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6th International Congress of the WIAMH

Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 13-15, 1999.

 

THEMATIC APPROACH TO STUDYING OF ISLAMIC MEDICINE

Izet MAŠIĆ

Faculty of Medicine ot the Sarajevo University, 71 000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Islamic culture, including its contribution to development of bio-medical sciences, and medicine in particular, has reached the highest level of development between the 9th and 11th centuries. It has brought a significant number of new, rather important discoveries during the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries. During that time, the West had just started its wakening from the darkness of the Middle Ages. From the 12th century and until the period of renaissance, Arabic medical manuscripts had become available in Latin through translations and re-writings in the countries of Perinea and Apennine. Due to poor quality of translation, the original medical manuscripts of Arabic doctors and thinkers had lost its quality, which had influenced higher value of translations of later versions. Despite poor quality of those translations to Latin and other languages and the level of medical education in the western university medical centres, those manuscripts and other versions of them had revived the spirit of science in the Western Europe during the whole Middle Age.

Islamic authors of medical and other literature had become rather famous in the West, but under changed names – i.e. Razes instead of Ar-Razija; Avicenna instead of Ibn Sinaa; Alhazen instead of Ibn Haithama; Avenzoar instead of Ibn Zuhra, Averroes instead of Ibn Rušda; etc. Change of names had not happened accidentally. It was the result of centuries-lasting tendency of the West to hide, belittle, twist and destroy all that had its roots in the Islamic culture. Such efforts in the cultural world of the West, not even mentioning the plebes, the presented ones were only those, which could not have been ignored. A great contribution of Islamic authors to development of bio-medical sciences is indubitable. They had not only managed to preserve achievements of pre-Islamic authors, but had also given great contribution to those sciences and their disciplines through their own researches and had given them to us as dowry.

 

Key words: Islam – Islamic Medicine

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