Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2004): Supplement 2:
2nd International Congress on Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica
Medical Encyclopedia of Islam and Iran
Since twelve years when the Traditional and Islamic Medicine Group was founded by The Academy of Medical Sciences of Islamic Republic of Iran., there has always been the interest to organize the research on traditional medicine, to lead it toward an objective, and to introduce its various aspects to the public.
On the other hand, the medical science has a long history in Iran. In addition to an abundance of facts which are currently know about the knowledge of Iranians of the medical science during the last fifteen centuries that is since Islam was introduced into Iran, there are a lot of evidences for the existence of the science the pre-Islamic Iran.
Islamic also attaches great importance to medicine and the Islamic medicine is among the most important branches of medicine in the world, which has done great services to the world's medicine, and in many cases the world's medicine is indebted to Moslem physicians.
Hence, the Traditional and Islamic Medicine Group of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Islamic Republic of Iran has made an abundance of studies in Persian language to methodize the researches made on the history of medicine. As a result of the studies, the Group decided to publish an encyclopedia in Persian named "The Encyclopedia of Islamic and Iranian Medicine" and the serious step to publish the encyclopedia was taken during the last year. Thanks to the support of Academy of Medical Sciences, especially Mr. Iraj Fazel Ph.D. as president of the Academy and the experience of different encyclopedias which are currently being published in Iran the case studies were made on the book and they finally led to the said reference published in four volumes in Persian including four thousand entries in alphabetical order. As a comparison, The Encyclopedia of Islam, whose second edition was completed several months ago in Holland includes some nine thousand entries; since, however, The Encyclopedia, we preferred to begin it with a smaller number of entries so as to continue at a higher pace and its first edition be completed in eight to ten years.
From the very beginning of the work, Other encyclopedias in Persian, Turkish, Urdu and European languages were considered and, having studied multiple articles from encyclopedias in the said languages, attempt was made that, in the first place, the structure of articles of such sources in Islamic medicine be derived and, in the second place, entries which are necessary to be included in The Encyclopedia of Islamic and Iranian Medicine be derived from the said references. Therefore, decision was mad that the entries of The Encyclopedia of Islamic and Iranian Medicine be derived from the existing encyclopedias in Iran about Islam and Iran. In addition, more than 300 volumes of books were examined which were specifically written on Iranian and Islamic scientists or on medicine in Islam and Iran, and in the end 2500 entries were derived from them. The entries were studied by the Traditional and Islamic Medicine Group and after 500 entries were ignored; those worthy of consideration were selected and prepared for the subsequent works.
The entries have been divided to the five groups: people, books, plants, specialized terms of Islamic medicine, and medical centers in the Islamic world.
At the same time, other activities were performed which seemed necessary for publishing the encyclopedia, including the booklet on the practical details of compilation of the book in Persian. All significant points on the Encyclopedia have been explained in it to enable the authors of articles to be introduced to the atmosphere of the Encyclopedia. Also attempt was made by examining the important Iranian libraries to gather major books written so far in different languages both in Iran and the world on the Islamic medicine to enable the authors of articles to use them. At the same time, on the basis of different encyclopedias published about Islam and Iran attempt was made that information be gathered about people who have experience in writing encyclopedic articles on Islamic medicine.
Today one may not deny the importance of transfer of science by electronic means. Hence, an Internet base was created for the Encyclopedia to enable contact with authors outside Iran too. The Internet base will be available through the base of the Academy of Medical Science of Islamic Republic of Iran.
Science all the foregoing has been completed during the last year, the process of ordering articles to be written for the Encyclopedia has been initiated in current year's autumn. The Traditional and Islamic Medicine Group of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Islamic Republic of Iran hopes to complete the job as fast as possible according to the time schedule in cooperation with all Islamic medicine scholars.