Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2004): Supplement 2:
2nd International Congress on Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica
Ibn a`Nnafees and his masterpiece "al-Mujaz"
Emami A., Javadi B.
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
Abu-al-Hassan, Ala-a`Ddeen Ali Ibn Abe`l-Hazm Ibn a`Nnafees al-Qurashi a`Ddimashqi (607-687 A.H.) was born in Damascus, wherein he grew up and was occupied studying sciences as syntax, jurisprudence, medicine, theology, tradition, logic, etc.
His most well known masters in medicine were Muhadhdhib a`Ddeen a`Ddakhwar and Umran Israeli. After completing his studies, he left Damascus for Cairo, where he started lecturing and meanwhile giving medical treatments to the sick in a hospital.
At the same time, his knowledge on various fields of study was overspread and admirable. About 36 books have been remained from him, most of which, still unpublished. The following list is only some of his major books on medicine:
The Explanation of Hippocrates "Aphorism", the commentary of Galen's "Anatomy", the explanation of "The prognosis", the explanation of the "Canon", the explanation of "The materia medica", "al-Mujaz fi`Ttibb", "a`Shshamil fi`Ttibb" that has been including 300 volumes of which only 80 volumes have been copied fair, and "al-Muhadhdhab fi `l-kuhl" which contains the whole knowledge of ophthalmology in Islamic Medicine.
From Ibn-a`Nnafees, there have also been remained some compilations on other fields of science as logic, philology, jurisprudence, syntax, tradition and so on.
What has caused Ibn -a`Nnafees fame to be world spread is the pulmonary circulation which he has discovered for the first time.
As it is mentioned one of his important books is "al-Mujaz". This book is an extract of whole parts of the "Canon" of Ibn Sina, except the two parts of anatomy and physiology. As one of the most well-known books of Ibn-a`Nnafees, it has obtained more than ten commentaries commentaries including Nafis-Ibn-Awadh al-Kermani`s which is apparently considered to be the best, Aghsaraii`s, Aghsati`s, Bolboly`s and Kazerooni`s commentaries.
The book "al-Mujaz" consists of four main parts: The first part contains the general principles of theoretical and practical medicine. It discusses some important points dealing with natural affairs, conditions of the body, causes and symptoms.
In the practical medicine, some general principles about hygiene and therapeutics have been stated
The second part includes the terminology of the materia medica. About 200 simple drugs with mineral, plant and animal origins, written according to the arithmetical arrangement of the Arabic alphabets (Abjad alphabethical order). In each monograph there have been stated points about temperament, peculiarity, dosages and adverse effects of each drug. There have also been inserted names and the ways of preparing some compound drugs.
The third part talks about the diseases of the whole organs of the body. In any case the temper of organs, the related diseases, sorts, symptoms and way of treatment including nutrition therapy and drug therapy have been explained. This part consists of the main volume of the book.
The fourth and the last part of the book is allocated the diseases which are not special for a certain organ. In the six chapters of this part, there are some explanations about the different sorts of fever, crisis, inflammations, pustules, leprosy, epidemic diseases, the methods of preventing them, orthopedic, kinds of trauma, cosmetics, and diseases of skin and hair, and finally information about poisons, methods of preventing them and treatment of poisoning.
"Al-Mujaz" has been corrected by Abd-al-Kareem al-Azbavi and Ahmad Ammar, and published by committee of revival of Islamic Inheritance in Cairo (1422 A.H. / 2001 A.D.).
This book is under translating into Persian by the authors of the article.