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Rhazes (al-Razi)
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Doctor
    (August 854-October 15, 925)
    Born in Rayy, Iran
    Full name was Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī (or Mohammad-e Zakariā-ye Rāzi)
    Known to Medieval physicians by the Latin name, Rhasis or Rasis
    Persian polymath, physician, chemist, and philosopher
    Vital figure in the Islamic Golden Age, and the history of medicine as a whole
    Noted for the discovery of alcohol as a medicinal substance, being the first to utilize sulfuric acid, for extensive research on smallpox and chickenpox, for being a pioneer in neurosurgery and ophthalmology, and for making leading contributions in inorganic/organic chemistry
    Among the first to use Humoralism to distinguish one contagious disease from another
    Recorded well over 200 assorted articles, manuals, essays, books, translations, and medical treatises over the course of his forty-year career in medicine
    Most famous medical-related works included ‘The Virtuous Life’ (al-Hawi), ‘A medical adviser for the general public’ (Man la Yahduruhu Al-Tabib), ‘Doubts About Galen’ (Shukuk 'ala alinusor) and ‘The Diseases of Children’
    Notable translated works include ‘The Book for the Elite’ (Mofid al Khavas), ‘The Book of Experiences,’ ‘The Cause of the Death of Most Animals because of Poisonous Winds,’ ‘The Physicians' Experiments,’ ‘The Person Who Has No Access to Physicians,’ ‘The Big Pharmacology,’ ‘The Small Pharmacology,’ ‘Gout,’ ‘Kidney and Bladder Stones,’ and ‘The Spiritual Physik of Rhazes’ (Ketab tibb ar-Ruhani)
    He was an alchemist.
    His colleagues accused him of plagiarizing material from his teacher, Iranshari.
    He is the namesake for an Iranian national holiday every August the 27th; 'Razi Day,' or Pharmacy Day.
    He devoted his spare time to compiling an 'Encyclopedia of music' (which his contemporaries hated).
    His own biographer conceded that 'he never truly grasped the purpose of metaphysics'; a subject he later abandoned.
    For all his groundbreaking accomplishments in the field of medicine, he still subscribed to the common misconception that those suffering from mental illness were 'possessed by demons.'
    He was criticized by Islam's renowned medieval philosopher Avicenna (Ibn Sina) for 'meddling' in matters of religion, philosophy, and the humanities.
    Deriding him as one whose ignorance 'exceeded incompetence,' Avicenna went farther, insisting that Rhazes would have been better off 'confined to surgery and to urine and stool testing.'
    Islamic polymath scholar, Abu Rayhan Biruni, called him out in a written treatise, specifically 'for his sympathy with Manichaeism [a now-extinct pagan Gnosticism], his Hermetical writings, his religious and philosophical views, for refusing to mathematize physics, and his active opposition to mathematics.'
    Iran's internet censorship laws meant that residents of his own birth country weren't able to even see his commemorative 1147th birthday Google Doodle (Aug. 26, 2012).
    He was proficient in the lute.
    He is the namesake for both the Razi Institute in Tehran, and Razi University in Kermanshah.
    He virtually invented the pediatric field of medicine.
    His essay on infectious diseases was the first scientific treatise on the subject.
    He reportedly refused medical treatment during his last hours on his deathbed.
    He was the first known Persian doctor to pen a 'home medical manual' for the general public, which he dedicated to 'the poor, the traveler, and the ordinary citizen.'
    He was indiscriminate in the administering of care; known for his compassion to the poor and to children. He also attracted students across ethnic and religious lines.
    He wrote: 'the doctor's aim is to do good, even to our enemies, so much more to our friends ... God imposed on physicians the oath not to compose mortiferous remedies.'
    He extended the code of medical ethics, expanding on the Hippocratic teachings of the Greeks.
    He was the main Islamic physician responsible for reevaluating and correcting some of the errors in the writings of the Ancient Greek physician Galen (hitherto the medical authority that medieval physicians looked to).
    But, it was his treatise, 'The Virtuous Life' (al-Hawi), criticizing the theories of Aristotle and Plato, that has led scholars to declare him arguably the greatest and most influential scholar of the Middle Ages.
    Edward Granville Browne called him 'the most prolific' and 'probably the greatest... most original of all the physicians,' while Belgian chemist George Sarton called him 'the greatest physician of Islam and the Medieval Ages.'
    He is among the four statues depicting Islamic scholars in the Cartagi 'Scholars' Pavilion which Iran donated to the United Nations Office in Vienna (2009).
    Into the 1970s, the World Health Organization (WHO) was still praising his writings on smallpox and the measles for 'show[ing] originality and accuracy.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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