Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi

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The doctor's aim is to do good, even to our enemies, so much more to our friends.
I spent fifteen years of my life - night and day - writing the big collection entitled Al-Hawi. It was during this time that I lost my eyesight, my hand became paralyzed, with the result that I am now deprived of reading and writing. Nonetheless, I've never given up, but kept on reading and writing with the help of others.
Rhazes was the greatest physician of Islam and the Medieval Ages.

Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi (ابوبكر محمّد زکرياى رازى), also known as al-Razi, Rhazes or Rasis) (854 CE – 925 CE), was a Persian polymath, physician, alchemist, philosopher, and important figure in the history of medicine.

Quotes[edit]

  • The doctor's aim is to do good, even to our enemies, so much more to our friends, and my profession forbids us to do harm to our kindred, as it is instituted for the benefit and welfare of the human race, and God imposed on physicians the oath not to compose mortiferous remedies.
  • I prayed to God to direct and lead me to the truth in writing this book. It grieves me to oppose and criticize the man Galen from whose sea of knowledge I have drawn much. Indeed, he is the Master and I am the disciple. Although this reverence and appreciation will and should not prevent me from doubting, as I did, what is erroneous in his theories. I imagine and feel deeply in my heart that Galen has chosen me to undertake this task, and if he were alive, he would have congratulated me on what I am doing. I say this because Galen's aim was to seek and find the truth and bring light out of darkness. I wish indeed he were alive to read what I have published.
    • Introduction of Doubts about Galen, as quoted in Bashar Saad, Omar Said, Greco-Arab and Islamic Herbal Medicine: Traditional System, Ethics, Safety, Efficacy, and Regulatory Issues, John Wiley & Sons, 2011. ISBN 9781118002261, page
  • (...) I have written so far around 200 books and articles on different aspects of science, philosophy, theology, and hekmat (wisdom). (...) I never entered the service of any king as a military man or a man of office, and if I ever did have a conversation with a king, it never went beyond my medical responsibility and advice. (...) Those who have seen me know, that I did not into excess with eating, drinking or acting the wrong way. As to my interest in science, people know perfectly well and must have witnessed how I have devoted all my life to science since my youth. My patience and diligence in the pursuit of science has been such that on one special issue specifically I have written 20,000 pages (in small print), moreover I spent fifteen years of my life - night and day - writing the big collection entitled Al Hawi. It was during this time that I lost my eyesight, my hand became paralyzed, with the result that I am now deprived of reading and writing. Nonetheless, I've never given up, but kept on reading and writing with the help of others. I could make concessions with my opponents and admit some shortcomings, but I am most curious what they have to say about my scientific achievement. If they consider my approach incorrect, they could present their views and state their points clearly, so that I may study them, and if I determined their views to be right, I would admit it. However, if I disagreed, I would discuss the matter to prove my standpoint. If this is not the case, and they merely disagree with my approach and way of life, I would appreciate they only use my written knowledge and stop interfering with my behaviour.
    • Lost History: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Scientists, Thinkers, and Artists

Quotes about al-Razi[edit]

  • Rhazes was the greatest physician of Islam and the Medieval Ages.
    • George Sarton, Introduction to the History of Science (1927–48), 1.609
  • Or from Muhammad ibn Zakariyyab al-Razi, who meddles in metaphysics and exceeds his competence. He should have remained confined to surgery and to urine and stool testing—indeed he exposed himself and showed his ignorance in these matters.
    • Avicenna, as quoted in Rafik Berjak and Muzaffar Iqbal, "Ibn Sina—Al-Biruni correspondence", Islam & Science, December 2003.