‘Doctors treat and God heals’, is one of the most common medical quotes today. According to Solomon and Kathleen, the quote best explains Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya ibn Yahya AlRazi (34). Born in Rayy (modern Rey), Great Silk Road, Iran, in 865 (251 H) Al-Razi is an inspiration to the Islamic society not only because of his iconic philosophies but also developing some of the most modern values of patient profiling and record keeping in the medical field (Goodman, 112). In his youth, AlRazi worked as a jeweler, moneychanger, and more Lute-player. He met his tutor, Ali ibn Rabban al-Tabari, who was both a philosopher and medical doctor as when he was doing odd jobs a man who sets Al-Razi on a path that would led him towards becoming one of the most influential medical practitioners(Goodman, 117). Al-Razi’s constsnt inquisitions and curiosity led to him finding the perfect blend that allows individuals to see a connection between faith and efficiency in medical science.
Al-Razi is described as a rationalist. As cited by Solomon and Kathleen, he believed in reason. Additionally, he is known as one of the earliest believers of ‘cause and effect’ (21). As a medical practitioner, Al-Razi’s research identifies an individual who set out to practice solid investigative methodologies based on practical experimentation as well as observation. For example, in his Arabian Medicine journal, E. G. Browne translates a page that is believed to be taken from Al-Razi’s memoir that revealed that not only did he seek to know what was happening to patients for instance the illness symptoms but also gain the ability to comprehend what he could not recognize from faith. As narrated by Razi, Abu Bakr Muhamaad Ibn Zakariya, Al-Razi wrote about 224 manuscripts on different subjects, his most notable one being the Al-Hawi al-Tibb, which is considered as one of the earliest form of a formal medical encyclopedia (31). The piece of literature features medical issues, such as dissimilar illnesses having similar symptoms, a discovery saved a lot of lives and is used to this date. Al-Razi was the first pharmacist to write a book based on medical advisoaries titled Man la Yahduruhu Teb. He dedicated this manuscript for the poor or ordinary citizens who needed treatment when a doctor could not be available (Hamarneh, 19). In 36 chapters, Al-Razi described drugs as well as diets that could be made or conveniently found in the market place.
Other than his philosophies, Al-Razi was known to believe in socio-medical experiments that would see the development of a modern hospital far from civilization. The Adud al-Dawlah hospital in Baghdad was built in accordance to his wishes. According to Hamarneh, Al-Razi selected this location by hanging pieces of meat in different places of the city and picked the places whose pieces of meat’s putrefaction was the slowest (pp, 76-77). The hospital was put up almost half a century after Al-Razi died and is recorded as one of the earliest hospitals in the regions founded during Mu`tadid reign.
Indeed, Al-Razi was one of the greatest philosophers and medical practitioners in history also who built a relationship between God and science. Al-Razi’s belief in faith serves as an inspiration in a society that is concentrated in finding new ways to treat and underappreciating the value of religion as a form of therapy.
Goodman, Lenn E. “Muhammad ibn Zakariyya’.” History of Islamic Philosophy (2013): 198.
Hamarneh, Sami. “Development of hospitals in Islam.” Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences (1962): 366-384.
Razi, Abu Bakr Muhamaad Ibn Zakariya. Al-hawi fi al-tibb. Turath For Solutions, 2013.
Solomon, Robert C., and Kathleen Marie Higgins. “World philosophy a text with readings.” (1995).