Friday, February 12, 2016

Weekly Report 2: Arab and Muslim Contributions to World Civilizations

The article I found was put out by the Muslim Heritage Awareness Group and the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation about the Millennium anniversary of the death of Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi. He is considered to be one of the Muslim World’s greatest doctors and has made huge contributions toward medical science, especially surgery. He lived between 903 and 1013 and became an extremely talented and skilled doctor and surgeon in his lifetime.
Many people traveled great distances to be taught by him and his book  Al-Tasrif Li-man ‘Ajaza ‘An al-Ta’alif , the 30th volume, was used as a medical resource well into the late 18th century. Al-Tasrif Li-man ‘Ajaza ‘An al-Ta’alif volume 30 was a comprehensive volume on the many aspects of surgery, it was illustrated and had detailed images and descriptions of the many different procedures and tools that could be used for surgery. It contained information on many kinds of surgery including pediatrics and gynecology as well as details on what could happen after the surgery-specifically complications- and how best to deal with those aftereffects. This book became a vital resource to European practitioners of medicine when Gerard of Cremona translated it into Latin in 1150.

Although there were other volumes of Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi’s al-Tasrif, they were never edited and did not become widespread in the way the 30th did and remained unusable by the general population. At the end of the 1200’s, a Latin translation of the 28th volume on simple drugs was done. In 1963, two men named Sami Khalaf Hamarneh and Glen Sannedecker worked to translate the 25th volume of the al-Tasrif, the contents of which discuss how to make as well as the use of ointments in medicine. In 2004, the first two volumes of al-Tastrif were edited and published by Dr Sobhi Mahmoud Hamami and there was a lot of excitement concernin the possibility of learning more about Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi and his medical ideas and practices. Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi was a huge contributor to the modern world of medicine, especially surgery as his book was used long after his death and influenced the way surgery was performed and is performed today.

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