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Zakariya Razi

Abu Bakr Mohammad Ibn Zakariya al-Razi, known as Al-Razi, as Ar-Razi, as Ibn Zakaria (Zakariya) or (in Latin) as Rhazes and Rasis, (8641-930 AD) was an Iranian polymath who contributed much to the fields of medicine and chemistry.

He was also significant in the field of philosophy.

He was born in Rayy (Rages) (actually, in Persian language Razi means from the city of Ray), an ancient city located near Tehran, Iran, and pursued a great amount of his research there. Note that Avicenna also lived in Ray for a period of time.

Razi was placed in-charge of the first Royal Hospital at Ray, from where he soon moved to a similar position in Baghdad where he remained the head of its famous Muqtadari Hospital and observed clinical cases. Today his name is commemorated in the Razi Institute near Tehran.

Razi was a Hakim, an alchemist and a philosopher. Before becoming a physician Razi was interested in music, he was well versed in the musical theory and is said to have been an exceptional performer.

He is considered one of the greatest alchemist of all time and his work remained in use for over 10 centuries. Inter alia he discovered alcohol, the use of alcohol in medicine, and he also discovered Sulfuric acid. Many also claim that he was the first to say that the world is round, but this was known much earlier, e.g. see Ptolemy.

Razi wrote 184 books and articles, in several fields of science. His books and articles are named by Ibn Abi Asi’boed.

Ibn an-Nadim identifies five areas in which Razi distinguished himself:

1. Razi was recognized as the best physician of his time who had fully absorbed Greek medical learning.

2. He traveled in many lands. His repeated visits to Baghdad and his services to many princes and rulers are known from many sources.

3. He was a medical educator who attracted many students, both beginners and advanced.

4. He was compassionate, kind, upright, and devoted to the service of his patients whether rich or poor.

5. He was a prolific reader and writer and authored many books.

 

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