Jamadi Thani 1424 H
Volume 16-08 No : 200
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The encylopaedia of surgery by Albucassis was used as the standard reference work in the subject in all universities of Europe for over five hundred years
By Dr Ibrahim Shaikh
Albucassis, was one of the greatest surgeons of his time. His encyclopaedia of surgery was used as the standard reference work in the subject in all the universities of Europe for over five hundred years. The Muslim Scientists, Avicenna, Al-Razi and Zahrawi Abul-Oasim (also known as Albucasis or Al-Zahrawi) are among the very first of those who worked in the field of medicine.
They have presented scientific treasures to the world, which are today still considered important references for medicine and medical sciences as a whole. Al-Zahrawi Abui-Qasim Khalaf ibn Abbas (Abucasis or Albucasis) was born at Medinat al-Zahra near Cordoba in Islamic Spain in 936 A.D.and died in 1013 AD. He descended from the Ansar tribe of Arabia who had settled earlier in Spain. His outstanding contribution in medicine is his encyclopaedic work ‘at-Tasrif li-man ajiza Al-talif’ in thirty treatise. His at-Tasrif completed in 1000 AD was the result of almost fifty years of medical education and experience in his own words... “What ever I know, I owe solely to my assiduous reading of books of the ancients, to my desire to under-stand them and to appropriate this science; then I have added the obser-vation and expe-rience of my whole life,”- Albucasis. At-Tasrif is an illustrated practice of medicine and surgery.
As a miniature encyclopaedia of 1500 pages, it shows that Albucasis was not only a medical scholar, but a great practising physician and surgeon. His book influenced and progressed surgery in Europe. At-Tasrif comprises 30 discourses and was intended for medical students and the practising physician, for whom it was a ready and useful companion in a multitude of situations since it answered all kinds of clinical problems. At-Tasrif contains the earliest picture of surgical instruments in history, about 200 are described and illustrated. The use of the instrument i.e. the surgical procedure itself is shown. Discourse l and 2, were transl-ated into Latin as “Liber Thoricae”, which was printed in Augusburg in 1519.
In them, Abuicasis classified 325 disea-ses and discussed their symptoma-tology and treatment. In folio 145, he described, for the first time, in medical history, a haamorrhagic disease transmitted by unaffected women to their male children- today we call it haemophilia. Discourse 28 is on pharmacy and was translated into Latin as early as 1288 as “Liber Servitoris”. Of all the discourses of Albucasis’s Al-Tasrif, discourse 30, on surgery, became the most famous and had by far the widest and the greatest influence, translated into Latin by Gerard Cremona (1114-1187) and it went into at least ten Latin editions between 1497 and 1544.
The 300 pages of Abulcasis’s surgery represent the first book of this size devoted solely to surgery, which at that time also included dentistry and what one may term surgical dermatology. Here in, Albucasis developed all aspects of surgery and various branches- ophthalmology diseases of the ear, nose, and throat, and of the head and neck, general surgery, obstetrics, gynaecology, military medicine, urology, and orthopaedic surgery. It is no wonder then that Albucasis awakened in Europe a pre-possession in favour of Arabic medical Literature, “that his book reached eminence as the foremost text book in Western Christendom”. Albucasis was not only one of the greatest surgeons of medieval Islam, but a great educationist and psychiatrist as well. He devoted a substantial section in the Tasrif to child education and behaviour. In his native city of Cordoba there is a street called ‘Al-Bucasis’ named after him. Across river Wadi Al-Kabir on the other side in the Calla Hurra Museum, his instruments are displayed in his honour.
The writer can be reached at
(Islam Online - Muslim Heritage)
By Nizami Suleman Kasmani
Here are practical ways we can improve and enjoy our Salat as it was meant to be! Today we have indeed come to treat the Prayer (Salah) as something insignificant in our lives. Very often we hear our elders say, “I will start praying when the time comes.” Others, especially the younger Muslims, do not find much comfort, and joy in their Prayers. Due to our treatment of Prayer as a burden, our love and passion for the Prayer has vanished.
Our hearts have become hardened, and we have become a depressed and defeated people. As a result, many are searching for ‘cures and remedies’ to the distress in our lives, through any means available, but are unable to find any because they have ignored the greatest medicine - Salah!
If we look deep into our daily lives and diagnose the causes of our spiritual, social and psychological illnesses, we will realise that probably something as uplifting, as evolutionary, and empowering as Salah is missing. If we, the youth, realize the potential role of Prayer in changing our lives and as a constant source of hope, we would regret missing even a single Salah.
The whole purpose of Salah is to be ever conscious of Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of all things. Salah is indeed, one of the most comprehensive forms of Dhikr (Remembrance). No wonder, Allah states in a Hadith qudsi: “Out of all the ways through which my servant gets closer to Me, Salah is the dearest to Me.” (Bukhari)
It is unfortunate, therefore, that we do not always take full advantage of this gift. We may compare the obligatory Salah to bathing five times a day. If after such frequent bathing, your body still remains dirty, then we may question the usefulness and efficacy of such bathing. Similarly, if after regular observance of Prayer your heart remains unmoved and your morals remain corrupt, we may question the usefulness of your Prayer. If you enter into Salah and come out of it the same person, then you have missed something great. How can you improve the quality of your Salah?
Remember, first and foremost, that as soon as you commence your Salah, Shaytan makes it his duty to fill your mind with anything and everything, but thoughts of Allah. He tries ceaselessly to disengage your mind and heart from such remembrance. It is this state of absentmindedness that destroys the quality of your Prayer.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said: “Allah does not accept the Prayers of an individual until his heart achieves in it what his body has achieved.” [Al- Ghazali in Ihya-Uloom ad-Deen] The ability to concentrate in Prayer may be improved by undertaking adequate psychological, mental and physical preparation before the prayer and by utilizing certain techniques during the Prayer.
“In The Early Hours”
by Khurram Murad