Who Is Al-Razi?

Who Is Al-Razi?

Al-Razi One of the most famous Doctor in the world was Abu Bakar Mohammad Ibn Zakariya Al Razi. He was born in 865 AD at Ray Near Modern Tehran in Iran.

He was called Al Razi after the city where he was born. Zakaria Al Razi better known as Rhazes in the west is Universally Recognized as the most outstanding scientist of the middle age times, who influenced the course of thought in many branches of knowledge especially in medicine due to which he became famous. As a boy, Al-Razi was very clever, studied many subjects such as Chemistry, Philosophy, physics and music etc. He worked hard at his books and practiced as an Alchemist in his youth and very soon earned a high reputation as a Physician because of his great interest in medicine, both in theory and practice, that is the treatment of various sick people, which attracted patients and pupils from distant parts of the western area,

Al-Razi became a doctor in the service of the Ruler of the Ray, where he cured so many sick people and became such a famous doctor that a few years later he was invited to Baghdad as the Chief Doctor (Director or Mutwali ) of the large “State Hospital”. He was an eminent surgeon of his time. He improved the methods of surgery and investigated many new ways of curing people, although in those days the methods used in Surgery were often very rough and ready The Surgeons had little knowledge of the subject and the unfortunate patients often died or continued to suffer. Al-Razi was the inventor of Seton. He also introduced the use of animal gut as a ligature for surgical operations and was the first to recognize reaction of the pupil to, light.

Many of the ill and injured people owed their lives to the skill of Al-Razi, He became famous as a doctor who could cure the sick when other doctors had given up all hope Al-Razi took very much patience as well as skill in the work and never regarded a serious case as hopeless. He refused to be defeated by disease. His belief in success made his patients believe, that they would get well again Rhazes, says Max- Mayerhof was undoubtedly the greatest physician of the Islamic world and one of the greatest physician of all times.

Writing in his well-known book Arabian Medicine “Edward G.Brown, Recognize as the greatest” and most original of all the Muslim physicians and one of the most prolific, as an author, he was the most eminent thinker of the 9th century AD, which is known as the golden period of Islamic learning. Says Gorge Garton Rhazes was not simply the greatest learner of Islam but also the whole of Middle ages as well as a chemist and physicist.”

Influences of Rhazes and Avicenna upon western thought was equally great writes Cyril Elgood in “Medical history of Persia” and the “Eastern Caliphates.”

Although Al-Razi possessed great knowledge and skill as a doctor. He did not consider any matter connected with his work, however small to be beyond his notice. Al Razi did not only practice as a doctor but spent much time and thought in trying to find out, he what caused different diseases. He discovered many new and interesting facts in his research for medical knowledge.

He was a prolific writer, who left behind him immortal works on medical science, chemistry physics, music philosophy, ethics etc.

Says Max Meyerhoff His education was all-embracing and his scientific output remarkable, amounting more than 200 books half of which are medical, he and these books provided valuable information for doctors all over the world. He wrote a book kitabul Mansoori called liber al mansoori in Latin, dedicated to his patron Mansoor Ibn Ishaq Al Salmani the Governor of Rhay which runs in 10 volumes and dealt with great Medicine. First Latin translation was first published in Milan in the last quarter of the 5th century. It was later on published in the several European languages including German and French.

His writings on medicine including many short treatises on light topics like “On the fact that even skillful physicians cannot heal all diseases,

“Why frightened patients easily forsake, even the skilled physicians”

“Why ignore physician, Laymen and women have more success in than learned medical man.”

He also contributed to Gynecology the, obstetric and ophthalmology.

His other valuable works deal some of the common diseases in the east including stone in bladder and kidney.

He wrote a pamphlet entitled “of habit, which becomes natural” this was the forerunner of Sherrington, conditioned reflex theory.

His monograph on diseases in children earned him the title of father of paediatrics.

His outstanding work” Al juderi, he wal hasbah” a book dealing with smallpox and measles, he is the earliest one of the most recognized as books on the subject of even up to the present invention time. It was translated into Latin and other European, languages and was published for more than 40 times between 1498-1866 AD it was translated into the Latin and printed in Venice(France) in 1489.

In Basle in 1549, in London is 1747 and Gottingen in 1781.

This is valuable work, he gives the first description of smallpox as a clinical entity, he and hence says the Neuburger “In every land with justice it is regarded as an ornament the to the medical tradition of the Arabs.” This remarkable work reputed for its, originality and until the 18th century, he was presented with a textbook in most of the universities both in the East and West.

The treatise writes PHILIP K.I HITTI in the “History of the ARABS”

“Served to established Al Razi, reputation as one of the keenest original thinker and the greatest clinical not only Islam but of the middle ages.”

He wrote “Kitab al Asrar” in Chemistry.


Book on the Art of Alchemy dealing with preparation of chemical substances and its, appliances. His great work on the art of Alchemy” was recently found in the library of an Indian prince.This book was translated into Latin as liber Experimentorum by Constantine.

Razi investigated the determination of specific gravity by means of hydrostatic balance called by him ”Mizan al Tibbi”. The high reputation of Al Razi as a teacher of medicine attracted students from distant parts of the Islamic world. So the great was the attendance of students in his lectures that he was inaudible to those set for away, so the near ones passed on his words, to the outer circle of students.

When he was the chief doctor in Baghdad it was decided to build a new hospital. Al Razi thought first of comfort the sick people and he said that the hospital must be built in the coolest part of the city. To discover the best place according to Ibn Abi Usabiyah. Al Razi had pieces of meats hung up in different parts of the city. Where the air was warm the meat quickly turned bad, he in more open places where it was cooler, he the meat stayed fresh for longer times. In a place where trees threw shade and the breeze blew the meat stayed fresh for many days and therefore Razi was satisfied that he had found the suitable place for the new hospital. Today in the world and our country Pakistan there are fine modern hospitals where sick and injured people receive the best treatment we have doctors and surgeons with the skill to cure the worst disease and to heal the most terrible injuries, we accept all this skilled care and treatment as a matter of course but we should remember Al Razi with gratitude. It was due to his unselfish work in medicine and surgery, hundreds of years ago, he that was owe our present day knowledge of the prevention and cure of diseases.The light of medical knowledge which Al Razi brought to these in pain in his time, grew stronger until it spread brightly through suffering world and brought healing to all men. We all should be thankful to him.

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