Saturday, 1 June 2013

Avicenna: the greatest scholar of the Muslim world

Most important muslim scholar ever

Now more than a thousand years in the vastness of Central Asia was born one of the most impressive geniuses in human history. Considered as the greatest scientist of all Muslim civilizations, Avicenna shone unrivaled in all areas in which he worked. He was a philosopher with an encyclopedic knowledge, scientist and pioneer in medicine practitioner and theorist alike and, not least, poet and musician. He is the author of a work which encompasses almost all aspects of grandiose human knowledge of his time. Who was called Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Abd Allah ibn Sina (Avicenna Europe Latin) to incarnate through his itinerary and his immense encyclopaedic culture, medieval prototype universal intellectual.

Complete Quran disciple Aristotle taught at only 10 years
The most brilliant mind of the Muslim civilization was born in the village Qishlak Afshona 980 near Bukhara (now in Uzbekistan), the then capital shaman Persian dynasty that reigned in Central Asia and Khorasan province.

Luckily for him, Avicenna was born into a family of Iranian senior officials of Turkish origin, so has benefited from an educated infancy and attention of parents who noticed early intellectual potential of the child.

Child's independent spirit was crowned by a stunning intelligence and memory, which allowed the age of only 14 teachers to emulate. As noted in his autobiography, Avicenna already learned all there at the time in the world in terms of knowledge written up to do the 18.

Treaty of Medicine of Avicenna, Persian EditionTratatul de medicină al lui Avicenna, ediţia în limba persană
 In fact, according to the same autobiographies, gifted child already memorized all the Quran surahs up to fulfill 10 years.
Education and subsequent research has been marked by a encyclopaedism overflowing.

"Devours" all writings complete Arabic grammar, geometry, physics, Islamic law, theology and medicine.
It becomes very attracted to one of the geniuses of Ancient Greece data, namely Aristotle. Soar with unprecedented enthusiasm in studying the work of the great Greek thinker. Read avidly of Aristotle's Metaphysics forty times until you remember every word, but sadly aware that fails to understand the meanings and mysteries behind the words.
 Symbol of Shia Muslims
Simbol al musulmanilor şiiţi
Failure is not ambition but to make him more. For over a year and a half he spends time reading, studying and praying in the mosque for illumination. This comes only after, in a moment of inspiration, buy a pittance from a market comments and treaty Muslim philosopher Al-Farabi on Metaphysics.
So happy, just 16 years to fully understand the spirit and vision of his illustrious master of ancient Greece, which obviously never met in life. Fire sensitive to others suffering and disease, Avicenna attached and medical science. By the age of 18 already discovered that:
"Medicine is not a hard science like mathematics and metaphysics and rough, so we made great progress. I became a skillful doctor and began to treat my first patients using approved remedies. " The young man soon get famous, not only because of the success treating patients, but also because, like saints with silver Christian universe, Avicenna treat their patients without requiring them money.
When he was 22 his father died suddenly. Traumatic event coincided with political and social turmoil of the time, so the young man is seen trapped in a real carousel of some constant wanderings.
Physician, traveler, lighting
In order to exercise the medical profession, it installs as political adventures take him to the service of the various Muslim dynasties which was at one time. Enough to live in major cities of Persia, and ravy (near Tehran), Hamadan and Isfahan, where it enters the emirs services buyizi Shiites and reach a point where even become Grand Vizier (somewhat equivalent to a prime minister today).
His first job was that of an emir's personal physician. After he healed a long illness, his grateful Emir offered a large sum of money. Avicenna politely refused, instead asking him unlimited access to the Library and Archives shaman Dynasty official. How often brings success and troubles, Avicenna is bypassed gossip, envy, hostility overt or hidden, and slander.
Sculpture of the great Greek philosopher Aristotle

   Sculptură a marelui filozof grec Aristotel
Life has been hectic and because of its Shiite sympathies that they often put in jeopardy. However, would not relent in its path to knowledge. In so great was his dedication to science, that during the four months he was imprisoned (for life and also had downs) Avicenna used the time spent within the four walls to write treatise on coronary diseases.
During his life, Bukhara rivaled Baghdad to the status of cultural capital of the Muslim world. His travels, along with fame and connections they have with powerful time, they facilitated access to great libraries of Balkh, Horezm, Gorgan, Rey. It was contemporary and had dialogues with other enlightened as astronomer and researcher Rayhan Biruni, Abu Nasr Iraqi mathematician, philosopher and physicist Abu Abu Sahl al-Masih Khammar Khayr.
The most famous and influential work has been canon Medicine (al-Qanun al-Tibb be). Monumental work, originally written in 5 volumes, is, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "the most important book in the history of medicine, East and West ever written."
For over 600 years, Avicenna's Canon of Medicine was the book for the many medical schools and hospitals in Europe. Even now, his is the standard reference manual for practitioners of Unani medicine. Although his medical system based on some of the concepts of Hippocrates and Galen launched, Avicenna adopted his medical writings universal perspective, collecting, "distilling" and summarizing all the medical knowledge that existed in those times.
Avicenna traveled, read, applied and studied various traditional medical systems such as Greek, Egyptian, Persian, Hindu, Chinese and Tibetan., Then concluded that, in addition to superficial differences, all these systems are experiencing the same reality and common themes.

Monument in front of Avicenna's tomb in Hamadan, Iran  Monumentul din faţa mormântului lui Avicenna din Hamadan, Iran
All traditional medical systems of these nations taking into account the connection between soul, body and disease, human temperaments and their importance, vital fluids and humors, vital energy and similarities between the principles of body structure and anatomy and human physiology. The influence of the paper was really huge, even planetary. Even some African folk remedies based on Avicenna prescribed remedies. Herbal Medicine Healing Principles of Canon were studied and taken over by Samuel Hahnemann, founder of homeopathy, and by Father Sebastian Kneipp, founder of naturopathy.

The influence of the work of this "prince of medicine" as yet known when he was alive, was really huge. The treaty was translated into Latin about 100 years after his writing and has been published 15 times in the fifteenth century, and 20 times in the sixteenth century. It was basic book in the universities of Montpellier and Louvain, by the year 1650 and in Brussels Avicenna's studies were reference volumes by 1909.

The largest contribution to the science of medicine Avicenna was related to etiology. He was firmly convinced that you possess a medical problem only if you know well the causes and factors affecting medical conditions and diseases.

Healing the soul

In the Muslim world, who knows many prominent physicians, Avicenna's influence also appeared as a philosopher and mystic. He is leading the search for a complex knowledge that is both intellectual nature, experimental intiuitivă. It has the reputation of being written over 250 works in Arabic and Persian, but unfortunately his attempt to define what was known as the "Eastern wisdom" has not received patchy.

For example, the story of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan, Avicenna describes an autobiographical way his way to a mystical Orient - unspoken and unseen world of light, accompanied by a guiding angel. Collection of stories to influence the thinking Shiite spiritual "enlightenment" and especially later on Sohrawardi mystic.

But the book shows the spiritual heights reached Avicenna's Kitab al-Shifa undoubtedly, or Book of Healing the Soul, a direct translation. In this paper, it makes up the inventory of Greek knowledge of Muslim era, establishing a list of science: philosophical sciences, humanities, pure sciences, applied natural sciences of astronomy and economics.

Here deals with poetry, linguistics and music. Dare even more than that: not for nothing nicknamed "Lord of Lords" by his contemporaries, he put before the many Muslim philosophers like Averroes, to reconcile the Qur'anic doctrine of Neo-Platonism with Aristotelianism nuanced. For which will subsequently be attacked and challenged by the theologian Al-Ghazali and Averroes for his platonic inclinations.

Banknote worth 20 somi in Uzbekistan, with the portrait of Avicenna

  Bancnotă în valoare de 20 somi din Uzbekistan, cu portretul lui Avicenna
The Hebrew and Latin translations made ​​at Toledo in the twelfth century, his work alongside the creations of other great thinkers of Islam, will arrive in Western Europe, where his role will be particularly important in medicine and philosophy. European influence was so great that gave birth to a truly "avicennism latin" with Christian disciples very important, as Roger Bacon, John Dunn Scott (one of the founders of scholastic philosophy), St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Albert the Great , Geoffreyy Chaucer and even St. Augustine, one of Părinţiii Roman Catholic Church.

Without assessments push it against him, Avicenna is among the pioneers of the scientific basis of human knowledge quest. Philosopher René Descartes was among the first modern thinkers who were influenced by Avicenna. Towards the end of his life, persecution of Shia Muslims quickens under the orders of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna, a Sunni fanatic.

Avicenna was compelled to find refuge in Hamadan. In 1023, he was forced to flee to Isfahan, where he spent the last 14 years of his life under the protection Alaaddowleh emir, who commissioned him to do further research in astronomy. All died at Hamadan, in the month of September (August after other historical sources) in the year 1037, when he was only 57 years old.

Avicenna's tombstone    Piatra funerară a lui Avicenna
Perhaps Dante Alighieri knew best which was Avicenna's fate after leaving the plane. The great Italian writer Avicenna mentions him in The Divine Comedy, where the illustrious spirit awaits Mohammedan "antechamber of Heaven" alongside other iconic figures-positive, non-Christian invoices as Virgil, Averroes, Homer, Horace, Ovid, Socrates, Plato and even Saladin, the famous Muslim leader who stood in the battles against the Crusaders!

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