Welcome to the third enlightening post of Medicine Through Islamic History series By The Desert Rose,
The first doctor who identified how blood circulates around the body was Ibn Al-Nafis whom many thought it was William Harvey. He knew of the pulmonary circuit and that the body had blood vessels called capillaries.
His full name was Alladin Abu Al-Hasan Ali ibn Abu Al-Hazam Al-Qarshi near Damascus. He attended Al-Nuri hospital in Damascus for his education and training under Al-Dawkhar and then began to practice at Al-Nasiri Hospital in Cairo and Al-Mansouriya Hospital.
The pulmonary circuit consists of the blood enters the heart through the right atrium exiting the right ventricle where it is re-oxygenated by the lungs and passes through the left atrium and back into the body. Prior to this discovery, it was thought that the blood did not pass through the lungs.
Many researchers agreed that he was a prolific author who had distinguished authority on Medicine, Quran, Sunnah, philosophy, Islamic jurisprudence and the Arabic language. Amongst his books were the following:
Al-Shamil fi al-Tibb à an encyclopaedia that comprised 300 volumes.
Mujaz al-Qanoon à It consisted a number of commentaries on law especially on Hippocrates’.
Kitab Al-Mukhtar fi Aghda-eya à A book on the effects of diet on health.
He also contradicted many of the previous medical findings on the heart and circulatory system such as Avicenna, Galen and Hippocrates
"...The blood from the right chamber of the heart must arrive at the left chamber but there is no direct pathway between them. The thick septum of the heart is not perforated and does not have visible pores as some people thought or invisible pores as Galen thought. The blood from the right chamber must flow through the vena arteriosa (pulmonary artery) to the lungs, spread through its substances, be mingled there with air, pass through the arteria venosa (pulmonary vein) to reach the left chamber of the heart and there form the vital spirit...”
"... Again his (Avicenna's) statement that the blood that is in the right side is to nourish the heart is not true at all, for the nourishment to the heart is from the blood that goes through the vessels that permeate the body of the heart..."
Ibn Taghra Bardi, Shamsul-Deen MH. Al-Nujum al-Zahirah fi Muluk Misr wa-‘l-Qahirah. Dar Al-Kutub Al-Elmeyyah, 1992, vol 7: p. 318.
Al-Maqrizi, AA. In: Att MA, editor. Al-Suluk Lima'rifat Duwal al-Muluk. Beirut: Manshorat Mohammad Ali Baidoon, 1997, vol. 2, p. 209.
Al-Yafeie. Mir'at al-Janan wa-Ibrat al-Yaqzan fi Ma'arifat Hawadith al-Zaman. Al-Warraq Net Online Heritage Library, p. 721.
Haddad, S.E. & Khairallah A.A. A Forgotten Chapter in the Circulation of the Blood. Ann Surg 1936; 104:1-8.
Sarton G. Introduction to the History of Science. Carnegie Institution of Washington. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Company; 1927-1931. Reprinted in New York: Robert E. Krieger, 1975, pp. 1099-1101.
Ziedan Y, Abdel-Qader M. "Introduction". In: Ziedan Y, Abdel-Qader M, editors. Ibn al-Nafis, Sharh Fusul Abuqrat. Beirut/Cairo, 1991, pp. 35-65.
Welcome to the first enlightening post of Medicine Through Islamic History series By The Desert Rose
Everywhere around the world, there are hospitals that aim to serve and provide care, support and treatment to the public.
Do you know the history behind these buildings?
Muslims in the 8th century developed this idea of building hospitals which were at the time called bimaristan. Bimaristan spread across to other countries leading to the establishment of 30 hospitals that treated those who were unwell regardless of their financial status, religion, gender and other factors. Health professionals such as doctors, nurses, dispensers and midwives to rural areas to assist with birth and access to health.
The hospitals were also a place to study and gain knowledge – there were libraries, lecture rooms and pharmacies. Physicians were good are record-keeping and was able to share knowledge as they travelled. This allows students to read and receive practical training in hospitals.
Today, we will go through the first documented hospital and this was built in Baghdad by the Abbasid Caliph Harun Al-Rashid in 805. The hospital was divided into two departments: inpatient and outpatient. Today, these departments are also found in hospitals. One of the talented physicians called Jibrail Bakhtishu was elected to be head of the Bimartisan. Instructions were given by the minister at the city to support villages in Iraq. It attracted more bimaristans to be built around the world with the aim of serving all those that came to it.
This was one of the greatest achievements in medicine in Islamic History.
Welcome to the second enlightening post of Medicine Through Islamic History series By The Desert Rose
One of the most prominent Muslim physicians who made a large impact on medicine through his work is Dr Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyyah Al-Razi otherwise known as Rhazes.
He was born in Ray near Tehran in 865 AD and passed away in 925 AH. Besides medicine he had a passion for philosophy and music. He worked in a hospital in Baghdad called ‘Adud al-Dawlah.
His first book was called The Comprehensive Book on Medicine (Kitab al-Hawi fi al-tibb) otherwise known as the Hawi composed in Arabic and had 23 volumes, each covering various diseases and case studies he dealt with where some advice is acted upon by physicians even today.
`The physician, even though he has his doubts, must always make the patient believe that he will recover, for the state of the body is linked to the state of the mind.'
`If the physician is able to treat with nutrients, not medication, then he has succeeded. If, however, he must use medication, then it should be simple remedies and not compound ones'.
Today this book is found in the National Library of Medicine. It is the third oldest medical manuscript.
It has been reported that the book has been translated into Latin by Faraj ben Salim, a Sicilian-Jewish doctor in 1279.
Other medical books he wrote was Book of Medicine Dedicated to Mansur which he gave to the governor of Ray, Prince Abu Salih Al-Mansur ibn Al-Ishaq which consisted of a number of therapies for small pox, measles, diabetes, headaches, joints, dysentery, toothache and haemorrhoids and other conditions. It was utilized by physicians like Andreas Vesalius and Mary Wortley Montagu, wife of the Ambassador to the Turkish Court in Istanbul.
One of the therapeutics for the diseases he included in his work was for gout where a paste comprising of opium, hemlock, mandrake and colchicum. He put a great emphasis of opium especially for treating other diseases of the eyes and gastrointestinal system. Colchicine is still utilized today.
This emphasises the great impact Rhazes had on medicine through the collection of his medical reports and treatments of various diseases, it influenced medicine in other parts of the world that found it beneficial.
Al-Razi (1766) Kitab al-Jadari wa 'l-Hasbah, Italy.
Al-Razi (1976) Al-Hawi, Haydarabad, India.
Ibn Sina (1980) Al-Qanun fit-Tibb 3, p. 197.