23/02 /2021, February
Ibn Tafil is a link between the two most famous philosophers who practiced medicine in Andalusia, Ibn Baja and Ibn Rushd. He studied and influenced the former by relying on natural sciences in philosophy. This allowed him to write the first philosophical novel in history, Hay Bin Yaqan, which deals with the relationship between religion and reason. However, what is not much attention to this work is some medical references, as Ibn Tafil presents us through the protagonist (Hay Bin Yaqan), an autopsy of the gazelle.
That exact description can only be done by a medical specialist. As Ibn Tafil was influenced by his teacher Ibn Baja, he influenced his disciple Ibn Rushd, with the latter’s confession talking about the discussions they had about the manufacture of medicines.
Argoza Ibn Tafil, remindme me of Argoza Ibn Sina. The intersection between them lies not only in their adoption of poetry in order to express their medical discoveries, but in particular in their re-campaign on the historical development of medical sciences.
From their knowledge, we conclude that Islamic medicine since the 11th century (Ibn Sina) and especially since the twelfth century (ibn Tafil‘ period) has become a transcendence of Greek medicine.
If ibn Tafil‘s most important successor in the field of medicine is Argoza, for Ibn Sina, it is only an entry point for his most important medical book, The Law in Medicine.
. This book (which can be viewed in full on the Internet) diagnosed many of the diseases that modern medicine did not resolve until the 19th century. I mention for example: meninges, bladder stones, intestinal worms (called in contemporary medicine Ancylostoma), anthrax, stroke, and how to stop bleeding during surgery.
However, what makes me think of Ibn Sina during these days as we live in the case of the new coronavirus, is that he was the first to speak in a scientifically studied way about the benefits of quarantine, and the first to use the term “forties” which translated into different languages of the world under the name La quarantaine, and even the first to speak scientifically about how to transmit infection from a sick person to a healthy person, and identify diseases in which transmission is rapid.
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