Lunde, “Science in Al-Andalus” in
Science: The Islamic Legacy
(Washington D.C.: ArmacoPublishing, 2006), 21.
12
Paul Lunde, “Science in the Golden Age” in
Science: The Islamic Legacy
(Washington D.C.: ArmacoPublishing, 2006), 10, 11.
13
Manfred Ullman,
 Islamic Medicine
(George Square, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1978), 8.

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